The Treehouse: Bedroom Plans for the Kids

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By Gabrielle. Note: These images are “before” photos showing the belongings of the previous owners. I know, I know, I need to shoot some current photos. Working on it, I promise!

I’ve shared the story of how The Treehouse came to be ours. And I’ve explained that the house came fully furnished. But I haven’t really told you much about the layout or what our plans our. So I thought I’d dive in today!

I’ll start by saying the state of the house, renovation wise, is pretty much ideal for someone like me. The home hasn’t been resurfaced in a long time — for example, the kitchen looks to be strictly from the 80’s. Throughout the house, walls need a fresh coat of paint, worn carpets need to be replaced, and light fixtures need to be upgraded. 

I know that’s a lot of work, but it’s perfect for me! Because I’m someone who wants to make those sorts of decisions in my home. So if The Treehouse had been recently redone, then I would have felt awful about changing things up and wasting that work. (As I’m sure anyone would! I know Jenny, who has been doing major renovations, is feeling stumped about her kitchen counters. They’re not her style, but they’re so new she feels bad about changing them.)

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In addition to surface stuff, there are some fairly major interior structural changes we’d like to make. For example, there is a 3-quarter wall between the living room and kitchen that is driving us nuts! But we’re not feeling too much urgency about those bigger changes, because happily, the house is livable right now, exactly as it is. Which is such a blessing! It leaves us time to think, and to make careful decisions, and to save up for the renovations.

Though I feel like I’m fairly speedy at decorating and can style up a room in a flash, when it comes to architectural-type decisions — should windows be replaced in this room? do we need to improve the electrical system? should we use the same flooring throughout the house? do we need to upgrade the trim? — I’m as slow as a snail.

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The square footage of The Treehouse is smaller than our rental in France was (no surprise — La Cressionnière is a big old farmhouse!), and it’s even smaller than our old rental in Colorado, but it’s still plenty big. And the decks add a lot of living space.

One interesting tidbit: it’s a 3 bedroom home.

This can be tricky for a family of 8! And really, if the home had been publicly listed online as a 3 bedroom, we would have never even seen it, because during our real estate searches we generally looked for 5+ bedrooms. But we’ve got a good plan to make the bedrooms work.

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Off the hallway on the main floor, there are two bedrooms, and a bathroom. The previous owners used the bigger bedroom as the Master bedroom, and they used the smaller one as a little TV room.

The 3rd bedroom is upstairs and the previous owners used it as a guest room:

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It has it’s own balcony! (I’ll talk more about our plans for this room in a future post.)

We decided to use the space differently than the previous owners. Our first thought was to split the big bedroom in two. When the house was first built, that room was about half it’s current size, but was expanded when the house was added on to. And there’s a natural dividing line if we wanted to split it up, leaving each of the spaces with a closet and a window.

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But after living here for awhile, we shifted gears. Instead of splitting the space, we decided to keep it big and make it into one bedroom for all 4 girls! (I’m sure some of you are thinking: awesome! and others are thinking: no way!)

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This is our plan:

1) We want to put in 4 twin beds, with their heads along the left wall, and their feet pointed toward the mirrored closet on the right. Each bed will have a nightstand and reading lamp next to it.

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2) Across from the beds, on the right wall, there is currently a bank of 4 uneven sized closets. We want to remake these into 4 equal closets, so each daughter has their own storage space for clothes. We’re hoping we can customize the closet interiors to include hanging space, plus small drawers, and shelves for folded items and shoes. We shall see if the picture in my head can be pulled off in reality. : )

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3) On the wall next to the bank of closets is currently a dresser. If I can make the closets work for my kids’ wardrobes, I’d like to add a reading chair or small desk here instead of more clothes storage.

Note: I mentioned it above, but I’ll repeat here: all of these photos are “before” images and show the previous residents belongings.

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4) Maybe the most fun? Along the same wall as the bedroom door, there is an additional bank of closets. We’re going to say goodbye to these closets, creating a wall here. And then we’re going to add a bank of vanities instead, where the girls can keep their jewelry, paint their nails, store the hair brushes, etc.

