How to maximize space and design for different personalities.
One of the things I remember about growing up was my friends would always talk about was sharing a room with their older or younger sibling. I remember wondering with it would be like to share a room. How cool it would be to have a “slumber party” each night with a sister…sadly I was a middle child and the only girl, so it was not in the cards that I got to share a room.
However, my brothers shared a room and they always kicked me out because I wasn’t in the “club.” Many years and two boys later, I have given my boys the opportunity to share a room, the tricky part is making each child a space of their own while still making it visually appealing and functional all at the same time.
Whitt and Wyatt, that’s my boys, are as different as daylight and dark. One is super neat and very concerned if all the toy tractors are in the correct order, he would size them, what they were used for, if they had a wagon or something in tow, while the other kid is more of a throw them in the tractor crate and be done with clean up kind of a kid. One is a get up early, get the day started early and get to work while the other is more of a sleeping in kind of guy. Bringing the two different personalities together and making them cohesive is a very large task even for mom.
For my son Whitt, who had everything in a row, got up early, his side of the room was always nearest the door. I figure he earned that since he was always the first one out of it. Wyatt was always on the opposite side, that way maybe you couldn’t see as much of the mess if it was farther away…seemed like a good plan to me! They each had a side to the room, crates and totes and bookshelves equally separated that would house all their own personal belongings. That way Whitt could have everything in a row and Wyatt could throw his in anyway he pleased and if everything was near its “home” as I raced through picking up the laundry, I didn’t give it much thought. Totes and crates and organizational boxes were really our friend while room sharing, and I feel they would be a very integral part of any space that is shared among children.
For the theme or design of the room, I was lucky to have two boys who LOVED boats. So, I DIY’d my way through boat flag pennants, and rope shelves and that fit them perfectly. If you aren’t that lucky or want a young brother and sister to share a room, use more muted colors and pick something that is more gender neutral. Give each a space to call their own and let me place a few of their favorite things around keeping the bright and bold in some totes like we talked about earlier.
The more organized and mindful they are, the whole situation will be better. Whitt would get to where he could not handle how Wyatt “cleaned” up, so he’d just have him leave the room and he’d clean it up himself. If you have a child like mine, understand they are all different, and go in and help the situation by keeping a check on the messy one and cleaning up a bit more after them.
Children will never have a better best friend than a sibling and sharing a room will bring them closer, even on the days they’d like to forget the other existed. Helping by making the room as clutter free and organize from the very first day of room sharing will make the whole experience so much better. Just remember storage solutions are your friend and they will not get along every day, but when you hear giggles coming from the room, it is all worth the fuss!
Article by Molly Cooper, Cooper & Co. Interior Design