A Shared Kids' Room for Two Young Boys

Two rambunctious boys in one room can be a recipe for disaster, but with careful space planning, a cohesive color palette and plenty of storage, designer and mom Gerri Panebianco created a space the boys can both call their own.
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November 24, 2014

Match Form With Function

Bunk beds are a natural choice for a shared kids' space, but finding a set that is both durable and stylish can be tricky. Gerri chose this set from Oeuf because of its sleek, modern design and sturdy birch plywood construction, which will withstand wear and tear from two rowdy boys.

Make It Personal

Gerri wanted to give her sons, 2-1/2-year-old Eric and 4-year-old JP, a shared space that suited both their interests and could change and grow as they did. She settled on a modern safari-themed room filled with personal items and lots of space for play.

Add Unique Touches

As an interior designer, Gerri creates kids' rooms for a living. So, when the time came to move her sons out of the nursery and into a shared room, she had a few ideas for truly making it a one-of-a-kind space. For instance, the room has a 12-1/2-foot ceiling, making giraffes a natural choice as a wall decoration. Gerri couldn't find decals she liked, so she sketched these herself, then sent the designs to a printer to be enlarged and printed onto vinyl.

Play Favorites

Gerri's favorite piece in the room is this Ikat rug, which she spent hours tracking down. The pops of yellow, which she repeated throughout the room, brighten up the black, white and gray color scheme.

Instill a Love of Nature

Fish are a great pet for small kids, but glass aquariums can be unsafe. This bubble-style aquarium is unbreakable plexiglass and hung safely out of reach of little fingers. When it's time to feed the fish, Mom takes down the bowl so the boys can sprinkle in the food.

Reuse What You Have

The gray dresser transitioned from the nursery to the boys' shared room. The zebra-print chair, also from the nursery, suits the room's safari theme and is just the right size for story time while still fitting into the tight corner.

Splurge on Timeless Pieces

This retro-mod Sputnik chandelier ups the cool factor and adds just the right amount of bling to the boys' room.

Show Off Their Talents

A dedicated space for displaying kids' artwork is important for building budding artists' self-esteem. Rather than a traditional corkboard, Gerri mounted sheets of plexiglass to the wall for a gallery-type display. They can easily unscrew so the boys' masterpieces can be switched out.

Add Decorative Storage

The modern beehive shelves add sculptural interest to the space and are the boys' favorite place to keep their toys. The nearby planter is home to a pineapple plant, which adds to the tropical theme and has a tiny edible pineapple the boys can watch grow.

Safely Display Their Treasures

Plexiglass shadow boxes are nearly indestructible and are a fun way to put the boys' favorite collectibles on display. Each child has his own box that contains fragile glass animals, silver cups from their baptisms and locks of hair from their first haircuts.

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