I wouldn’t say our daughters are particularly girly girls, but I have a picture in my head of all four of our daughters at the vanity prepping for the day and it makes me grin! (Bonus: having the vanities in the bedroom should help free up the bathroom, which is bound to get crowded in the mornings.)

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I know it sounds crazy to get rid of half the closet space in a bedroom for 4 girls, but we do have good reasons. The biggest one: we need to add the two feet depth of that closet to the smaller, neighboring bedroom. That room is so little! It needs any add-ons it can get.

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The smaller bedroom is shared by the boys. Right now, we have a bunkbed in that room to the right of the door, and it’s just too overwhelming. It makes the space really awkward and unwelcoming. If we add the space from the closets in the girls’ room, it will enlarge the boys bedroom on the left by two feet, allowing this room to fit two twin beds. Which would be ideal!

The plan is to have a bed on each side of the door, with a dresser and side chair under the window. Then we’ll install hanging rods in the small closet — a high one for Ralph and a low one for Oscar.

And now I’d love to hear: What do you think of our plan? Would you ever put 6 kids in two bedrooms? Would that be total chaos at your house?

Because our kids generally spend their waking time in the shared spaces of our house, and use the bedrooms only for sleeping and dressing, this actually works out well for us. But I know there are families where this would be the worst. I’d love to hear what you would do with this space!

147 thoughts on “The Treehouse: Bedroom Plans for the Kids”

  1. I LOOOOOOVVVVEEEE your plan! We have a 3-bedroom house with 4 kids, so all three of my boys share one room that has a set of bunk beds and a twin bed. The funny thing is, even though my daughter has her own room (and is the oldest), she ends up sleeping in the boys’ room almost every night anyway! She uses her room all day to read, listen to music, and play with friends, but at bedtime she sneaks in with one of her brothers almost every night. :) Good luck with all your plans, but I know that if anyone can make it work, it’s you!

  2. I come from a family with 10 kids, 6 girls and 4 boys, and while there was always some switching around, with 4 bedrooms there was always a lot of sharing. Fun times! I think sharing a room with so many people teaches some valuable life skills, plus I like to think it made me closer to my sisters. Late night giggle fests, reading parts of books out loud to each other, waiting for one another to come home from dates are all very found memories. There was plenty of “Who took my…” or “Don’t you dare touch my stuff” as well, but the good definitely out weighs the bad. As for the closet space…the way I see it is less space, less stuff. It made me be more selective in the clothes I chose to buy and keep, which I think is a good thing.

    1. “As for the closet space…the way I see it is less space, less stuff.”

      That is what I’m hoping! We try hard to weed out the clothes the girls have outgrown or lost interest in and I’m crossing my fingers that less storage space will help facilitate that.

  3. Gabby, we’ve actually had our four oldest boys in one room now for a year and a half. They love it and it works really well for us. There are two sets of bunk beds and a little space left over. I know its not a permanent thing – we are finishing off part of our attic for the two older boys and will move them up there when its finished. We don’t have a lot of toys in the room with them – but that has worked out. One funny thing – when friends come over they always want to play up in the boys’ room. I bet your girls will have a great time!

  4. My husband grew up in a small, one level, 3 bedroom home, and they had 8 kids. I have no doubt you can make this work! I shared a bedroom with one sister until I was about 12 or so. My youngest sister had her own room at 5, and she’s much more used to not sharing. I say sharing is a good thing!

  5. Gabby, I’m the fifth child but the only girl. My four older brothers shared a really big bedroom for years, and they loved it. I had the “privilege” of a bedroom for myself and instead I would hang with them a lot because it was so much fun in that bedroom. I think having a closet space, side table and lamp for every girl is key so they have their little corners within the big space! I’m so looking forward to see how it turns out!

  6. My cousins grew up with four girls in one little room, and two boys in the other little room. The girls had bunk beds, a couch, and a slide out mattress. And there was one small bathroom. They all survived, and the older ones are able to hold it over the two youngest, who, of course, were the only ones still at home when their parents moved to a bigger house!

    But of course, historically, that’s how it worked. We live in a world where there’s supposed to be lots of space for everyone, but that’s not the world our grandparents lived in.

    Easy for me to say, though. I’m an only child and now live alone in my house!

  7. I wish I had 3 sisters to share a room with! My only sister and I did share a room for our entire lives until I moved out. Then we rented an apartment together and had separate rooms. I loved almost every minute of it.

