Rearranging & Decorating a Shared Kids Room

Lucas’ bedroom is a work in progress and now that it’s going to be a shared kids room, I’ve got a lot of work to do.

I need to do some rearranging of furniture, and make room for a bed and a rocking chair.

Do you think there will be room for everything in this small bedroom?

I put the dresser in the closet when we first moved in. Without the doors it makes the room feel bigger and leaves a big play space for Lucas. ย We don’t use the changing table part anymore, I change Lucas on the floor. But, with a new baby we will be using the space for changing diapers and I’d like to add some storage shelves inside the closet. So now the dresser needs to find a space in the room. Or, perhaps I could leave it in there and add some cute curtains to the closet. Although…. where would I hang all the clothes and still have a space to use the changing area?

Then I put it on the wall ย next to the bookshelves for a while. I prefer to have nothing under the windows, but I also tried the dresser under the windows as well which leaves a nice space on the opposite wall.

I know the curtains need to be up higher. We’re going to fix that this weekend. Yikes.. I think it will look much better once it looks right!

I figure the space on the wall next to the bookshelves might be where the bed goes, so I put the dresser/changing table under the window.

We need to get a rocking chair too, and I’m thinking of putting it in the corner next to the crib. The crib was centered on that wall, but to make space I’ll probably have to move it over a bit.

Thoughts on that arrangement?

And the walls. Blah blah blah.

One thing that absolutely must stay are the rain gutter bookshelves. (details and a how-to are here.) Lucas absolutely loves this area in his room. He actually plays independently in here while I get ready some mornings and he pulls books off the shelf, looks through them, puts them away, and grabs a new book to read. I can’t imagine not having these in his room. So, even though they take up half a wall, I’m going to do everything I can to keep them there.

Do you see what my brain goes through?

We just painted his room when we moved in this house two months ago, but, I don’t like. I mean, I like the color. I think it’s a really pretty blue. But it’s so blue. And it says, oh a boy must live here. Blue was like the last color I wanted for his room. But… blue it is.

Do you see what my brain goes through? Every.Day.

Blue is so…. boy.

Can you imagine what my husband goes through? I have to paint at night while he’s sleeping I think… it’s the only way. That poor guy.

I’m going to figure out what I want in this room and re-do it before this fall. I want it to be neutral and fun and not boy or girl. Just kid. The curtains are staying. I like the different colors and I like the stripes (and they’re brand new and I’m not returning them) so I have to work around that as well.

I need to take a nap now. This is hard.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I’m crazy.

If you offer me one piece of helpful advice or share a link of a shared kids bedroom that you love, that would be really sweet of you. And, if you do, to say thanks, you can have an extra giveaway entry in all my giveaways this month. (I have one posted today, and 2-3 more this month.)

It’s fun, right?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

28 thoughts on “Rearranging & Decorating a Shared Kids Room

  1. Is there room in the closet for the dresser, that's what we did in Austin's room only bc he kept opening the drawers and unloading everything out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Arranging furniture is tough! But the only way to figure it out is to just try different arrangements until it all fits. I do have one suggestion though! How about you take off the closet doors, paint the inside, and put up some curtains with tie-backs. Then you could leave the changing table in there and still use it when the baby is born. And install some shelves for more storage.

  3. What if you cut each of the rain gutter book shelves in half then put them on both sides of the window or 4 rows on just 1 side since Lucas is getting taller now he'll be able to reach the second shelf if you put it low enough. Then you can put the new baby's bed on that wall.
    I'd paint the walls a the light yellow that is in the curtains. If you move Lucas's bed down towards the wall then I think you might have space to put the changing table right inside of the door, though I can't really tell how much space is between is bet and that cut out entry to the room. If you did it that way you might be able to put the rocking chair in front of the window. It would be a nice place for rocking your new baby or reading to Lucas. If I were you I'd get the bed or new crib in there now and just start moving stuff around to see what works. But remember to paint first. You don't want to put all that stuff in there and then have to take it all back out. I hope this helped some…

  4. First off, I love the color of the walls, but I can see how that may be super intense to deal with and so many people associate blue with boy. If you would like to paint it another color, is there a color in your curtains that you like that is gender neutral? Maybe that would work.

    I know that you love those book shelves, but they are taking up a lot of space on that wall. Would you consider moving them–still keeping them low, towards the closet? That way, your son could still access his books. I think making that move would give you more options. Either that OR you could put the head of the bed where that rolly chair is, so that the bed is up against the wall with the window and then the shelves could remain where they are without blocking too much else…?

    Hope this helps!

    Lori @ I Can Grow People

  5. I like the idea of removing closet doors and putting the dresser in there. We did that in our little one's room and it is so much better than having the doors.

    Then I would shorten the curtains and put the rain gutters under the window. Stick a chair in the corner by the crib (which would be great right next to the rain gutters!) and you have the whole other wall for a bed.

