Creating a Shared Bedroom for Siblings
When siblings share a bedroom, there can be challenges, especially if they’re different ages, or sexes, or both. Often, though, it’s not a matter of choice but necessity.
But just because you need to make it work, it doesn’t mean your kids shouldn’t have a great bedroom they can enjoy; one that still gives them a sense of individuality, and some space of their own.
Here at PD Designs, we understand the challenges in designing a shared bedroom space for siblings, and we have plenty of bespoke fitted bedroom solutions to offer you, whether you’re in Nelson, Colne, Clitheroe, Skipton, Ribchester, Hebden Bridge or anywhere else in Lancashire
The Benefits and Challenges of Sharing
Despite what you may think, siblings can actually benefit from sharing a bedroom; it helps them bond and learn social skills, and teaches them how to cooperate with one another. In fact, for many of us adults, a shared bedroom space is home to some of our most vivid memories of growing up.
However, creating a shared bedroom does come with certain challenges, and there is the risk that, without planning and designing the space properly, it becomes a cluttered mess or worse, descends into a permanent area of conflict.
The first challenge is the most obvious: having enough space in the first place. This is where bedroom design becomes essential, and where your custom, fitted bedroom must have sufficient storage, to avoid the build-up of clutter.
Next are sleeping arrangements. For many, bunk beds are the first choice, because they make saving on floor space easy, and they’re a very practical solution. But they’re not for everyone, and you might still want to leave room for other possibilities.
Another big challenge is incorporating the differences between your kids if they’re sharing a bedroom. Obvious differences are in age and sex, but this extends to their interests, hobbies and general tastes too. It may be a case of creating clearly delineated zones but with some shared, neutral ground.
Closely connected to this is choosing colours. This is where the art of compromise can play a crucial part, and where designing separate areas for individual tastes within the shared space can be the right remedy.
Making the Most of Shared Space
This is where PD Designs can really help you out, because the made to measure, fitted bedroom solution is ideal for maximising the amount of space you have to work with. For example, you might have alcoves you can utilise for dressing tables, or areas which will work for free-standing storage solutions? Moreover, you don’t need to be too conventional with a fitted bedroom, so if you want a theme – whether futuristic or fairy-tale – then the world’s your oyster – just be sure that it will work for both occupants of the room.
Storage is also going to be a priority, because in effect you’re doubling up on everything, from toys to furniture. Here, shelving is the ideal solution for both storing things away and for marking out areas for individual belongings too. What’s more, you can also use storage solutions that double up as other functions, such as toy chests with cushioned tops to act as seating, or under the bed storage, which can really help save on space.
Remember also to choose streamlined furniture to make the bedroom feel as spacious as possible, and where you have fitted wardrobes, have separate rails for each child’s own clothes, so it’s always clear who has what.
For children of different ages or sexes, you might want to partition the room in some way, if space permits; but if not, you can always devise ways of creating a sense of separate zones using different furniture and colour combinations. Alternatively, you could always try a few innovative ideas for bedroom partitioning too; for example, try a curtain that can be drawn when one or other child needs privacy, or help mark out the separation of the room with a wall divide that still leaves space around it.
Exploring Sleeping Arrangements
Bunk beds may seem to be the obvious choice when it comes to siblings sharing bedrooms, because they are certainly an efficient use of space, and they usually offer storage opportunities underneath and sometimes even built-in. However, bunk beds do not have to be a traditional one-up, one-down design. There are now plenty of perpendicular and other split level bunk bed designs, which give a whole different dimension to the shared bedroom space, and help blur the nagging issue of who’s sleeping on the top, or bottom, bunk.
On the other hand, if you’ve got the space, you could consider twin beds, and build a contrasting, two-zone design around them – particularly useful if the siblings sharing the room are a boy and girl.
Celebrating the Difference
In particular, the thorny issues of the shared bedroom when there are differences in age and/or sex between the siblings requires proper planning, to both absorb and reflect this. Maybe think about gender-neutral items for the basics, with non-themed furniture; for example, neutral coloured lamps and other essentials are a good start, because you can then accessorise when it comes to suiting individual tastes.
For age differences, your first aim should be to give each child a comfortable night’s sleep while minimising the chances of them disturbing the other. Similarly, an older child’s toys might need effective storage to keep them away from the younger child; but at the same time think of how you can also furnish a shared play area with soft cushions or floor mats.
The main thing to remember is that it’s important for your kids to feel that the room is theirs to share, but also that they have their own place in it, so customise it with personal accessories with their names or initials on, along with family photographs and other records of them growing up, such as handprints.
Being Colour Aware
Decorating a room so it’s suitable for siblings to share must necessarily involve a degree of compromise combined with a willingness to accommodate contrasting tastes.
Combining neutral foundations with clear, zonal areas is one solution, as this means that the entire shared bedroom has no clear allegiance to one child’s taste more than the other’s, but that each child has their own clearly-defined area to be in when they choose, or when it’s time for sleep. Avoid obvious blues and pinks for the overall colour palette, but don’t be afraid of bold, primary colours, or colour combinations – remember these are children you’re designing a room for!
For those parts of the room that are colour-exclusive to each child, bring in some colour co-ordination for things like bedding and accessories, but you don’t have to be too uniform. Instead, allow for some spontaneity to reflect a sense of ease and freedom, and remember that they’re their rooms at the end of the day, not yours; being able to express their individuality is more important than fitting in with your interior design schemes!
Get In Touch
Here at PD Designs, we specialise in handmade bespoke, fitted bedrooms, and we’ve been doing it for more than two decades now, so we can help you design the dream bedroom for your kids to share and enjoy. Why not email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone us on 01282 602222, to begin your no -obligation consultation with us? Alternatively, you can also complete the contact form on our website and we’ll respond to you as soon as possible.