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Design

The Kids’ Shared Bedroom Update (It’s The End Of An Era…)

This post was supposed to be ‘The Kids Shared Room Update’, to show you where I’m at with designing their rooms (which was not very far). However, in order to show you Birdie’s room (which is much farther along) we brought the mattress from this room into her room so as to not shoot just a bed frame. Once the mattress was on her bed with sheets and her stuffies she was like “I really really really want to start sleeping in here, like tonight.” Charlie looked me dead in the eye and said “No. I’m not ready” which is soooo cute (he gets scared at night) but once we rearranged what is now ‘his’ room (with only one bed) he was ready to give it a go. So it’s the end of an era. I have big kids that want their own spaces and styles.

As a reminder, they’ve shared a room since Birdie was 2 and Charlie was 4 not because we didn’t have the room but because they slept better in the same room and bedtime with two toddlers in the same room was so much easier. They shared a room at the mountain house and we found that weekends, when we were there, were easier and they slept better so we stopped forcing them apart and let them share a room in LA. Then when we moved up full-time for lockdown they continued to share. We figured we’d let them tell us when they were ready (I had done some basic googling on boy/girl shared rooms and most feedback was between 8-10 the older one is typically ready for their own space and privacy).

So what it all means is that I can start figuring out this room, now Charlie’s room, and have actually made some progress now that there aren’t two beds. We tried to convince him to keep two beds for sleepovers but he was adamant that he wanted the space (and then I found the most incredible huge round chair that is big enough for sleepovers anyway).

The ages of 7 and 9 are so cute/fun because they are still obsessed with stuffies and want to cuddle their mama, but the tween-ness is happening so fast. We’ve been watching High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (which is EXCELLENT BTW) and they just really want to be teenagers. I remember that so clearly – just wanting to be a cool teenager so bad (methinks nothing has really changed).

We shot this as-is without really styling because there really wasn’t a point (I did clean up a lot of pokemon wrappers). I only JUST bought them some duvet covers that didn’t make it in time for this shoot, which brings me to a quick rant about bedding. Most kid’s duvet covers or comforters have a lot of texture and it’s my opinion that no one wants to sleep with texture. This could be because I’m sensitive to this stuff, but I think people sleep better if it’s just a soft percale and not embroidery or lace or seams everywhere (and no, not linen). Anyway, I searched all the major retailers that I loved but couldn’t find any good colors/patterns on soft percale. There were annoying colors, but no pretty percale that were in stock anyway. I ended up getting these which are super soft and have a zipper, and are affordable. I figure once I know more about their rooms I might get a color for them, but for now, they both have white duvets (not shown).

The Window Treatments

These shades (from Decorview) are excellent at function (room darkening for sure) and so easy to manually bring up and down (and down and up). The color is great. Oh, and we keep them mostly closed during the day while the kids are at school because they help so much with keeping out the cold (those windows are original and not exactly energy efficient).

They are the top-down bottom-up kind which is a lovely added function (and no ideally, a bed wouldn’t be just up against them – we always knew this was temporary). In Birdie’s room with the wallpaper, I wish we had chosen white because I think the rail at the top takes away from the diamond pattern. Unsure if I’m going to change them, but in here I’m going to make them work. They are excellent – I just wish I had done white so they receded more visually and then possibly I could add curtains.

This room was full of leftover furniture or thrift/vintage finds. I’ve had that schoolhouse lamp for 8 years now. It’s still so good. I got the large vintage lightbulb lamp on Etsy (Charlie loves funky pop art decor). The dresser is NOT staying (it’s total garbage) but I got it on FB marketplace for this exact temporary reason. I didn’t know how the room was going to be laid out or what our needs were so I didn’t want to buy something new, but we needed clothes storage badly. It has served a purpose but I’m ready to find one that is more functional (and has four knobs that stay on).

I got the second-hand IKEA table at a thrift store and really like it! The two vintage Windsor chairs are so cute, but now too small for our kids so looking for a new home.

I’ve had that bookcase for a few years – it’s from Crate and Barrel and is still available (and excellent).

The wood net chair was one of the first pieces that Charlie and I both loved and is helping to drive the style of his room. I bought it from Urbanite but I believe it was made by Purl Samoheyl (@total_nonsequitor). It’s SO FUN and rarely gets sat in, but I think will do a lot for the room.