  8. How do you do it?? We just bought out first house–almost exactly when you all moved!–and though ours was more recently redone, I’m so overwhelmed trying to figure out where furniture will look right and function well; a lot of our home feels the way you describe the boys’ room here, “the space is really awkward and unwelcoming”! Any tips or places to look for furniture-arrangement inspiration?

    1. Hi Emily! I’ve received a few related emails — along the lines of how do I even start?! I’m trying to work up a post about it. Stay tuned.

      And congrats on the new house!

  9. Oh … you are brave! But I think it really has a lot to do with your family dynamic. My sister and I are only a year apart and we had to share a room until we were about 11 & 12 years old. I think I was about 8 or 9 the first time I put tape down the middle of the floor and said “this is my side, that’s yours!” We just had a really different approach to how we wanted our personal space; me – neat and organized, her – not so much. Looking forward to your after shots!

  10. This reminds me of “A Pattern Language” by Alexander, Ishikawa, and Silverstein. They argue that the way the average homeowner thinks about bedrooms creates only wasted space and that larger areas with many beds and individual “pockets” for personalization makes more sense.
    I would have loved sharing a large room with my three sisters at once. (We did have three of us in one room for a while, and the boys in the basement bedroom.) Oh, the stories they will have to tell!

  11. I love this! I have three girls, and my two oldest shared a room until our youngest was born. Now, my two youngest share a room. My girls are all very unique, but very close to each other, and I think it might have something to do with sharing. We have a three bedroom house, and I’ve considered making one room a sleeping room and the other a study/play/dressing room. However, my oldest has had her own room for awhile and likes it. :) Looking forward to your “after” pictures!

  12. We have four kids (all boys) in a three bedroom house, with my 3 oldest currently sharing a room. I built in beds so that there is one lofted bed with two twins underneath it in an L shape, separated by a bookcase/headboard. The boys love love love sharing a room. They’re much younger (my oldest is 7), but have so much fun sharing the space. Until recently I was the assistant director at a summer camp, where we spent our summers, and they shared a space there too. So I really do think it’s like camp!
    I also feel like they learn a lot from sharing that space- they have to compromise about noise level, they work together to clean up, and have really embraced a “sink or swim together” mentality. It’s not perfect, they’re still kids that bicker and disagree sometimes, but on the whole I think it’s fantastic.

  13. I think as long as you have spaces where kids can get privacy (the shut-the-door type of privacy), then multiple kids in one room can work well. My kids are 17 and 14 and do love having their own rooms after sharing one until the oldest was 13 and the youngest was 10. Mindfully creating private spaces elsewhere in the house might be something to consider, for homework, reading, and important phonce calls/texting sessions!

    1. We’ve definitely been thinking about how to handle those situations when our kids are craving alone time. And I think this house will actually be really good for that. There are private balconies outside and private lofts inside (one we’re making into a cozy reading nook that I know Maude will practically live in), and the yard offers several spots for being alone.

  14. There are five kids in my family, so there was a time period when the three of us girls shared the master bedroom. The two boys shared a smaller room. So did my parents. It worked for us for that time period!

  15. I really love reading your posts. I am currently feeling so awkward about our little awkward home. It was built in 1981. Small ranch 2 beds 2 baths and an open floor plan that is the middle of the house. We have 2 children. A 7 yo girl and a 2 yo boy. Our boy is still in his crib at the end of our bed…but soon he will be ready for his own bed. And I am perplexed as to what to do. Would any of you consider putting a toddler in an 8 yo girls bedroom? Funds are tight right now and we’re too scared to even think of adding on or trying to sell and buy bigger. Thoughts?
    That treehouse looks like such a great place!

    1. I know the age difference is a bit different, but we have an almost 5 year old girl and an almost 3 year old boy in the same room. I am curious how long it is going to last! :)

      1. I guess that’s the big question. Right now my girl wants her brother in her bedroom. So, I guess I need to go with it. And baby boy can’t stay in that crib forever…cozy as it is.

