Shared Kids Rooms

Shared Kids Rooms

Do your kids share a room? We’ve been wusses about putting Toby and Anton into the same room, but they’ve recently gotten really into having “sleepovers.” We’re planning to officially move them in together soon, and they’re really excited. For inspiration, here are 12 shared kids rooms (the bunkbeds, above, are for four siblings!)…

Shared Kids Rooms

Linsey‘s three children — 7, 5 and 2 — share a room. “In the morning, Ivy, the oldest, is usually the first one up. She figured out a system to keep things quiet: She dangles a ribbon down from the top bunk, and if someone grabs it or starts giggling, she knows they’re awake and it’s safe to come down.”

Shared Kids Rooms

Courtney‘s sweet boys share a double bed, which is such a lovely idea!

Shared Kids Rooms

The contrasting wallpaper is definitely cooler than drawing a chalk line down the middle.

Shared Kids Rooms

Bonnie peeled up old carpet and painted this striped floor herself. (!)

Shared Kids Rooms

What a calming, classic room in England.

Shared Kids Rooms

A brother and sister share this room in Montreal. (How sweet to sleep foot-to-foot!)

Shared Kids Rooms

Yen, a mother of a son and daughter, says: “The kids will share a bedroom until [now-six-year-old] An-Linh wants to sleep alone in the other bedroom. She tried it for one night, but then made Liem sleep with her and never went back. Their whole routine is together — they brush their teeth together and then they read a story. They’re still babies together.”

Shared Kids Rooms

Simple and lovely. How cool is that map?

Shared Kids Rooms

The little sleeping nook is adorable!

Shared Kids Rooms

Cami and her husband made this long bed for their daughters.

Shared Kids Rooms

And, last but not least, Jordan‘s sons share a bunkbed in their San Francisco apartment.

Aren’t these awesome? Do your little ones share a room? Have you ever shared one?

(Top photo of wooden bunkbed by Patrick Reynolds. Second photo from Linsey Laidlaw’s Brooklyn apartment by Alpha Smoot. Photo of boys sleeping by Courtney Adamo. Contrasting wallpaper girls room by IKEA. Photo of green beds by Bonnie Rush. Photo of white room by Rory Gardiner. Photo of brother and sister beds via Loupolouco. Photo of bunkbed from Yen’s New York City apartment by Alpha Smoot. Photo of gold world map via Lovely Life. Photo of long bed by Cami. Last photo from Jordan Ferney’s San Francisco home tour by Paul Ferney.)

  1. i’m obsessed with these!!

  2. LOVE the shared rooms! Our girls do and though they fight sometimes, hearing their little convos before bed is too adorable. AND there are so many great decor options with two.

  3. A friend of ours has 3 kids to one room in manhattan! Well it helps they are very well behaved girls ;)

  4. Jo says...

    Our 3 kids (10 yr old son, and daughters ages 8 and 5) have all shared a room from the get-go and it has never been a problem. The light sleeper learned to not be a light sleeper, and the big kids use reading lights if they want to stay up later at bedtime. Our son is on the top bunk, which gives him more privacy. The kids are thick as thieves and play together all the time — in part, because we live on a farm (with few neighbors nearby), but also because they share a room. College dorm life will be a breeze!

  5. I was certain that having my boys (just 5 and nearly 3) share a room would never work, but I wanted it to happen badly enough that we gave it a try. They settled after a couple of weeks of mischief and now it really is the best thing! I love eavesdropping on them when they don’t fall asleep right away. Sleepy conversations between tiny brothers really are the sweetest. They have a beautiful bond from sharing their space.

  6. Wendy says...

    We have a new babe, a toddler, and three bedrooms. The extra room is a playroom and our oldest adores it. It’s her little, messy sanctuary so I hate to take it from her…but my heart races just thinking of trying to get them to share a room.

    These pictures and comments might help stave off the panic attacks. A little. ;)

  7. Our boys have shared a room every since we moved to NY (you know how living spaces are here!). They have gone to sleep at different bed times their whole life–initially to give our older son a little bit of one-on-one time so he didn’t feel like his younger brother stole all the attention–but keeping them at different bed times was the saving grace of sharing a room! They’re now 11 and 13 and still share bunk beds because, well, we still live in NY and only have a 2-bedroom. They do, however, occupy the “master” bedroom; with our queen bed crammed into the small room.