    This worked in my head, but I am not sure if it would all fit right…just my 2 cents!


  6. Beka, Jen and Lindsey,

    I like the idea of putting the dresser back in teh closet and figuring something out in there. Seems like the most space effictive thing. I could paint that a different color in there too for fun. I have a pic of the dresser in the closet, I thought I put it on here but I will add it.

    thanks loves!

    Oh, Beka, good idea about shortening the curtains too. Never thought of that!

  7. i got nothing. beka is way better at this stuff ๐Ÿ™‚ wait, does putting the crib at an angle in the corner do anything for space? i really just wanted to say how much i love that picture of lucas in front of his book shelves. sooooo cute! — j

  8. I like the dresser in the closet with no doors. I'm sure you could figure something out with the closet–there are tons of organizers out there. As for the color, it looks like there is green in the curtains, so pull out more green in pillows, baskets, pictures, blankets. You can get away from the boyishness of blue by using other colors with it to make it more neutral. I agree that the shelves are cool but take up a lot of space.

  9. My input…

    Dresser in closet. Target sells cubes that are super easy to assemble that you could stack on the side for more storage space. I don't think you have to have curtains on the closet… May make it smaller looking.

    Guttershelves under the window & shorten the curtains you have.

    For a bed… Are you doing toddler/twin? Toddler will be smaller & take up less space.

    I always stick w/ neutral colors on the walls and dress up with color elsewhere. You could get new bedding for Lucas's bed that had bright colors.

    Maybe no rocking chair in there and put in your room (if space) instead??? Then you don't have to worry about using up that space or waking Lucas up in the night for feedings.

    If it makes you feel any better… I have these same crazy questions about all kinds of things ALL the time!! I drive my husband crazy ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Something to think about before you get a “big boy” bed…

    What about bunk beds? Is that something you'll want in the future for while the kids share a room? If so, you might want to get them now instead of getting Lucas a toddler bed or twin bed. Then you can move Lucas to the top bunk when the baby's old enough to move to a bed, and for now, you could even use the top bunk as a sort of storage spot for things.

    Also, I think if you added some yellow and red to the blue (paint the trim and rain gutters and add some primary color curtains on the closet, pulled back like someone said, it would make it more “kids” than “boy” or “baby.”

  11. I'd be cautious about keeping the dresser under the window… especially if Lucas will like to climb as much as my little boy does! I think it's definitely workable to keep the dresser in the closet, since babies and toddlers don't have too many clothes that need hanging up.

    I'd agree with the idea to put the rocker elsewhere. I bet you'll need it most at night, when Lucas is trying to sleep too.

    If the new baby will sleep with you for a while, it will buy you some time before you have to worry about fitting additional beds. It's not entirely conventional, but I know more than one family who has their little ones sharing a big bed (when the youngest is at least 12 months or so). You could get a high quality, full size futon mattress to put on the floor, then Lucas and baby #2 could keep each other company. We're co-sleepers, so our son is always up for a snuggle buddy at night ๐Ÿ™‚ This is what we plan to do when our next is old enough.

  12. Krystal,
    We actually ARE Planning on getting bunk beds eventually. I'm not sure when, or how to do it yet though…

    good thoughts.


    If I don't put a rocking chair in the room I want at least some type of comfy chair for reading before bed.

  13. I think a really neat way to have a shared room that also shows each child's individuality is to buy some wooden letters to spell each name at a craft store and cover them in paper or fabric that resembles or represents each child. Hang the name above each child's bed and although the room will be shared each child will have a special touch hanging on the wall.
    Also, what about buying small wooden cabinets (kind of like you would hang in a bathroom for towels) on either side of the window? You could paint them a complimentary color to the walls and make them an accent and yet store clothes, blankets, and such in them, thus freeing up closet space to enable the dresser to stay in there.
    Sorry, this got long. Just a few ideas.

  14. When it comes to being neutral.. I think that one of my favorite themes is ABC's! that would go with your bookshelves.. either when mine gets older or the next one comes (a long while) I'm going to use that theme.. I'm going to put up a double chair rail in the room and in between the rails I'm going to put ABC flash cards. There are so many things that can go with the ABC theme, like a magnetic board near the floor for the kids to play with.. etc.
    As for the organization.. definitely keep the changing table there and you can bring up the shelf in the closet, move up the rod and add another for the next baby, then at the bottom, get some little dresser or storage containers – Ikea has some cute small and skinny dressers. One for each kid for socks, etc!