        1. If she’s wanting him in the room, I can’t see the issue? Granted, my 2 are twins so we don’t have the different-ages issue, but my son and daughter have always shared a room…they’re 7 now, and I can’t imagine them wanting to separate for a good long time yet. Earlier this year Cole asked if he could have his own room…and if his sister Imogen could come and stay in it with him, hahaha!

      2. We had the same situation when our son and daughter were 5 and 3. By the time our son turned 6, he wanted more privacy from girls. It was harder for them to share, so we moved the baby girl in with the 3 year-old girl, and big brother got the nursery to be his room. (Which he now shares with a new little brother.)

    2. Our original plan for bedroom configurations (before we’d actually been in the house) was to put Oscar, Betty and June in one room.

      Though the space didn’t work out like that, I think the relationship dynamic would have been fine. Those 3 love hanging out together!

  16. My 3 girls have shared a bedroom for years, and they have enjoyed it. Now that they are all moving in to the teenage years, it is not working as well for them and we are moving one out this year to give them all more space.
    Storage is an issue, as are messes – I haven’t taught them very well to pick up every day, so they often have a big job cleaning up their room. It gets messy with clothes, mainly.
    Good luck! We have 4 kids in a 3 bedroom with one bathroom and a little kitchen, but its’ a very cool mid-century modern home that we love, and it works for us.

  17. I love this post! It’s great hearing about making it all work while living in a small-ish space. Around where I live it seems people are always moving to bigger houses so kids can have their own rooms, so I’ve enjoyed the post (and comments) from people whose kids share rooms. It sounds like most people have girls in one room and boys in the other. I’m curious how it’s worked for families where boys and girls have shared a room?

    1. My brother & I shared a room when we were small and it worked out wonderfully. Even after we had our own rooms we often played in each other’s rooms and had “slumber parties.” We played with each other most of the time due to circumstances (friends living far away, etc.) when we were little so already had a good relationship. I think it also depends on the attitude the parents have – ours saw it as a necessity and an opportunity for us to have a close relationship, whereas I could see for my cousins it wouldn’t work because they were taught that it was “odd” for boys to play with girls and vice versa. (They missed out.)

      1. I also had friends who were siblings (boy & girl) who lived 1/2 time in Japan and 1/2 time in the United States. They shared small rooms until they went to college and thought nothing of it. They said that in Japan this was common (at least in the big city they lived in). I remember their parents always had fairly strict rules about privacy, tidiness, etc. and combined with them being used to living in SMALL apartments they usually put things away where they belonged and it worked for them.

    2. I have b/g twins who are 7 and have always shared a room…and they love it! Granted, they are the same age, and very close anyway, but it really works for us. Cole asked earlier this year if he could have his own room…but only if Imogen would come and stay with him….hahaha.
      I’m happy for this to continue as long as they’re happy with it – I think Westerners get too tied up with segregating the genders and everyone havign their own room. We have the space at home for them to have their own rooms when it becomes important, but for us right now using that extra room as a play space/ art space is a much better setup.
      The kids understand the concept of privacy and I’m sure that will become more deliberate as they age but at 7, they’re still happy as can be stripping off in the backyard to jump in the pool, ha!

      1. We had all 5 kids (3 girls, 2 boys) in one bedroom until the oldest boy turned 12. This coincided nicely with our addition being finished, because I think that he needed privacy from his sisters (puberty) The funny thing was that we only had 4 beds in the room. (it was a 10×10 room, so it was rather crowded) Each night, there would be negotiations as to who would sleep with whom, and usually it was the youngest who would bargain with the others as to who would have the privilege of sleeping with her! Now my kids are in 2 bedrooms, the two boys in one, and the 3 girls in another.

  18. We have a four bedroom rental and 5 kids, but we use one bedroom as an office. three girls share the biggest bedroom, which has its own bathroom because it is the master suite. The two boys share a bedroom and use a hallway bathroom. The fourth bedroom is a guest bedroom with its own bathroom on the opposite side of the house, which is what we use for a master bedroom. Sometimes my girls complain that they would like their own room, but I know deep down they like it. The youngest girl has a hard time going to sleep if her big sisters aren’t around at bedtime.