The carpet is from Stark Carpet and I’m getting less and less nervous about it every day. I think because we are strict about no shoes in the house (you literally have to be here because of mud and the kids don’t even think about it anymore), and no food upstairs, so it’s actually been fine. Of course, the dogs are the wild cards as they come in every night for our nighttime routine and I’m always concerned about their paws, but dirt just vacuums up easily. Am I scared that they are going to pee, poop, or puke on it? Yes and no. They don’t and haven’t but they certainly could at any moment and then once they do…. That’s all to say that doing something darker would probably have been smarter/safer long term, but I think since these are on the second floor and far away from exterior entrances hopefully we are ok. And yes I MIGHT add rugs, but honestly, I really like the vibe and simplicity of the pretty wall-to-wall.

What’s In that tiny closet??

Okay. One of the only requests that the kids had was a secret door connecting their rooms. ARCIFORM put it in the plans and it was framed this way, but the sheetrockers did their job and it wasn’t exactly a priority before we moved in. But the kids, as you all know, remember EVERYTHING and asked us almost daily about it. So just recently Jamie was back working on the punch list and we asked him if he could cut it out and build the door and he did.

It’s pretty dang cute. So basically that goes to Birdie’s closet and thus into her room. It does make designing the closets more challenging (and I’m unsure how long they will even want to access each other’s room).

I have yet to paint the frame because I’m waiting to see how I design these closets now that the kids have separated.

So that is where we are at with the shared room (now Charlie’s room). I’ll show you Birdie’s very soon – we are much further along on it, although making some pivots because it’s looking QUITE ECLECTIC 🙂

Resources:
Window Treatments: Decorview
Carpet: Stark Carpet
Wall Color: Extra White by Sherwin-Williams  
Door Color: Upward by Sherwin-Williams

*Photos by Kaitlin Green

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Bea
1 year ago

Thanks for keeping it real! It’s good to see the before photos when not everything is styled to perfection. I love the little tunnel between the two bedrooms. I had one too when I was younger and it was a blast crawling through (although less so when I got older!) However, one thing I felt compelled to comment on, I frequently see beds against windows in the States (much more so than in Europe) and I get that it’s a legal requirement to have a built-in closet which frequently results in a weird layout but I would feel really vulnerable with my head against the window. Looking at these kinds of photos always make me feel slightly anxious – in a bad Fung Sui kind of way – as well as all those cold drafts in winter. Stiff shoulders are a real thing! 🙂 Also – IKEA does very reasonably priced and simple bed linen that isn’t over embroidered and scratchy. Just put them through the washing machine a few times before using. Many have very simple designs and easy to work with the rest of the décor. And why can’t you have curtains with blinds? I thought that was… Read more »

Sahaja
1 year ago
Reply to  Bea

I think she said they knew it was only.going to be temporarily against the windows while they shared. I had my bed up to a window in Hungary – placed that way by the landlord, bc that was the only way to orient it (it only had room for a double bed and a wardrobe across from it). I kinda loved it, bc the wide window ledge became a nightstand of sorts with really little visual clutter bc it was hidden by the bed.

Bea
1 year ago
Reply to  Sahaja

I totally get it if there is no other option in terms of layout but to be honest, I’d rather have a smaller bed than one against a window. But it’s probably just me who feels that way 🙂

Hannah
1 year ago
Reply to  Bea

Oh, I think the two beds feel cozy and balanced!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Bea

It’s “…a legal requirement to have a built-in closet”??
Really? Wow! 😳 I never knew that!

Is this true???

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Yes, to count a room as a bedroom on a real estate listing here, it must have a closet.

Catherine
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

And a window that a person can get through, in case of fire.

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

Thanks. Never knew that!
Things are so different in each country.

Tarynkay
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

This varies actually. The only requirements for a bedroom in my state are that it be at least 10 feet by 7 feet and have two means of egress (door and a window that opens. We just went through all of this with our teeny tiny kids bedrooms (10×7 with windows but no closets.)

Designpo
1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

No closet required in NYC. It just has to have a window to be a legal bedroom.

Jen
1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

It varies by location and what is most common in that area. In my little city, many of the older homes built before 1940-ish don’t have built-in closets but can still be counted as bedrooms.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Bea

I actually love the look of a bed under a window, to me it’s very romantic and often makes the most sense visually. I think this stems from a black and white poster I got at my college bookstore Freshman year for my dorm wall. It was a photo of a messy, white-sheeted bed under an open window with white curtains billowing…so sexy and intriguing to 18-yr-old me. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

Mandy
1 year ago

We had a similar problem finding child friendly bedding for our farmhouse – especially toddler bedding that is well made but simple and soft. Personal rant, why don’t companies make in between size for kids? We wanted something high quality but didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars since we only use our farmhouse once or twice a month. After a lot of googling, we landed on The Company Store. Which honestly for me was a throw back to high school days… 🙂 But we have been incredibly happy with their twin comforter and the cotton percale duvet we bought for our daughter. Good quality, soft and neutral.

