Shared Spaces: Boy Girl Rooms

I have quite the affinity for shared bedrooms. I love everything about the whole concept – sleepovers that never end, the closeness between siblings it encourages, the space it saves in your home, the lack of space for unnecessary junk in the room itself, the decorating potential … it all excites me.

Depending on who you talk to one might tell you I am an only child. Or, some might tell you I have more brothers and sisters than you can shake a stick at. Truth is, it’s a little of both. I was adopted. Several times over. How does one get adopted several times over you ask? Painfully. Adoptions don’t always work out, families get divorced or long for children of their own. Skipping from one family to the next until I found the one that was right for me made me much of the person I am today and sharing rooms with so many children during my time in foster care, transition homes and finally amongst my own inherited family made me love the concept of bunking with others even more. No matter how alone I felt on the inside, there was always someone there with me at night to talk with, find solace in and just be myself around. It’s these positive experiences I hope to share with my own kids.

My children are small (4,3 & 1) and the oldest two share rooms now. If the rooms were a bit larger, I’d move all three of them into one room. UPDATE: I did! and we love it. If the house were larger … I’d have more children and move all of them into one huge bunk house of sorts. How, do we do it you ask? By keeping the bedroom a place used only for reading and sleeping. All of our toys stay in the playroom. Our bedrooms are a place we got for quiet time, for naps and for cuddling just before bedtime. This will change as they grow older, I’m sure — but for now it leaves me plenty of time to decorate their space in a truly unique way.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be asking for your help in decorating their shared space and I thought I’d use this post to open up the discussion. Let’s talk about shared spaces a bit, how do you feel about them? How would you make a shared space work for both a boy and a girl. And of course, eye candy!!

shared rooms via Domino Mag
boy girl room
via Garnet Hill
shared kids room
via Pottery Barn Kids
red blue kids room
via Design Dazzle
shared room for kids
Image via Simplified Bee

Ok, your turn!
Now you tell me, Have you ever shared a room with a sibling? Looking back on it now are you glad that you did? What are some reasons you will pair your children in the same room or even do whatever it takes to give them each a room of their own.

And as for the eye candy … Which one is your favorite? What do you notice about all of these rooms that makes them similar? What do you think is the secret to making a boy/girl room look cohesive and planned instead of mismatched and overloaded with colors and themes?

Stacy

Stacy is seeing the world in a whole new way – through the eyes of her children. She writes about the little things, the big things and all the “stuff” in between at Kids Stuff World.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh I LOVE those spaces! Especially the rooms with three beds! Actually, that pottery barn image is in my inspiration stash for my boys:-).

    Now, as far as liking the kids together, I do! For my personal reasons and for their play. I enjoy hearing my boys talk to each other and laugh and giggle eventhough they are suppose to be asleep. It reminds me of when I was growing up with my sisters and brothers! Plus I know they enjoy being together! I also think it builds a strong bond of friendship between siblings. My oldest told me the other day that he miss being in the room with his brothers. Which kinda hurts. So I may be doing another room design in the future. One for all three;-)

    I’m out right now, but AS SOON as I get home I’m going to follow your site!

  2. says

    LOVE the idea and LOVE the inspiration photo from Domino mag…I’m all for that route – fun and cheery! Let’s figure out a plan and I’m coming down to help you put the room together!

    I’m SO amazed at the woman and mother that you are – I am truly blessed to have met you and have you in my life! :)

  3. says

    Hi,

    I loved your post. I do believe in keeping the kids together during their young age. The bond between them is such a pleasure to watch and hear (when they giggle and laugh and play together).

    I shared a room with my sister and my kids do the same. I loved the second pic. My kids would enjoy a space like that…especially the sign that says No Boys/Girls Allowed.

    My secret to designing a room for both a boy and a girl – I chose one color scheme (orange and green) and gave my daughter butterflies and my son dinosaurs in the same color scheme. You can see pictures on my site under About Us.

    All the best. And thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    I shared a room with my sister, and didn’t like it at all. When we had seperate beds, I’d crawl in with her, so our parents got us one big bed. Then, we hated sleeping in the same bed :-P So they got us our own again. I was extremely happy when I finally got my own room at age 12…..and then we moved. Yup, back in with sissy again. That lasted until my Junior year of highschool when my brother left home and I finally got to be on my own again.

    That being said, I think for younger children it’s great. My kids will probably share rooms just because of space issues, but I will try to keep it boys with boys and girls with girls. Right now I only have 1 daughter (19 months), so it really doesn’t matter.

