Home Bunch - Interior Design Ideas

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Sharing a room. For the only child, the idea of sharing a room seems like lots of fun. They envision an endless slumber party/play date and wish that they could have that experience too. As a parent you know just how wrong that fantasy is. You know from experience that kids sharing a room often leads to fighting and blanket claims for territory and strife.

What many parents don’t realize is that when kids have to share a room they are expected to treat the entire room as a shared space, where nothing is sacred or really even off limits. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? After all, there are a lot of ways to make one room–even a small one, feel like two.

 

Break It Up

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The simplest way to make one room feel like two is to put a literal physical barrier in the middle of the room so that each child has his or her own “side.” These sides can be treated as separate rooms and decorated as such. A good bedroom divider doesn’t have to take up a ton of space; it can be a simple curtain. What matters is that it gives the impression that each child has his or her own private space that is their own to take care of.

PRO TIP: This works well in other areas of your home where you might need to make one space, like a basement, serve multiple purposes.

Paint & Decor

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If the room is too small for a physical barrier or if your kids are particularly rambunctious and are more likely to knock the barrier down than to respect it, your best option is to use different paint and decorating schemes. Divide the room as equally as possible and then let each child choose his or her own color scheme and themes. This will make one room look and feel like two even though they aren’t physically separated.

Lofts

Paint color is "Sherwin Williams Latte". sherwin-williams-latte-sherwin-williams-latte-sherwin-williams-latte Insidesign

{Paint color is “Sherwin Williams Latte”.}

Whoever thought up the loft bed (probably someone who had to share a tiny room with a sibling) is a genius. With a loft bed, nobody has to fight for the top bunk. What’s more, they make it possible to fit multiple beds, desks, dressers, etc into even the tiniest of rooms. These beds are great for kids who get along most of the time but still need a space over which they can feel ownership. The middle of the room can be shared space, but the area under each loft bed belongs solely to that bed’s owner.

Closets

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Remember: most bedrooms only have one closet. If you’re going to divide up the bedroom, you’ll have to clearly divide up the closet as well. One great way to do this is to get rid of that one lone bar that runs the length of the closet. Take that out. Then but two narrow bookcases in the middle of the closet. Attach two shorter bars (one down low, one higher up) on each side of those bookcases to hold hanging clothes. This way your kids will each have their own side over which they have total control. To keep mess from spreading out, you can also put a thin piece of plywood or plastic between the bookcases to extend to the edge of the closet so that each half feels like it’s own space. And, of course, you should take off any sliding doors and put up curtains over each half instead.

Just for Sleeping

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For most of this post, we’ve focused on the idea of a bedroom being shared by two kids. But what if three (or more!) kids have to share a space? This is when figuring out how to equally divide a space can get pretty tricky. One of the best things to do if this is the challenge you’re facing is to make the bedroom a simple sleeping space. Keep toys, books, etc. in another part of the house. Have kids do their homework at the kitchen table. When space is limited sometimes trying to do less with it is better than trying to do more. After all, not every home is built to perfect spec the way they get set up in Ikea, right?

 

Sharing a room and setting up a shared room are both unique challenges. With a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of creativity, though, you can make one room feel like two or even three or more! Start with the tips we’ve shared here and build on them. And, of course, remember to talk to your kids about respecting boundaries, sharing skills, and manners. That, more than anything else, will help your kids share a room peacefully.

 

Many thanks to the designer for sharing the details above!

Sources: 1: J & J Design Group, LLC. 2: SPG Architects. 3: Kathryn Thompson Interior Design. THINK architecture Inc. 4: Insidesign. 5 & 6: J & J Design Group, LLC.

 

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