Our house in D.C. only had three upstairs bedrooms. In that house, all three boys shared one room. We had three beds (a set of bunks and a single), three tall dressers, one small closet for hanging clothes, and one large closet with a window where we had a desk and shelves for their books.
We did have a fourth bedroom, but it was in the basement and therefore not usable for any of my kids, all of whom are still too young to want to sleep in a basement bedroom far away from everyone else in the family. (I assume those feelings will change in the teenage years, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.) We used the basement bedroom as a combination guest room and Matt’s office.
My opinion on kids’ rooms is that they are basically for sleeping in and not much else. We don’t keep toys in their rooms (although we’ve had to bend that rule a bit living here because we don’t have a dedicated playroom), they don’t have electronics in there, and they don’t even have desks in their rooms here in England. I want the kids to interact with each other and with Matt and I, so bedrooms are for sleeping. Homework generally gets done at the kitchen table. Television and iPads live in the living room. The family computer is at a desk in the dining room. The only thing I make sure to have in every bedroom is books — either on shelves or a bookcase.
Things may change when the kids get older, but for now this works for us.
When we decorate the kids’ spaces, I try really hard to let them have a lot of input, but I have the final say in design decisions. Left solely up to the children, we would live in a kaleidoscope of multi-color rooms and I would not be able to handle it. In the boys’ room in D.C., I let them choose what color they wanted the walls. They picked green. I found three shades of green I could happily live with, painted swatches on the wall, and let them choose from those options. It worked really well. Here in England we are renting the house, so the walls are white and painting isn’t an option. Honestly, no one seems to mind.
Since we have four bedrooms here, Gabe got his own room. He has the queen size guest bed as his bed, but when company comes to visit, he goes in with his brothers — they still have a set of bunks and a single bed in their room, so there’s plenty of space.
How do you do kids’ bedrooms?
Also, I can’t believe it’s been almost 1.5 years since we said goodbye to our house in D.C.