Get Organized: Kids

Designing a Shared Space for Kids

Try these decorating ideas to create a conflict-free zone in shared bedrooms — without compromising on personal expression.

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Interview the Kids

Designing a child's room is difficult enough when there's only one imaginative inhabitant. But when children must share their most private space in the home, the chance there will be conflict — along with cluttered chaos — increases.

The solution? Create personal spaces in the shared room. While parents dealing with design drama between two night-and-day personalities may think one space will never make both kids happy, the truth is that getting to that shared utopia is simpler than you think.

Designer Becky Najafi, of De Atelier Design Group, says one of the keys to good design in any child's room is identifying what they want for their space. Even if you think you know what your children want, Najafi says to "Get down on their level. Sit on the floor with them, and just hang out." Do this with both children to get your own ideas about what will work for each child. Even if one sibling is more outspoken or opinionated, talking individually will allow both children to have a say in the design.

Designer Mary Wadsworth, of Blooming Ideas, LLC, says the interview process is essential for parents to begin to understand what will work in the shared space. And if a child isn't forthcoming about what he or she would prefer, Wadsworth says by asking fun questions, parents can get a better idea of what their child will like. "I always like to ask what a child's favorite ice cream is," Wadsworth says. "Often, children's favorite ice cream flavor is also their favorite color."

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