The Treehouse: Bedroom Plans for the Kids

September 19, 2013


By Gabrielle. Note: These images are “before” photos showing the belongings of the previous owners. I know, I know, I need to shoot some current photos. Working on it, I promise!

I’ve shared the story of how The Treehouse came to be ours. And I’ve explained that the house came fully furnished. But I haven’t really told you much about the layout or what our plans our. So I thought I’d dive in today!

I’ll start by saying the state of the house, renovation wise, is pretty much ideal for someone like me. The home hasn’t been resurfaced in a long time — for example, the kitchen looks to be strictly from the 80′s. Throughout the house, walls need a fresh coat of paint, worn carpets need to be replaced, and light fixtures need to be upgraded. 

I know that’s a lot of work, but it’s perfect for me! Because I’m someone who wants to make those sorts of decisions in my home. So if The Treehouse had been recently redone, then I would have felt awful about changing things up and wasting that work. (As I’m sure anyone would! I know Jenny, who has been doing major renovations, is feeling stumped about her kitchen counters. They’re not her style, but they’re so new she feels bad about changing them.)


In addition to surface stuff, there are some fairly major interior structural changes we’d like to make. For example, there is a 3-quarter wall between the living room and kitchen that is driving us nuts! But we’re not feeling too much urgency about those bigger changes, because happily, the house is livable right now, exactly as it is. Which is such a blessing! It leaves us time to think, and to make careful decisions, and to save up for the renovations.

Though I feel like I’m fairly speedy at decorating and can style up a room in a flash, when it comes to architectural-type decisions — should windows be replaced in this room? do we need to improve the electrical system? should we use the same flooring throughout the house? do we need to upgrade the trim? — I’m as slow as a snail.


The square footage of The Treehouse is smaller than our rental in France was (no surprise — La Cressionnière is a big old farmhouse!), and it’s even smaller than our old rental in Colorado, but it’s still plenty big. And the decks add a lot of living space.

One interesting tidbit: it’s a 3 bedroom home.

This can be tricky for a family of 8! And really, if the home had been publicly listed online as a 3 bedroom, we would have never even seen it, because during our real estate searches we generally looked for 5+ bedrooms. But we’ve got a good plan to make the bedrooms work.

treehouse bedrooms 1

Off the hallway on the main floor, there are two bedrooms, and a bathroom. The previous owners used the bigger bedroom as the Master bedroom, and they used the smaller one as a little TV room.

The 3rd bedroom is upstairs and the previous owners used it as a guest room:


It has it’s own balcony! (I’ll talk more about our plans for this room in a future post.)

We decided to use the space differently than the previous owners. Our first thought was to split the big bedroom in two. When the house was first built, that room was about half it’s current size, but was expanded when the house was added on to. And there’s a natural dividing line if we wanted to split it up, leaving each of the spaces with a closet and a window.


But after living here for awhile, we shifted gears. Instead of splitting the space, we decided to keep it big and make it into one bedroom for all 4 girls! (I’m sure some of you are thinking: awesome! and others are thinking: no way!)

treehouse bedrooms 3

This is our plan:

1) We want to put in 4 twin beds, with their heads along the left wall, and their feet pointed toward the mirrored closet on the right. Each bed will have a nightstand and reading lamp next to it.


2) Across from the beds, on the right wall, there is currently a bank of 4 uneven sized closets. We want to remake these into 4 equal closets, so each daughter has their own storage space for clothes. We’re hoping we can customize the closet interiors to include hanging space, plus small drawers, and shelves for folded items and shoes. We shall see if the picture in my head can be pulled off in reality. : )

treehouse bedrooms 4

3) On the wall next to the bank of closets is currently a dresser. If I can make the closets work for my kids’ wardrobes, I’d like to add a reading chair or small desk here instead of more clothes storage.

Note: I mentioned it above, but I’ll repeat here: all of these photos are “before” images and show the previous residents belongings.

treehouse bedrooms 5 treehouse bedrooms 2

4) Maybe the most fun? Along the same wall as the bedroom door, there is an additional bank of closets. We’re going to say goodbye to these closets, creating a wall here. And then we’re going to add a bank of vanities instead, where the girls can keep their jewelry, paint their nails, store the hair brushes, etc.

I wouldn’t say our daughters are particularly girly girls, but I have a picture in my head of all four of our daughters at the vanity prepping for the day and it makes me grin! (Bonus: having the vanities in the bedroom should help free up the bathroom, which is bound to get crowded in the mornings.)

treehouse bedrooms 6

I know it sounds crazy to get rid of half the closet space in a bedroom for 4 girls, but we do have good reasons. The biggest one: we need to add the two feet depth of that closet to the smaller, neighboring bedroom. That room is so little! It needs any add-ons it can get.


The smaller bedroom is shared by the boys. Right now, we have a bunkbed in that room to the right of the door, and it’s just too overwhelming. It makes the space really awkward and unwelcoming. If we add the space from the closets in the girls’ room, it will enlarge the boys bedroom on the left by two feet, allowing this room to fit two twin beds. Which would be ideal!

The plan is to have a bed on each side of the door, with a dresser and side chair under the window. Then we’ll install hanging rods in the small closet — a high one for Ralph and a low one for Oscar.

And now I’d love to hear: What do you think of our plan? Would you ever put 6 kids in two bedrooms? Would that be total chaos at your house?

Because our kids generally spend their waking time in the shared spaces of our house, and use the bedrooms only for sleeping and dressing, this actually works out well for us. But I know there are families where this would be the worst. I’d love to hear what you would do with this space!

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{ 147 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heidi September 19, 2013 at 8:39 am

My three girls share a bedroom, and they love it (most days) It’s like summer camp all year ’round!


2 Jessica @ Little Nesting Doll September 19, 2013 at 8:42 am

I LOOOOOOVVVVEEEE your plan! We have a 3-bedroom house with 4 kids, so all three of my boys share one room that has a set of bunk beds and a twin bed. The funny thing is, even though my daughter has her own room (and is the oldest), she ends up sleeping in the boys’ room almost every night anyway! She uses her room all day to read, listen to music, and play with friends, but at bedtime she sneaks in with one of her brothers almost every night. :) Good luck with all your plans, but I know that if anyone can make it work, it’s you!


3 Sally September 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

I come from a family with 10 kids, 6 girls and 4 boys, and while there was always some switching around, with 4 bedrooms there was always a lot of sharing. Fun times! I think sharing a room with so many people teaches some valuable life skills, plus I like to think it made me closer to my sisters. Late night giggle fests, reading parts of books out loud to each other, waiting for one another to come home from dates are all very found memories. There was plenty of “Who took my…” or “Don’t you dare touch my stuff” as well, but the good definitely out weighs the bad. As for the closet space…the way I see it is less space, less stuff. It made me be more selective in the clothes I chose to buy and keep, which I think is a good thing.


4 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

“As for the closet space…the way I see it is less space, less stuff.”

That is what I’m hoping! We try hard to weed out the clothes the girls have outgrown or lost interest in and I’m crossing my fingers that less storage space will help facilitate that.