  19. I think sharing is great until a certain age. When kids become teenagers they usually seek the privacy of an own room. I shared a bedroom with my sister. She left home when I was 17, and we both agree that we craved privacy as teens. When one of us had friends over we never could chat privately. I live my sister and she loves me – but we still had and have topics that we prefer sharing with friends it partners. Which is another important field. I feel it is important to be able to shut a door when ones boyfriend is visiting. I know in the US this is not done and accepted as much. But I find it is part of a “human right” also for teens to make first experiences with (the other) sex in a safe environment. I’d rather my 15year old son makes out in his bedroom than in the back of a park or at a party.

    Mellisa

    1. Hah! Definitely a cultural divide there. I did lots of making out in high school, but never in my house — unless my parents were out of town.

      In America (at least in the non-urban parts), kids get their drivers licenses around 16, and cars become the preferred make out spot.

  20. This is a great idea! Way to make it work for your family. I think it’s awesome for kids to share rooms. I think it adds a level of safety and also teaches important life lessons.

  21. As the 7th of 10 kidsaspace was always tight. I share a large room with 3 of my sisters for the first 15 years of my life and loved it. We of course had the occasional squabble about someones super messy side of the room, but like your family, most of the day is spent in the shared spaces.

  22. I don’t know if it would work with your windows in that room, but have you seen how they build in four bunk beds into the wall? Each bed has an alcove with built in lighting and a shelf.
    I just know having three girls they want to have private space to pout, I mean get away ;)
    You could also do something with pediments and a curtain and the head of the bed to differentiate between them.
    I love the vanity area! Brilliant for cutting down on bathroom traffic jams.

    1. I’m definitely considering bunk beds — and have been pinning my favorites! But with the windows, I don’t think it’s going to work. So we’ll have to figure out other ways/places for the kids to get alone time if they’re craving it.

  23. I like this a lot! When we were little (I didn’t get my own room until high school), I shared the master bedroom with my brother and sister, and my parents took the smaller room (the 3rd room was a permanent guest room, since we had out-of-town visitors often). My uncle and dad built us 2 bunk beds, which was great since we had a spare bed for sleepovers, and it freed up a lot of floor space. I loved that room!

    I remember growing up my friend shard a small room with her 2 sisters- they had a bunk bed with a pull-out trundle on the bottom for the youngest one, and their two brothers had a bunk bed in the next room.

    I think sharing a room with siblings is a great prep for anyone who’s going to end in college dorms anyway!

  24. As the only girl in my family I wish I had the chance to share a bedroom (I think!). I’m sure you guys can always change it up if things change in a few years!

  25. My favourite set up in our shared bedrooms had was having bunkbeds with individual curtains round the top and bottom beds. This way if we wanted privacy we each had a mini room of our own.

  26. Our four oldest boys share the master bedroom with a pair of IKEA bunk beds and it was THE best decision we could have made for room assignments. Our home is small with 3 bedroms and just around 1600 sq ft., so you have to be creative when finding space for 6 kids! The boys LOVE it.

  27. Sound like a plan. A good one. My boys share a bedroom and love it, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
    I would recommend living in the house for at least a year, before doing any major renovation. You really need a time to get a feeling for a space and to evaluate your needs. Something that makes sense now, maybe, won’t make sense in a year. One step at a time. And enjoy it!
    I can’t wait to see the updates.

  28. We once lived in a house with seven (!) bedrooms. All three of our children chose to share the same room– they spent all of their time outside or in shared space, and it was more fun and cozy to have someone to sleep beside a t night.

  29. Hi Gabby,
    Love the idea of your girls sharing a room. . .immediately, my mind goes to the row of beds in Garnet Hill. For one of our Summer weeks at the lake each year, my sister and law and I share a room, cold dorm style, with my two daughters and her three daughters. Seven of us–so much fun! My son sleeps on the sunporch.
    Have your girls read The Penderwicks trilogy? Stories about four sisters. They are wonderful!

  30. I love this. We share rooms in our house as well and it works out great! We have big age differences but it is amazing how the little ones can bring out the smiles of the teenagers and how the teenagers are who the little ones often turn to for comfort and understanding.

    I really am uncomfortable by the idea of kids needing to shut a door to get privacy. I can understand wanting to be alone sometimes. I guess we are more of a “go for a walk, sit outside on the swing, curl up in a blanket on the couch” kind of alone people.