    I like the “No ____ Allowed” one the best. It would be the one I would choose for myself, hehehe.

  5. says

    I never shared a room with a sibling, but I think most young kids would love it! There are some great design ideas here. I think I like the first two photos the best, especially for younger kids. The last two seem better for teenagers…something about them just seems a little more grown-up. :)

  6. says

    Love this topic!! My 5 and 3 year old share a room. they have since my 3 year old (the girl) was 2. I love it. So much that When Molly is old enough for a big girl bed I am going to have her bunk with them for awhile. Probable until Colin needs some space. Right now I have bunk beds in the room which leaves a ton of space. I can’t wait to see what decorating you are doing!! I love love love the first picture.

  7. says

    This is such a touching post. It’s fabulous how you are so positive about your foster experiences. Bravo!
    I love the idea of sharing a room with siblings. I shared a room with my sisters till I went off to college. As you said, I looooooved the late night chats!
    Now I have 2 kids and am about to move my son into his sister’s room. Unfortunately, we don’t have a play room due to lack of rooms (we live in a 2 room apartment). Plus, when I was preggy with my daughter I went insane with pink and butterflies. So the room is way too girlie!! I should remedy that soon!
    Moreover, I’m debating whether to wait a bit before moving my son out of our room. There are two reasons: 1. He’s still waking up at night and he’s currently teething. 2. She’s about to start preschool next month and I don’t want him disrupting her sleep.

  8. says

    I also believe that siblings must share the room till the age of 14-15 . It increases the friendship and understanding between them, and also they try to think mutually, which is a good habit. If you have larger rooms, even then you can give a larger room to them for sharing.

  9. says

    Yes, I shared a room with my brother until I was about 10 yrs old. We had various matching bedding sets. I found you via Home to three Duncan Boys, so glad that I did.

  10. shawna says

    Thank you so much for the comment on my blog! Love this dialogue & just shared your link with another local AF mama who just posed this question on FB! :D

  11. Laticia says

    I have a 1year old daughter an before she was born I decorated her room in like pastel orange paint butterfly an flowers lady bug ect.. Border… An black furnishings an colorful bedding it is beautiful ,….well now I am five months pregnant with a boy an since I live a trailer they will share a room ….any ideas on how to tone it down to make more neutral ?

    • says

      HI Laticia, I’m so glad you asked. I would love to help you make your room more neutral. Can you tell me first, is there time to paint the room or is this something you’re even considering? And two, what colors are in your daughters bedding? We may be able to make it work with the orange walls. I’d like you to take a look at this link http://pinterest.com/stacyofksw/planning-a-room-for-two/ and tell me if you like this look. I have a boy and a girl who share a room and these are some of the ideas I wanted to use for them. It’s all very colorful and works with all the colors of the rainbow. Let me know what you think and I’ll help you any way I can. Nice to “meet” you ~ Stacy

  12. Kari says

    Love the concepts here— I am looking for ways to make this work for older kids— possibly through the teen years. Yikes! We are currently in a large home in the desert and planning on a big downsizing move to a beach townhome. Two bedrooms probably. The location is amazing, but that’s all we can afford. One idea is to give my now 12 and 9 year olds the master bedroom and dividing the space somewhat with roomdivider, PAX system, shelving, curtain etc. I am not happy about giving up the master, but beach homes have tiny, tiny secondary rooms. Ideas on how to make a tiny room work then? I’m talking 10 x 12 or so. Prefer not to do bunks because in my experience, no one wants the top. Or bottom. Or whatever is the current not-favorite-bed.

    • toni says

      wish you had an answer to this post as i’m in the same situation. Ten year old son sharing with his 11 year old sister isn’t working out so do we build a wall add another door and window and have two very small rooms or do we wait and see who survives. probably won’t be me.

  13. Gina says

    I know its a year later— but I love this site; I have an 8yr old boy, 4 yr old girl and unknown on the way! We have two small bedrooms and do the playroom thing like you mentioned! We are on a super budget so pbk and such just doesn’t work for us. Love to hear what you are doing a year later with your shared rooms!

    • says

      Gina, first of all THANK YOU! and sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I would love to help you out in finding a way to make your space work for you and tell you more about my kids room as they are now. I will work on a post to do just that. In the mean time, did you see this post? Tell me if any of them speak to you http://kidsstuffworld.com/2011/07/top-five-reasons-kids-should-share-rooms/ and what colors/style you’re thinking might work for you guys. This can be done on tight budget for sure!