5 Wende September 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

Gabby, we’ve actually had our four oldest boys in one room now for a year and a half. They love it and it works really well for us. There are two sets of bunk beds and a little space left over. I know its not a permanent thing – we are finishing off part of our attic for the two older boys and will move them up there when its finished. We don’t have a lot of toys in the room with them – but that has worked out. One funny thing – when friends come over they always want to play up in the boys’ room. I bet your girls will have a great time!


6 KelliO September 19, 2013 at 9:13 am

My husband grew up in a small, one level, 3 bedroom home, and they had 8 kids. I have no doubt you can make this work! I shared a bedroom with one sister until I was about 12 or so. My youngest sister had her own room at 5, and she’s much more used to not sharing. I say sharing is a good thing!


7 Carlota Zambrano September 19, 2013 at 9:21 am

Gabby, I’m the fifth child but the only girl. My four older brothers shared a really big bedroom for years, and they loved it. I had the “privilege” of a bedroom for myself and instead I would hang with them a lot because it was so much fun in that bedroom. I think having a closet space, side table and lamp for every girl is key so they have their little corners within the big space! I’m so looking forward to see how it turns out!


8 chelle September 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

My cousins grew up with four girls in one little room, and two boys in the other little room. The girls had bunk beds, a couch, and a slide out mattress. And there was one small bathroom. They all survived, and the older ones are able to hold it over the two youngest, who, of course, were the only ones still at home when their parents moved to a bigger house!

But of course, historically, that’s how it worked. We live in a world where there’s supposed to be lots of space for everyone, but that’s not the world our grandparents lived in.

Easy for me to say, though. I’m an only child and now live alone in my house!


9 Sara September 19, 2013 at 9:32 am

This is SO awesome! I would have LOVED to share a room when I was a kid.


10 rachael September 19, 2013 at 9:39 am

I wish I had 3 sisters to share a room with! My only sister and I did share a room for our entire lives until I moved out. Then we rented an apartment together and had separate rooms. I loved almost every minute of it.


11 Emily September 19, 2013 at 9:40 am

How do you do it?? We just bought out first house–almost exactly when you all moved!–and though ours was more recently redone, I’m so overwhelmed trying to figure out where furniture will look right and function well; a lot of our home feels the way you describe the boys’ room here, “the space is really awkward and unwelcoming”! Any tips or places to look for furniture-arrangement inspiration?


12 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Hi Emily! I’ve received a few related emails — along the lines of how do I even start?! I’m trying to work up a post about it. Stay tuned.

And congrats on the new house!


13 Valerie September 19, 2013 at 9:55 am

Oh … you are brave! But I think it really has a lot to do with your family dynamic. My sister and I are only a year apart and we had to share a room until we were about 11 & 12 years old. I think I was about 8 or 9 the first time I put tape down the middle of the floor and said “this is my side, that’s yours!” We just had a really different approach to how we wanted our personal space; me – neat and organized, her – not so much. Looking forward to your after shots!


14 Clara September 19, 2013 at 10:03 am

This reminds me of “A Pattern Language” by Alexander, Ishikawa, and Silverstein. They argue that the way the average homeowner thinks about bedrooms creates only wasted space and that larger areas with many beds and individual “pockets” for personalization makes more sense.
I would have loved sharing a large room with my three sisters at once. (We did have three of us in one room for a while, and the boys in the basement bedroom.) Oh, the stories they will have to tell!


15 Christy September 19, 2013 at 10:10 am

I love this! I have three girls, and my two oldest shared a room until our youngest was born. Now, my two youngest share a room. My girls are all very unique, but very close to each other, and I think it might have something to do with sharing. We have a three bedroom house, and I’ve considered making one room a sleeping room and the other a study/play/dressing room. However, my oldest has had her own room for awhile and likes it. :) Looking forward to your “after” pictures!


16 Claire September 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

We have four kids (all boys) in a three bedroom house, with my 3 oldest currently sharing a room. I built in beds so that there is one lofted bed with two twins underneath it in an L shape, separated by a bookcase/headboard. The boys love love love sharing a room. They’re much younger (my oldest is 7), but have so much fun sharing the space. Until recently I was the assistant director at a summer camp, where we spent our summers, and they shared a space there too. So I really do think it’s like camp!
I also feel like they learn a lot from sharing that space- they have to compromise about noise level, they work together to clean up, and have really embraced a “sink or swim together” mentality. It’s not perfect, they’re still kids that bicker and disagree sometimes, but on the whole I think it’s fantastic.


17 Amy September 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

I think as long as you have spaces where kids can get privacy (the shut-the-door type of privacy), then multiple kids in one room can work well. My kids are 17 and 14 and do love having their own rooms after sharing one until the oldest was 13 and the youngest was 10. Mindfully creating private spaces elsewhere in the house might be something to consider, for homework, reading, and important phonce calls/texting sessions!


18 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

We’ve definitely been thinking about how to handle those situations when our kids are craving alone time. And I think this house will actually be really good for that. There are private balconies outside and private lofts inside (one we’re making into a cozy reading nook that I know Maude will practically live in), and the yard offers several spots for being alone.


19 Lisette Wolter-McKinley September 19, 2013 at 10:21 am

Sharing a room is a good lesson in being flexible and compromise. Sharing a rooms builds character!


20 jill (mrs chaos) September 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

There are five kids in my family, so there was a time period when the three of us girls shared the master bedroom. The two boys shared a smaller room. So did my parents. It worked for us for that time period!


21 JulieO September 19, 2013 at 10:33 am

I really love reading your posts. I am currently feeling so awkward about our little awkward home. It was built in 1981. Small ranch 2 beds 2 baths and an open floor plan that is the middle of the house. We have 2 children. A 7 yo girl and a 2 yo boy. Our boy is still in his crib at the end of our bed…but soon he will be ready for his own bed. And I am perplexed as to what to do. Would any of you consider putting a toddler in an 8 yo girls bedroom? Funds are tight right now and we’re too scared to even think of adding on or trying to sell and buy bigger. Thoughts?
That treehouse looks like such a great place!


22 Hayley September 19, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I know the age difference is a bit different, but we have an almost 5 year old girl and an almost 3 year old boy in the same room. I am curious how long it is going to last! :)


23 JulieO September 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

I guess that’s the big question. Right now my girl wants her brother in her bedroom. So, I guess I need to go with it. And baby boy can’t stay in that crib forever…cozy as it is.


24 Jolie September 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm

If she’s wanting him in the room, I can’t see the issue? Granted, my 2 are twins so we don’t have the different-ages issue, but my son and daughter have always shared a room…they’re 7 now, and I can’t imagine them wanting to separate for a good long time yet. Earlier this year Cole asked if he could have his own room…and if his sister Imogen could come and stay in it with him, hahaha!


25 Emily September 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm

We had the same situation when our son and daughter were 5 and 3. By the time our son turned 6, he wanted more privacy from girls. It was harder for them to share, so we moved the baby girl in with the 3 year-old girl, and big brother got the nursery to be his room. (Which he now shares with a new little brother.)


