In Part 1 of this post, I explained why I decided to give my kids a shared bedroom and how I was inspired to make this shared space really work for them and reflect our values and tastes.
Before I could get there, though, I had my work cut out for me!
We were combining two kids’ interests into one. Before, we had Doc McStuffins mixed with safari animals, and we also had a baby boy’s crib and a very girly twin bed. The room was overly cluttered with a changing table/dresser combo, random art that we’d accumulated, and photos that didn’t match each other.
There was also all that stuff that accumulates throughout life. We had broken book shelves, baby clothes that didn’t fit anyone anymore, and toys that they had outgrown or that were broken.
I knew that I wanted to start fresh, but I wasn’t quite sure where to begin. I called in some expert help from Operation Organization, and together we built a beautiful space that my kids adore.
Out with the Old
The first step to making sense of this new space was really digging deep into what was already there and making conscious, meaningful decisions about what to keep and what to let go.
Some of the stuff was easy. Broken things, toys that no one used—I had no trouble letting those things go. However, I wasn’t as quick to let go of baby clothes. Just looking at them made me remember my kids when they were itty bitty, and I couldn’t imagine not having these memories on hand.
As you can see in my video with Operation Organization, I had to start to think about these objects a different way. First, I had to realize that the memory lives in me, not in the objects. Just because I get rid of the clothes doesn’t mean I will forget those tiny babies who wore them. Second, I could keep some keepsakes to help jog my memory, but I didn’t need to keep them here in my kids’ space. We created a special keepsake box so that the space where my kids live and grow is filled with what they need now and not cluttered with objects from their past.
We made sure to make our decisions on what to keep very intentionally. Everything that was left behind had a purpose and a meaning. We wanted everything to have a use, and we wanted to create a space that was fueled by my kids’ interests.
We envisioned a room that was imaginative and adventurous, one that would encourage make-believe, learning, and help them entertain themselves in a fun, engaging way. We didn’t want to fill it with pointless objects or just pick the flashiest toys on the market. We wanted function and form to come together to create a peaceful, welcoming space.
In with the New
As we had to make decisions about what to bring into this space, I had some guidelines and goals to keep in mind:
- Reflect the co-gender space. I wanted to promote equality by having a balance of masculine and feminine decor qualities. I didn’t want either child to have less sense of ownership over the room, and I wanted the decor to blend and reflect both of their interests.
- Keep versatility in mind. I hoped to choose items that could be used again in separate rooms at a new house. Since we don’t know what our next space will look like, versatility is key.
- Furnish usefully. Aaliyah was coming from a twin bed and Price was coming from a crib, so I knew we would need to rethink the furniture situation. I also wanted to make sure that the room had useful spaces where the kids would feel welcomed to engage meaningfully with each other, their books, and their toys.
With all of that in mind, we still had to think about the decor. We wanted something neutral that would easily fit into the space without being overwhelming. We also decided on bunk beds to free up more floor space . . . and because they’re fun!
I wanted to add in a reading corner with a teepee and a comfy pad to make it an inviting space to read and relax, and we created an entertainment center to house the TV, iPads, gaming system, and books.
In the end, we went with a very peaceful and neutrally-colored decorative plan that perfectly reflects the values I want to put forward in this space. This is the kind of room my kids can grow and bond in, and I’m really excited about how it turned out!
A Closer Look
I want to give you a closer look at some of my favorite items from this makeover. I really love the cloud theme, and it was pieced together from some different designers. The clouds hanging from the ceiling came from Baby Jives. The cloud shelves came from Z Create Design (Etsy). The cloud mirror was also from Etsy. We chose soft, neutral colors for the artwork, and we got the custom designs from Baron Prints (Etsy) and the photo frames from Pottery Barn.
To create an inviting space where the kids will want to play and read, we added the teepee from The Land of Nod and the comfy carpet from Overstock. The book caddy also came from The Land of Nod, and the floor baskets (great for keeping things easily organized!) came from Restoration Hardware. As for our other organizational elements, the clothing rack is from Love Ellie, and the bunny baskets came from Pottery Barn’s Emily and Merritt line.
This project felt so big at first, so I have to give a huge shoutout to Operation Organization for getting me on the right path. Together, we created a customized system for my family that we love. I really learned that changing the space isn’t enough. You have to change the habits!
I also have to thank photographer Melissa Gidney for capturing this new space beautifully and helping me give my kids some great memories. They’ll be able to look back on these photographs and remember this period in their lives fondly! On top of that, we’ll have a handy reference for how to put things back where they belong!
I really encourage families with young kids to think meaningfully about how you are using your spaces. If you have two young children, give room sharing a thought! See how you might be able to use your newfound space in a way that benefits the whole family and help your kids bond at the same time.