When kids share bedrooms is something that’s done out of necessity when there simply aren’t enough bedrooms for everyone to have their own, but bunking in together does boast some great benefits. Younger brothers and sisters can be reassured by the presence of their elders and may sleep more soundly as a result. And of course, there are life lessons to be learned when it comes to sharing and sorting out squabbles too.
In fact, many parents are now actively choosing to have siblings share a sleep space and using freed up areas to create dedicated playrooms or home offices. If you’d like your little ones to share a bedroom, rest assured that it doesn’t need to mean that a child doesn’t have a space to call their own. With careful planning and thoughtful interior design, shared bedrooms can reflect the character of their individual inhabitants and be practical spaces that are enjoyed or treasured. There’s no guarantees that there won’t be a few squabbles along the way though. Here are a few tips for creating cool kids bedrooms made for sharing.
Zone the bedroom
The best way to give sharing siblings their own space is through zoning and how far you do this is entirely up to you. You can simply opt for a bedroom that’s decorated the same throughout and furnished with matching sets of furniture at either side, so that each child has equal space. If you keep it plain and simple like this, adding a personalised canvas print with a favourite photograph or an illustration of each child’s name above their bed is a cute way to differentiate their spaces.
An alternative is to allow each child to choose a décor theme for a section of the room. Yes, this can lead to clashes, but it also allows for individuality and can be a great compromise for kids aged five and over who want to express their own personality on their surroundings. If you go down this route you may also choose to use a physical separation – a curtain down the middle of the room, a half wall or perhaps some furniture such as cube shelving or bedside drawers. If you decide to use bunk beds, you could add individual curtains on the outside of each bunk to provide privacy.
Agree some room rules
Let’s be honest, when siblings share a bedroom things don’t go smoothly one hundred per cent of the time. There will be disagreements, squabbles and probably some broken belongings too. But there are steps you can take to ensure harmony is restored quickly and everyone feels equally valued.
Firstly, consider getting the inhabitants to agree some rules for the space. This may be as simple as creating a poster that says no shouting or snatching. Secondly, think hard about how you will tackle bedtime for siblings of different ages. Some parents stick to the same bedtime for all, while others allow older siblings to stay up slightly later. Whatever you plan to do, it’s best to be consistent.
Finally, consider what rules will apply if one of the children has a friend to play or sleepover. Will the other sibling sleep elsewhere for the night and be allowed to claim the room when they have visitors? Perhaps all sleepovers will be hosted downstairs. Plan your strategy now and you’re less likely to be caught out later.
Be smart with storage
Have you seen the episode of Peppa Pig where they buy a new toy cupboard? Never let lack of storage hinder tidying in a shared space. As floor space is likely to be at a premium with two children or more in the same room, smarter storage solutions may be required. Storage built into each child’s bed will give them personal stowage. If under bed drawers are not an option, there are some nifty and varied gadgets that attach to the side of beds or a toy box at the foot of each bed may be an option. If kids are at the stage where they have lots of clothes as well as toys but they want to differentiate between their furniture, matching sets can be made different with contrasting or complementary paint shades.
Did you share a bedroom as a child? Did it help you and your siblings become besties for life or cause no end of arguments? Do any of your little ones share bedrooms and if so, what design tips would you pass on?