Creative Ways to Share a Bedroom

Sharing a bedroom doesn't have to spark a sibling squabblefest. Help maintain your home's harmony by using our tips to divide, decorate, and save space.

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Alexandra Rowley

Make Room for Two!

Make your shared bedroom colorful and fun. Use a curtain to divide the room, decorate with headboards painted on the wall, and save space with end-of-the-bed storage.

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Alexandra Rowley

Decorate: How to Paint a Headboard

What you'll need:
-Pencil
-Painter's tape
-X-Acto knife
-Credit card
-Level
-1 quart of indoor wall paint
-Roller
-Paint tray

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Alexandra Rowley

Decorate: How to Paint a Headboard, Step 1

Measure width and height of bed and mark wall with a pencil.

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Alexandra Rowley

Decorate: How to Paint a Headboard, Step 2

Using a level, lightly draw both posts about 40" tall by 4" wide.

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Alexandra Rowley

Decorate: How to Paint a Headboard, Step 3

Draw a 2"x 3" rectangle on top of each post, and trace inside of roll of painter's tape to add circular finials. Leave a ½" gap between posts and headboard, and draw center portion, as shown. Draw a 2"x3" rectangle on top of each post, and trace inside of roll of painter's tape to add circular finials. Leave a ½" gap between posts and headboard, and draw center portion, as shown.

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Alexandra Rowley

Decorate: How to Paint a Headboard, Step 4

The top of center portion should measure about 10" down from top of finial. Carefully tape off all lines; cut tape with an X-Acto blade where necessary (circles and ½" gap between posts and headboard center).

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Alexandra Rowley

Decorate: How to Paint a Headboard, Step 5

Smooth tape down thoroughly with a credit card.

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Alexandra Rowley

Decorate: How to Paint a Headboard, Step 6

Roll on a thin coat of paint within taped lines; let dry.

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Amanda Kingloff

Decorate: How to Paint a Headboard, Step 7

Apply a second coat, let dry completely and remove tape, pulling at a 45-degree angle.

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Alexandra Rowley

Decorate A Shared Bedroom

Kids begin to develop their own taste earlier than you may think. Play with color and pattern in a shared bedroom to help delineate space.

You can design bedding especially for your kids. Go to roomsbyyou.com and choose from more than 2,500 fabulous fabric patterns.

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Courtesy of Target.com

Colorful Decor Product: Home Bath Rug

Take these out of the bathroom, and polka-dot the floor with cute circular rugs that come in nine bright colors.

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Courtesy of Pbteen.com

Colorful Decor Product: Hi-Light Clip Light

As kids get older, they need a nighttime reading light. Clip a colorful retro desk lamp to the bedpost or nightstand.

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Courtesy of Qualitycanvasphotos.com

Colorful Decor Product: Custom Fingerprint Canvas

Press your child's finger into a colored ink pad. Scan, crop, and create a border, then upload it.

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Alexandra Rowley

Room Divider: How to Make a Folding Screen Divider

Separate the kids without creating an obtrusive barricade. Dividers can serve an additional purpose -- for storage, play, or simply decoration.

What you'll need:
-12 4' pieces and 12 22" pieces of 1" trim
-4 wooden shelf brackets
-2 quarts of indoor latex paint (1 quart each of 2 colors)
-paintbrushes or rollers
-3 48"x22" ½"-thick plywood panels
-16 12"x12" cork squares
-utility knife
-hot-glue gun
-chalkboard paint
-Rust-Oleum magnetic primer
-about 50 1½" wire brads
-4 hinges
-screwdriver
-about 6 2" nails

Make it:Paint trim and shelf brackets in the same color. Hot-glue cork squares to both sides of first panel, trim excess with utility knife. Apply chalkboard paint to both sides of second panel; let dry. Prime both sides of third panel with magnetic primer; let dry, then paint color of your choice. Use wire brads to attach trim to edges of each side of all panels. Attach hinges to inside edges between each section, about 12" from top and bottom, with screws (included). Hot-glue each set of brackets back to back and nail into both ends of screen divider with 2" nails.

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Courtesy of Mioculture.com

Room Divider Product: Nomad System

Build a lightweight wall with recycled cardboard. The 24-module pack comes in nine colors and makes a 4½-foot divider.

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Courtesy of Ikea.com

Room Divider Product: Virre Slide

Who wouldn't want a playground in her room? At almost 3 feet tall, it leaves space to store bedtime books underneath.

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Courtesy of Kitchensource.com

Room Divider Product: Rolling Room Divider

Fill a low bookcase with fabric drawers.

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Alexandra Rowley

Space Savers: Pegboard Storage System

With two kids in a bedroom, the overflow of stuff can be unwieldy. These double-duty organization tools take a shared room from crowded to comfy.

Divide a 4-foot square pegboard in half and store your kids' gear in buckets and on hooks and pegs.

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Amanda Kingloff

Space Saver: Pegboard Storage System

What you'll need:
-What you'll need 2 8' lengths of 1"x2" plywood
-handsaw
-4'x4' pegboard
-finishing nails
-hammer
-primer
-paintbrush or roller
-painter's tape
-4 colors of paint
-pegboard hooks
-bungee cords
-metal clips
-metal baskets
-small buckets

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Amanda Kingloff

Space Saver: Pegboard Storage System, Step 1

Prime surface of pegboard; let dry.

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Amanda Kingloff

Space Saver: Pegboard Storage System, Step 2

Use a saw to cut plywood into 4 47" pieces and nail the 1" edge to the underside edges of pegboard (about 5 nails per side).

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Amanda Kingloff

Space Saver: Pegboard Storage System, Step 3

Measure to find center of board and attach the edge of a strip of painter's tape to center line.

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Amanda Kingloff

Space Saver: Pegboard Storage System, Step 4

Paint one or two coats of first color onto one half and let dry. Remove tape by pulling at a 45-degree angle, attach it to edge of painted surface, and paint other half with one or two coats of second color; let dry completely and remove tape.

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Amanda Kingloff

Space Saver: Pegboard Storage System, Step 5

To make a painted frame, attach tape around the pegboard, about 3" from the edge.

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Amanda Kingloff

Space Saver: Pegboard Storage System, Step 6

Paint with one or two coats of corresponding third and fourth colors up to the divided line; let dry completely and remove tape.

Hang items from pegs and bungee cords and in baskets and buckets.

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Courtesy of Offi.com

Space Saver Product: Tote Table

It's a portable table, a seat, and a step stool all in one! Available in orange, light blue, white, and black.

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Courtesy of Amazon.com

Space Saver Product: Underbed Storage

Put every square inch of space to use. This is a perfect spot to store extra toys or linens.

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Courtesy of Meijer.com

Space Saver Product: Storage Ottoman

This upholstered stool tucks neatly under a desk.

Originally published in the September 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

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