We decided to put our boys in a shared bedroom when our third baby was due, so that we could keep our regularly-used spare room for visitors. Originally the boys weren't too sure but after some encouragement they were super-excited to be in the room together at night time.
The first step for us was to make the room feel like it belonged to both of them rather than just our eldest, Joshua, who had owned the room previously. We didn't want to paint it because we'd decorated just last year; instead we used some updated accessories and furniture to bring the room together.
We then needed to find bunk beds because the room just isn't big enough for two single beds, plus room for storage and playing and a reading area. We had three requirements, 1) it was to be neutral and modern in design 2) it needed to be possible to turn it into two single beds again if we needed and 3) it needed to not be too pricey in case the boys hated sharing! After much searching we eventually opted for the Anders Bunk Bed from Noa and Nani. It looks great, as you can see and is nice and sturdy. It could do with another lick of paint in the factory but for the price I think it is a bargain.
In terms of colours, we've got three different colours in the room, half the room is in a grey / blue shade by Dulux called Denim Drift - I love that it looks more grey or more blue depending on the light coming into the room and I wanted the room to have a slight nordic feel to it. The other walls were left white to prevent the room from becoming too dark but also because a white wall is nice to display all the accessories, and creates a bit of a blank canvas. The third colour we used was a black chalkboard/magnetic paint, and this was used on the wardrobe doors.
We wanted a colour scheme that would be long-lasting and that we could adapt as the boys grow. We were initially worried that the Denim Drift would be too 'grown up' for two little boys but with the accessories that we've used, I think we've created a lovely, playful space.
With the wall on the right of the room being quite a big expanse, I wanted to make a feature of it and to tie the grey/blue shade with the rest of the room. We used some of our Pöm Le Bonhomme white triangle wall stickers to break up the colour and in the centre of the wall hung our super-popular elephant head, to make the room feel like a young children's room and with a Wee Gallery Safari height chart below. Height charts are functional and this one looks great too - it's so lovely to keep track of how quickly your child grows and it's an activity all kids love doing.
As I mentioned before I wanted to 'zone' the room to make it as useable as possible. The phrase 'zoning' can sound a bit scary but it's just an interior design term for creating areas in the room for different purposes - so we have one zone for sleeping, one for playing, one for storage and one for reading.
Below I'll go through each of the areas, what we've done and how we've achieved it.
As I mentioned above, we opted for bunk beds for the boys but I wanted 'clean lines' so no shelving built in to the beds and I love how the open frame lets light through, stopping the beds from overpowering the room, which I've seen before with other bunkbeds. And because they are sharing I wanted each of the boys to have their own 'safe space' to call their own, that feels like it belongs to them at the end of every day.
I added a neon light to the wall next to each of their beds alongside one of our small personalised wooden name signs (both in white). The top bunk also has a picture ledge painted in the same colour as the wall for displaying pictures and keepsakes on. We will eventually do the same for the bottom bunk but our three year old would spend hours putting things on and off there at bedtime if we did it now! The prints we've chosen to put there keep the fun feel to the room.
We chose the yellow neon lights (one cloud and one lightning) because as well as being great accessories they are also perfect reading lights, again, thinking ahead to when our boys will be old enough to read their own stories in bed at night time.
We opted for unmatched bedding, again, because our boys have two different characters. For our youngest, we chose the adventure print duvet set and our eldest, on the top bunk, chose the monochrome grid pattern for a more contemporary feel.
I wanted to make the room as fun as possible for the boys and the magnetic chalkboard wardrobe doors was a great way of doing this without taking up additional floor space. To be honest, the magnetic ability isn't great and you can't hang anything more than a thin sheet of paper on there, but it is good for rotating family photos and school certificates. We also had a few photos printed on magnetic 'paper' to put on the doors, which really personalise the room. The boys love that they have a chalkboard in their room and can often be found drawing their elaborate creations on there.
We also keep the Wobbelboard here, which is great as the boys use it to play on or with every day and because it is such a great design, I don't mind it being permanently on display. And because it is out all of the time, the boys really make the most of playing with it - I love that it really fires their imagination.
With one built in wardrobe we knew we'd need some additional storage for the boys' clothes and toys. We chose two chests of drawers from Ikea, in a modern design that fitted the alcove perfectly, set off with a white shelf above for the lights and accessories.
I've also used the wall space above to put some more of our name signs, but this time in a large size, to denote which set of drawers belong to whom.
On top of the drawers we have our Astronaut Light which stays on all night as well as our set of suitcases for storing odd socks and other bits that we don't want on display. We have one of our A Little Lovely Company DIY banners in black hanging there that can be updated with mottos and phrases as well as our wooden monochrome rainbow for some contemporary styling. Hanging in front of the shelf, to make it a feature we have a special garland by Coral at Velveteen Babies, who hand makes all her designs.
In front of the drawers we have two woven storage baskets for keeping toys in. Labelled as 'Small Toys' and 'Toys' and with lids, they are the absolute best in toy storage, not least because you can simply close the lid and pretend those plastic toys aren't even there!
With two beanbags, one for each of them, the boys love to sit down and have a couple of stories before bed every evening. Again, we chose two different prints - the monochrome grid beanbag to complement the duvet set and the mustard herringbone for a pop of colour. Hanging above the reading area we have another of our neon lights, this time the blue cloud, to create a feature of what would otherwise be a blank wall.
I'm so happy with how the room turned out. I wanted to create a fun, happy space for the children to sleep and just 'be', one they will remember fondly when they are fully grown and talk about the fun they had when they used to share a bedroom.
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Room photography by Clare Murthy Photography.