How to Maximize a Shared Bedroom

As a home decor blogger and expert thrifter, I’ve tackled my fair share of tiny, awkward spaces. But, few projects present more unique design challenges than a shared bedroom. Combining two personalities, sleep schedules, and sets of stuff in one room takes severe creativity and compromise.

Luckily, with some planning, teamwork, and DIY spirit, you can create a stylish, functional shared bedroom you both love. Read on for my tips and tricks for maximizing every inch of shared space – while keeping your sanity and relationship intact!

Understanding the Dynamics of a Shared Space

The first step in maximizing a shared bedroom is getting a feel for how you and your roommate use the space. Observe your habits and needs for a week or so. Consider these key factors:

Room Layout

Start by assessing the physical dimensions of the bedroom. Measure the length and width and sketch out a basic floorplan. This will help you strategize furniture arrangements that maximize the square footage. As you map out the space, pay attention to architectural details like windows, doors, and closets.

How to Maximize a Shared Bedroom

Now comes the fun part – playing with different furniture setups! Using your sketch as a guide, experiment with placing beds, desks, dressers, and other furniture in various configurations. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Ensure each potential layout allows both occupants adequate space to navigate the room.

Maximizing Vertical Real Estate

In small shared rooms, vertical space must be utilized for storage and style. Install wall shelves, hooks, and organizational systems in vertical nooks. This will clear the floor of clutter while adding a personalized flair.

Some of my favorite vertical storage solutions include:

  • Hanging fabric cubbies or wire baskets on the wall behind beds. Use them to corral pajamas, extra blankets, or laundry.
  • Mount a pegboard above a desk to display frequently used office supplies and accessories. It’s so much tidier than a messy tabletop.
  • Stacking modular canvas bins or crates on shelving units. They’re cute, customizable storage for everything from linens to craft supplies.
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Don’t forget the power of height and lighting! Hanging curtains high and wide makes rooms feel more spacious. At the same time, creative light fixtures draw the eye up and give rooms character.

Choosing Furniture with Space and Style in Mind

Strategic furniture selection and placement are vital for a functional shared bedroom. Prioritize pieces that are compact, flexible, and multipurpose.

Space-Saving Furniture

Furniture needs to pull double or triple-duty when floor space is limited. Bunk beds are a popular choice, but weigh the pros and cons:


  • Maximize floor space since beds are stacked vertically
  • Offer a sense of adventure and independence, especially for kids


  • It is difficult for younger kids or older adults to climb up and down
  • The top bunk can feel cramped
  • More expensive than basic twin beds

Twin beds take up more floor space than bunks, but they provide personal space for each occupant and are easier to get in and out of. Trundle beds are great space-saving options, too. The lower bed slides out from underneath, giving you two beds in one.

Making the Most of a Shared Bedroom

Look for models with built-in storage drawers, no matter what bed type you choose. And consider space-saving multifunctional furniture like:

  • Desks or tables that fold up against the wall when not in use
  • Low loft beds with desks built underneath
  • Benches or ottomans that are open for storage

Strategic Furniture Arrangement

Carefully arrange furnishings to delineate personal spaces within the shared room. Some ideas:

  • Place beds on adjacent walls with a shared nightstand in between to separate sleeping areas
  • Use a bookshelf or room divider to divide the space between beds
  • Orient beds so occupant’s feet point toward opposite walls for added privacy
  • Allow adequate walkways around beds, desks, and dressers

Getting Creative with Storage

A shared space can only function with intelligent storage solutions. Make the most of every nook and cranny with these inventive ideas:

Built-In vs. Freestanding Storage

Built-in storage, like cabinets, provides a streamlined look and uses wasted space. But freestanding options, like shelving units and dressers, offer flexible options if you prefer to rearrange frequently.

Storage Hacks and DIYs

One of my favorite weekend projects is brainstorming storage hacks! Here are some of my all-time best:

  • Stash out-of-season clothes under the bed in plastic bins or fabric containers
  • Use bed risers to create storage space underneath beds
  • Add hidden compartments in hollow nightstands and headboards to hold valuables
  • Hide electronics and cords inside open book stacks
  • Use over-the-door hanging organizers for shoes, accessories, or toiletries
  • Optimize closet space with double hanging rods and customizable closet systems
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With ingenuity, even the tightest quarters can accommodate ample storage!

