While they may not agree with you in the moment, sharing a room with a sibling provides a lifetime of great memories. Secrets and stories often come out at night, and close quarters can create strong bonds.
But it can also create a design dilemma. Whether it’s fighting over the top bunk, dividing closet space, agreeing upon a style or finding some quiet, sharing a room means thinking through the logistics of home design a little harder.
Here are four things parents can do to keep the peace and please both siblings:
1. Let each child have a say in the design. Choosing a color can be difficult enough, but to get two kids to agree upon one can be impossible. That’s OK. The most important part of creating a shared room isn’t agreeing; it’s honoring. Let each child have a say on his or her favorite color. If the colors are different, let each child paint a wall with their hue, then bridge the two with a complementary tone. For example, if one child loves orange and the other wants purple, paint a wall in each color and use lime accents to create harmony. Or find a rug or pair of comforters that has both of the colors in its pattern.
2. Create a space for sharing. Include an area in the room that the siblings share. This can be a lounge area, vanity or game table. Young siblings can share a play area or large rug. While you want to give each child a sense of his or her own space, an area that is meant to be shared will help the siblings create a stronger bond.
3. Incorporate private space. Kids need their own quiet space, too, especially when they are in school and need to study. Create an area that’s all their own by using dividers. Separate desks – especially those that include a hutch – will also do the trick without dividing the room in two. And color can visually divide the space, giving each child a sense of ownership in the room.
4. Pay extra attention to storage. Finally, make sure each child has a place to put his or her belongings. Use closet dividers to define areas for clothing. Incorporate chests, cubes and shelving for things like books, toys and keepsakes. Or choose furnishings that offer built-in storage solutions such as under-the-bed drawers that utilize an otherwise wasted space. You can give each child his or her own color to help designate storage areas. By giving each child their own place to put things away, you help maintain the harmony – and the tidiness – of the bedroom.