Good Question: How to Design a Tiny Shared Bedroom

Good Question: How to Design a Tiny Shared Bedroom

Tammy Everts
Aug 22, 2008

Chrissy wrote us with a nursery design conundrum:

I have a soon-be-two-year-old boy and in about a year we will be joined by a one-year-old little girl (through adoption). We have a small bedroom that they will share (90 inches by 80 inches). We will need a bed for current son and a crib for future daughter... do loft beds with a crib underneath exist??? We live in Barcelona, Spain, and would love any suggestions/ideas/ places to look/European bed company contacts, etc.

Hmmm... that is a pretty small space, even by our standards. We have a few ideas for Chrissy below the jump. Please share your own tips and sources in the comments.

When we think about shared rooms, our thoughts immediately jump to loft beds and the like, too. But loft beds and bunk beds aren't recommended until children are at least five years old (or six, depending on which safety regulations you read), so that idea seems out.

The idea of layered sleeping quarters, however, is still an option. Trundle beds are a great way to fit two beds in the space of one, and because the lower bed is practically on the ground, it's fairly safe, especially if you provide some kind of barrier (such as the Snug Tuck Pillow pictured left) to prevent falls, as well as a soft floor covering in case of spills.

The photo at the top of this post shows the room shared by the sons of designer Jennifer Carpenter, which we mentioned in this post on small kids' rooms. We don't have the exact dimensions, but it looks like a pretty tiny space. In addition to the trundle beds, the room also makes clever use of a wall of built-in storage.

The room above, which was featured in a recent nursery tour, is slightly larger than 90" by 80", but you can still glean some useful tips on how to keep furniture minimal and lightweight (note the light color scheme, the toddler bed in lieu of full-size bed, as well as the Herman Miller shell rocker in lieu of a traditional rocker).

Another room that shows how furniture layout can help make a small room feel less cluttery. Notice how the furniture has been arranged along two opposite walls to create a corridor effect leading to the rocker. And again, the color scheme is light and simple.

When both children are a bit older -- say five and three, respectively -- it will open a lot more doors, design-wise. You might want to bookmark this previous Good Question post about shared rooms for future inspiration. In the comments on that post, reader Miss Shwee also recommends the book Children's Spaces from Zero to Ten by Judith Wilson.

And speaking of our readers, let's find out what they have to recommend! Any tips or furniture sources?

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