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We aren’t all lucky enough to have enough rooms in our house for each child, let alone rooms for a playroom, a guest room, or even just a separate study. So, when we must put more than one kid in a room, there might be a few easy options we can go for to make the process easier for everyone, especially for us BIG people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to consider the kids who we’d like to have inhabit the space, I’m just saying you can “kill two (multiple) birds with one (maybe two) stone” to coin a silly phrase.
I’d like to strip back the problem beyond the shared-bedroom solution and ask ourselves these questions up-front:
Ok, so we know why this needs to happen and let’s assume (for this blog) that it’s a long-term solution we are looking for. It’s time for us to look for any potential roadblocks – forewarned is forearmed after all isn’t it?
Do we have the right kinds of beds? If we have two single beds, we will need to ensure they will both fit in the shared space. Although bunk beds may seem like a great option, and they certainly can be, it’s important to ensure that no ceiling fans are in a dangerous position from the height of the top and who will get the top-bunk well in advance, because this, if not already, will fast become the biggest bone of contention for the kids destined to share this space, especially if they are a bit younger and certainly if they are teenagers – those with teenagers are nodding profusely I know 😊.
Ok, beds sorted! Now it’s the “fun” part! Theme, décor and design. Now, I know many kids who really don’t have a favourite character or toy or band, but they are the exception that’s for sure. The number ONE “rule” of shared rooms is that they MUST find a common ground and if one cannot be found then the room needs to be simple in its design/colour choices etc. to ensure the least amount of friction possible. As an example, it’s not going to work too well if your 5-year-old Elsa obsessed little girl needs to share with her 14-year-old heavy-metal-loving teenage boy! Not going to happen right? It’s like that one of them is going to very unhappy or maybe it’s an opportunity to learn an important life lesson - as it’s just not possible to always get what we want BUT it will be possible to find something they both like, even with kids there must be at least one thing that each kid likes that is the same. It could be as simple as them liking the colour blue or having a TV (if allowed) or maybe just something simple like a common like for plants. The trick is to find a common ground, any common ground. Maybe the best option here is to get them to come up with something they both like (or at least don’t detest). There’s also the (completely acceptable) notion/decision that they don’t need any shared like as you get what you get, and you don’t get upset. I certainly know that when I shared with my sisters when I was younger, we had to be happy with a bed to sleep on and somewhere to store our clothes – case closed. We didn’t have themed rooms or a certain colour palette, and this is still completely fine in our opinion (although not ideal revelation, especially when your business is selling children’s décor 😊).
But, for argument’s sake, you do find something they both like and you’re also happy with it to be the basis/ focus of your room. Colour is an easy one, even if you can’t/won’t paint walls, wall decals are a perfect option to add a shared colour without serious cost or hassle. Wall Decals these days (God I sound like my mother) are NOT like “old school” wallpaper, which I’m sure many of us have horrendous memories of (showing my age, aren’t I). Wall Decals are literally removable and reusable stickers that you can put on and move them wherever and whenever you want. There are countless options, and lots would be neutral to both gender and age, as an example the Giant Oak Tree or the Arizona Sunset Arch (both by Ginger Monkey) are two good examples that are easy options and achieve this goal. One thing not to forget is trying to ensure they both have enough room for their “stuff”, we still use the wardrobe in our guest bedroom as their clothes just wont fit in the bedroom (maybe I should’ve used it as an excuse to cull the insane amount clothes they have, and meanwhile I’m over here wearing Kmart clothes from years ago).
Another option is, just do it how you want it. You might have one of those fabulous homes that has a consistent and beautiful style/theme throughout, and you want all your rooms to fit within this, and we love that too! It’s your home after all and at some point, our kids will be out of the house and we will be free to style our homes exactly how we want, without little fingers or teenage feet ruining good furniture (I know I shouldn’t wish time away, but it does sound pretty good don’t you think?).
So, whichever way you choose to tackle this shared bedroom task, we wish you every success. It really can be a blessing for everyone. We (the whole family) get more room, they get more sibling time together (hopefully this becomes a positive thing, even if it takes a while to find a rhythm) and did you know that siblings that share bedrooms get MORE sleep than those in their own rooms1. Especially if they are similar ages (within 4 years of each other).
Thanks, as always, for reading and if there’s anything you’d like us to write about just send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with BLOG in the subject line.