  15. Paint inside the closet–a contrasting color, and leave it open, or install a swing door on one or both sides and use it with an over the door rack to hold one of those 'shoe' holder thingys, know what I mean? Looks like you could pull the dresser forward a little bit, and install a second rod lower down for off season clothes (or use some rope or equivalent and hang down some pvc or other rod (imagine a swing) to have some extra room for hanging right beside it–add another shelf above the one you have, and use baskets to separate things. You can also get 'under the shelf' hangers that would allow you to put small things in there as kind of bonus room (I've seen them in kitchen sections of stores).. Check the Easter section of stores right now, I saw some REALLY cute little baskets with dragon flies and such on the liner at WalMart, for half price, but if they are still there at 75% off, I am nabbing them. Neutral enough for boy or girl (they had airplane ones too). Failing that, try thrift/dollar stores for some plain(er) baskets or storage items. There's always underbed storage, and eventually bunk beds. Can you knock out the closet wall or another wall and steal part of another closet, say a linen closet or bathroom closet? Also you can get 'corner' shelves that will poke in the corners and hold stuff too. People also install high shelving around the room and put toys and other stuff up out of the way. That's all I have for now.

  16. Instead of repainting, what about accents to change the boyish,baby blue? I have seen a lot of blogs showcasing decals for the walls…maybe fluffy white clouds, inspiring statements, there are cool chalkboard decals. Could add a some children's decals at Lucas height too and easily remove as he grows. I like leaving the dresser in the closet (I did that to gain space in my room when I was a teenager). There a lot of storage/closet ideas at many stores now (even Walmart).

  17. Crib next to bookshelves, Dresser/changer under window. Movve Lucas' crib over a little bit closer to door (I think) and put rocking chair in the corner between Lucas's bed and the dresser/changer. If you move his bed a little bit there will be plenty of room there for the chair!
    I LOVE that color blue for boy and girl, and I know you love it because it is the EXACT same shade as your background ๐Ÿ™‚

    I would get some vinyl decals instead of repainting… Or maybe repainting half the room… like 2 opposite walls blue and 2 opposite walls beige or something, or a nice calm yellow.

  18. This does seem like a challenge!

    I like the idea of having the dresser in the closet. What if you added swinging open doors (like your regular doors) that opened french-door style to the closet. That way, you could open them when using the changing table, yet conceal the area when needed too. We did that in Caleb's room to make the closet feel more open. We bough our doors at Home Depot for $19.00 each and painted them white. The curtain idea is good too ๐Ÿ™‚

    I think you could move the book shelves under the window, and then put the rocker next to the window in the corner. That way Lucas could sit at your feet and read/play while you rock new baby/ read to new baby and Lucas together and the books would be at both your reach. Plus I think they would look cool under the window area too.

    Then, Lucas's big boy bed could go on the wall that now have the bookshelves (or the crib depending on which you like where) I noticed there is a vent there, so that may be a factor?

    As far as storage for clothing in the closest, you could pick up some hanging storage at target and hang it next to the dresser. Also you could store clothes in pull out containers underneath the crib and Lucas's bed ๐Ÿ™‚ We have a very small house and do stuff like that in each room.

    Excited to see what you decide to do ! Love the room ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Just a thought, but what if you put the rain gutter book shelves under the windows, and then put the crib/ chair along that wall. Bed on wall where crib is, and then keep changing table in the closet. Could you put some shelves in next to where the dresser would sit, and then put bars on them to hang clothes. Since kids clothes are so small they wouldn't need full length room.

  20. I Think the changing table looks good under the window, and the bookshelves are fine where they are. As for colors, my friend has a neutral colored room that is painted this granny smith green color she found at Wal Mart. It is a really bright green, but it is a really fun kid friendly color.

  21. I have not read through all these comments an so I am not sure if people have already mentioned this but. I would take off the closet doors, paint the inside of the closet to match the walls and put the book shelves in there allowing a common place for all bedroom toys. Then you can leave the changing table under the window out the bed on the side of the room that Lucas is used to sleeping on and the baby's crib against the other wall closer to the changing table. I would put the rocking chair closer to the closet it allows you nurse new baby while still being close to Lucas while he plays in his little play space. Good luck with everything and the wall color, everyone will always say yellow is gender neutral. if you go with yellow I would go with a soft gold. Or wait until you know what you are having then you can build your theme around boy/boy or boy/girl and incorporate the curtains. And it the curtains end up just not working then take them down and use them for something else or change the color by dying them.

  22. I love this post (and the comments) since we are facing the same thing. The room Harper & #2 will share is about that size (and the closet is about 1/2 the size of yours!). I kind of have it in my head how we're going to make it work, but I haven't exactly measured or moved anything around yet. has an awesome “Rate My Space” page where people post pictures of rooms in their house for feedback. I looked through the nursery gallery 1000 times getting ideas for Harper's room.

    and on the left side are links to different rooms like boys rooms, girls rooms, and nurseries.

  23. When we put our boys in the same room we moved all the books and toys into the living room. The bedroom is very small so it is now just for sleeping and changing.

    Using smaller furniture helps a lot- some store like Ikea make standard items in smaller sizes. Also use as much vertical space as possible.

    For a while we couldn't keep anything in the bottoms drawers in the kitchen so we kept our boys books in them. You have to watch out for pinched fingers but when they were put away no one would ever guess where they were!

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