26 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Our original plan for bedroom configurations (before we’d actually been in the house) was to put Oscar, Betty and June in one room.

Though the space didn’t work out like that, I think the relationship dynamic would have been fine. Those 3 love hanging out together!


27 Rebekah September 19, 2013 at 10:35 am

My 3 girls have shared a bedroom for years, and they have enjoyed it. Now that they are all moving in to the teenage years, it is not working as well for them and we are moving one out this year to give them all more space.
Storage is an issue, as are messes – I haven’t taught them very well to pick up every day, so they often have a big job cleaning up their room. It gets messy with clothes, mainly.
Good luck! We have 4 kids in a 3 bedroom with one bathroom and a little kitchen, but its’ a very cool mid-century modern home that we love, and it works for us.


28 Damaris @Kitchen Corners September 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

I love it. How lucky your girls are to all be in the same room. Pretty soon the oldest will leave to college and they’ll remember this time in their lives and love it!


29 Suzanne September 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

I love this post! It’s great hearing about making it all work while living in a small-ish space. Around where I live it seems people are always moving to bigger houses so kids can have their own rooms, so I’ve enjoyed the post (and comments) from people whose kids share rooms. It sounds like most people have girls in one room and boys in the other. I’m curious how it’s worked for families where boys and girls have shared a room?


30 E September 21, 2013 at 1:15 pm

My brother & I shared a room when we were small and it worked out wonderfully. Even after we had our own rooms we often played in each other’s rooms and had “slumber parties.” We played with each other most of the time due to circumstances (friends living far away, etc.) when we were little so already had a good relationship. I think it also depends on the attitude the parents have – ours saw it as a necessity and an opportunity for us to have a close relationship, whereas I could see for my cousins it wouldn’t work because they were taught that it was “odd” for boys to play with girls and vice versa. (They missed out.)


31 E September 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I also had friends who were siblings (boy & girl) who lived 1/2 time in Japan and 1/2 time in the United States. They shared small rooms until they went to college and thought nothing of it. They said that in Japan this was common (at least in the big city they lived in). I remember their parents always had fairly strict rules about privacy, tidiness, etc. and combined with them being used to living in SMALL apartments they usually put things away where they belonged and it worked for them.


32 Jolie September 22, 2013 at 8:40 pm

I have b/g twins who are 7 and have always shared a room…and they love it! Granted, they are the same age, and very close anyway, but it really works for us. Cole asked earlier this year if he could have his own room…but only if Imogen would come and stay with him….hahaha.
I’m happy for this to continue as long as they’re happy with it – I think Westerners get too tied up with segregating the genders and everyone havign their own room. We have the space at home for them to have their own rooms when it becomes important, but for us right now using that extra room as a play space/ art space is a much better setup.
The kids understand the concept of privacy and I’m sure that will become more deliberate as they age but at 7, they’re still happy as can be stripping off in the backyard to jump in the pool, ha!


33 Heidi January 7, 2014 at 11:23 pm

We had all 5 kids (3 girls, 2 boys) in one bedroom until the oldest boy turned 12. This coincided nicely with our addition being finished, because I think that he needed privacy from his sisters (puberty) The funny thing was that we only had 4 beds in the room. (it was a 10×10 room, so it was rather crowded) Each night, there would be negotiations as to who would sleep with whom, and usually it was the youngest who would bargain with the others as to who would have the privilege of sleeping with her! Now my kids are in 2 bedrooms, the two boys in one, and the 3 girls in another.


34 monique September 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

We have a four bedroom rental and 5 kids, but we use one bedroom as an office. three girls share the biggest bedroom, which has its own bathroom because it is the master suite. The two boys share a bedroom and use a hallway bathroom. The fourth bedroom is a guest bedroom with its own bathroom on the opposite side of the house, which is what we use for a master bedroom. Sometimes my girls complain that they would like their own room, but I know deep down they like it. The youngest girl has a hard time going to sleep if her big sisters aren’t around at bedtime.


35 Melissa September 19, 2013 at 10:59 am

I think sharing is great until a certain age. When kids become teenagers they usually seek the privacy of an own room. I shared a bedroom with my sister. She left home when I was 17, and we both agree that we craved privacy as teens. When one of us had friends over we never could chat privately. I live my sister and she loves me – but we still had and have topics that we prefer sharing with friends it partners. Which is another important field. I feel it is important to be able to shut a door when ones boyfriend is visiting. I know in the US this is not done and accepted as much. But I find it is part of a “human right” also for teens to make first experiences with (the other) sex in a safe environment. I’d rather my 15year old son makes out in his bedroom than in the back of a park or at a party.



36 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Hah! Definitely a cultural divide there. I did lots of making out in high school, but never in my house — unless my parents were out of town.

In America (at least in the non-urban parts), kids get their drivers licenses around 16, and cars become the preferred make out spot.


37 Katie September 19, 2013 at 11:21 am

This is a great idea! Way to make it work for your family. I think it’s awesome for kids to share rooms. I think it adds a level of safety and also teaches important life lessons.


38 Valerie September 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

As the 7th of 10 kidsaspace was always tight. I share a large room with 3 of my sisters for the first 15 years of my life and loved it. We of course had the occasional squabble about someones super messy side of the room, but like your family, most of the day is spent in the shared spaces.


39 Diana September 19, 2013 at 11:29 am

I don’t know if it would work with your windows in that room, but have you seen how they build in four bunk beds into the wall? Each bed has an alcove with built in lighting and a shelf.
I just know having three girls they want to have private space to pout, I mean get away ;)
You could also do something with pediments and a curtain and the head of the bed to differentiate between them.
I love the vanity area! Brilliant for cutting down on bathroom traffic jams.


40 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I’m definitely considering bunk beds — and have been pinning my favorites! But with the windows, I don’t think it’s going to work. So we’ll have to figure out other ways/places for the kids to get alone time if they’re craving it.


41 Emily September 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

I like this a lot! When we were little (I didn’t get my own room until high school), I shared the master bedroom with my brother and sister, and my parents took the smaller room (the 3rd room was a permanent guest room, since we had out-of-town visitors often). My uncle and dad built us 2 bunk beds, which was great since we had a spare bed for sleepovers, and it freed up a lot of floor space. I loved that room!

I remember growing up my friend shard a small room with her 2 sisters- they had a bunk bed with a pull-out trundle on the bottom for the youngest one, and their two brothers had a bunk bed in the next room.

I think sharing a room with siblings is a great prep for anyone who’s going to end in college dorms anyway!


42 Robin September 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

As the only girl in my family I wish I had the chance to share a bedroom (I think!). I’m sure you guys can always change it up if things change in a few years!


43 Rebecca September 19, 2013 at 11:58 am

My favourite set up in our shared bedrooms had was having bunkbeds with individual curtains round the top and bottom beds. This way if we wanted privacy we each had a mini room of our own.


44 Jocelyn September 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Our four oldest boys share the master bedroom with a pair of IKEA bunk beds and it was THE best decision we could have made for room assignments. Our home is small with 3 bedroms and just around 1600 sq ft., so you have to be creative when finding space for 6 kids! The boys LOVE it.


