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Editor’s Note:  This post was written by Our Small Hours contributor Megan Wild of Your Wild Home. Find out more about Megan on the Current Contributors page.  Follow Megan on Twitter and Pinterest.

Sharing A Room: How to Decorate for Two Sisters

Growing up with a sister is usually a blessing, but it can sometimes feel like a curse, especially if those sisters have to share a bedroom! Conflicting tastes in styles, need for personal space and alone time and differing activities and bedtimes can all lead to classic sibling rivalry.

As a parent, we want to do what’s best for each child — which is nurture their individualism while instilling a deep family bond. Whether you’ve chosen to have your daughters share a bedroom or the room is shared out of necessity, here are a few tips on making the most of the space.

Maximize the Use of Space in Your Children’s Bedroom

How you go about maximizing the use of space will depend on the age of the girls and the size of the room. If your daughters are younger, the need for toy storage and open floor space for a play area will take precedence over large beds and personal privacy.

Maximizing Bedroom Space for Younger Children

In young children’s rooms, trundle beds are a great option to minimize sleeping space and maximize playing space. If one of your children is old enough to safely navigate a bunk bed and your ceiling height accommodates it, bunk beds can be a fun alternative.

Creative storage solutions are a must for keeping the toy chaos at bay. Separate toy boxes and bookshelves for each child may help reduce fighting over toys. A small table with two chairs or two small desks will give the girls a space to work creatively.

When it comes to décor, keep the walls and window dressings a bright neutral color and allow each child to personalize their sleeping space with special blankets and pillows. Let them take part in picking out some of the storage pieces that will hold their toys.

Maximizing Bedroom Space for Older Children

There will come a time when one or both girls values personal space more than play space. When this happens, it will be time to make the move into separate beds and introduce more privacy. This doesn’t mean you have to put up actual walls in the room.

Once the girls are in separate beds, you can use an open bookcase as a room divider. This will give the feeling of separate spaces without the renovation. Or you can get funky and creative and let the girls design their own room divider.

As the girls get older, they will be experimenting with their own identities, and often that comes out in the form of how they decorate their bedroom. Often, in spite of sharing DNA, sisters can have totally opposite tastes. One likes all things glitter and glam, and the other would prefer to live in a dungeon. Don’t laugh — it’s happened! How far you let them take their personal expression will be up to you. Starting with a neutral base, just as you would in a little girl’s room, will give your maturing children a blank canvas on which to express themselves.

Play spaces will need to be transformed into work spaces. If there isn’t enough room for two full-sized desks, consider a long narrow table that will seat two chairs or a partner desk.

Dealing With an Age Gap When Decorating Sibling Bedrooms

Perhaps your situation necessitates that two girls not close in age share a bedroom. What do you do when you have a baby and a young child or a young child and a teen sharing a room? Your teen daughter may not be so thrilled to have a princess-themed bedroom, and your six-year-old will want a big girl room, not a nursery.

In this situation, you may want to take more control over the décor and design theme to reduce the tension between the children. Go with timeless décor that shouts neither “baby” nor “teen.” Choosing gender-neutral colors will help you achieve this. A soft grey pallet with pops of light green or yellow are suitable for nurseries as well as rooms for teens, so the color scheme would be good for a shared room as well.

Creating a Safe Bedroom for Siblings Of Different Ages

Safety should also be a concern when you have children at different developmental stages sharing a room. Certain toys suitable for your six-year-old may pose a choking hazard for your infant. Likewise, items your teen uses safely every day may not be safe in the hands of a young child.

Establishing definition in the room will help keep everyone’s belongings safely on their side. Designate a play area for your older child away from the baby’s crib and floor space and reinforce the need to keep toys at a safe distance. Give your teen a desk with locking drawers or a have her store anything unsafe up out of reach of her little sister. A little forethought can go a long way in preventing the unthinkable.

There are benefits to siblings sharing a bedroom, both emotional and practical. Using the tips above will get you well on your way to designing a bedroom they both love.

Megan Wild loves helping families design the home of their dreams. You can check out more of her home design ideas on her blog, Your Wild Home.

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