If two children must share a bedroom, dividing the space visually allows each child to have a space to call her own, even if she can't have a complete room to herself. Makeshift room dividers and personalized accent pieces or furnishings allow each child to customize her own area a bit while still keeping a cohesive look throughout the room as a whole.
Matching bookcases -- even if only a few feet tall -- separate the halves of a room, so siblings don't have to argue over space. Place bookcases back to back along the center of the room using two or four bookcases with the open shelves facing each respective side of the room. Paint the outsides of the bookcases the same color, but allow children to pick their own decorating scheme for the inside-back walls of the cases, using paints, decorative fabrics or patterned shelf paper. Use the shelves for storing personal electronics, gaming systems, stuffed animals or fabric bins filled with toys. Place matching dressers instead of bookcases back to back or side by side, one facing each side of the room, for a similar effect, freeing up wall areas for other furnishings.
Even with a room painted the same color throughout, minor deviations in decor allow for each child's personality to shine through. For instance, on the wall above each headboard, spell out the child's name in letters -- either painted on the wall or made from wood, craft foam or fabric-covered carved shipping foam. Allow each child to pick some of the colors or patterns covering the letters. If each child has his own desk, select matching desks, but personalize each with painted drawer fronts or tops that suit the child's interests, creating miniature scenes on the desks. Cover desk drawer faces with colored contact paper or painted stripes or chevrons for another way to create a separate look for each child's equal space in the bedroom.
A Play on Paints
Each child may have interests that differ from those of his siblings -- especially if the children are not the same gender. Instead of clashing colors, paint the room a gender-neutral color or go for a theme, such as a light blue sky backdrop for painted murals or stick-on wall decals. If the beds have a common wall behind them, leave that wall a solid color. Allow each child to help pick out the paint or decal designs for his personal space, such as a tree with an owl sitting on a branch on a wall in one child's section of the room and a forest-like scene with animals at play on the other half of the room. For older children, allow them to help paint a silhouette of a favorite hobby or interest on one of the walls in their space -- a skateboarder silhouette on one wall, a silhouette of a guitar player on another, for instance. Create the silhouettes by projecting an image on the wall and tracing it in chalk before painting it, or draw the images out on contact paper's backing paper to create removable decal silhouettes.
Freedom With Fabrics
Use similar or matching furniture in each half of the room to tie the room together visually, but allow for each child's personality to shine through with fabrics. If one young boy enjoys farm animals, for instance, a comforter depicting a farm scene rests upon his bed, while his sibling may have a blue camouflage print comforter. Older children or teens may choose bedding in their favorite colors, with coordinating throw rugs or area rugs for their sides of the room. Customize bedding or solid-colored curtains or shades with rubber stamps dipped in fabric paints for even more personalization, allowing each child to pick her own themes.
- Photo Credit Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images
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