45 Azra September 19, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Sound like a plan. A good one. My boys share a bedroom and love it, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
I would recommend living in the house for at least a year, before doing any major renovation. You really need a time to get a feeling for a space and to evaluate your needs. Something that makes sense now, maybe, won’t make sense in a year. One step at a time. And enjoy it!
I can’t wait to see the updates.


46 luckybeans September 19, 2013 at 12:15 pm

We once lived in a house with seven (!) bedrooms. All three of our children chose to share the same room– they spent all of their time outside or in shared space, and it was more fun and cozy to have someone to sleep beside a t night.


47 Jennifer B. September 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Hi Gabby,
Love the idea of your girls sharing a room. . .immediately, my mind goes to the row of beds in Garnet Hill. For one of our Summer weeks at the lake each year, my sister and law and I share a room, cold dorm style, with my two daughters and her three daughters. Seven of us–so much fun! My son sleeps on the sunporch.
Have your girls read The Penderwicks trilogy? Stories about four sisters. They are wonderful!


48 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I don’t know the Penderwicks, but I’m glad for the recommendation!


49 Kristin W. September 23, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Oh, my daughter and I LOVE the Penderwick books. Definitely check them out.


50 Andrea September 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I love this. We share rooms in our house as well and it works out great! We have big age differences but it is amazing how the little ones can bring out the smiles of the teenagers and how the teenagers are who the little ones often turn to for comfort and understanding.

I really am uncomfortable by the idea of kids needing to shut a door to get privacy. I can understand wanting to be alone sometimes. I guess we are more of a “go for a walk, sit outside on the swing, curl up in a blanket on the couch” kind of alone people.


51 Jenny also September 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Uncomfortable? Really? I believe teenagers need and deserve space to be alone with their changing bodies as well as their developing minds. Some things are private, not shameful or uncomfortable, just private.


52 Andrea September 19, 2013 at 5:52 pm

I agree. There are certainly privacy needs and times where being alone to sort out thoughts and emotions is critical. However, the teen years can be a difficult time period and I wouldn’t want my children seeking constant time alone.


53 Andrea September 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I agree. There are certainly privacy issues and times when thoughts and emotions need to be sorted through without interruption. However, the teenage years can be difficult and I wouldn’t want my children seeking constant alone time.


54 corinne September 20, 2013 at 10:27 am

kids that have a secure and healthy relationship with their parents will always be confidnet and will know that they will find closeness or advice from their parents when they feel they need and want it. but sometimes teens or young adults do not want this closeness. this is something parents must accept.

there is a difference between trusting and controlling your kids.


55 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I think I know what you mean. And maybe it has to do with family culture — which is different for every family, obviously.

In our family, each of us take alone time now and then, but rarely behind a closed door. Not that’s it’s forbidden or discouraged. It just doesn’t really happen.

I definitely don’t feel that having one’s own room is a “right”. Goodness, most of the world can’t afford more than one or two rooms for the entire house!


56 Liz September 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Uh-oh. Patrick is gonna see this and tell me that if the Blairs can fit their family inot a 3BR then so can we!


57 Justyn Strother September 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Love hearing your plans for this room. we are currently house hunting in our new “home town” in New Zealand and with four children and the expectation of house guests we are trying to think creatively about what size home we will require ;)


58 Kimberly September 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I love it!! I only have 1 child right now, but I just love the idea of having more than one kid in each room. I have this theory that sharing space helps teach valuable lessons about sharing and life not being all about the individual. My brother and I actually shared a room much of our growing up years and while it wasn’t always sunshine and roses I wouldn’t change it. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!


59 jovana September 19, 2013 at 1:46 pm

the idea for the vanities is genius! seeing as my husband and i have a tiny 2-bedroom place with pretty much no hope (or desire) of ever moving elsewhere and would like to have three or four kids, i’m curious to see how it works out for you. if i were you i would perhaps install a canopy over each bed so the girls can still create some privacy if they need to. you don’t often find a teenager and a three-year-old sharing a room, but i can see how it would work with your kids.


60 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm

We’re considering things like canopies or curtains, but really, my kids have pretty much always shared rooms and when they crave privacy they don’t necessarily seek their bedroom, they also know there are other cozy spots in the house.

It will be interesting to see which spots they gravitate toward!


61 Mary {My Life in Scotland} September 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

LOVE this idea! I have 4 sisters and we were always sharing rooms growing up. I’m the 4th and so I finally did get to have my own room in high school but it was very lonely. I missed the late night talks and giggle fests. I love your plan to give each closet space and a night stand. I LOVE the vanity idea!! They each will have space for their “things” and it will really work. It will be better to leave the bathroom open! Less stuff is better anyway. They’ll learn to choose carefully. I’m so excited for them! What fun! I can’t wait to see the finished product!


62 Ginna September 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I think it’s a great idea and can’t wait to see the finished rooms!!


63 amelia September 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

My three sisters and I shared the big room and my two brothers shared the small room just like this. I’m sure we had our moments but I remember it quite fondly.


64 ninjac September 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I was number eight of 11 children. We were even when I was born 4 boys and 4 girls. When I was 10 we started fostering and that’s how we ended up with 11 of us :) Three beds in the boys room, three beds in the girls room, and two beds in the bunkbed room. When I was a baby i was put in the boys room with two of my brothers, two other brothers were in the bunkbed room, and all my sisters were in the girls room. Then for a bit I was in the bunkbed room with my oldest sister. And then I moved into the girls room where I stayed for years. There was a night stand in between each of the beds and you fought for where your stuff got to be. I’m not sure I had any privacy or private place until I was in fifth grade and my sister’s had all went on to college. My brother was in high school by the time he got a room to himself. But then we started fostering and our little brothers moved into our rooms and then our little sister. We played a lot together and if we wanted privacy we would just have find it somewhere else. Our parents didn’t like us spending a lot of time in our bedrooms anyways.


65 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm

“As for the closet space…the way I see it is less space, less stuff.”

I’m only one of eight, but that was my experience as well.


66 Elody September 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm

I am the third of six kids and shared with 2 younger sisters until I moved to Paris for Uni. As a student I worked soo much as a waitress and a tutor as it was important to me to afford a room of my own. I shared apartments for seven years, but never again shared a room. I find I need air to breath just for myself over night. I am now 34 and still the idea of a room of my own is very important to me. My partner and I plan to become mothers in 2015 and hope to have at least 2 kids. I can imagine letting them share a room until they are about 12. Then they shall have rooms of their own, however small.


67 Rachael September 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I love that you’re making it work for you rather than looking for a bigger house!

We have 5 kids in a 3-bedroom home. Like some other commenters have said, I’ve really tried to create privacy for each of my kids. Right now our five-month-old baby sort of bounces between our room and his own, which he shares with our 8-year-old. This works well for her because she has a lot of mental privacy sharing with a baby, and she is SO sweet with him and loves sharing with him–he’s much quieter than her other siblings! :-)

My boys (4 and 2) and other daughter (6) all share a room. The boys are in bunkbeds, so they each have their own little space, and my daughter is actually in a walk-in closet, inspired both by your sister Jordan’s SF apartment and by your post about building toddler beds! We built a custom bed frame that fits perfectly into the closet, ordered a piece of foam & custom-cut it to fit, and then painted and decorated the closet. My daughter LOVES having her own private space and it’s so cute–something about the bed completely filling the nook is so fun.

I keep thinking that once my husband finishes his PhD we’ll surely have more bedroom space…but really, this totally works for us right now. One day I’d love for my girls to share a room purely for aesthetic reasons, but they’ve always done so much better apart & sharing with their younger brothers that a girly room may still be a few years away.


68 ania @ the new diplomat's wife September 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm

proof that you’ve been living in europe! ;) typically bedrooms are quite small since most of the “living” is still done in the common space, whereas typically in the states people feel like they need to “live” in their bedrooms. i think your plan is a perfectly natural one – though i say that, and after having just spent two years in the US, coming back to the euro-bedrooms is a transition all over again!


69 marian September 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm

We were in a 1600 sq ft home with 6 kids (4 girls, 2 boys), the kids bedrooms were small (two sets of bunks in a room was a tight squeeze and closets were a JOKE). However, the kids did great and it seems you have a little room to make it work beautifully with enough space for some personal storage and functional divisions. I am always a fan of sharing rooms and do not look forward to the day when kids go off to college leaving their sibling roommate solo.

It is also super nice you have some great family space. Our little house had ONE room for piano, TV, books, and toys – not ideal.


70 Callie September 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Five months ago we moved from the mainland to Hawaii. We ended up downsizing from a 6 to a 4 bedroom home with 6 children and my husband’s mother. The obvious option was to have our 3 girls in one room and our 3 boys in the other…and we LOVE it. They’ve all become so much closer to each other! It’s been an unexpected upside to what we thought would be a challenging situation.

And I have to say, it’s been so validating, and even therapeutic, to have been able to read about your family’s big move. Helps me feel so much better on the days that are still a little tough to get through. Thanks so much!


71 sarah September 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

i love your idea! i grew up sharing a bedroom with 3 of my sisters, 2 of my brothers in a bedroom next door, my younger sister and baby brother in the bedroom downstairs next to my parents’, and my grandmother in a front room made into a bedroom 2 seasons out of the year. i can’t imagine growing up without having to learn to share and coexist with others in your space! :) it was a good lesson for us all, i think, and served us well into adulthood. (: did i mention we had just one bathroom? with only a tub/no shower? :) btw, i LOVE your blog.


72 Jody September 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Our 4 boys have always shared a room (6 year old triplets & 8 year old) and they LoVed it!!! But the room was small, they got tired of bunk beds – so we just split them up.

It’s not as fun. I miss hearing them all giggle at bedtime & tell stories — so as soon as we have the room for all 4 to be in a room — a big enough room – we’ll put them together again. I imagine 4 twin beds all lined up with one long desk on opposite wall. Check out pioneer woman’s daughters room – if you haven’t seen it.

Sharing a room with siblings, I think, is valuable, endearing & creates a cocoon of love I think.


73 jessica September 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm

We lived for 7 years in a cozy 1940′s bungalow home that had 2 kid bedrooms that were 10′x10′. Having 4 boys, we longed for space. Consequently we built a very large home last year. It is a dream – a contemporary farm house, that I specifically designed for crazy 4-boy life. Along with every square inch planned with family life in mind, we gave each boy their own room in the basement with shared bathrooms. And now we miss our cozy space. 2 boys still sleep in the same room every night, leaving one bed un-slept in for a year! If doing it again, I would do a boys sleeping room, with designated places for personal belongings. We like to have space to move, wrestle, study, read, play, run, sew, cook…..but at the end of the day we want to come back together before saying goodnight!


74 Jenny also September 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I think sharing with siblings is ideal for prepubescent kids. I’ll be interested to hear how your two oldest adapt. Looks like the treehouse has lots of nooks and crannies. Maybe they will carve out a “teen space” to study, read, write, talk with each other and their new friends, and sometimes be alone with their thoughts. I had way too much alone space as a teenager which sucked in a whole different, isolating way; these things are tricky.

What about the bathrooms? Thats the part thats driving us out of our house right now. Sharing bathrooms can bee even harder than bedrooms. Love your vanity idea for the girls’ room.


75 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm

In France, we had two full bathrooms upstairs by the bedrooms, but we ended up reserving one for guests, and having the 8 of us use the other. The toilet was in a small room across from the shower and sinks, which helped. But really it wasn’t that big of a deal. The little ones would have a bath right after dinner. The teens would take a late shower, and the grownups would shower in the morning after every one left for school. It worked out. As long as everyone had a bathrobe, we managed. : )

In this house, we have the same amount of bathrooms, but we use them differently.


76 This girl loves to Talk September 19, 2013 at 3:25 pm

oh Gabby – You’re living my dream! I’m so jealous!
We currently have our four girls sharing a room and I can say Its no where near as idyllic as yours will be! We have two bunks in a tiny room and a few shoved in dressers. My kids are fairly good about it though and mostly enjoy it. Where we live its really hard to find any more than a 3 bed house. We host international students to off set the crazy rent here. Started out with only 2 kids when we first signed up 7 years ago and now we have four!
We’ve had lots of bed incarnations over the years. a top bunk with two singles coming out from under, two singles pushed together to make a big bed in which three girls slept together for the winter…etc

Our dream has always been to find a house with attic (VERY RARE in Australia) or a big long room that we could convert as you are. We were watching Nanny McPhee the other night and sighed over the kids room – look it up I think they have 6 kids in the attic in that movie


77 n September 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

We moved 3 months ago into a rental and my girls were so excited to have their own room. The miss each other so much. We’re now building a house and they are so excited, they’ll now have to share again.
I’m so impressed Gabby, you have a niche ability to make the unconventional just awesome! Nightstand and light for each bed, brilliant and as far as less closets, less stuff! huge win there.


78 Pat September 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Love it!
We have 5 children! We recently downsized and chose an older cape cod. It it actually a 4 bed(master on the main level) but we use that as a den and put 3 girls in on room, lined up just like yours!
In the boys very very small room, my husband built bunk beds, train style ( curtains!)with built in desks and book cases at both ends. It took up the entire wall! He even made a trundle underneath!
The smallest and most functional room in the house!
It teaches the kids to get along,keeps down the clutter and I love the whispering at night.
They grow fast and sadly we become empty nesters all too fast! We already envision the grand kids loving the spaces and our youngsest is only 6!


79 Polly September 19, 2013 at 3:47 pm

We had a big bed room like that when we were girls. It had the three beds, and nightstands in a row. We loved it. I will say at one point we bickered enough that my dad brought home office dividers so we could each have our own space. We got tired of them pretty quick though. We also were allowed to paint the one giant wall with an ever changing mural. When we moved out and the room was transitioned to my parent’s master it apparently was very difficult to paint over the strange mixture of paints and markers we had used to make the mural. For years we complained there was no heat and our Dad laughed at us. I will point out that all the venting and heating was replaced and extra insulation was added in their first winter in that ice box!