Karen
1 year ago

For a lovely soft duvet cover – powdery soft, not slick/smooth – try Bare Home’s Sandwashed Microfiber duvet covers, this one: https://barehome.com/collections/duvets-inserts/products/sandwash-duvet-set
They are amazing, and have a great price point – good color selection too. You can also buy them off Target’s site.

I also bought this blanket to add to our bedding for winter (above the sheet, below the duvet) and it’s fantastic too:
https://barehome.com/collections/blankets/products/microplush-blanket

Sarah
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen

Have you bought a comforter from Bare Home? I clicked on the link you shared and they have a few options. It always makes me feel like a meemaw to say this, but I hate duvet covers. I can never get the insert to stay put within the cover; it always ends up sagging along the edges and driving me crazy. Give me an old-school comforter anytime.

monica
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah

The key to having the comforter/insert stay put is to buy a duvet cover one size smaller than your comforter/insert!!

Sarah
1 year ago
Reply to  monica

That’s a great idea! I never would have thought of that, thank you.

Jenny M
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah

I am with you on the duvet. It is a pain in the butt.

Sara
1 year ago
Reply to  Sarah

And layering with comforters/quilts makes it easier to not overheat!!!

Sahaja
1 year ago

H&M have had beautiful non textured duvet covers for kids. Maybe Zara home? I hear you in the texture thing, bc I got the duvet covers bc the comforter from target came with (albeit, cute) pompoms on it, including the pillow case! I mean, c’mon. Who’s gonna put their head on a pom pom pillow?

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Sahaja

The Pom Pom case was probably intended for a decorative pillow?

felicia
1 year ago
Reply to  Sahaja

Those are shams

Donna J
1 year ago

Another wholehearted vote for Ikea or Company Store duvet covers. TJMaxx/ Homegoods Ralph Lauren 100% cotton sheets are cheap, lovely and indestructable BTW, they have been my hack since before grandmillenial was a thing.

Allison
1 year ago

The quality of Pottery Barn Kids duvet covers is wonderful. Both my kids have them. They can be pricey, but they often have 20% off sales, and IMHO buying one or two good quality covers to last until their teen years is a better option than buying a new less quality one every year or two. They have pretty much every plain colour and fancy pattern you could think of. Love the kid door, Emily!
https://www.potterybarnkids.com/shop/bedding/duvet-covers/?isx=0.0.0

LC
1 year ago

If you want to sell the Windsor chairs to someone local, I am interested for my 4 & 1 year olds. Love how close your kids are. I could also see my kids wanting to share a room.

Cse
1 year ago

Aww, my girl/boy duo shared a room from infancy until the oldest was 10. It broke my heart a little when they separated rooms but the close friendship they developed remains and is so sweet.

Molly
1 year ago

We bought Indow window inserts as insulation for our original 1870s windows in our farmhouse. They are simple to insert/remove from the interior, which is better for us than outdoor storm windows since we can take the second-floor ones off without a ladder (they just pop out from the interior). People who visit are amazed when we point them out because they don’t even notice them. Anyway, another option for people looking for more insulation.

Molly
1 year ago
Reply to  Molly

p.s. Also love the progress photos and messier rooms! As a mom with young teens, it gets no more real than that.

Kate
1 year ago
Reply to  Molly

I have an Indow insert on my original 1920 house here in Portland – it made a huge difference for me too. Beautiful leaded glass but absolutely freezing in the winter (and would also get condensation on it too when it was cold). The process was easy and I store mine in the basement from late spring through summer.

Amy
1 year ago
Reply to  Molly

Thanks so much for this recommendation! We will definitely be checking Indow inserts out for our drafty windows.

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

They also work for noise! We bought one insert for a bathroom window near a pool pump and the noise reduction was dramatic.

Christina
1 year ago

Aw to Charlie’s not being ready and then being ready. I’m wishing both your kids sweet dreams and good sleep in their separate rooms! My older kid is nightmare-prone and was also slower to want a separate bedroom than his younger brother. Around age 11 he started sleeping in his own room instead of on his younger brother’s top bunk, but still liked to have someone there while he was falling asleep until he was 13 or so, so it was more of a gradual shift for us. When we sold the bunk bed before moving I guess that was the firm end of an era, and both kids sleep great in their separate rooms. When they were little I felt a lot of pressure from messages that if we didn’t deal with various aspects of their sleep habits NOW they’d never change, but those messages were wrong.

Shannon
1 year ago

Thanks for the update, can’t wait to see the finished rooms! Why not do curtains in the same color as the blinds? I think that would be subtle and beautiful, and helpful with the cold by covering the edges of the windows.

