Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Considering Shared Bedrooms

I'll be sharing pictures of the new house on Friday....but in the meantime I've got shared bedrooms on my mind and am hoping that you will share some of your wisdom and experience with me.

My ideal number of bedrooms has always been three - one for the parents, one for girls and one for boys.  But this situation assumes that there will be at least two boys and two girls to share each room, so no one will be left alone.  The new home has a large bedroom that I'm thinking of putting my oldest boy (age 5) and the two twins (age 3) altogether in.  My twins have always shared and love it so much I can't imagine separating them, but my oldest is starting to feel left out of the nightly fun, so I feel like I should just put them all together.

Do you have any experience with brothers and sisters sharing rooms?  I wouldn't want to do it when they're much older, but for now I'm wondering what pros and cons I should be considering.  Would really appreciate some advice!

With that in mind here's some images of shared bedrooms from my pin board.

I really love the whimsy-ish feel of this one.


The challenge would be to make it neither too boyish or too girlish but still have some personality.

Wouldn't this platform bed be so fun.

Good news is that I found another iron bed like my yellow one on craigslist.  Three cheers for craigslist!  So, I'd just need one more bed...but please do share if you have any experience with your boys and girls sharing a room - I'd really appreciate some insight.   I dream of brothers and sisters that grow into lifelong best friends with lots of happy shared childhood memories. Obviously, a shared bedroom is not the magical solution for that, but I loved sharing a room with my Sister when we were little.  I have sweet memories of that and think it helped us bond and learn to live and work well together.  I want that experience for my kiddos, too.  It's just awkward having three with a mix of boys and a girl.

Did you share with brothers growing up?  Have you tried your boys and girls together?  Any tips for making to work well?  Hoping you have some wisdom for me here : )



  1. I would love to know the answer to this as well. I have two girls, 4 and almost 2, our 2 year old has been in a toddler bed for about 4 months now (since she was climbing out of the crib). I think they would like to sleep in the same room but my worry is will they keep each other awake. We have three bedrooms but it would be nice to have a playroom upstairs for all their stuff!

  2. Ohhh, great inspiration! I have a 10 & an 8 year old girl / boy combo and although they don't share a room, they sleep together every night and have since my youngest was out of the crib. I think it is adorable and know that it won't last forever. I think sharing a room is a great solution and look forward to seeing how you pull it off!

    1. that is so, so sweet, Megan! guessing my kiddos would do the same if I tried separate rooms...

  3. Cailan, I always longed to have a sleeping room for all 3 of mine to be in the same room at night, but that was 20+ years ago and considered "weird". I was too scared to step out of the norm. But truly it makes sense. Having them all in one room especially when they are preschool and young elementary age promotes family togetherness and camaraderie that is crucial for that age. In my humble opinion, I would go for it. That would free another room for a playroom and/or guest room. Let your heart lead you; you will know when they need privacy.

    1. I know my parents felt that same social pressure - there was so much emphasis placed on the "ideal" of having your own room. They eventually did put my sister and I in separate rooms, but I know my mom regrets it now. Thanks for the good advice!

  4. After moving to a smaller house my 6 & 4 year old girl/boy combo shared a room. They had bunk beds and loved it! (for the most part - there were a couple of tense years but I think sharing helped) They continued to share until they were about 11 & 9 when they decided to take turns every couple of months sleeping in the basement family room (we separated the bunks). An attic renovation eventually gave them their own rooms. They are now 27 & 25 and still immensely devoted to each other.

    1. What a sweet testimony! This is exactly what I would hope for. Thank you for sharing. : )

  5. Cailan...we totally love sharing rooms around here. My two oldest boys {13, 11} share and then my two youngest, Lily {8} and Jack {4} share. I think that they have created bonds that will last a life time and that they do have to learn to work together. We'd love to give the oldest his own space, but funding doesn't allow. Really, he doesn't is more fun having a buddy. For Lily and Jack, we just went with blues and whites. We are thinking about adding a little red to the mix this spring. Lily has dolls everywhere and Jack has tools and trucks. It works great. I wouldn't hesitate to put them all together...I think you will find they will have so much fun! I can't wait to see pictures of your new excited for you!!

    Here is a little peek at our girl/boy bedroom:). It looks a little different now...less sparse and we've added a dresser. I think I change things up every few months..haha.



    1. I had forgotten you had everyone sharing, Julia, and your sweet shared room - it's so fresh and happy. Thanks for this good encouragement, friend : )

  6. Those are all so adorable! I've never shared a room, but I've always thought (...sometimes) that it would be so fun.


  7. Cailan, love your blog! Always enjoyed our shared Colorado connection - but am looking forward to staying with you in your new home.

    Is there any way I can view your text in a bigger and/or darker font? I'm not *that* old, but I can barely read your posts.


  8. My kiddos share too 5 year old girl / 3 year old boy. They love it...and say "we share rooms just like jane & michael banks from mary poppins!"

  9. My kids are now in their late teens and 20s and all get along really well. Our oldest son and middle daughter shared for awhile (when the youngest was a baby and toddles and a terrible sleeper). We had bunk beds and they shared until they were about 5 and 9 years old. If there were ever any 'privacy' issues about changing then they would just change in the bathroom. The one thing we did was make sure they each had a place for their special toys and treasures. My son used the bedroom to play in and store his toys and my daughter used a corner of the playroom. It worked out fine and they got along well.