80 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

The comment about your dad made me laugh!


81 Jill September 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

My kids use to share and now we have them spread out and they all gather in our room to use the big computer, download iTunes, etc. I think it would be great and when one of them wants to be alone you can create a nook somewhere else in the house. The big question is the bathroom… My 17 year old loves to spend a long time in her bathroom, showering, listening to music, etc. Maybe the vanities would solve this issue . Also if someone is cozy in bed with laptop or iPad they will need good earphones.


82 polly_s September 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

we have 5 kids in two rooms. Granted, the bedrooms are giant, so no one feel claustrophobic. But they love them. I’ll email you pictures of our bathroom. The previous owner did a great job for kids sharing one bathroom.


83 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I’d love to see, Polly!


84 Michelle September 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

This sounds very much like some friends of our who have their three girls in one room and their two boys (who are 10 years apart in age and the bookends of the family) in one room. They make it work beautifully and I’m sure you will as well!


85 Makayla September 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I like it! Thanks for sharing your home with us. Sharing a room helps many siblings to bond, which helps them to keep those relationships as they get older. Your ideas for the changes will accomodate their needs.


86 leslie w. September 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

i love the plans!!! sounds like the route we’re headed for — we’ve only got 3 kids at this point, but we’re planning for more and they’re going to have to fit in the 2 bedrooms we’ve got for kids. One for boys, one for girls.

best of luck — it sounds like a fun project!!


87 Louise September 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm

My brother and I are 1.5 years apart and we shared a room until I entered middle school, when my parents built a wall. As a result we were very close growing up, since we spent so much time in our room. Once the wall went up, we really weren’t as close, because we still spent time in our rooms, just not with each other. And I really regret that. I love that your children spend most of their time outside of their rooms. That means they’ll spend more time together, even when not sharing a room!


88 Ruth K September 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I’m so glad you shared this with us! I love your ideas.

I pretty much always shared a room when growing up. When I was fifteen we moved into a house with 6 bedrooms. (Not a big house, the rooms were smallish). I was so excited all 5 of us kids could have our own room. But my Dad quickly knocked that idea down, so I shared a room with my sister, and my 3 brothers shared a room. Despite the occasional spats with each other, sharing rooms was a great a experience and we’re all great friends. My dad’s reasoning was that in all likelihood we’d be sharing rooms our entire lives with roommates and spouses. So we needed to learn how to do it while we were young. So wise.

My own family now lives in a 3 bed, 2 bath house that’s about 1600 sq. ft.. We just had baby #4 which puts us at 3 girls and 1 boy within 6 years of age. The plan is to eventually have all of them share one room. It just doesn’t seem fair that the boy would have the privilege of having his own room while the girls had to share, or that the girls had the privilege of sharing their own room while the poor boy had to be all by himself. Depending on their perspective.

We’ll have to knock out the door frame of the closet of the room we plan on them sharing, so we can extend the beds into what is now the closet. We’d have 3 beds on one wall (two up high, one bunked below, and the resulting space underneath the other bed as a reading/hangout area), and on the opposite wall a loft bed for the boy and a space for doing whatever below that. I dream of giving each bed curtains for privacy, and having some space under each bed to store short boxes of possessions and treasures.

The room next door will be the wardrobe and miscellaneous room. Along one wall we’d dedicate space for each child to have their clothes and other belongings. The closet will be my sewing space (so I can move it out of the foyer), and if we need to use it as an extra guest room, we can do that too. It can be a place for solitude, storing and practicing musical instruments, doing artwork, or whatever.

It’ll be a couple years before we can get it all set up, but I’m really excited for it. I know the idea of having brothers and sisters share a room together is pretty unconventional, but I don’t care. I figure the majority of people who have lived or currently do live on earth have shared with brothers and sisters and don’t think twice about it.


89 MeliaS September 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

I LOVE your plans! I can hardly wait to see how it all works out. I grew up knowing a family with one boy and seven girls. All 7 of the girls shared one little room. They made triple bunks and slid a separate mattress on the floor each night for the youngest. I say, do what works.


90 Christine September 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm

My husband grew up with his three brothers in one room in what has been described as an epic bunk bed – set in a corner with two off each side and everyone’s feet overlapping. He said his parents never put anything nice because the floor was open for hockey games and wrestling. His cousins said everyone loved coming to visit and they would fit as many as ten kids in those bunk beds!
Sadly, their house burned down when my husband was in high school and when they rebuilt there were more bedrooms – they appreciated this when they grew up a little more and started bringing girls home!


91 Catherine September 19, 2013 at 5:45 pm

I’ve been following your blog for awhile, and am certain your children have already adapted to their new home. The changes are just the icing on the cake.
You have been blessed to have found this beautiful home. However, you and your family are by true nature, gypsies. Remember that any changes you make need to increase the value of your property for resale. I expect to see a new adventure looming in your future. Depending on their age, replace the windows first; and does the house have good insulation? I am looking forward to seeing how you decorate your cake. Have fun!


92 katie September 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm

We have 4 boys in a longer bedroom, and our girl in a small bedroom (with it’s own bath! Yay!) It works well for us, and I love the idea of the closeness it creates.


93 Janelle Dunn September 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

That sounds like a GREAT idea. We have 6 kids in a 3br, but have borrowed an old 10×10 utility room as an extra bed space. I’ve been trying to talk my husband into putting the 4 boys in our bedroom, the girls are already in the smallest room, us in the medium room, and turn the bonus room into a small dedicated home school room. But, he hasn’t been on board yet. I’m excited to see your progress.


94 Susan September 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

My friend put nine children in two bedrooms. Six would be a piece of cake.


95 Cathy Lane September 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Our friends with 10 children, 8 of them girls, had a large So. Cal home that had been custom built for a family of 8 children. It featured a huge upstairs room that had been used as a game/rec/TV room that they turned into their older girls “dorm”. I think they only had five of the girls in it at once as the babies were downstairs near Mom and Dad and the oldest girls left home by the time the younger ones left the nursery. I’m the oldest of 7 kids and have never in my life had a room of my own. I shared with a sister or two until I shared with college room mate and then 40 years of sharing with the hubs. Your own space is important but it doesn’t need to be a room with a door.


96 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm

“Your own space is important but it doesn’t need to be a room with a door.”

I like this.


97 christy September 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

We are in the same situation 3 bedroom and 6 children. Just like you 4 girls and 2 boys. I say go for it if their is enough room some where else in the house for all there toys and such, do it! I always wanted to do that for my girls. The house we just moved into also has a loft so we are in the process of closing it off for the boys as girls rooms are to small to fit them all. Good luck and the house looks great now, can’t wait to see the updates. Best of luck.


98 susan September 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm

That is a great idea!! I have 6 kids as well and they all want to sleep in the same bed! Best idea ever!!


