Hey friends! It’s Angela from Home Décor Chat. With coffee in hand, we’re ready for our weekly decor gossip session. Today, we’re chatting about one of my favorite topics – shared bedrooms!
As someone who grew up sharing a room with my sis, I know firsthand the perks and pitfalls of a shared sleeping space. On one hand, it was super fun having a built-in BFF for late-night chats and impromptu dance parties. But when it came to messy floors and staying up too late, having to compromise wasn’t always a piece of cake.
As a grown-up homeowner of a modestly sized bungalow, I often have family, friends, or visiting bloggers crash in my spare room. So, designing a shared bedroom that’s functional for all ages has become something I’ve become quite obsessed with!
Through trial and error (and let me tell you, there were some errors along the way!), I’ve discovered some critical strategies for creating shared bedrooms that feel fun and harmonious, not chaotic. So brew your fave morning bevvie, and let’s dive in!
- 1 Understanding the Shared Bedroom Dynamic
- 2 Maximizing Every Inch of Space
- 3 Designing a Shared Vibe
- 4 Adding Personality
- 5 Creating a Functional Space
- 6 Bringing in Tech
- 7 Parting Thoughts
Step one is determining who will be bunking up when designing a shared bedroom. The ideal layout for a couple of toddler cousins will differ from that for tween BFFs.
Here are some key considerations when it comes to the roomies:
Factor #1: Ages and Stages
A shared space for:
- For toddlers, lots of color and texture are needed to keep their curious hands and minds engaged. Low, accessible storage for toys is a must. And don’t forget childproofing measures like safety gates and window guards.
- Kids will need designated zones for both play and homework. A bunk or loft bed keeps things fun and frees up the floor space below.
- Teenagers crave a chill hangout zone, so comfy lounge seating is a wise choice. Mood lighting and tech chargers should also be on your list. Remember to involve them in the planning!
- Adults will want to separate the sleeping and living areas. A sofabed, Murphy bed, or privacy screen can help achieve that.
Factor #2: Gender Considerations
Traditionally, feminine elements like pastels and florals may be appropriate for a shared girls’ room. However, a bold, adventurous design can also empower young women.
For a shared boys’ room, include themes and hobbies they enjoy. But avoid hyper-gendered decor that limits self-expression.
A gender-neutral design allows the widest freedom of personal style, whether for kids or adults. Clean lines, neutral hues, and shared storage promote harmony.
Factor #3: Personal Space
Even in shared quarters, we all need our niche. Here are some ways to define personal territory:
- Use separate bedding and bedside tables to distinguish spaces.
- Create designated activity zones for reading, gaming, etc.
- Add personal storage like cubbies, crates, or wardrobes.
- Display unique photos, art, or mementos in each person’s area.
Maximizing Every Inch of Space
For shared room harmony, organization is a must! Here are my tried-and-true strategies for maximizing every inch:
- Multifunctional pieces like storage ottomans, folding desks, and storage beds are a small-space must-have.
- Bunk beds allow you to utilize vertical space for sleep zones.
- Trundle beds tuck a spare bed out of sight until needed. Genius!
- Modular furniture can be configured to evolving needs. Beanbag chairs, poufs, and floor cushions add flexible, portable seating.
Clever Storage Solutions
- Take advantage of all available nooks with built-in shelving. Closet organizers also help maximize space.
- Under-bed storage is prime real estate for extra linens, seasonal clothes, or old toys.
- Get things off-floor level with wall-mounted shelving or over-the-door hangers.
- Shared storage furniture, like a dresser with multiple drawers, promotes teamwork.
- Place beds, desks, and dressers thoughtfully to allow circulation and floor space.
- Room dividers like screens and curtains separate sleep zones from living zones.
- Corner-friendly furniture like L-shaped desks take advantage of odd angles.
- Arrange furniture in multiple configurations until you find the ideal layout. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Beyond space planning, shared bedrooms also need a cohesive look and feel. Here are my tips for creating a harmonious shared design:
- A neutral background (greige, tan, grey) provides a flexible base.
- Pops of color come from accents like walls, bedding, and accessories. This allows you to mix both occupants’ fave hues!
- Look at textiles or art you own for shared colors to build around.
- Soft, muted palettes have an extra-calming effect in shared rooms.
- A theme featuring something the occupants mutually enjoy, like travel or nature, ties the space together.
- Keep gendered themes general if sharing is mixed-gender, like a woodland motif rather than princesses.
- Display mementos together in a shadowbox or gallery wall to reinforce the theme.
Use essential accessories to create ties between spaces:
- A large area rug defines a shared lounge zone.
- Matching bedside lamps add symmetry without being overly matchy.
- A shared gallery wall displays both occupants’ photos and art together.
- Plants add welcoming greenery while cleaning the air!
Individual personality is also vital when you want the room to feel cohesive. Some of my fave ways to inject fun:
- A reading nook with pillows and stuffed animals can be a cozy hideaway.
- Add a play tent for an imaginative escape.
- For gaming fans, create a dedicated gaming spot with a console, TV, and comfy seating.
- Don’t forget a dress-up trunk – kids NEED space for fantasy play.
- Chalkboard paint on a wall invites creativity and collaboration.
- Try removable wall decals if occupants have different decor tastes.
- DIY projects, like collages from magazines, allow personalization.
- Add whimsy with string lights, a fabric canopy, or a fun mural.
Creating a Functional Space
While fun features are essential, we need shared rooms to function well!
- Select sturdy, non-toxic furniture and avoid sharp corners.
- Install safety gates, guards, and locks wherever needed.
- Ensure good visibility at night with nightlights or door markers.
- Test smoke/CO detectors regularly to keep them working correctly.
- Include overhead light, task lighting, and mood lighting for flexibility.
- Position reading lights on each side of the room.
- Use dimmers, smart bulbs, or clap-lights for easy customization.
- Put lights on separate switches to accommodate different schedules.
- Thick rugs and soft furnishings muffle sound.
- White noise machines, fans, or soundscreens create privacy.
- Define a quiet reading corner away from high-energy zones.
- Agree on headphones on time if one roommate stays up later.
Bringing in Tech
Tech can be a blessing and a curse in shared rooms. Here are ways to maximize benefits while minimizing conflicts:
Screen Time Limits
- Establish a daily screen time allowance for devices and stick to it.
- Create tech-free zones like beds for relaxation.
- Remove devices to a designated storage spot when not in use.
- Take advantage of parental controls and timers on devices to define boundaries.
Smart Home Features
- Programmable bright lights make it easy to customize lighting.
- Voice assistants like Alexa allow hands-free light, music, or temperature control.
- Smart plugs automate electronics use for safety and convenience.
- Smart speakers in each zone allow for individual music and podcasts.
Whew, we covered a lot of ground today! While designing a functional shared space may seem challenging initially, it is doable with some planning.
The most important tip? Make sure to include both occupants at every stage actively. Giving everyone a chance to personalize the room will create buy-in. And don’t forget to have fun with it!
What about you – do you have any fond shared room memories or horror stories? What strategies worked or didn’t work for your space? In the comments below, let’s swap stories and advice!