Family LIfe

Designing for Two A Bedroom for Siblings
by Jessica Ackerman

When you have two children sharing the same bedroom, you've got some specific decorating and designing challenges. But, with a little planning and creative thinking, you can turn a shared bedroom into individualized space for each child.

First Things First
The size of the shared room generally factors strongly into your design options for a shared bedroom. If the room is large, you might have the possibility of having two separate beds on the floor. If this is the case, you can try putting one bed in each of two diagonal corners of the room, and center their personal space on those corners. You could also try putting the beds end to end against one wall, which can create the illusion of more space in the rest of the room. However, if floor space is cramped and the room is small, bunk beds are going to be your best option. Whether you choose two separate beds or bunk beds, let each child choose their own bedding colors and patterns. The room might not visually match, but each child will be a lot happier.

Desk Space
If at all possible, each child should have their own desk space in the room, even if it's a small desk. If the desks each have a drawer that can hold hanging folders, this is even better. Even when space is shared, you should be encouraging organization, and keeping their papers and desk area personal to just themselves is important.

Alterations that Add Space
If the room is small, you might gain more usable space by removing the closet door. You can hang a curtain or room divider beads in the closet doorway instead. This will make it easier for children to access the closet, and reduce the need to have an open area on the wall for the closet door to open against.

Storage Problems
Two children sharing the same room can definitely create some toy storage issues. If the children are close together in age, this might not be as big of a deal, since they are probably playing with many of the same toys. However, regardless of age, each child should have an area where they can store their own toys. If each child has his own bed with drawers underneath, this can be a great toy storage option. Another idea is to use toy hammocks on the wall over each bed, to give each child an area for their toys and stuffed animals.

Clothing Storage
For clothes storage, a small chest of drawers can be a big help. Divide the drawers between the two children, letting the younger child have the bottom drawers for ease of access. You can use this same sort of strategy with a bookshelf as well, dividing the shelves between the two children, while only taking up one area of floor space.

Decorating for Two
When decorating a room shared by two children, try to take both of their preferences into consideration as much as possible. You can paint the walls a neutral shade, and let them accessorize their side of the room with their own favorite colors. Or, you could even paint two walls one color and two walls a different color, if the two colors coordinate.

About the Author:
Design consultant Jessica Ackerman of WallDecorandHomeAccents.com has more than twenty-five years experience with candle wall sconces online and iron scroll wall art.

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