99 jane doe September 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Love your ideas!
I know when we bought our big old farm house, each child had a room of their own, the girls back then were 4 and 6 wanted to share, and loved it. My son had his own boys room. When the girls were in their teens we moved back into town, and they decided to have their own rooms, but the youngest of the 2 older girls, wanted to share her room with her younger step sister..when she came to stay with us, which ended up being most of the time and she loved it.
When the 2 oldest were on their own going to university, they ended up sharing an apartment with one huge bedroom, they called it their dorm room. All 4 kids to this day get along great and have off and on lived with each other, shared bedrooms, slept on each other’s couches…and to this day (3 oldest are in their 30′s) are each other’s best friend and that includes my youngest who is 9 yrs younger than my son. I think it is all how you raise them, and how you teach them to be with each other, to be kind, love and respect each other, not just as siblings but as human beings. How they are to each other is how they want to be treated. I never let my kids fight. If they started, I would step in and ‘teach’ them how to talk to each other, how to share, to love and when they did that they did not fight. Worked for my kids!
From what I have read about your, you have taught them to love, respect and live with each other. I am sure you would not be thinking of doing these bedrooms as you vision if they did not like the idea of sharing!


100 Zoe - SlowMama September 19, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Love it! I shared a room with my siblings until I was 14 and loved it. The image of your four girls sitting at vanities together getting ready for their day is awesome!


101 Joan September 19, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I don’t think I’m allowed to have an opinion on this issue. I have ONE child, and even that is too much for me most days.


102 Sally from Little Hiccups September 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm

I grew up sharing a bedroom with my little sister for much of my childhood and teenage years. I absolutely hated it! My sister is 8 years younger than me so we had different bed times. She would be in bed by 7pm while I was up doing homework, reading, listening to music etc. I was never able to do any of this in my bedroom because it would wake my sister (she seemed to be overly sensitive to the slightest amount of noise or light). Likewise, when she was napping during the day when she was young, I was not able to go into my bedroom. With such a difference in your girls’ ages do you envision this being a problem? I guess if you have a lot of living space for them to do their homework, read etc I guess they’ll be fine.

One of my biggest gripes about sharing the room was that my Mum insisted on decorating our shared bedroom in a very babyish manner. Perfectly fine for my baby sister but super embarrassing for me. The bedroom stayed decorated with baby decor until we moved when I was almost 17! By then my sister was embarrassed by it too. Of course, with your style this won’t be a problem for your girls :)

Fast forward to the present and I have my own two daughters sharing a bedroom in our two bedroom apartment without any problem. They’re much closer in age than my sister and I (they’re 6 and almost 3) and have the same bed time which makes things easier.

I have another baby on the way next year so come April there’ll be three kids in that room. Things might be a little harder with a baby sharing the room (especially with nap times and night time feeds) but I guess we’ll just have to make it work!

Can’t wait to see the “after” photos of the Treehouse :)


103 Eluzabeth September 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm

My sister did a very similar thing in her house. It was a big house but with only 3 bedrooms. They have 7 kids. They put 3 girls in one room with a balcony and 1 closet. The 4 boys were in a Giant room downstairs that eventually was separated into bedrooms and game room I between with 2 boys in each room. It worked well.


104 Jenny September 20, 2013 at 12:01 am

Have you seen comedian Jim Gaffigan’s sketch layout of how he fits his five children into their 2 BR NYC apartment? It’s awesome.


105 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I haven’t seen it, but I love Jim Gaffigan! I’ll look it up.


106 Michele Cherie September 20, 2013 at 12:08 am

Hooray for siblings sharing rooms! There’s a lot of evidence for closer family relationships through co-sleeping (in the same room), even though we all need our moments alone sometimes. Currently our toddler & preschooler sleep in our bedroom, which gives us a playroom and an office/guestroom. It’s nice to have such flexible spaces in our home, even if it’s a bit non-traditional.


107 Erin September 20, 2013 at 12:14 am

This sounds like a GREAT plan! When you started to describe the wall of vanities, I totally pictured a scene from Norman Rockwell. :)

My dad came from a family 0f 9 kids in a 2 bedroom house – 1 room for his parents, 1 for 3 sisters. My grandfather built a bunk room in the basement for 6 brothers to share (1 bunk bed, 2 double beds). They always spoke of it with great fondness.

Looking forward to your photos!


108 susannah September 20, 2013 at 12:45 am

so did i! i think it’s because there’s that norman rockwell print with the girl looking in the mirror? i got the same vision :)


109 erika September 20, 2013 at 12:27 am

i know i am late to the conversation – but i just wanted to say I think your ideas are AMAZING!

I love the idea of all four girls sharing a room.

Will you talk about what it’s like to live IN the house with children during the remodel? that’s something I may be going through soon and I would love to hear about that process…how you manage…thanks!


110 Nina Pohl September 20, 2013 at 2:02 am

Here in Germany normaly every kid has his own bedroom. Our girls share a bedroom too. And after our Au-pairs are gone we have an empty room as well. Nobody could understand it. My husband too. But the girls had used a half year seperate bedrooms and wish to return into one. The girls Ballett-Teacher has 3 brothers. They slept the first 10 years all together in one bedroom. She always tell us, she has the most wonderful expiriences in this special time.



111 Erin September 20, 2013 at 7:22 am

I guess I’ll be the lone voice of dissent: I don’t love the plan. The beds all in a row feels institutional to me. And each with it’s own lamp? When you’re only a twin bed away from a lamp, it may as well be your lamp, so if it’s on you’re not going to get any sleep. Would it be possible to at least put 2 beds/2 vanities on one side at one end two at the other to break it up a bit?

I shared a room with my sister until she was in high school. It was fine and fun in a lot of ways. But it was nicer having my own. It didn’t even have a door b/c of the odd layout of the house, but it was still nice to have my own space to think in w/o someone else’s activity going on, or sleep in without someone else’s light in my eyes. I had 3 cousin’s who shared a finished basement as their room. It worked, but the beds were spaced throughout the room so that they weren’t too close.

I get all the comments about how it’s fun and like summer camp. But camp is fun b/c it’s temporary. Four beds in a row like that just seems so….again, institutional is the best description. I get that they all need to share, but I’d try to do something creative to break it up a bit.


112 Erin September 20, 2013 at 7:32 am

Looking at the pictures again, how about 2 beds on the wall opposite the closet separated by their vanities. Do they each really need a nightstand AND a vanity? Couldn’t one piece work well for both purposes and free up wall space?

Then the other two at the other end right under the windows at opposite ends and the vanity/night stands in between. You could put the 4th bed against the new wall (where the closet was removed) b/c you wouldn’t need all that space for a row of vanities if you had combined them with the nightstand at each bed.

You could even group the girls by age so that, for instance, if the 2 younger ones were already asleep the two older at the other end could have reading lamps on and be talking quietly but not disturbing the sleeping ones. It might mentally feel more like 2 bedrooms in a way.


113 corinne September 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

I agree. My dad is Danish so “DESIGN FOLLOW FUNCTION” is something I believe in. Putting beds in a row with lamps beside them might look cute in a photo… but it isn´t functional or fair in real life. One girl tries to sleep while the next is reading? Music leaking from the earplugs of one sister while the other sister tries to snooze… I feel it won´t work well. Creating little nooks or private corners is the best way!


