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Budget Room Design: Gender Neutral Shared Kids Bedroom

Bb Boy Girl Bedroom Gif 1

Today deserved a brief break (just a few hours) from the holiday content, so we pulled together a shared kids room at three different budgets. Although be sure to come back in a few hours for the full reveal of how we decked out the living room for the holidays.

When we started designing our current home, we had casually tossed around the idea of putting the kids into the same bedroom and creating a totally gender neutral yet still stylish room for them to grow together and play in. I had such adorable dreams of them bonding without us, together. But we didn’t end up doing it because technically we didn’t have to with the space that we had upstairs and I wanted to decorate two rooms (have you seen Elliot’s wallpaper and Charlie’s big boy room?) Ha. They aren’t exactly gender neutral (stay tuned for a whole post about just that). Besides Birdie and Charlie are still unpredictable sleepers and I just can’t take the risk of them waking each other up and having two kids awake at 1 and 3am.

We ended up separating them and then joining the rooms with a jack and jill bathroom. But we decided that it might be fun to pull together a gender neutral shared kids bedroom for those of you who might be in that situation. Or heck, take away one of the beds and it’s just a cute kids bedroom. We went slightly traditional, with a little bit of a country cottage flare, but infused with some practical and modern kid elements that make it a fun bedroom.

The first version is the most expensive… although 5k for a whole room isn’t bad, friends.

Bb Boy Girl Bedroom 5k

Wall Paint | Rug | Twin Bed | Plaid Pillow | Blue Lumbar Pillow | Woven Chest | Quilt | Sheets | Blue Throw Blanket | Desk | Chair Set | Alarm Clock | Sconce | Bear Head | Rabbit Head | Moth Print | Ocean Print | Abstract Print | Accent Chair | Pom Pom Pillow | Yellow Throw Blanket | Side Table | Dresser | Planter | Frame | Lamp

The first one comes in at just under 5k and I love the grey/white/wood and blue combo (how could I not?). There were a few things that we wanted to include in these room variations: 1) a desk/nightstand that both kids could work at, but that also doubles as a side table next to their bed.

When they are younger most kids don’t need a fully functioning nightstand so swapping it out for a desk made the best use of the space while still giving them somewhere to work, draw or play.

2) Storage – not only did we include a large dresser that could be divided down the middle for each kid, but we included big storage chest.

3) While gender neutral is fun it is always nice to give kids a little something that feels their own and is special and personal to them. We brought in two different animals above each bed – you know, bears are boys and bunnies are girls. Right? Joking… but seriously cats are girls and dogs are boys …  (JK and I’m sorry I even have to write ‘jk’).

If I were to style this out I would add some personal photos and accessories/toys to the top of the desk as well as some of their art above the beds to bring in some more “real” elements, but overall I love the look.

Bb Boy Girl Bedroom 3k

Wall Paint | Rug | Twin Bed | Plaid Pillow | Blue Lumbar Pillow | Woven Chest | Quilt | Sheets | Blue Throw Blanket | Desk | Chair Set | Alarm Clock | Sconce | Bear Head | Rabbit Head | Moth Print & Frame | Ocean Print & Frame | Abstract Print & Frame | Accent Chair | Pom Pom Pillow | Yellow Throw Blanket | Side Table | Dresser | Planter | Frame | Lamp

For the second one we cut the price almost in half which I have to say is pretty darn good considering it still retained a lot of the character of the first one. A few notes about the major changes. The lamp – it’s from Target and I have been so tempted to buy it so many times when I’ve seen it there on the shelves. It is such a good shape and will never go out of style. The chair – at this price point I can’t imagine that this is going to be the most comfortable chair you’ll ever sit in, but it has great reviews and has a simple shape that works well in the space. The sconces – these are PRETTY GOOD look-a-likes and although they don’t have the pretty brass details that the first set do, I still love them for this price point.

Bb Boy Girl Bedroom 2k1

Wall Paint | Rug | Twin Bed | Plaid Pillow | Blue Lumbar Pillow | Woven Chest | Quilt | Sheets | Blue Throw Blanket | Desk | Chair Set | Alarm Clock | Sconce | Bear Head | Rabbit Head | Moth Print & Frame | Ocean Print & Frame | Abstract Print & FrameAccent Chair | Pom Pom Pillow | Yellow Throw Blanket | Side Table | Dresser | Planter | Frame | Lamp

The last version comes in at just over $1,900 and I am still very into the look. If you have the budget I would say to splurge on the other toy chests in #1 and #2 but these still do a great job at bringing some warmer wood into the room. I also secretly might like this side table more than the side table in #2. And although the picture doesn’t do this rug justice I do love that it has the varying stripes in it which is slightly different from the stripes in the first two.

Let us know if you have any questions and what you want to see next in the budget room series.