  14. Andrea says

    I just found your post as I’m searching for ideas on creating a shared boy/girl room. Right now my little guy’s room is a cowboy theme–1/2 of the wall is painted like an appaloosa pony print. However, I just found out I’m expecting a girl and due to space they must share. I’ve thought about doing a cowgirl/cowboy theme but still unsure. I love your pictures though so thank you for sharing!

    • says

      Hi Andrea,

      I am so sorry it took me this long to get back to you. I would love to help you with this room, cowboys & appaloosa sounds awesome. I think we can work this into a boy/girl room easy! If you still want to use this theme? can you tell me what pieces you already have? (beds, cribs, dressers, etc and what color & style they are?) I already have some fun ideas in mind!

  15. Krista says

    Hi. I think this website is awesome and you seem like an incredibe woman and mother. Thanks for sharing. I would like some ideas if you get time….I’m moving into a one bedroom apartment, however the bedroom used to be a two car garage, so it’s quite large. But, I will be sharing it with my three little ones (5yr old boy, 4yr old girl and 2yr old girl). I have a set of bunkbeds that I have thought about using seperately rather than stacked and then a seperate toddler bed as well. I thought I would sort of split the room in two, half for me, half for them..what’s the best way to do this? Because I want my half to be adult themed and their half kid themed. Also, with them being both genders, I’m stuck on how to decorate….painting is a possiblity. I like the “no boys, girls allowed” idea. Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi Krista,

      I would love to help out with your new apartment. My kids are the exact same ages as yours, only difference is my youngest is a boy. Can you tell me what colors you would like to use for your adult side of the room? I have two folks ahead of you, but my wheels are already turning. I’ll come back with some ideas very soon :) So glad you found your way here.

  16. says

    Hey Stacy! I am in the process of combining bedrooms for my two children (a Girl 3yo, and a Boy, 1.5 yo). My daughter is in a twin daybed and my son is still in a crib. I would like to do a “forest”/”nature”-type theme, as we will be incorporating a mostly purple with floral accent girls room with a brown and blue cowboy themed boys room. My main issue is the size of the room, it is roughly 10ft x 10ft, with a window and a small double-doored closet to work around. I like the idea of keeping the bedroom a “quiet area” for reading and sleeping. I plan to move all their toys, etc. into a separate playroom/schoolroom, as I am also attempting to do homeschool preschool with my 3yo (we can work on that room later :).
    Please let me know your ideas and tips/tricks for making this work! I appreciate your expertise and design eye!

  17. Nancy says

    I have ten year old twins who have shared a room since they were born. I love it, they love it and we still have an extra bedroom for company. They have been in bunk beds for a while now but I find them very difficult (hard to make, climbing up to say goodnight is cumbersome…). We are thinking about unbunking them but the room is small with a widow at one end and a closet at the other. I’m trying ti figure out a good configuration for the beds. Can one go in front of the window? Do they need to be facing the door? Any creative idea for extra storage if the beds are taking up most of the room?

  18. Tina says

    I just found this website and am loving this idea! I am in desperate need of ideas! I have a 3 bedroom house and 4 amazing kids. I have a 7yr old girl and a 3mon old boy to share a room and I have the other 2 boys 10 and 5 sharing a room. The problem I am having is how to make a fun decorating for both but functional room for the baby boy and my 7yr old girl. The room is small I have a crib with attached dresser on one wall and the twin bed under the window cause the closet is at the foot of the twin bed. I was thinking maybe some type of bunk bed cause of the room size but? Any ideas I would love to hear for decorating and beds. Thank you for taking the time!!!!

  19. says

    Wow!! You are amazing! Sucha positive slant on adoption…and I thank you very much for that! We are desperately trying to adopt two little ones, approx. 3 (boy) and a little girl, approx. 5. They were born in a 3rd world country and their ages aren’t really known. But they are beautiful…I haven’t met them yet but I am in love with them!! We have 3 teenagers still at home and the two “big” girls are going to share a room now. (if we adopt, that is…) The little boy and girl will share as well. I am planning to borrow a firetruck youth bed for the little boy and we have a twin bed for the little girl. I am struggling right now trying to figure out how to make her side of the room as cute as the fireman side. I am planning to use primary colors since I have the firetruck bed and “transportation” decor for him. (Finding out that we may be getting two has thrown me into a very happy tizzy!! :) )Any suggestions??
    Thanks!
    Beth

  20. Allison Smith says

    I am IN LOVE with the pink and blue stripes from Garnet Hill. I can’t find it online? Do you know if it is still sold or anywhere else? My kids would love this as we’re getting a triple bunk for Christmas.

