Decorating a Two Kid Room

Increasingly, families are returning to the idea of siblings sharing a room, whether the same gender or not. My son and daughter enjoy their shared room, and it reduces their middle of the night visits to mom, as neither likes to sleep alone. Perhaps, things will change when they hit their pre-teens, but for now, we are all happy with the arrangement.

Young Childrens BedroomAre you stumped on how to make the room more interesting and appealing to both kids?  Here are some planning guidelines:

  • Theme.  Ask each child to list their favorite things, or do it for them if they’re too young. Try to think about how two themes can look good together. For instance, you could have butterflies amidst dinosaurs.

  • Timelessness.  Consider not just what your child likes today, but what he will likely enjoy in a year or two. Will your first grader still want Thomas or Dora bedding? Will your teenager like white furniture? If you’re unsure, try asking friends with older children when their kids stopped liking your kid’s favorite character.

  • Layout.  Try drawing out the furniture on a piece of paper or graphics program, relatively to scale. Don’t just put furniture flush against the walls — Create interest by angling furniture. Ideally, keep cribs and beds away from windows.

  • Colors.  For a small room, try light colors (furniture, walls, bedding) to brighten the room, but don’t make the walls white.  For a more cozy look, try a medium color. Don’t be too matchy matchy — be sure to layer your colors. Paint samples on the wall and hang fabrics with blue tape to get an idea of how they will look together.

  • Walls.  Consider wall decor for characters or age-sensitive trends. My favorite so far are RoomMates wall decals on Amazon. PSA: Pick a washable paint, for the day when your child shows off his writing or drawings on the wall.

  • Furniture.  For two children in a small room, consider bunk or loft style beds. Reuse your crib as a mini-sofa by removing one side. Choose a natural finish because stained furniture shows scratches; I prefer a lighter colored wood, but darker wood with a natural stain will also wear well.  Furniture in all the same finish will make a room look more cohesive, especially a small room. PSA: Keep polish markers on hand to cover small scratches.

  • Bedding.  Price points are higher, so try to avoid characters, which children grow out of quickly, and instead look for timeless themes, such as polka dots or stripes.

  • Rugs.  Either choose a fun budget rug from Ikea or a timeless rug from a more expensive store.

  • Windows.  Look for black out shades or curtains if your children are at all sensitive to light. You’ll be grateful in the summer, when you need to put your child to bed before dark, or when the sun comes up at 5am. I’ve tended to go simple and timeless here as well. PSA: My children have broken the roller shades many times. Don’t forget to childproof the openings and add security to keep out unwanted guests.

  • Private Space.  Create space that is just for each child, whether in the bedroom or a play area. My elder has a cabinet in the dining room, which is gated off from his younger sister. Others hang a little teepee or have their own chairs. Head off sibling conflict by allowing each child some area just for her.


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