Names: Jane (5) and Mae (1)
Location: Providence, RI
Division: Shared Room
Room Size: 99 square feet
Tip for Living Small with Kids: You really don't need anything other than books, blocks and craft supplies. They tend to just play and climb all over whatever is in the house anyway. Plus kids really only want to be outside (rooms are for sleeping!) (continued below...)
We don't have a playroom. The house is a play space—a living space for all of us. We keep a few, nice simple "toys" in each room—books, blocks, balls, crayons. They play wherever we are, and with only a few choices, they actually play and get really creative (not overwhelmed).
Kids and their interests grow so fast. I think it is silly to spend too much on things that they will outgrow in their rooms. We have tried to invest in furniture, artwork etc. that can grow with them. For some things that we think they may grow tired of, we don't bother framing them (alphabet cards, barbie drawings).
Biggest Design Challenge in this Room: The girls started with their own rooms (we have 2, 11x9 rooms), but a few months after the baby (Mae) was born, my oldest (Jane) wanted to move into her room (Jane is scared of sleeping alone). So we tried it—first with just a mattress on the floor. Once we knew it worked, we moved her whole bed. It is a tight fit, but it works! And it has allowed us a guest room back (or my studio). When Mae is out of her crib we plan to get the Oeuf (no joke) bunk beds. The challenge was that nothing was planned. It's very mismatched, but I think that is why it looks so nice.
Favorite Thing About This Room: It has a lot of personal touches and do-it-yourself projects. A pink quilt my sister made, a green bear my aunt made from my Dad's sweater (after he passed away), a few Etsy Paris items (my oldest goes to a French school), books from my childhood, a photo of the girl's great grandmother's dance recital (from the 1920's), name plaques, etc. I also painted frames for some pages from a Tasha Tudor book from my childhood—the pages were about the month of May (for my daughter Mae) over her crib. I also like the combination of old and new things, as well as decorative styles.
Thanks for your entry Heather and good luck!