How will the children use the space together as they grow?

How to Decorate When a Brother & Sister Share a Room

by Nicole Jacobs

Decorating your children’s bedrooms can be challenging at the best of times, but when two children of different genders are sharing the room, following some simple decorating tips can turn this challenge into a fun, stylish and comfortable atmosphere for everyone. When decorating a room for a boy and a girl to share, consider their interests, as well as the ways they will use the space together and separately, as they grow.

Furniture Placement

Sharing a room doesn't mean they can't have separate spaces. When placing furniture, abandon the traditional practice of placing the beds side by side, and place beds in opposite corners with one bed perpendicular to the other. This will save space, and the children will both feel as if they have their own private corner. The added advantage of this arrangement is the open space in the middle of the room that is great for a craft table, soft chairs for reading, and showcasing a colorful rug. If space permits, each child can have a bedside table for special things.


Selecting the bedding with the children is a good starting point. Allow for expressiveness and color in the bedding choices, and go for prints that convey the children’s style and interests. Avoid character bedding that limits décor selections, instead opting for something with longevity. There's no need to coordinate the bedding; simply look for a common color that ties them together. Layer bold prints with corresponding solid colors, and scatter cushions and pillows of various colors, sizes and shapes to unite the bedding and add warmth and comfort in the room. Beads, ruffles, pop-up images and geometric shapes are great choices for fun pillows.

Drapery and Rugs

Another way to tie everything together, as well as add warmth and comfort, is with window coverings. Hang a drapery rod to the ceiling to make the shared room feel more spacious. Continue the color theme in the drapery by selecting a common color from each bedding selection. Drapes in vertical and horizontal stripes, or geometric shapes, add interest. Decorating the floor with an area rug can also tie in the colors of the room, as well as add softness beneath little feet. Select a rug large enough to extend beneath each bed, or if space permits, place two smaller rugs. Have fun selecting the rug by feeling the textures that various fibers have, from a soft, high-piled shag to a firm, tightly woven jute.


Lighting is a crucial element in any room, especially in a children’s bedroom, which is used for sleep, play and work. Bedside lamps are a must, either placed on the table or hung as a space-saving sconce beside the bed. The overhead light can further add style and sparkle to the room, whether it be a twinkly chandelier or a sophisticated drum shade. Adding dimmers to your lamps and overhead light is a good idea, as the dim light creates calm at bedtime, as well as allowing one child to stay up and read while not disturbing the other.

Showcase Special Things

Wall shelving, bookcases and desks are places not only for storage, but also for display. The children’s reading library will be close by for bedtime stories, and their art, special toys and collectibles can be exhibited, showing off the individual personalities and interests of each child.

About the Author

Based in Ontario, Canada, Nicole Jacobs has been writing for print and online magazines since 2005. She has written about home decor and parenting for,, "Madeleine Magazine" and others. An interior designer and former college educator, she holds a Master of Arts in sociology.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images