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  1. I seriously love this series (the budget room series) more than any other content on your blog or anyone else’s. It’s beyond fun to dive into these posts! It makes me want all of the things, of course.

    My boys currently have a shared bedroom (we don’t have the space for separate beds so they have a twin bunk bed and my youngest is always crawling into my older son’s bed). It does create some sleep problems (them not wanting to go to bed at the same time, or keeping each other up at night). And I feel like the room gets twice as messy as if only one of them lived there (seems obvious when I write it). But overall I think it’s a great option for folks who don’t have the space to have separate rooms as long as you plan it out carefully ahead of time (I got help from a designer and it was totally worth it).

    1. Thank You! We love pulling them together so it is good to hear that it is one of your favorites. xx

      1. I agree with JessVII! I absolutely love the design on a budget posts. Super inspiring – I can pore over every detail. I love all your content (just bought the Anthropologie planner yesterday from your holiday list post), but I think the number posts I’m excited to see are the design on a budget posts.

  2. Not that we live in a kids’ room, but my husband and I visit those animal heads every time we go to Target. We’ve joked about getting those same heads for above our bed, but he loves the bunny, and I want the bear (plus the shark for the bathroom).

    This is adorable. Thinking about modifying these ideas for an adult guest room. 🙂

  3. Fun choices – I especially love both beds!

    While I always feel a bit weird tooting my own horn, I think alphabet posters are really awesome for shared rooms, and I have created several different ones, available on my online shop, featuring, respectively, animals, dogs, cats, birds, and sea creatures with my original watercolors: https://www.etsy.com/listing/490445653/abc-animal-alphabet-poster-original?ref=related-6

    They’re quite gender neutral and can help kids learn about various creatures while still looking cute in the room. This weekend when I was vending at a local holiday market several sets of parents actually bought two posters each to hang in shared kids’ rooms, so they must be onto some sort of trend!

    -Lauren
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/wanderinglaurfineart
    IG: @wanderinglaur

    1. I love that idea. We have a few posters in Charlie’s room that have positive quotes on them and I love that not only the way they look in the room but the message behind them. Anything that does double duty as art and an educational tool is a win in my book. Thanks for sharing the links. xx

      1. Thanks so much Emily for responding! And totally agree about art that serves a purpose. I love all the art you have in Charlie’s room, especially all the old-fashioned dog prints as well as those happy messages.

  4. The bed in the least expensive space is not $96. They are the exact same bed in the middle option, and are $325 (but currently on sale).

    1. Good catch! It looks like it was on sale but is out of stock in that color and price point so we have swapped it out for a similar looking option for the last one. xx

  5. LOVE this post! Would love to see you do a shared boy and a shared girl option too!

  6. Beautiful room!!

  7. Love this!

  8. The moth print is incredible!

  9. Love these bed frames and that teddy bear mount! I think alphabet posters are adorable for shared rooms! Gender neutral, and they can learn while also looking at something cute. Here’s one option: https://www.etsy.com/listing/490445653/abc-animal-alphabet-poster-original?ref=related-6

    1. Eek, didn’t mean to double post this! Just saw the original comment had disappeared but then… it magically reappeared. 🙂 Sorry!

  10. Land of Nod clock is great, but for those looking to save more, I recently bought a very similar alarm clock from Amazon for $14!(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E50722E/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

  11. Emily, I love the theme and details in these rooms. Not to mention a gender-neutral shared bedroom is very relevant to me right now. My family is about to embark on a move to NY, and the size of our living space will be dramatically downsized…meaning our two young girls will be sharing a room. One is 10 months and not sleeping through the night, the other is 3 and is sleeping through the night, but has always been a light and difficult sleeper. Anyone out there have a positive experience with their young kids sharing a room? I would love some encouraging stories!!

  12. Would love to see more nursery inspo! It would be great if you did a round-up that included cribs, gliders, bookshelves, etc at different price points just to get ideas. Thanks!

  13. Thanks for this post! Any chance you could also share bunk beds you love?

  14. This is also one of my favorites in your design series. My kiddo’s room doubles as a guest space (we live in smallish house so he temporarily sleeps on a cot in my room when guests come to stay), so this is really inspiring me with some possibilities that would work for him and overnight company.

  15. I love this post! I have your same dreams of putting my 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl into a shared room once she moves into a ‘big bed.’ My husband thinks I’m crazy but I share your visions of sibling bonding!
    I agree with someone else’s request for a bunk bed roundup.

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  18. Any recommendations for overhead/ceiling lights for gender neutral kids spaces?

  19. I loved the style of the Wayfair dresser and was super excited to buy it after months of wanting it! Unfortunately, I have to admit that it is not a purchase I would recommend. The veneer chips easily and is almost impossible to hide. The price is comparable to Ikea, but the quality is much lower. For a kids bedroom, forget about it. It could not withstand the wear. Just sharing my experience so nobody else ends up with buyer’s remorse!