How to Split a Bedroom: Tips for Creating Two Kid-Friendly Spaces

As a parent of two young kids, I know firsthand the challenges of creating a bedroom space that gives each child their particular spot while avoiding sibling squabbles. My daughter and son constantly invaded each other’s territory, arguing over toys, messing up painstakingly made beds, and disrupting any sense of order. I was at my wit’s end, so I decided to take action.

After experimenting with different setups, I finally landed on a well-designed bedroom design for our family. Splitting the bedroom into two well-defined zones gave my kids the personal space they craved while still creating a unified and harmonious environment. If you want to divide and conquer your shared kids’ bedroom, read on for my best tips and tricks!

Understanding the Space

Before swinging a sledgehammer to construct a wall bisecting the bedroom (tempting, though that may be!), take time to assess the space entirely. Measure it carefully, note any architectural details, and consider how your kids use the room. This information will allow you to develop an intelligent layout that makes the most of the square footage.

How to Split a Bedroom

Here are some key things to consider:

  • Room dimensions – Use a measuring tape to note the length and width of the space. This will determine the maximum size of any dividers. Make sure to measure the ceiling height too.
  • Windows – Note the locations and sizes of windows. You’ll want to divide the space in a way that lets in ample natural light.
  • Existing features – Note any built-ins, niche areas, closets, or other architectural details. These can inform how you divide the space.
  • Traffic flow – Observe how your kids move through the current space. Allow room for high-traffic zones like doors or toy storage.
  • Shared spaces: Decide if you want to incorporate common areas such as a reading nook, play zone, or shared closet.
  • Safety – Research building codes and fire safety rules for your divider, especially around windows and doors.
  • Get your kids’ input on the new layout! Giving them a voice helps them take ownership of the process.

Doing this legwork upfront will set you up for success. You can then enter the design phase with a clear vision for a bedroom that meets your style and functional needs.

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Planning the Split

It’s time to envision the layout once you’ve wrapped your head around the physical footprint. Grab some grid paper, trace an outline of the room, and start sketching! Here are some key considerations:

Involve Your Kids

Don’t just conscript your kids as movers and painters. Make them an integral part of the design process! Have them weigh in on:

  • Color schemes
  • Themes or motifs
  • Room divider material and style
  • Furniture placement
  • Ways to personalize each zone

Giving your children agency over their new environment promotes responsibility and investment. Who knows – they may even have some stellar ideas! Be sure to guide them toward solutions that enable harmony, not just their interests.

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Design Options

When designing the layout, consider defining themes or color schemes for each zone. While you don’t have to be too matchy-matchy, some cohesive elements help distinguish each child’s area.

Consider complementing bedding, wall art, lamps, and other decor pieces. You can reflect their personalities through:

  • Favorite colors
  • Interests and hobbies
  • Age differences
  • Gender expression

Creative themes like under-the-sea, fairy gardens, sports fan zones, or builders workshops have no limit.

Storage Solutions

One huge challenge in a shared space is wrangling all those toys, games, art supplies, clothing, and books! With some savvy storage solutions, however, you can organize the chaos in a way that makes sense for both kids.

  • Label bins and baskets clearly so items get returned to the right place.
  • Use storage ottomans, under-bed drawers, and wall-mounted shelving to get stuff up and out of the way.
  • Use hanging organizers, cubby shelves, and closet systems to corral smaller items.
  • For more extensive collections like LEGO or dollhouses, consider compact shelving on wheels that can slide out of the way.
  • If a piece like a dresser serves double duty, give each child a drawer. Use dividers to separate belongings.

Remember – stay consistent about enforcing storage rules! It will teach essential habits.

Room Divider Ideas

The keystone of any split bedroom is the divider. You can find something functional, safe, and stylish with so many options. Consider both temporary and permanent solutions.

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Temporary Dividers

If you want flexibility to rearrange on a whim, temporary room dividers are the way to go.

Curtain partitions

One of the most accessible solutions is hanging a curtain between bed areas or activity zones. Use tension rods or rings to slide the curtain open and closed. Choose from colors and fabrics that complement the room’s palette.

Bookcase divider

A tall bookcase perpendicular to the wall makes a perfect see-through space divider. Secure it to prevent tipping. As a bonus, it adds storage and display space!