  10. Hi Cailin~ Although I have two boys (11 yrs. and 7 yrs. now) and no girls, I can tell you what we found worked best for us. When our 2nd was born, the boys had seperate rooms. When the younger grew out of his crib, we moved him into the room with his big brother. Big brother moved into the top bunk and little brother was on the bottom. This lasted about a year until little brother started kicking the underside of the top bunk, bothering big brother, of course, b/c that's what little brothers do! Big brother stayed up a bit later, also, and would disturb little brother when he'd climb up top. So, needless to say, we moved big brother into the other room. As much as I'd like them to share a room so that we can have the other space for toys/computer/crafts, it works for us to have them have their own spaces. Just some things to "warn" you about that may arise. ;) These bedroom photos are great inspiration!! Good luck with the decision and move!

  11. Ooh, I love all of these! My daughters both share a room and always have. They're now 6 and 3 and, for the most part, they love it! Our son really likes his own personal space though, so I don't think we'd have any luck ever convincing him to share with the girls! ~Lily

  12. My 2 boys and 1 girl share a room. Soon our littlest boy will be in there too.
    Yes, 4 in one room!
    The key I think, is to really limit the amount of stuff you have in the room.
    That doesn't just mean toys, it means clothes, knick-knacks, books, stuffed animals, you name it.
    Also, I try to give each kid a space of their own, in the room.
    Each child hangs stuff by their bed. Their artwork, their pictures etc.
    I know they like that personal space.
    Lastly, it is important to have lots of places around the house, and outside too, if you can manage, where they can go to have time alone.
    I shared a room with my brother until 6th grade.
    We had a lot of fun together, but sometimes I just wanted to have my own space.
    I've tried to create several spots around the house and yard, and even the garage, where they can go and do their own thing.
    That's my 2 cents.
    I can't wait to see what you come up with! I know it will be great!
    Love from,

  13. Love the 3rd bedroom it is very versitile... I shared with my brother and sister and my brother and I became very close ,,, I lost him a couple of years ago and I am glad for the memories... Our sister was very mature for her age but did not mind sharing. My daughters did not get along when they were young so i purposely stuck them in a room together and now that their older they are close as ever.... :)

  14. ok so my experience with shared bedrooms are like this: i love the idea. my boys share a room and they are like so super close it's not even funny. i think they would BOTH cry if i said we were splitting them up! when we moved into our townhouse, I decided to try all three of them in one room so that we could use the third bedroom as a schoolroom. that did not go so well. ms. soph is just wild! she was running a muck every night and keeping everyone awake!! so i scratched the school room, now we do it at the dining room table and she has her own and the boys still share. it works beautifully now. i think the boys are making great memories with booklight reading together and jokes after "lights out." :) i shared a room with my sister and it was fine when we were little. as we got older, she started to drive me crazy and we got separate rooms. it was time!
    i love the idea of the three matching beds. you will make it look just adorable i know!! and also?? is it friday yet?? i am so dying to see pics of your new house!! i've been thinking about you alot lately...1. because i know you're starting out on a new adventure and it's going to be hard and scary and sad...BUT i just went home for the first time and when i left i felt satisfied. like, this is our life now and we can do the long-distance thing and it's still going to be ok. 2. because you've shared your home-buying experience and gave me the "home-buying bug!!" i've been rampant on my app looking for houses. only problem is, jarrod is not ready to buy til he's got this promotion that he wants we're waiting to buy until something works out. that may mean a move to another city, so buying right now is out. BUT i'm soooo excited to start that search again. and i cannot WAIT to see your pics on friday!!

    longest comment in history!!! bye now :)


  15. i LOVE your inspiration beautiful!
    i'm no expert, but my kids love sharing rooms.
    my boys share a room and so do my girls.
    i think if they had separate rooms, they would end up together anyway! :)

  16. I love the idea of siblings sharing a room. I shared a room with my brother until I was around 9. He was 3 years older and rightly so my parent moved us into our own rooms at that time. Although we were not super close as teens we were once we hit college. I have some fun memories of us sharing a room though.
    My two youngest daughters shared a room until the older one left for college. They complained about it through high school but hated when the other wasn't there. Basically couldn't live with each other, couldn't live without each other.
    Be prepared as they get older though they sometimes plot against you! ;)
    Over all it was a great experience and they are definitely close even though both are now in college.

  17. My children are now 22-10 ( 6 of them) and while I found sharing a room worked well enough when they were young the ability to give them their own rooms at puberty was a god-send for both them and us!

  18. I have 2 boys and 1 girl that are in elementary school. They are each less than 2 years apart in age. Our house has a bedroom for each of them and they have a shared playroom. On the weekends, they would always ask if they could sleep together in the playroom, so I would let them. They loved it so much, I just thought why fight for them to sleep separately? So, the playroom just became their shared bedroom. It was great for me too, because no one complained about going to bed because they felt comfort in being together. They are as close as can be and do so much together. Recently, my oldest asked to move into his own bedroom since he is going to be a preteen soon. We allowed that, and now the other two (a boy and a girl)share bunk beds in their bedroom, and that works out great too. And even though the oldest sleeps in a separate bedroom, he still has a very strong bond to his younger brother and sister. I felt that they would always have memories from sharing the playroom. Life is too short!

  19. Beautiful images - SO pleased that I found your blog! I have 8 year old girl twins and a 10 year old boy. The girls share a room, and my boy has always had his own room. However, it's only in the last year that he has stopped creeping in to sleep in the girls room. The girls have twin beds, but I usually find them asleep in one single bed in the morning, and my son used to then sleep in the empty single. I always turned a blind eye, as long as they didn't make too much noise, and to be honest, it just seemed SO lovely that they all wanted to be so close to each other. My son seems to have simply grown out of the habit, although the girls still end up in the same single bed by the morning, whether they have been arguing with each other that day or not! I think that it's lovely for them to share. x

  20. found your blog from julia
    we live in a 2 br home and have a 10 month old girl, 5 y old girl and 7 y. old boy. they share a room and love it! While they are this young I think it's a nice thing to do. I love your idea of having that other room as a guest room!

    sweet blog! I'll be back to visit soon!

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