Joy
1 year ago

I love these kind of posts! Thank you for sharing your story and insights into your everyday (family) life. Can’t believe that the era of your kids sharing a room is already coming to an end… Time goes by so fast! My kids are 2 and 5 and I am currently designing a loft bed for them to share in their kids room. Can’t wait to see what you come up with in the new big kids rooms 🙂

Amy
1 year ago

Are you willing to share the source for the giant pink unicorn? 🙂

Kj
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

Amy, I looked through sooooo many Squishmallows and HugMees but couldn’t find it.

Nicole
1 year ago

Seeing the adorable piles of stuffed animals made me curious — does anyone have any great ideas for corralling them? Or is it more of a “live with it until this stage is over because it all goes by so fast” kind of thing? My son has sooooo many lol.

Shannon
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicole

I’ve seen some very cute ceiling and wall nets for this purpose.

A
1 year ago
Reply to  Shannon

Yes! Look for a corner hammock!

MC
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicole

We have a couple big bins for stuffies but our fun solution is an inexpensive curtain rod ($4 at Target) that I screwed into my daughter’s bedroom wall and we tucked about 20 small stuffies behind the rod, all lined up neatly. Now those little stuffies are reachable but off the ground (our dog destroys them :<) and they watch over her while she sleeps.

Liz
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicole

One of my twins refuses to switch from a bunk bed to a not bunk bed for the sole reason that all her stuffies are safe from the dogs in the top bunk. She’ll be 13 in June. Honestly not sure if this stage will end 🤣

suze
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicole

It never ends–my daughter took her Squishmallows to COLLEGE and she keeps getting gifted MORE!!! Shopping for dorm stuff at her school, I overheard another Dad say “do not even think about putting that SquishMallow in the cart!” 🙂

Roberta Davis
1 year ago

Fun! Did Charlie make it through a night alone?

Erin
1 year ago

This is reminding me for the millionth time that what kids (mine, anyway) seem to love most is a LOT OF OPEN FLOOR SPACE. They don’t care a lot about furniture, but they need space to move around and build stuff and do cartwheels and make stuff and spread out. And the carpet in here looks perfect for that — kid heaven!

1 year ago

What a lovely space! Like living in a cloud and eating a confetti-sprinkled cupcake at the same time – sweet dreams are guaranteed.

Kj
1 year ago

If anyone is interested, the cute sheets are Christian Robinson x Target for Pillowfort Kid Print sets (sold out at Target but available on various resale sites). I think the beds are the Neiden from Ikea in full size (still available).

Susan
1 year ago

The Company Store has many duvet cover options and their quality is very good. I have one from them that has gotten years of use.

hadilly
1 year ago

LL Bean has great linens. I love their duvet covers. We have winter flannel sets and summer percale.

Julie
1 year ago

Hi,
Ive been looking for new shades for my kids room and love the ones you have. Can you provide the specifics of the shade you purchased?

Emily
1 year ago

My favorite place for all things bedding has been Garnet Hill for 20+ years. The quality is amazing. Heirloom level , lasts forever.

alex
1 year ago

the best thing to do with a kids bedroom? shut the door. this is very lovely but having just spent a typically working day at home and ventured into a daughters disaster of a room i wish i had just turned around. four hours later i’m still folding all her clothes. no matter what i wish the rooms would be my three have their own vision… may i have the grace to let go of what i can’t change.

Lane
1 year ago
Reply to  alex

Old windows are drafty. That’s all normal in an old house even if it’s renovated.

Alex
1 year ago

How is it possible that after such big and expensive house renovation kids end up with drafty windows 🙁

Karyn Meadows
1 year ago

We live in the Bay Area and have absolutely NO beds under windows. Because of the earthquake risk. Don’t want to be showered with glass in the middle of the night. Same rule for picture glass in the halls. We only have shatterproof frames there. Such a sweet room!

Brittany
1 year ago

I have a Marimekko duvet cover that I love. There are so many prints to choose from and no extra embellishments to irritate your skin.

Suzanne
1 year ago

When we couldn’t find the colors my daughter wanted for a duvet cover, we finally discovered that Spoonflower makes duvet covers in any of their prints. They use a lovely smooth sateen cotton that has held up great. And we have cats that sleep with my daughter. I love that the duvet covers have zipper closures, too.

Cathy
1 year ago

Will you be doing an update with Charlie’s bedroom?? I had the easiest time in the world putting together my daughter’s room to grow with her (she’s 7 now, too!) but am struggling with my 4 y/o boys’ room!

1 year ago

Our kids shared a room for the longest time. It was bittersweet to move them apart, but they needed some more personal space. Now they love it and have made each room their own.

1 year ago

Wow! This looks great. Thank you for sharing.
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1 year ago

This is beautiful. I love this style and the colors here. Thank you for sharing with us.
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