    Funny story, the other day I was on a phone call with my dad and I was talking about trying to buy something in Brooklyn.. and he mentioned that we probably need at least a 3-bedroom because the boys are getting older. Little does he know we’re only planning to look at 2 bedrooms, AND we’re possibly planning to have a baby in the near future. But I love our cozy living space and I feel like it’s kept us close as a family.

  8. Sally says...

    I loved this post (and all of the comments) and it convinced me that we need to have our current two-year-old and our expected baby (due in May) room together . . . once the little one is done with all the sleep training, etc.

    Also, suggestion for future motherhood post: chores. Last night my two-yr-old insisted on helping with the dishes and he didn’t actually do that bad of a job. Granted we went through lots more water than we normally would and I still had to be in the kitchen the entire time to inspect whether dishes were done (and to quickly whisk away anything that was particularly susceptible to being broken), but he loved it, the dishes were cleaned, and the child was occupied. So when can I make this his permanent gig? What age do parents typically expect their children to help around the house in ways other than cleaning up their own toys? What are the incentives, etc? I’d so love to know.

  9. Anna says...

    I shared a room with my sister until we were five and two. Then we moved and we got our own rooms. I have never looked back. My sister and I are way too different for that, and would not have enjoyed each other’s friends either. I wouldn’t make my kids share a room, if I could at all help it.
    Side note: when my mom meet my dad, she made sure he was on board with making sure their future kids would have their own rooms. She has four siblings and had had to share. This was like a deal breaker for her!
    I have always been grateful I have had a door to close behind me and be by myself for some peace and quiet, even as a kid.

    • Kaitlin says...

      Ha! I feel you, Anna. I shared a room with my sister through high school and could not WAIT to get to my dorm room (Who ever says that?!) and out of that top bunk. I used to hide in my closet (that was 1.5’X1.5′) to try and get some solo time as a kid and when I was too big for that, I’d sneak down the block to the park or the beach when the weather was nice to try and have a place that was just mine. It probably depends on the temperament of the kids. My sister and I had blow out fights that I’m sure were mostly from over-exposure!

  10. shopgirl says...

    What a great ideas, thanks for that!

  11. Jess T says...

    My boys (4 and 2) share a room. Right now it has two cribs – one of which is converted to a toddler bed. We recently purchased the Oeuf River twin bed with a sweet little bench on the end. As soon as we buy a mattress we’ll se that up and transition the younger one into the toddler bed. They started sharing a room when the younger one was six months old (before that, he slept in our room) and I love that I can hear early morning giggles from their bedroom and that they are learning to love and respect each other at night by being quiet to allow the other to fall asleep. And my concerns about them waking each other up in the night, basically unfounded!

  12. Meghan says...

    Mine don’t yet but will be soon! My youngest is 7 months and still waking in the night to feed so I’m waiting for that to be over in the next few months, and then he will be moved from our room into a room with his brother (who may be 3 when that happens!)

    I shared a room until I was about 12 years old with my sister. I didn’t mind it at all and liked having someone always around!

  13. Sara says...

    We had a pretty neat “shared” room growing up. My dad put the bunk bed in the middle of the room and then attached three pieces of plywood, one from the top bunk to the bottom bunk on one side, one to the end of the bunks, and one from the top bunk to the ceiling. It’s kind of hard to describe but my sister had her private side of the room and I had my own private side!

  14. Libby says...

    I was really nervous about putting our 2 boys in together, but it has worked out so well. They are 5 and 2.5 and have been sharing for the last 6 or 7 months. They never seem to wake up the other, and in the morning if they wake early they just talk to each other, look through books and stay in their room until the “sun is up” (on their groclocks). My eldest used to have night terrors at least a few times a week when he was in his own room, since they’ve started sharing he’s had none!! I think its so comforting for little kids to not be alone all night.

  15. Ann says...

    Ours do! Our son is 4 and 1/2 and daughter turns 2 next week(!). They love it-we’ll stick with it until they ask to have their own rooms. It’s so sweet. We waited until the little one was more or less sleeping through the night, though. I bet Toby and Anton will LOVE it!