    Thanks!

  21. Cherie says

    Hi Stacy. Wonderful site, and how great you’ve taken the best of your experiences with you through life! If you have any time or brainstorm thoughts…

    I have a 5.5yr old girl and newly 4yr old boy who have shared a room for the past 3.5yrs. Standard white, and are finally finished with their convertible white cribs they hesitated to relinquish.

    We are not ready to paint (maybe in the spring), but will be getting two white, mission style twin beds (head and footboard) for them very soon. My daughter LOVES pink, princesses, my little pony, etc. My son loves blue and green and toy story and cars.

    They want characters, and I want them to be happy and comfortable in their room…but am trying to coordinate it somehow with something…anything!

    Budget is minimal, we prefer cotton vs. poly/blends, and they LOVE jersey sheets – any thoughts? Thanks!

  22. says

    We are down sizing from a three bedroom house to a two bedroom apartment. I will have two children sharing a room and need ideas for decorating a small room for a two year old boy and a four month old girl. Please help!!!

  23. Ivy T, says

    Hello, I was looking for ideas and came to this site!
    I am in the process of combining my 3 older kids into a some what small room, I have a 8 & 7 year old girl and I am moving their 5 year old brother (since he sleeps in their rm every night), his current room which fits a bed and bureau will be used for our new addition! I am trying to figure out a color paint to paint the walls bc as of right now they are green and pink!

  24. Kate says

    I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome web site!

  25. Bette says

    Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same topics? Appreciate it!

  26. says

    My boy (2) and girl (3) share the same room, which I love for the space saving, plus I imagine they’re getting in some good bonding time. I never shared a room with my brother and we’re best friends, so I’m sure it doesn’t make a difference which way you go, but it’s fun to see the two little ones in the same room together! We just decorated with all “girl” colors since I don’t really think my son needs any “manly” things and the pastels are so much brighter and happier! Plus, who says pastels are just for girls :-)

  27. R.Crtgn says

    I have a 2 year old girl and a baby boy on the way, i was wondering if you had any ideas on how i can decorate their room. i want something a that fits a toddler and also a infant, but i dont want it to have that much of an newborn touch to it because of course my unborn son really doesnt know anything about decor or has a favorite theme… but my daughter is very happy, bright and enegetic. she loves everything from baby dolls to action figure… so i was thinking about painting the room a red or a chocolate brown, and add a girl and boy touch to eacj side of their rooms. please help!! my due date is in january and i would really love to have the room finished before his arrival!! please and thank you!!

  28. Melissa Davis says

    I know this blog post is fairly old by now. But I too was in some sort of a bind so to speak about my kids sharing a room. We live in a fairly large 2 bedroom apartment. My son turned 1 on Oct. 7th and my daughter turned 4 on Oct. 2nd. (can you say party planning mayhem!) We moved into our new apartment in July and I’m still working on getting things situated throughout the house. The kids room was the first thing to tackle. I went through a couple of ideas for the room for both of them and now I think I’ve got somewhat of a base of what I plan to do. My son has a dark brown crib to toddler bed. He has oversized 101 Dalmatians wall decals on his little section of one of the main walls. My daughter has bright pink/green/orange/blue butterfly decals and a “field” of red/orange posies as her main wall theme. The main wall in their room has nothing on it yet but that is where the changing table is that has a tv and some shelfing for toys/diapers etc. On apartmenttherapy.com I came across a neat idea I felt could work for both children. There was a white iron bed with red striped bedding. I felt that the red would work for both the dalmatian theme and also with the posies. For my daughter I would have most likely either a iron type headboard or get a captain’s bed with a headboard/bookshelf so that she can have a place for a small lamp, some of her favorite books, etc. I thought about putting some type of a bed canopy to sort of outline her little section. My son likes playing with cars so I thought about getting a wooden wall display type thing for all the hotwheels my husband kept. The red striped bedding also had a americana blue version and a grass green version. I thought the blue would work once my son gets a bit bigger if we are still sharing rooms at that point. Any thoughts?

  29. says

    Hello. I know this is an older post but I was just wondering on what your opinion of a 9yo girl and 7yo boy sharing a room. We do have a 10yo boy but due to special needs he is unable to share a room. I’m just curious if it’s appropriate to let the two younger ones share as we are looking at buying a house and a fourth bedroom is so expensive!

  30. says

    I have a small bedroom with small bathroom for my son is one and a half years also my daughter 3 years old. The paint wall is blue and I’m confused how to make the decoration of this room. So I need somebody to help me for the decorations and details by photos.

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