Recently we received the following request for help decorating a childrens’ bedroom shared by a brother and sister with very different preferences:
My daughter is 4 artistic, a princess, favorite color is pink and purple and shares a room with her 5 year old brother who likes superheros favorite colors are blue and green. I need ideas for a bedroom for both that fits their personality but not feel cluttered and with lots of storage. I tried the whole bunk-bed thing which gave them playing space but neither liked it.
Thanks, mother of two,
When I started developing the design for the childrens’ bedroom I had 4 goals, drawn from Maria’s email, to accomplish:
- Develop a bedroom for a 4 year old artistic princess who likes pink and purple and a 5 year old superhero fan who likes blue and green.
- Keep the room uncluttered.
- Provide storage.
- Use twin beds, no bunk-beds.
First Step: Paint
The first step is to unify the room with paint color. This provides continuity throughout the room and a cohesive foundation for applying each sibling’s unique decor. Even after adding ”his and hers” themes the room will flow and be tied together with color:
- Paint the entire room light blue (including the ceiling).
- Paint white, puffy clouds on the ceiling.
- Add glow-in the dark stars to the ceiling (for fun and night continuity – these self-adhesive plastic stars are available at most toy stores).
- Paint the bedroom furniture white.
Second Step: Bed Areas
Each child has a twin bed in the room and that is the area on which to focus their personal decor and style…making the bed truly their special and unique space.
HIS: Play up the 5 year old boy’s bed area with Superman (or Spiderman, or Batman, or other favorite superhero) by decorating the wall beside his bed. This can be accomplished with either a big, peelable decal (like the one shown below from www.fathead.com ), wall papering an entire wall (see sample below from www.americanblinds.com ), projecting a design onto the wall and hand painting it, or hanging a series of framed theme posters.
There are Superman linens available but to keep cost down and the visuals simple (Maria is worried about things looking cluttered – which is a risk with two different themes in the same room) I suggest using a solid color red or blue bedspread and a Superman pillowcase. The pillowcase draws the theme to the bedding, will thrill her son, but will not add visual clutter with a busy print.
HERS: Play up the 4 year old girl’s bed area with the same techniques: peelable decal (like the one below from www.fathead.com ), wall papering an entire wall (sample below from www.americanblinds.com ), projecting a design onto the wall and hand painting it, or hanging a series of framed theme posters.
As I did for her brother, I suggest a solid color bedspread (pink or purple for the princess naturally!) with a special printed or frilly lace pillow case to draw the theme to the bed.
Both of the peelable decals are easily removed and can be reused – making it a perfect decision for a rental home or a child who changes his/her mind often. Wallpaper gives a big punch since it covers a full wall but it is more work to install and not as easily changed. Painting an image on the wall takes more time than money and the image can be easily painted over when it is no longer wanted. Framed posters provide quick and easy decor but do not add the big fantasy punch offered by the other options.
Second Step: Storage
To keep the Princess’s and Superhero’s stuff organized and accessible, I recommend using a white bookcase – one for each child if possible. Buy solid color plastic bins to fit on the bookcase shelves – pink or purple bins for her and blue for him. Toys and books can be easily retrieved for play time and then quickly replaced in the bins so the room stays tidy. The color of the bin lets the children know which bins contain their toys.
Use under-bed storage (look for large flat rectangular containers with wheels) to provide additional out-of-sight storage.
The blue color with clouds and stars wraps the entire room and ties it all together while providing a perfect environment for a fantasy castle or a wide open sky for Superman to fly. The white furniture provides a clean, bright, consistent look that works for Princess decor and Superhero decor and can easily adapt when the decorating scheme changes.
Additional decorating steps depend on the specifics of the room Maria’s kids share. She may need to address window coverings (keep them solid and neutral so they suit both of the current themes but can adapt when themes change as the kids grow), floor coverings (laminate floors wear well, provide an easy to clean surface, and allow the artistic princess to work on coloring projects and the superhero fan to build Lego cities to rescue), lighting (general overall lighting and bedside lighting is desirable).
If you’ve created a themed children’s room we’d love to see it. Email a photo of the room and any tips or hints you have for creating the perfect child’s space.