  16. Cindy says...

    Our 4 and a half year old daughter and two and a half year old son share a room and it works pretty well. We often put my son down about ten minutes earlier because he needs more wind down time than his sister. Then she knows to be quiet when I take her in. Sometimes they stay up and goof off but for the most part it works. We are trying to decide whether to switch to bunk beds when my son turns 3 this summer. It would save room because their room is small but I worry about some commenters that no one ever wants to sleep on the top. But we will keep them together until they ask otherwise. Allows us to have a guest room/office and they love to be together. And yes, I’m surprised they don’t wake each other up especially as my son still sometimes wakes in the night crying but she always sleeps through it!

  17. Sarah says...

    My sister and I shared a room until I went to college. We are three years apart. I think it teaches you so much. You learn how to respect a person’s space. You learn how to negotiate and share. You learn to be considerate. We also had great late night talks. Fights could never last too long because we had to live in the shared space so it kind of forced us to work it out.
    Now as adults we have a fantastic relationship and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  18. Cindy says...

    My two boys have shared a room since my youngest was a baby. They are now 10 and 12 and still in the same room-sharing situation. We are watching for signs that the oldest needs his own space, but so far, so good. I love that this arrangement naturally pushes them out into the common area where we all hang out together, even if we are doing our own things (I got that insight from an interview with Linda McCartney, and she turned out to be right!!). Do it!

    One tip: it’s hard to make bunk beds every morning, so if you go with bunks, use very, very simple bedding. Even in the summer when my boys are only using a pillow and a light blanket and I go in to change the fitted sheet, I break a sweat with all the climbing and crawling. Simple bedding. Trust.

  19. Blythe says...

    My younger brothers and I all slept in the same room until middle school. I had my own room and would get ready in my room, but we all slept in my brothers bunk beds. My brother and I would sleep feet-to-feet and the youngest had the bottom bunk all to himself. We also spent two years sleeping on the floor of that room. One year in the family tent (that still hasn’t been camping) and another year in a teepee. My parents still reflect on that period in time and laugh. My mom said, “People thought we were nuts to let our three kids sleep on the floor, next to perfectly good mattresses in a tent and then a teepee, but you guys loved it, so we didn’t care.”

  20. I adore the split wallpaper room and the classic room! And the long bed!

  21. Rachel says...

    I shared a room with my sister growing up. We both had twin beds but would sneak into each other’s bed in the middle of the night until we were probably 12! I adore her. I shared a room my first 3 years of college, and now that I am in my last year I have my own room. It’s the first time in my life I haven’t shared a room and it was so odd at first! I liked sharing rooms, but it’s good to have my own space too :)

  22. Katie says...

    My girls have shared a room since the younger one was 5 months old. Now they’re 5 and 6.5. They’ll always share a room even though we have space for them to have their own rooms. I think sharing a room teaches important social skills.

    • Rachel S. says...

      My second is due in July and will have the same age difference. When you moved your littlest in, did they ever wake up your older? I know we want to have them share, I’m just nervous about the logistics of it!

    • Rachel – our experience (we have 3 kids – 19 months between the first and second and 21 months between the second and third) is that they do disturb eachother for the first few nights, but if you can get through those first nights, they just get used to a bit of noise and don’t seem to mind. Our youngest is now almost 21 months old and she wakes up earlier than her brothers and definitely makes a little noise while we try to settle her back in for a bit more sleep or take her out of the room so the older two can keep sleeping. The first few mornings everyone was up early, but now the boys just sleep right through it all. Good luck!

    • Rachel S. says...

      Great thank you!!

  23. Do IT!!! Em has twins, so they surely share a room and NIc has two only two years apart so she is surely thinking about it (her baby is only 6 weeks so she has some time). There is nothing more sweet than hearing your two loves chat, giggle and play while the door is closed. Such fun!

  24. I’m an only child so always had my own room but my husband shared a room with his brother for a long time. We built two bedrooms for two (future) kids but we’re thinking we’ll put them together in one room and have the second room be a play room (with monkey bars across the ceiling, stall bars down one wall and a mini rock climbing wall down the other wall. Then at some point I assume they’ll want to have their own rooms so we’ll go from there.

  25. Denise says...

    I shared bunk beds with my older sister for most of our childhoods. We eventually took them apart and made them two separate beds at about high school age but by then the room sharing was a challenge. We were too different and fought like crazy all through our teens until she went away to college.

