Zoning options, tips on choosing finishes and furniture, and ready-made layouts – we tell you how to design a common kids room for different sexes.
Not every apartment can have a separate bedroom for a brother and sister, so you have to create a common space for them. In this article, we will tell you about the main features of the design of a children’s room for two children of different sexes: how to make a layout, what colors to choose, and on what principle to arrange the furniture.
Correctly arranging furniture and organizing zoning is the most important stage in decorating a nursery for a son and daughter. Even in a spacious room, a number of problems need to be solved at once, and if the footage is small, then the task becomes even more difficult.
What is important to consider:
- A boy and a girl need privacy and their own personal space, even if it’s very small.
- Children’s tastes quickly change as they grow up, and in this case, they also add different interests.
- Each child needs to be allocated a full-fledged bed, a workplace, a storage system (or a section in the common one), and a play area.
- The principles of ergonomics must be observed: suitable height of the desk and bed, passages between furniture, free space in front of the storage system, and ease of use for children.
A key element of the bedroom layout for a brother and sister is zoning. Depending on the specific situation, as well as the shape and size of the room, you can separate the space for one and the second child or common functional areas. There must be at least three of them:
- A place to sleep.
- A corner for study, creativity, and developmental activities.
- Area for active games and/or sports.
It is also necessary to provide and place storage systems.
The following are used as zoning tools:
- Decorative partitions are preferably transparent or slatted, so as not to block the light from the window, especially if there is only one in the room.
- Partitions, false walls, half-columns.
- Fabric curtains.
- Racks, cabinets, and other furniture.
- Color and finishing materials.
Let’s consider options for ready-made layouts for a room where a boy and a girl live together.
For a standard square room, a classic symmetrical layout is well suited.
This way, the brother and sister have “their own” side, which can even be individually designed. For example, you can choose the same beds, but in different colors. Or make a themed painting on the walls. In this example, the sleeping places are located immediately at the entrance, to the right and left. Behind them are identical work tables with chairs, and at the end, there is a spacious storage system with compartments for clothes, toys, and other things. The window sill was turned into a comfortable seat – it turned out to be a mini recreation area that each of the children could use.
A long rectangular room is often perceived as a disadvantage, but in the case of a room for a boy and a girl, it is, on the contrary, a plus. It is convenient to sequentially divide the elongated space into functional zones.
So, at the entrance, there are sleeping places in the corner. If the ceiling height allows, you can not just put them side by side, but divide them into tiers: for example, one bed is standard, and the other is an attic type. Here they chose a classic model and a “house” that provides privacy for the second child. Next, opposite each other, there is a wardrobe and a chair bed in case guests spend the night. Finally, a study area was allocated by the window: two tables were located side by side, along the wall, and a large wardrobe was placed opposite. This type of layout is suitable for school-age children: from first-graders to older teenagers.
For older children, especially if they are teenagers, pronounced zoning of space is necessary because with age, a brother and sister definitely need privacy.
For example, here the designers used slatted partitions, which divide the space, but do not block the light from the window and generally do not overload the interior. So, the entire wall to the right of the door is occupied by a system of cabinets and shelving in which children’s things are stored. Nearby is the bed of one of the children, and opposite is a comfortable chair. Two symmetrical partitions separated the second part of the room. There is a sleeping place for another child and a double desk. If necessary, it can also be zoned, for example, by placing a mini-rack or a tall organizer in the center.
Choosing a palette for a nursery is, in principle, not an easy task, because kids grow quickly, and with them, their preferences rapidly change. Finding suitable colors for two children of different sexes, especially if they are of different ages, is often even more difficult.
To make both son and daughter feel like full owners of the room, you can use a complex color scheme that will combine the tastes of both. In this case, it is important to choose and balance the colors correctly so that the room, especially if it is small, does not look too colorful and does not put pressure on the psyche.
For this follow a few rules:
- The overall palette should be based on a neutral tone that goes well with others (for example, beige, gray, or white).
- Select shades of additional colors based on the quantity of them used. So, for example, you can use rich colors for accents (bed upholstery, work chair, decor), but more muted colors for wall decoration.
- To make the interior look harmonious, balance the variety of colors with the overall style. For example, you can use the same furniture, decor, and textiles, but in different shades.
Another approach is to find a compromise and choose a palette that both brother and sister will like.
Any gender-neutral colors are best for this:
- For the base- white, beige, brown, gray.
- For accents- yellow, green, orange, blue, black.
Use reds and deep blues with caution. The first one is active and can cause overexcitation in babies and tire them quickly. The second, on the contrary, in large quantities causes melancholy and in general, may be too gloomy for children.
Finishing materials for the bedrooms of children or schoolchildren should be environmentally friendly, durable, and easy to clean.
For the floor choose laminate or quartz vinyl. You can lay linoleum, but most likely it will quickly become unusable. The best option for walls is washable wallpaper or paint. Glass wallpaper is also a good option. They are available for painting, so it will be convenient to choose the desired wall color.
The floor and ceiling are usually decorated neutrally, but wall decoration is an important part of the room’s design. Here, too, you can go in two ways: choose a design for growth or reflect the current tastes of children. The second option is suitable if you plan – or are ready – to renovate in a few years. If not, then it’s better to rely on a neutral finish that your older brother and sister won’t dislike. For example, you can choose wallpaper without a pattern in a children’s room for children of different sexes or paint the walls in a calm light color (warm white, cream, pearl gray), and add bright accents and colorful elements through furniture and decor. Vinyl wall stickers are also a great solution. They can decorate a plain wall, and after a few years – or even months – they can be quickly removed without damaging the finish. It is convenient to change such stickers as children grow older or at some point remove them altogether.
The main requirements for children’s furniture are wear resistance, strength, and safety. It is better to choose a design that is laconic and universal so that you do not have to change beds or tables in a couple of years.
First of all, you need to think about the location of the sleeping places. There are several schemes:
- Mirror or diagonally at different ends of the room.
- Side by side – in a corner or behind each other.
- Symmetrically opposite each other.
- In two levels – this can be a classic bunk bed or a composite composition, for example, from an attic bed and a folding sofa.
A bunk bed is an excellent solution in many ways. Firstly, being on different tiers, brother and sister receive the necessary privacy at any time. Secondly, it saves space in the bedroom by exactly half, which is critical for a small space.
Tables and chairs
Preschoolers also need tables and chairs – for creativity, educational games, and preparation for school. Those who are already studying will need full-fledged workstations that are convenient for writing, sitting at the computer, and storing all school supplies.
It is better to place the study corner closer to the window since this area must have at least some natural light. If the brother and sister are about the same age, you can assemble the same sets of tables and chairs (or with minor differences, but from the same series) or create a double workspace. This could be a long table or a window sill extended to the tabletop. In the second case, make sure that the children are at a comfortable height and not too hot from the radiators.
Ideally, a child’s bedroom should have two types of storage systems: general (for example, for toys, sports equipment, and books) and personal. The area of the room does not always allow for placing several separate cabinets, so you can make a single system, but add at least one place for personal storage for a boy and a girl. These could be shelves, drawers under the bed, compartments on the podium, a cabinet under the table, or an organizer on the windowsill.
Don’t forget about safety. If at least one of the children is still small, the organization of storage should be such that the kids do not reach what they cannot take without supervision. A simple rule works here: everything that the child should not take himself is placed at the top, out of his reach. Everything that children should easily reach and put away without the help of adults is below, their height level.