    1. Uncomfortable? Really? I believe teenagers need and deserve space to be alone with their changing bodies as well as their developing minds. Some things are private, not shameful or uncomfortable, just private.

      1. I agree. There are certainly privacy needs and times where being alone to sort out thoughts and emotions is critical. However, the teen years can be a difficult time period and I wouldn’t want my children seeking constant time alone.

      2. I agree. There are certainly privacy issues and times when thoughts and emotions need to be sorted through without interruption. However, the teenage years can be difficult and I wouldn’t want my children seeking constant alone time.

        1. kids that have a secure and healthy relationship with their parents will always be confidnet and will know that they will find closeness or advice from their parents when they feel they need and want it. but sometimes teens or young adults do not want this closeness. this is something parents must accept.

          there is a difference between trusting and controlling your kids.

    2. I think I know what you mean. And maybe it has to do with family culture — which is different for every family, obviously.

      In our family, each of us take alone time now and then, but rarely behind a closed door. Not that’s it’s forbidden or discouraged. It just doesn’t really happen.

      I definitely don’t feel that having one’s own room is a “right”. Goodness, most of the world can’t afford more than one or two rooms for the entire house!

  31. Love hearing your plans for this room. we are currently house hunting in our new “home town” in New Zealand and with four children and the expectation of house guests we are trying to think creatively about what size home we will require ;)

  32. I love it!! I only have 1 child right now, but I just love the idea of having more than one kid in each room. I have this theory that sharing space helps teach valuable lessons about sharing and life not being all about the individual. My brother and I actually shared a room much of our growing up years and while it wasn’t always sunshine and roses I wouldn’t change it. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

  33. the idea for the vanities is genius! seeing as my husband and i have a tiny 2-bedroom place with pretty much no hope (or desire) of ever moving elsewhere and would like to have three or four kids, i’m curious to see how it works out for you. if i were you i would perhaps install a canopy over each bed so the girls can still create some privacy if they need to. you don’t often find a teenager and a three-year-old sharing a room, but i can see how it would work with your kids.

    1. We’re considering things like canopies or curtains, but really, my kids have pretty much always shared rooms and when they crave privacy they don’t necessarily seek their bedroom, they also know there are other cozy spots in the house.

      It will be interesting to see which spots they gravitate toward!

  34. LOVE this idea! I have 4 sisters and we were always sharing rooms growing up. I’m the 4th and so I finally did get to have my own room in high school but it was very lonely. I missed the late night talks and giggle fests. I love your plan to give each closet space and a night stand. I LOVE the vanity idea!! They each will have space for their “things” and it will really work. It will be better to leave the bathroom open! Less stuff is better anyway. They’ll learn to choose carefully. I’m so excited for them! What fun! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  35. My three sisters and I shared the big room and my two brothers shared the small room just like this. I’m sure we had our moments but I remember it quite fondly.

  36. I was number eight of 11 children. We were even when I was born 4 boys and 4 girls. When I was 10 we started fostering and that’s how we ended up with 11 of us :) Three beds in the boys room, three beds in the girls room, and two beds in the bunkbed room. When I was a baby i was put in the boys room with two of my brothers, two other brothers were in the bunkbed room, and all my sisters were in the girls room. Then for a bit I was in the bunkbed room with my oldest sister. And then I moved into the girls room where I stayed for years. There was a night stand in between each of the beds and you fought for where your stuff got to be. I’m not sure I had any privacy or private place until I was in fifth grade and my sister’s had all went on to college. My brother was in high school by the time he got a room to himself. But then we started fostering and our little brothers moved into our rooms and then our little sister. We played a lot together and if we wanted privacy we would just have find it somewhere else. Our parents didn’t like us spending a lot of time in our bedrooms anyways.

  37. I am the third of six kids and shared with 2 younger sisters until I moved to Paris for Uni. As a student I worked soo much as a waitress and a tutor as it was important to me to afford a room of my own. I shared apartments for seven years, but never again shared a room. I find I need air to breath just for myself over night. I am now 34 and still the idea of a room of my own is very important to me. My partner and I plan to become mothers in 2015 and hope to have at least 2 kids. I can imagine letting them share a room until they are about 12. Then they shall have rooms of their own, however small.