  26. Kim P says...

    My sister and I shared a room until I was about 10 years old. I have really good memories of that. We had bunk beds with secret conversations through the space between the beds and the wall :-)

  27. Our house was so small that we had no choice. I shared room with my sister until we were 35 and 31, when she moved with her boyfriend and I moved alone. The first nights felt so weird not to have anybody to talk to before sleep!

  28. JT says...

    I shared a room with my younger sister till I was about 17. We fought and cried and argued and having to go back to the same room made us work things out. Till now (early thirties) and half a world a way we can’t ever stay mad at each other. And of course there are just the perks of sharing a room with your sister. We had two twin beds parallel to each other and we had pillow forts and blanket tents, and late nights watching sweet valley twins on our tv turned down low. My sister and I still say if we had kids, we would probably make them share a room since it worked so well for us.

  29. Barbara says...

    I shared a room with my two younger sisters until I was about 9. I have such great memories of singing christmas carols to fall asleep with my one sister, even in the middle of the summer! I wouldn’t have changed this for anything. My husband always had his own room, since he is 7 years younger than his brother, and balks when I say that I want our kids to share a room. But I think that it fosters a bond between kids, and what is cooler than bunk beds, really??

  30. My girls shared a room and a bed (well, it was two twins pushed together) for years. Even when a room opened it, they chose to turn into the GLR (girls living room) for a couple of years before making the break. They finally had their own rooms when my oldest turned 12. We all mourned the loss of the GLR, but they still had sleepovers from time to time.

  31. BTW, I’d love to hear from your readers why so many of them are having 3 children? In my generation (I’m almost 60), it was pretty much dogma to have 2 and Save the Earth. Among the politically liberal, that is. Has that changed?

    • Jamie says...

      I’m in my mid-30’s and having my first. This is something that my friends and I are all talking about – how three is the new two! I, for one, would be fine with just one!

    • s.m. says...

      Also mid-30s and though my friends are mostly “politically liberal” we have a wide range of family sizes, from zero kids to four. I think you do what you believe is right for you, and hopefully create the family that you’ve hoped for! If of course you’re so fortunate to be able to choose. The two-kid dogma strikes me as odd.

    • tracey says...

      What a great observation! Among my friends I don’t see family size correlating to politics but I can say I am conservative leaning and think about this often. It is so important to me that we conscientiously take from the earth and the carbon footprint of two people is almost certainly smaller than three people. I want my children to be able to have children! Yes you have to do what is right for you and your family but you also have to do what is right for the world.

    • Three is the new two! We are politically liberal and have three children. It is what felt right and fun and fulfilling for us (I would’ve had four if we had started earlier). But we have friends with two, three and one – I don’t think it has much to do with how you lean politically…

  32. We may be one of the few where a shared bedroom didn’t work out. Ha ha. We tried to put our 3.5 year old son and 2 year old daughter in the same room, but it didn’t work out. The two of them could never settle down at bedtime and our son needs his alone time and the space of his own room. Since we are lucky enough to have 3 bedrooms, we’re able to give him his space when he needs his quiet time away from everyone.

  33. My daughter and son shared a room until my daughter was something like 9. The memories of those shared bedtimes – so sweet.

  34. the contrasting wallpapers is such a great idea! creates two independent sections without having to build a wall between the two beds

  35. Lara says...

    These bunk bed photos bring back great memories! My first bed was a bunk bed I shared with my older sister, by 11 years, so I was around 3 and she was 14. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and I loved showing it off to my friends. Looking back, she was probably not as excited about it going into her teenage years! Luckily your boys are close in age.

  36. Megan says...

    We have bunk beds for our two boys (6 and 7) but I just wish we had bought a double mattress, thrown it on the floor, and called it a day. They now both sleep on the bottom twin bunk. No one wants the top bunk.

  37. Molly says...

    This makes me want to have kids just so I can make them share a room!!

  38. yael steren says...

    My sister has three kids. The two older ones (a boy and a girl) share a room. It’s funny because they were saying that soon the youngest one (who is a boy) is going to switch with Chloe and share the room with Jacob, but I have a feeling Chloe isn’t going to want her own room until she is older!! Should be interesting to see what happens!! Personally, I would’ve loved sharing a room with my sister growing up. But that might be because I was the youngest and always wanting to hang out with her! lol! xx yael