It seems that, increasingly, it's becoming the norm for kids to have their own bedrooms, especially if there's adequate space for it. But what if you have two rooms, two kids, and no playroom? Is it a better use of the space to have the kids share a bedroom?
In my experience, young children don't feel much of a need for a private bedroom. They would rather have ample space to play. While it's possible for each child to keep his/her toys in the bedroom, a designated play space can be extremely nice if there are shared toys, and it can also help in establishing the bedroom as a place to sleep. (I'll be the first to admit that when I had my own bedroom as a child, there were many late nights spent reading or quietly playing after my parents when to bed. A tattletale sister might have curbed that tendency.)
As adults, I think we assume that kids have a need for privacy similar to our own, but my boyfriend fondly recalled bunking up with his brothers, and he has told me that he was actually a little sad when he got his own room.
But it's true that when kids get older, they might each want a space to call their own, especially if your children are of different genders. No twelve-year old girl wants to share a bedroom with a ten-year-old brother.
Here are some examples of shared playrooms:
Here are some examples of shared bedrooms: