Small, Shared Kids' Room Storage and Decorating

An 8-by-10-foot shared Brooklyn bedroom for twins?! Yes, it can be done with creative use of vertical storage space and multi-purposing tricks.

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Children's Closet Closets can hold a multitude of things: Toys, clothes, even a desk.

Closets are another area packed with vertical space which, when configured properly, can maximize square footage and eliminate the need for bulky storage-based furniture in the room. Frankie and Evander's closet is outfitted to hold as much clothing as possible while still reserving a place for homework and crafts. By setting aside this desk space, the room's interior remains more open so both Evander and Frankie can tackle their assignments or make crafts at the same time without crowding each other's space. In order to build a functional workspace as part of the closet design, a central vertical column of boxy, modern shelves made from MDF (medium density fiberboard) replaces the original contractor-grade shelf and rod system. The new shelves are not only for open storage but also serve as an actual desk; the lowest shelf falls directly at 23 inches, the standard height for a child's desk. To keep all of Evander and Frankie's hanging clothes concealed, yet within arm's reach, double hanging rods are installed from the outside edge of the central column to the interior walls on each side of the closet.

Functional elements that add architectural flair were another large factor in the design of Evander and Frankie's shared bedroom. Many designers have argued that beds should never obstruct windows. In the twins' bedroom, this rule was broken but with great results due to the addition of floor-to-ceiling draperies across the entire exterior window wall. Since the window had an odd position on the right side of the wall, proper placement of the bed was difficult to determine. Symmetry was achieved by covering the entire wall with custom, ripple-fold draperies, and centering the bunk bed on the drapes instead of on the narrow, tall window.

The drapes are also functional. Not only do they help block the light to aid in proper napping for the twins, they help insulate the room and reduce noise pollution from the busy Brooklyn streets just outside the window. Lastly, the soft folds of the fabric just behind the bed create a clean, continuous line that runs from the floor directly up to the ceiling.

Another show-stopping element of Evander and Frankie's room is their main storage system: six ready-made kitchen cabinets dressed up with red-orange vinyl decals in the shape of deer in the forest. While the unit serves as the room's main focal point, it also conceals toys that would otherwise create clutter. All of these ideas combined result in a single space where both Evander and Frankie can play, sleep, study and create things together. While this room may still be short on space, it's now abundant with style.

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