Small space living with a family is all about adapting to meet changing needs. We live in a condo that was designed for a couple to have a home office and a guest room. Making this blueprint work for our family has been a creative endeavor from the beginning! We have had all four children sharing one room, and we put one child in the master bedroom turned playroom closet for a few months. This week we shuffled everything again in an effort to give each child more space to call their own. Instead of four kids in one room, we now have one shared sibling bedroom for the three girls and a “boy cave” room for Johnny.
Shared Sibling Bedroom and Adaptive Small Space Living for Families
My son Johnny LOVES his sisters. In fact, he lists them off if you ask him what is “awesome” about his life. This year, however, his three sisters started to feel a little stifling in our four child bedroom – and they started to complain about his desire to be super active in their space. We decided it was time to split the kids into a girl room and a boy room.
This is what we had going in:
- One four-child bedroom
- One master bedroom turned playroom / my home office and sewing space
- One guest room turned master bedroom / Mike’s home office (the guest room is small, so we actually kept our clothes in the master bedroom)
We changed this to:
- One three-sister shared sibling bedroom, with each girl having their own space to decorate as they wish
- One guest room turned boy cave bedroom plus LEGO and mini trampoline room for our only son. The closet in this room is still full of coats and other household supplies; it also has Mike’s home office space and a wardrobe with towels and sheets.
- One playroom minus LEGO bricks and mini trampoline transformed into a master bedroom / my home office and sewing space / small play space (play kitchen and small toy bins)
This round of home re-arranging really focused on creating a space where each child could create their own personalized space to use as a calm-down, relaxation spot. We have a concrete patio, a second smaller concrete patio, and a small concrete balcony, but no outside space that is large enough for the kids to run around and also no outside space that feels like a retreat. California weather means that we can spend hours at parks and playgrounds, but we have to be home to do homework, practice instruments, and cook dinner. These factors make it all the more important for us to create an indoor space that feels comfortable and relaxing.
The kids are LOVING have their own space to decorate however they like! They drew pictures, taped up school projects, and printed photos off the internet. Johnny’s room features many Extraordinaire designs.
Here is six-year-old Lily’s little nook – she sleeps in a small IKEA Sniglar toddler bed. I love IKEA’s toddler beds, because they are narrow and long, so can be used much longer than standard toddler beds. Three-year-old Anna sleeps in a hand-me-down standard toddler bed from a friend. We pulled it out to match the length of Lily’s bed, and to give Anna more clearance for sitting up in bed. Ten-year-old Emma’s bed is the IKEA Kura bed. The sloped ceiling means we can’t use a standard height loft bed – IKEA to the rescue again!
The overhanging storage is from IKEA. My kids each have one, and they LOVE them. Johnny used mini Command hooks to hang up a string of LED lights – also from IKEA. We have a twin mattress on the floor of Johnny’s Kura bed to create a reading/relaxation space.
We are still working on setting up a master bedroom that feels relaxing in spite of also being a home office / craft space / play space for Anna during the day while I get work done. The room is the largest space in the house, and I am looking to studio layouts for inspiration!
What creative ways do you make your home space work? Do you have a shared sibling bedroom?