February 22, 2013

Planning A Shared Room


Now that we have another baby on the way, I have started obsessing over solving the puzzle that is our tiny space. I actually like being in a small but efficient space, I lived in a one bedroom cottage with my mother until I was ten years old and it couldn't have been more perfect. It does require some planning and creativity, but that's a challenge I can embrace. 

We're working with two modest bedrooms plus Little Smith's nursery, which really is more of a closet. Of course it's all relative and there are many families that are far larger fitting nicely into smaller apartments. In our case we have lots of hobbies (gardening and cooking and canning, skiing and snowboarding, painting and photography... ), it all adds up to tons of stuff so we aren't quite as compact a family as I'd really like. 


Our plan is to squeeze our office/ studio (currently in the second bedroom) into Little Smith's closet sized nursery and the kids will share a room. I know that sharing a room, especially between babies and toddlers, can be a headache- but having been an only child, I'm clinging to delusions of happy evening babbles... and there really isn't much choice! We will co-sleep for a while, and depending on the temperament of our new little one, (s)he can sleep in a travel bed in the old nursery turned office until night wakings are less frequent. 


I'm sure it won't work out just as I've planned it, but the planning calms me down and gives me the illusion of some control- I like that :) I'm excited thinking about this new shared space for my babies, I wish that we had the budget and time for built-in's because I have so many ideas... but we're going to have to settle for paint and well placed furniture, plus a couple of DIY projects I have up my sleeve.


Now if only there was a decent closet or I didn't hate the look of all clothing storage. Toys and books are so much more fun, do kids really need clothes? If anyone has any fun ideas for clothing storage in tight spaces send them my way... along with stories of kids blissfully sharing rooms and never disrupting one another's sleep. A girl's got to dream!

18 comments:

  1. All of your ideas look lovely! We have three and two of them share a room. I like it best when they do share rooms, it helps them be a little less self centered I think. And you have time for transition especially if you co-sleep for a bit. Are you waiting to move Little Smith into his new room at the same time Wee Smith moves in there? Also a book I love is "Siblings Without Rivalry" It really helped me help the boys to love each other a bit more. I always have a list of books to recommend anyones so if you want some book ideas to read to Little Smith to help him with the transition to Wee Smith + Little Smith, let me know! Also the box store Land of Nod has cute tight space closet storage ideas & of course Ikea as well. I think the Container Store is nice but is not as child friendly geared as Land of Nod. I know you will put together something fabulous! Can't wait to see the updates as the room emerges. Happy nesting! xxoo

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    1. Thanks so much for the book suggestion, and I'd love to hear any others you'd recommend. I know the transition will be a challenge and not completely certain how to prepare.

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  2. So exciting! I love planning home renos/re-designs. Can't wait to see the finished product:)

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  3. I was also going to suggest Siblings Without Rivalry since I happen to have just borrowed it from the library. It's not for the faint of heart, though. There are lots of horror stories in it. But! It is quite helpful. And, of course, it is not about raising your children to be conflict-free. It is about teaching them to deal with their conflicts in more productive, loving ways than they might otherwise. It's also about reflecting on what we can and can't do for our children as they grow into the relationships with their siblings. It is pretty refreshingly realistic.

    We are contemplating moving our 20 month-old daughter into a shared room with our 3 year-old son. I want to maximize/stack the functions of the rooms in our house a little bit better than we do. And I think there will be some regular moments of joy and fun if they share the room. I love seeing your professional hand work up your ideas.

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    1. I agree, Siblings Without Rivalry, is not about a conflict free home, just helping them find tools to better navigate their world at home. And no solution is perfect either. You have to take from advice what make sense to you and your family and situation. xo

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  4. We've been thinking about a #3 and where we would fit the baby... You seem to have a good plan here! I agree with the want for simplicity, but the hobbies that can impede on that. You have such a lovely space, and I can't wait to see how it ends up!

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    1. Woo hoo, #3?! Exciting thoughts, you will certainly find a way to make the space work :)

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  5. I love your sketches! You are going to make it work, and make it look amazing, as you always do. I think co-sleeping early on is a fantastic idea. Our youngest Emil didn't even have a crib until he was 8 or 9 months old! Then we kicked Oliver out of the crib and into a shared room with Milo. I think it all depends on what kind of sleepers you have. Milo sleeps through anything, so when the younger boys wake up, he sleeps right through. I can imagine it would be a lot harder if my younger two (not such heavy sleepers) shared a room!

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  6. Wow your sketches are amazing! All the best in ur planning :)

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  7. My boys share...ages 7&9. We had them share when they were babies so we could have a separate playspace for them. After a while, I split them up. One day they were squabbling over toys and I "threatened" a shared room...and they shocked me by asking to share. They've been sharing ever since. They like sleeping in the same room. They've never really bothered each other with napping/sleeping.

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  8. My kids have separate rooms but they always end up sharing a bed anyway. It's a comfort for them. Of course, they fight until they fall asleep, but that's how it goes around here. ;) Good luck with your plans! I find the more space I get, the more space I fill up!

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  9. I can't wait to see how this turns out! We are possibly moving back to Utah in less than a year and we've debated if we can live in our 1100 sq ft loft that has no walls and only one door with kids! I think with some creative use of space and a great architect (fancy a trip to Utah?! ;) we can make it work. I just keep envisioning a hip and chic European-style loft with hidden nooks and moving walls and NO clutter.

    I shared a room as a kid and my sister and I resorted to putting a piece of tape down the center of the room (including the dresser) so we had our own official space. Plus she was/is super messy so as her stuff would encroach onto mine, I'd just push it back across the tape line.

    And we still love each other dearly to this very day. ; )

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    1. It sounds like a great space. You can definately make it work. I've worked on several lofts where we created private spaces for kids and adults and still maintained the open loft qualities, and what a fantastic environment for a little one to grow up in! I'd be happy to head out to Utah :) I hope you get to move back, it really seems like your heart is there.

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  10. I love seeing your sketches! I definitely think it will work, especially if you are planning to co-sleep and/or have the baby sleep in a travel bed until they are a bit older. My kids share and I think its comforting to them knowing they have each other.

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  11. My kids don't share bedrooms, but the house we bought has pretty small bedrooms compared to newer homes with gigantic rooms. Audrey's room and closet are both very small and we're planning on building a twin bed frame that has built-in storage underneath. Basically, anywhere you can have storage and manage to hide it at the same time is a good thing to me. Functional and pretty.

    I'm sure you're aware of Sarah Susanka since you're an architect, but I've checked out a few of her books for ideas for smaller spaces.

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  12. I have no doubt the two wee Smiths will be perfectly intuned! On a purely selfish note, I can't wait to see how you do the room-- I love your taste (and share a love for smaller houses). No fear I'll be keeping my eyes open for some good clothing storage/siblings sleep stories!

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  13. Those sketches are so fun and make me excited to see what you come up with.

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  14. i'm doing the same thing: with another baby on the way i'm looking for some more space and organization in our home. Our kids will share the room too so... i'm pretty courious about your suggestions! I'm already following your blog but now i have a reason more!

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