Sometimes, you just don’t have a choice. Your kids have to bunk up and, whether they like it or not, they have to figure out a way to live together. But – either immediately or as they grow – tastes will inevitably diverge. So how do you decorate a single room to suit two different personalities?
One way people often employ is to cut the room in half – not literally, if course – and then decorate each child’s half according to their tastes. This is certainly a viable option, but try to avoid situations whereby each child has a designated “half” of the room. This can make arguments turn nasty and can lead to bitter fights over toys left on the border or overshooting it by even the smallest amount. The room being ‘shared’ with a select few toys belonging to each child is a more feasible way to keep the peace.
Of course, the ideal situation is for both children to agree on a colour scheme and decorative solution. Storage is always important in children’s rooms, but again you can get into turf wars. Why not consider under-bed storage to clearly designate areas belonging to each child? If space is at a premium, loft beds can create more of it by allowing each child a little cubby-hole to call their own. You can use this hole for desks, beanbags, or shelving and curtains hung from the side of the bed can allow them some much-needed privacy.
Another option in terms of colour scheme, posters, and other such paraphernalia is to keep the room as neutral as possible. This prevents turf wars from breaking out or, when they do, from being quite as focussed and severe. However, it may keep your children from feeling truly at home in their room. You can find it a really inexpensive solution but by the same token, it’s a bit of a soulless one and your children may get bored with it very quickly.
Finally, a weekly rota can apply. Let each child keep a box full of posters and other decorations by their bed. They get a limited amount of stuff to decorate the room as they please, and each Friday evening one child takes down their decorative paraphernalia and the other gets to put theirs up. This is a little more time-consuming but can help your kids express their tastes and help them learn to share.
Children who have to share a room often find it difficult, and decorating is only one of the hurdles standing in their way. But if you carefully consider everyone’s needs and desires you can come up with a suitable solution for your family.