114 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I hear you. As I mentioned, there is definitely a natural divide in that big bedroom and our original thought was to split it in two, making the house a 4-bedroom (instead of 3-bedroom), and putting two people in each. It would be quite easy to do — probably easier than the current plans we have.

But after living in the space, we know this plan makes good sense for us. The 4 girls have been in that room since we moved in and it’s been great!


115 Lana September 20, 2013 at 8:52 am

My four boys share a room and my 3 girls share a room. The boys each have their own beds with the oldest one in a queen… the next in a full and the two littles each in their own twins. It is so fun to hear them talking and laughing at night before they go to bed. Also they are great examples to each other as they watch each other read and pray.
The girls snuggle and giggle and (usually) take such good care of each other. It has been a huge success for our family.


116 Ann September 20, 2013 at 10:13 am

I am so excited to see the reveal! I love your ideas. I’ve been thinking of putting our kids in two rooms side by side that are adjoined by a door and making the third room a library for them.


117 Dee September 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm

We have four kiddos (2 boys, 2 girls) in 2 small bedrooms, and as long as they keep their rooms tidy, it’s fine. They all end up wanting to “camp” and sleep in one room in sleeping bags, or in our bedroom, or on the sofa bed, etc anyway. Can’t wait to see what you do!


118 Rebekah Greenwood September 20, 2013 at 3:15 pm

I think it is a fantastic idea! I grew up in a family of 10, never in larger than a 4 bedroom, and to be honest looking back we generally only used 3 of them! I have 3 girls and we have a 4 bedroom home for our family of 5. If I had to do it all over again I would NOT worry about the number of bedrooms. We only use 2 of the bedrooms! The only time the others are used is when company is here.

You all are going to love this arrangement!


119 Olga September 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I shared a room with my 3 sisters for a long time. I also have my 2 girls share. I would add beds with drawer space underneath, and maybe a chest at the end of each bed. That way you can have some extra storage space. I think it will work great, and they will have lots of fun.


120 Kristian September 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

I’ll be very interested to see how this all turns out. Sounds like it could be a very happy solution, especially as the kids do not seem to spend much time in their bedrooms during the day. A question though- your daughters vary in age quite a bit; what is the bedtime procedure? Do they all go to bed at the same time, or do the younger ones not notice the older ones coming in later?

Also, I think the beds in a row could look quite cute; are the older girls excited about that? Or wishing for a little more space between beds for the lamp reasons mentioned above?


121 Claire September 20, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Wishing you all happiness in your new house. I love the vanity idea. We had a sink in the hallway landing in our old house, and it was perfect that someone got to brush hair or teeth while another sibling was in the bathroom. It really helped mornings. I think this is a terrific plan. My two boys currently share a tiny bedroom in a midcentury ranch and it has worked really well for us. I love going on pintrest and seeing all of the creative uses of space that people dream up to make kids’ bedrooms really special, even — or especially — a small rooms and shared rooms. Everyone is mentioning privacy in this thread. For that I think your idea of individual nightstands and closets is perfect. But I also think living in Oakland, you have the climate create some year-round ‘rooms’ or spaces outside that seem private and special if someone needs to be alone to think, write, or visit with a friend.


122 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

The idea of a sink in the hallway has caught my imagination. At the very least, when we’re ready to re-do the bathroom, I think it would be good to put the toilet in it’s own compartment, so someone can use the potty while another is in the shower.


123 Claire September 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm

P.S. can you do something brilliant with that wasted hallway?? would it be worth putting very narrow reading benches/window seats or desks under the windows, or at least bookshelves or those great shoe-hiding shoe shelves. You’d have to bring down the windows possibly to make this work, and I don’t know if it’s wide enough, but it seems worth thinking outside the box with the space, looking at the Ikea small spaces demos, etc.


124 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Right now, the plan is to add wall hooks and use the hallway to hang jackets and scarves — until we have proper mud room.


125 Nikki September 20, 2013 at 10:23 pm

I think one room for 4 girls is a wonderful idea! My 3 sisters and I always shared the big room in our house, and we are all extremely close :)


126 Mrs. LIAYF September 20, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Gabby – this is a great idea! I was the middle of 3 girls and would have loved to have shared a room with my sisters. However, my mom’s job required a lot of moves and in each house she always made sure we each had our own room – meaning a lot of 4 bedroom houses. After one of our last moves, we had a 3 bedroom house and I shared a bedroom with my little sister for about 4 years. I loved it! I think that’s why I’m much closer to my little sister than my big sister today.


127 Mrs. LIAYF September 20, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Oh, and I found this image of girls beds in a row – maybe not exactly your style (you are a bit more hip), but it’s still cute!


128 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm



129 Mrs. LIAYF September 20, 2013 at 10:44 pm

I do like the idea of pairing the beds under windows – 2 beds under each window with a dresser/table/rug between. You could still do a reading nook at the foot of the 2nd pair of beds and a vanity in the other closet. This way, the younger girls could go to sleep earlier (if need be) and the older girls could have some privacy for “older girl” chats. :)


130 Design Mom September 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Formally splitting the room in two and having one bedroom for Maude & Olive, and another for Betty & June was definitely considered. But ultimately, Maude especially lobbied for one big room for all the girls. If she couldn’t have her own room, that was by far her preference.


131 Jessica September 21, 2013 at 2:56 am

I think it sounds like a great plan and I’m sure that the girls will love the vanity idea as well! My two boys are set to share a 9′x10′ room (with bunk beds) and I’m currently trying to convince my husband to give up our master suite to them since it’s larger and we will only have a bed in our bedroom.


132 Laurie September 21, 2013 at 8:29 am

We have 7 kids, 6 boys and one girl. She is the only one in the family who doesn’t share. We recently moved because we had bunk beds in the family room! The kids love sharing a room… I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love your idea of putting all the boys together. I’ve always wanted a “peter pan” nursery where all the kids are together, i’ve just never had a room big enough. Love your plans, can’t wait to see it executed. Good luck


133 Trisha September 22, 2013 at 7:40 am

My kids (a boy and a girl) have their own rooms, but they usually choose to sleep in the same room together at night. And they spend their days in other parts of the house, usually together. They each do have their own favorite little nooks where they like to be alone.

I sometimes wonder why we bothered with separate bedrooms at all!


134 Katy @ All Sorts of Pretty September 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

I love this idea!! We’re currently buying a smaller, 2 bedroom house (close on Monday, eeee!!) and we don’t have children yet, but I’ve often thought that if we have two kids in this house, they could most definitely share a room, at least while they’re younger. I think it would be like camp! And when you raise your kids to be loving and kind to one another, then sharing a room probably is fun and bonding. Best of luck!


135 Steph September 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

I can’t wait to see your after pictures! We have our 2 younger girls sharing a room (6 & 8 in the master bedroom), the 2 younger boys (2 & 3) sharing a room and then the oldest boy (almost 12) and oldest girl (10) each get their own rooms. Hubby & I turned the garage into our master bedroom. We tried to get the 3 girls to share one space, but my oldest was just not having it!


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