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Sharing Spaces: My Girls’ Room

I am the oldest of three sisters.  We grew up in three-bedroom houses though, which meant that two of us had to share a room at any given point in time.  I can’t tell you how many teenage arguments and tears were shed in the decision of who got her own room.  It changed over time, and eventually we each got the opportunity to have our own room at one point or another.  It usually depending on which two girls were arguing the most… Mom figured that we’d have to learn to get along if we shared a room.  (It worked!  25 years later and we are still each other’s best friends.)

Today, my own family of five lives in a modest three-bedroom home.  One son, two daughters.  Guess who gets to share a room?

little sisters

Well, some days the baby likes it better than others.  😉

Lila is four, and Charlotte is almost one.  So at first, it was a challenge for me to think of ways to accommodate them both.  We have tried out several different configurations, and have been inspired by so many beautiful rooms and clever ideas.  We are still rearranging and evolving their space, adding a few things to the walls, and rearranging the play area on the other side of their room.  We hope to have it finished up before preschool starts for Lila (and before Charlotte’s first birthday).  All of which is happening in the next few weeks.

For now, here is our girls’ room… just a little peek during nap time.

girls shared room

It works for us because…

  • Lila adores her baby sister.  And Charlotte loves Lila too (except for when she’s squishing her).
  • They both listen to white noise throughout the night.  This does double-duty by soothing them at bedtime and also masking the sounds of tossing, turning, and midnight trips to the bathroom for the four-year-old.  The baby sleeps all night, thankfully, so we haven’t heard Lila complain about the baby keeping her awake so far.
  • Lila doesn’t mind sharing any of her toys with the baby, and she’s very good about keeping the toys with smaller-sized pieces stored very high, out of Charlotte’s reach.  Books, dolls, stuffed animals and dress-up costumes can all be safely shared by both girls.  The room is baby-proofed with Charlotte in mind, however.  (I usually tie back the canopy over the crib during bedtime, but I left it down for the sake of today’s photo.)
  • The color scheme meshes well.  By sticking with calming neutrals, I can mix an antique white headboard with the espresso crib, and natural linen duvets with white ruffled blankets.  The girls’ bedding is different — Charlotte only has a white crib sheet at this point, while Lila’s bed is covered in thin, lightweight layers.  But overall, the room is balanced, it incorporates lots of wonderful texture and has a consistent aesthetic.

Just for fun, here are a few favorite shared spaces from across the internet that I thought I’d share with you.  Of course, you can see more of my favorite shared spaces on my Pinterest board.

kids shared spacesvia IKEA

via Pinterest

 via Pinterest

via ohdeedoh

shared girls roomvia Little Green Notebook (I remember this room being featured in Domino magazine years ago!)

via The Boo and The Boy

What about you?  Do your children share a space?  What tricks have you found that make it work for your family?  I’d love to hear from other mamas who have conquered room-sharing!

About Stacey Woods

Stacey Woods is an on-location, natural light lifestyle photographer for the Tampa Bay, FL area. Her favorite subjects are expecting mamas, the tiniest of babies, and children of all ages. She believes that the small moments are really the biggest ones, that photographs are legacies that we leave to our children, and that authentic love is beautiful. Her online photo journal can be found here.

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  • Capturinglifescolour

    My two boys (5&3) share, and have done so since the younger one was 5 months. It works fabulous, they are now in bunks and love being in together. I never had to stagger bedtimes, they just went to bed at the same time and get up at around the same time. The baby (girl) is in her own room, but I would love #4, and If it is a girl I would love them to share as well, as I always envisaged having 2 girls share a room. I like bedrooms being for sleeping in only and the living areas of the house for socialising in. I remember that image of the 3 girls going up to their beds, I love it so much!

  • Vanessa @ Strickly Speaking

    I have 2 boys and a third boy on the way. Right now our oldest two (aged 4.5 yrs and 3 yrs) share and I can’t imagine it any other way. I would feel bad separating them, to be honest! When our third comes along, we’ll likely have him in our room until we move back to Canada (we’re in Uganda until he’s about 10 mos old) as we don’t have another room to put him in and then we’ll see about transitioning him into the boys’ room with the other two, depending on our living situation in Canada.
    I think kids should learn to share a room as it teaches so many great lessons in living with others and being considerate. I shared a room with my sister for a really long time and loved it. I love the inspiration you have for their room!

  • Carri

    Our girls do room-share! And they are similar ages to yours. Our oldest is just turning 5 and our youngest is about 1 1/2. It grew out of necessity because the youngest was a joyful surprise and we were worried about the oldest having more trouble with jealousy if we took away the playroom and converted it into a nursery. We have always loved having a separate room for play stuff and keeping the bedroom for sleeping and relaxing activities. So, we added the crib to our daughter’s room (much to her delight) and even though we are moving soon and they could split rooms if they wanted, they insist on staying together. And it really has worked out great for our family. (I can’t wait until they can share a bed. If our oldest had it her way, we’d never get the little one her own bed.)

    Here are some pics of their bedroom.

    Confession: I was so giddy excited about the matching bedding that I bought it all but ended up taking out the crib bumper and only using the quilt as a decoration.

    Thanks for your post!

  • Erin B

    I have a 2 1/2 yo and 3 1/2 yo sharing a bed room. Although by the morning the 3 1/2 yo ends up in our bed. My 2 1/2 yo still sleeps in a crib, but we’re trying to figure out what to do in October when their baby brother arrives. They’ll still be sharing a room, but do we go with bunk beds, are they too young for that? Hideaway beds of some sort? I need to take some time to research more on pinterest…. My youngest is a very good sleeper so it’s never really been too much of a problem for her. Bedtime can be difficult if they’re too wound up, but book time seems to help with calming them down. A fan helps a lot with drowning out noises. I’m sure as they get older there will be times when sharing the space is difficult, but since they’re so close in age I hope it’s not…

  • Danielle

    We also have a family of 5 but a two bedroom house. Our three children share a room. We have 5 year old twin boys and an almost 2 year old daughter. It’s mostly been fine. At times I’ve needed to stagger bedtimes but all in all, it’s been a smooth transition to go from 2 to 3 in a room. The boys know to sneak out in the morning and little girl continues sleeping. Naptime means our daughter goes down first and while reading books to the twins, she falls asleep. Then ONE twin sleeps in the bunk bed while the other uses our room for napping. It works out!

  • Ann

    Your girls’ room is so sweet!

    My 5, 2 and baby share a room! We really would love them to so they learn what its like to compromise and share. It has been a struggle at nap time so we tend to nap the two younger ones in separate rooms but we love the idea of them being together for now. I’ve always shared shared a room with my sister so we hope they will love sharing as well. I’m sure we will have our moments. ; )

    Here’s their room!