  38. I love that you’re making it work for you rather than looking for a bigger house!

    We have 5 kids in a 3-bedroom home. Like some other commenters have said, I’ve really tried to create privacy for each of my kids. Right now our five-month-old baby sort of bounces between our room and his own, which he shares with our 8-year-old. This works well for her because she has a lot of mental privacy sharing with a baby, and she is SO sweet with him and loves sharing with him–he’s much quieter than her other siblings! :-)

    My boys (4 and 2) and other daughter (6) all share a room. The boys are in bunkbeds, so they each have their own little space, and my daughter is actually in a walk-in closet, inspired both by your sister Jordan’s SF apartment and by your post about building toddler beds! We built a custom bed frame that fits perfectly into the closet, ordered a piece of foam & custom-cut it to fit, and then painted and decorated the closet. My daughter LOVES having her own private space and it’s so cute–something about the bed completely filling the nook is so fun.

    I keep thinking that once my husband finishes his PhD we’ll surely have more bedroom space…but really, this totally works for us right now. One day I’d love for my girls to share a room purely for aesthetic reasons, but they’ve always done so much better apart & sharing with their younger brothers that a girly room may still be a few years away.

  39. proof that you’ve been living in europe! ;) typically bedrooms are quite small since most of the “living” is still done in the common space, whereas typically in the states people feel like they need to “live” in their bedrooms. i think your plan is a perfectly natural one – though i say that, and after having just spent two years in the US, coming back to the euro-bedrooms is a transition all over again!

  40. We were in a 1600 sq ft home with 6 kids (4 girls, 2 boys), the kids bedrooms were small (two sets of bunks in a room was a tight squeeze and closets were a JOKE). However, the kids did great and it seems you have a little room to make it work beautifully with enough space for some personal storage and functional divisions. I am always a fan of sharing rooms and do not look forward to the day when kids go off to college leaving their sibling roommate solo.

    It is also super nice you have some great family space. Our little house had ONE room for piano, TV, books, and toys – not ideal.

  41. Five months ago we moved from the mainland to Hawaii. We ended up downsizing from a 6 to a 4 bedroom home with 6 children and my husband’s mother. The obvious option was to have our 3 girls in one room and our 3 boys in the other…and we LOVE it. They’ve all become so much closer to each other! It’s been an unexpected upside to what we thought would be a challenging situation.

    And I have to say, it’s been so validating, and even therapeutic, to have been able to read about your family’s big move. Helps me feel so much better on the days that are still a little tough to get through. Thanks so much!

  42. i love your idea! i grew up sharing a bedroom with 3 of my sisters, 2 of my brothers in a bedroom next door, my younger sister and baby brother in the bedroom downstairs next to my parents’, and my grandmother in a front room made into a bedroom 2 seasons out of the year. i can’t imagine growing up without having to learn to share and coexist with others in your space! :) it was a good lesson for us all, i think, and served us well into adulthood. (: did i mention we had just one bathroom? with only a tub/no shower? :) btw, i LOVE your blog.

  43. Our 4 boys have always shared a room (6 year old triplets & 8 year old) and they LoVed it!!! But the room was small, they got tired of bunk beds – so we just split them up.

    It’s not as fun. I miss hearing them all giggle at bedtime & tell stories — so as soon as we have the room for all 4 to be in a room — a big enough room – we’ll put them together again. I imagine 4 twin beds all lined up with one long desk on opposite wall. Check out pioneer woman’s daughters room – if you haven’t seen it.

    Sharing a room with siblings, I think, is valuable, endearing & creates a cocoon of love I think.

  44. We lived for 7 years in a cozy 1940’s bungalow home that had 2 kid bedrooms that were 10’x10′. Having 4 boys, we longed for space. Consequently we built a very large home last year. It is a dream – a contemporary farm house, that I specifically designed for crazy 4-boy life. Along with every square inch planned with family life in mind, we gave each boy their own room in the basement with shared bathrooms. And now we miss our cozy space. 2 boys still sleep in the same room every night, leaving one bed un-slept in for a year! If doing it again, I would do a boys sleeping room, with designated places for personal belongings. We like to have space to move, wrestle, study, read, play, run, sew, cook…..but at the end of the day we want to come back together before saying goodnight!

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