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Portable panels

Multi-panel screens are another option that can be configured to carve out custom kid zones. Opt for lightweight models with grippy feet that won’t slide around accidentally.

Permanent Solutions

Permanent dividers can be an excellent solution for more privacy and defined separation. Just be sure to comply with safety guidelines.

Half wall

One of the most popular choices is a half wall, tall enough to delineate spaces but only partially to the ceiling. Make sure outlets and windows are safely placed. Finish with drywall, tile, or wood – whatever matches your decor.

Sliding doors

Installing a sliding barn door is an appealing way to divide space while maintaining an open feel. For safety, use lightweight materials like acrylic or bamboo slats. For fun, add color!

Furniture as divider

With a clever arrangement, furniture like wardrobes, bookcases, or modular closets can act as room dividers. To prevent accidental tipping, secure taller pieces to the wall.

Hiring a contractor for permanent dividers is wise to ensure proper installation. But the expense is well worth it for sturdy, stylish separation that will withstand the test of time (and rambunctious kids!).

Decoration and Personalization

Once you’ve handled the significant logistics like layout and dividers, it’s time for the fun part – decorating! The personalized touches will make each zone feel like your child’s unique sanctuary.

Individual Expression

Encourage self-expression by allowing each child free rein over their decor. Guide them in choosing pieces that are:

  • Age-appropriate
  • Complement the color scheme
  • Fit the theme or personality of their zone

Great places to add personal flair include:

  • Bedding and pillows
  • Wall art and posters
  • Photos, strings, lights, and lamps
  • Collections like favorite figurines or stuffed animals
  • A customized headboard, canopy, or hammock

Color Schemes

While you want each area to feel distinctive, aim for a cohesive palette so the room flows visually.

  • To unify the space, pick a neutral shade like grey, tan, or cream for oversized items like walls, furniture, and carpeting.
  • Then, use bedding, artwork, and accessories in touches of each child’s favorite hues to create their nest.
  • Add whimsical rainbow or nature themes incorporating many colors for a playful feel.

The options are endless – just keep harmony in mind!

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Accessorizing

Have fun hunting for special decorative touches that make each zone pop. Source fun mirrors, lamps, rugs, and organizational items from thrift stores and garage sales. Upcycle hand-me-downs like dressers or nightstands with a coat of cheery paint.

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Display favorite collections in creative ways:

  • Mount a ledge to show off sparkly rocks or seashells
  • Use a peg board to hang caps and collector pins
  • Decorate a bulletin board with theater ticket stubs and photos
  • Showcase treasures in a curiosity cabinet or bookshelf

The right accessories will infuse each area with personality!

Fostering a Peaceful Environment

A split setup can reduce bedroom battles – but tensions still occasionally flare. Establish some ground rules up front to nip problems in the bud.

Respect space

Reinforce the idea that each zone is like a private room. Set times when friends can hang out in another child’s area.

Share nicely

Taking turns is vital. Use timers for gaming systems or reading nooks. Remind them borrowing requires permission.

Keep the noise down.

Agree on quiet hours for reading or decompressing. Provide a headset if one child stays up later.

Maintain your zone

Kids should take responsibility for keeping their areas tidy. Check-in as needed to enforce chore completion.

With some patience and compromise, your split bedroom can become an oasis of harmony!

Bringing It All Together

You’ve measured, planned, and prepped – now it’s time to implement those plans! I’ll leave you with some tips to bring your beautiful split bedroom to life.

DIY or Hire Out?

If you’re handy and the changes are minor, a DIY bedroom makeover can be very rewarding (and budget-friendly!). However, it may be best to bring reinforcements for complex construction, electrical work, or novel designs. Pros get the job done quickly and ensure it’s structurally sound.

Safety First

Whether doing it yourself or working with contractors, insist on the highest safety standards. Rocky Mountain Hardware has a fantastic safety checklist that covers everything from avoiding fall risks to electrical and fire hazards. Don’t cut corners when it comes to your children’s well-being.

Embrace Flexibility

Kids grow and change faster than you can blink! To accommodate their evolving interests and needs, build flexibility from the start using temporary dividers and modular furniture.

While splitting a shared kids’ bedroom takes careful thought and effort, the rewards for your whole family are immense. My daughter and son now relish having their special nook while enjoying each other’s company. Here’s to many happy years of laughter and play in their customized bedroom oasis!