I can only afford a smaller space with just two bedrooms but I have 2 kids, a boy and a girl that share a room. What's the best way to design a functional space where everyone is comfortable? Can I combine girl stuff and boy stuff?

Good question, in which age has a big part in the situation at hand, but never-the-less let's tackle this issue!

If you have younger children there seems to be much more of a separation in interests. This is why I will assume your daughter is feminine, enjoys pink and all sorts of fluffy things and your son being the rough and tumble kind of boy who likes action figures and marvel cartoons. It may seem to difficult to satisfy both personalities in one space but I have a few ideas that might help.


 If space is an issue, try bunk beds! Bunk beds are a great way to make more space in a small kids’ bedroom. Luckily there are some on the market with storage built-in below, adding their usefulness.


Don’t be hater or discriminate by sticking to two or three colours. Using a rainbow of many colours works better than any predetermined set of them.  A room filled with an eclectic variety of colours will brighten up a space and while being fun and stimulating.


One simple way of creating individual styles in the space would be to install a type of divided to create a his / hers areas in the room with one common area. This is easily done with ceiling-mounted curtains or sliding ceiling-mounted fabric panels .. Both options are fairly inexpensive and a neat   way of giving the children their own little space in the room.


When considering furniture, you might also want to avoid ornamentation. This is adornment and furniture that   has complicated details, seen to be considered favoured to one gender. Try to keep it simple with clean lines that will suit both genders.


You could have a family meeting and come up with a theme for the room
that both children will be happy with. Most common themes include: music, animals, nature,  numbers. Anything as long as everyone agrees on it.


How about you reason things out with the children and convince them to ditch the blue and pink in favour of other colours that they both like and still allows them to express their little personalities ( or big ). A space for a boy and girl can be uniformed using the same beds and dressers, then have different colour / patterned bedding, storage, etc. This design saves on all the headache of figuring out decor.

I hope all goes well with your project and remember shared spaces do take more planning, but results can be awesome when you get it right!

Alicia Walters, Design Editor

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