Fun Ideas for Things to Do in a Shared Bedroom

Personalizing a Shared Space

A shared bedroom still needs to feel like home for both roommates. Personalize the common area while allowing each person to express individuality in their own space.

Define Personal Sleep Zones

Help each occupant put their stamp on their designated sleep zone using:

  • Coordinating bedding and accent pillows in their favorite colors and patterns
  • Custom headboard decals, photos, or other personal wall art
  • Unique bedside lamps, rugs, and other accessories
  • Personal keepsakes and memorabilia on bookshelves

Shared and Personal Possessions

Clearly define boundaries for shared versus personal possessions. Some suggestions:

  • Store shared items like extra linens in a central closet or chest
  • Contain personal toiletries and clothing in separate dresser drawers
  • Use organizers and labels to prevent confusion over ownership
  • Respect each other’s belongings by asking permission before borrowing

Blend Decor Styles

The key to blending decor preferences is compromise. Seek a standard color scheme or theme you enjoy, like a soothing, natural, or playful boho vibe. Then incorporate touches like:

  • Mix-and-match patterned and textured bedding
  • Gallery walls displaying both your art and keepsakes
  • Complementary accent colors via lamps, rugs, etc.

With planning, even opposite styles can coexist beautifully. The shared space will feel cohesive while still reflecting both personalities.

Shared Bedrooms The perfect way to bond with your siblings

Lighting for Form and Function

Proper lighting is essential for both aesthetics and practicality in a shared bedroom. Maximize natural light when possible and supplement with adjustable artificial sources.

Let the Sun Shine In

Make the most of natural light by:

  • Choosing breezy sheer curtains to filter light while preserving privacy
  • Using mirrors and reflective surfaces to bounce light around
  • Keeping windows clean and free of clutter
  • Adding skylights or sun tunnels, if possible

Supplemental Lighting Sources

I advocate for dimmable lighting and lamps to control brightness and ambiance. Consider:

  • An adjustable overhead fixture on a dimmer switch
  • Bedside lamps are optimal for reading
  • Desk lamps for study spaces
  • Soft floor or string lights for a cozy glow in shared zones

Make sure lighting can adapt to suit each occupant’s needs and activities. Proper illumination promotes productivity and peaceful rest.

Fostering Orders with Cleaning Routines

When two people share a room, maintaining order requires teamwork and consistency. Scheduled cleaning sessions will make chores seamless.

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Lighting for Form and Function in a kids shared bedroom

Share the Workload

Divide and conquer chores to keep the space tidy between deep cleans. Tasks may include:

  • Assigning emptying trash and laundry duty each week
  • Alternating monthly cleaning of windows, floors, and the bathroom
  • One roommate dusts while the other vacuums

Cleaning together encourages accountability and makes the work lighter. But don’t be afraid to speak up if duties ever feel imbalanced.

Keep Clutter Contained

Prevent messes in shared zones through habits like:

  • Using hampers and returning items to their homes
  • Imposing “no clutter zones” on surfaces like dressers
  • Regularly decluttering and removing unused items

Make it easy to keep shared spaces orderly day to day. A little prevention goes a long way.

Adaptable Designs For Changing Needs

What is the beauty of a well-designed shared space? It fluidly adapts as roommates and priorities evolve.

Furniture That Grows With You

Furnish the room with flexibility in mind. Opt for pieces like:

  • Bunk beds that can convert into two twins
  • Beds with removable headboards
  • Tables that fold up or nest together
  • Modular shelving units that can be reconfigured

Multifunctional furniture maximizes room for change.

Reimagine the Layout

Try out different furniture arrangements until you find a layout that clicks. Revisit it periodically and make adjustments as needed.

Plan for the Future

Will you reside with toddlers or teens down the road? Are your jobs likely to change?

Look ahead and choose furniture and setups that can accommodate different needs. A bedroom should grow with its occupants.

Maximizing a Shared Space is Possible

Maximizing a Shared Space is Possible

As you can see, a shared bedroom can be stylish, functional, and comfortable for all with some creative problem-solving. The keys are open communication, willingness to compromise, and ingenuity in design.

By taking advantage of vertical space, selecting flexible furnishings, and personalizing subtly, you can create a maximized bedroom you both adore. Just remember to work as a team and stay patient. Like any small space, a shared room is a work in progress. But the decor journey you take together will be memorable.

So don’t fear a shared bedroom – embrace the chance to get creative! Collaborating with roomies is an excellent decor practice. And who knows, you might become lifelong friends with fabulous design skills.