Living Small- Shared Kids Room

++If you missed the intro to my Living Small Series you can find it here. ++
I’d say the number one question we get asked about our little home is…
“Where do you all sleep!?”
We went back and forth on sleeping arrangements.
Debating whether or not we should divide the kids up between the two rooms.
Which would mean us sleeping on a pull out couch. 
That idea died pretty quickly πŸ™‚
We ended up with Eloise sleeping in our room and the big three sharing a room.
It truly works beautifully for our family.
My kids are all fairly solid sleepers.
The big three go to bed at the same time which makes bedtime fairly easy.
Is it chaotic at times? 
But it’s quickly become the new normal to them.
For naptimes I divide them up a little bit.
Emma and Cade nap in the same room.
Colt naps in our room.
And Eloise naps on the couch.
It works!
And as they grow a little older I will probably rotate things around a little bit.
We ended up purchasing a used bunk bed to create more room for playing.
It was a red metal bunk bed that I got with two brand new mattresses for a steal of a price!
Except I’m not a huge fan of red.
So we spray painted it and now the paint is slowly rubbing off:/
I began to wrap it in yarn only to discover that the yarn became yucky looking really fast.
So…if you have any great ideas about how I can redo the bed let me know!
I’m thinking maybe a few rolls of washi tape over the red parts would look cute!
Back to the bedding situation.
Cade was initially in a crib and Eloise was in a cradle when we moved back into this house.
Eventually she outgrew her cradle and needed the crib.
Which meant that Cade needed a new bedding solution.
Once the crib was moved out of the room I loved the space that it left.
So we opted to buy him a comfy crib mattress to use “trundle style” under the kids beds.
It works perfectly!
We pull it out at night and push it back under in the morning.

I wanted an inexpensive option for tying the looks of the bunk beds together.
I found a King Size quilt in the clearance at Target.
I cut it down the middle and stitched up the cut ends.
Then gave each of the big kids their own quilt that fit perfectly onto their bed!
I think I paid $20 for the quilt.
One of the things that was important to me was that the bigger kids feel like they have their own space.
A little area where they could retreat to and that they could call their own.
Because obviously living in a small home we all share everything.
And we’re always in each other’s space.
So my desire was to create their beds to be their own little sanctuary.

On the other side of the room is their play area.
Let’s talk toys.
I have found that the more toys my kids have the less they play with them.
They forget what there is…the pieces get scattered…they simply do not take care of them.
Less is best in the toy department at our house.
I have yet to have anyone complain that they don’t have enough toys πŸ™‚
We’re big on imaginative play over here.
My kids get the most play out of their costumes and masks.
This is half of their toys… the other half goes in little bins on the other side of the wall.

So there you have it!
If you have any questions leave them below and I’ll address them all on Friday!

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  1. I am a little late in the comments about the bed, but we had red beds that we wanted to be blue. We sanded the bed first, really well. Wiped it down to get the " paint dust" off and then painted. It is still in use and still blue. (We passed it along to another family.)

  2. Adorable decorating – love the bedding! For us, that's not even enough books for one kid. My 1.5 year old wants to read 10-15 before bed and another 10-15 in the morning. But one could stack them up and down in 3 piles of 5 on each shelf instead of displaying. πŸ™‚

  3. okay, just a thought on the beds. Get them coated with a powder coating. Find a metal shop, call around and someone can do this for you. I did this to an old metal bed that had peeling paint over 7 years ago (they first sandblasted the old paint off). I have 3 kids who climb all over it and it still looks perfect! A bit pricy but the bed will last forever afterwards with no touch up required.

  4. How would or do you handle aunts and grandparents buying lots of things for your children. I like clutter free but I feel obligated to keep all that's given to my kids….as if it it's not mine to give away. Any thoughts?

  5. Great job!

    We had 7 kids and lived in a 3 bedroom, 1400 sq. ft. house. We had 4 kids in a 10×12 bedroom, and it worked fine. Then, when we had 10 kids, we lived in a 4 bedroom, 1800 sq. ft. farm house built in 1916. We actually built a triple bunk bed because the room was too small for 2 regular bunks.

    I've always said that I would rather live with a large family in a small house, than a small family in a large house. πŸ™‚

    Love your sweet family! Love your decorating! Love your desire to stay home with the children, even when it means living in a small house.

    Keep up the good work, Mama!

    mama of 12

  6. oh I love this! i wanna come visit your casa πŸ™‚ i love the idea rug and the bunk beds and the play area. I need to go clean out my kids toy area….thanks friend!

  7. My advice: Embrace the red! Every room needs a splash of color now and then and red really is a great color? Says the woman with a bazillion tubes of red lipstick…

  8. love the kids room! as for the bed you could decoupage it. I did this years ago on a metal toddler bed and loved it. i used a solid textured scrapbook paper and sprayed a sealer on afterword. if you are wanting to repaint them i have found with metal you need to sand it well and used a paint for metal. good luck i cant wait to see what you do with them.

  9. Ashley, I love how you decorate!! πŸ™‚ I think the space works so well! We have too many toys here and I'm trying to get everyone on the same page as me! Less is best!! πŸ™‚

  10. The king size quilt is brilliant! I like the way you think! πŸ˜‰ This room is precious! What a great idea for the trundle underneath! I like the idea of minimal toys. Our bonus room has a corner for toys that HARDLY ever get touched! I'm thinking about cleaning them out very soon. Outside toys are another story! We have tons but play with them all. I'm all for toys that are played with but not just excess. Love this little post! You've done a great job! Can't wait to see more!

  11. You could do a type of "rag garland" around the rails. Not sure if that makes sense, but instead of tying the fabric to yarn or string, tie it to the rails. Just an idea!

  12. Love it! We had our 3 girls (now 8,7 & 3) in one room utilizing the same sleeping arrangement. 5 kids along with us in a 3 bedroom garnered the same questions. You get creative with space. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  13. I'm a huge fan of this post. We only have one right now, but want four. All of our friends who are extremely close with their families shared rooms with their siblings growing up and say the reason they are so close today is because of that, so we are going to have our kids share a room as well. Thanks for showing how to make that idea so beautiful!

  14. I love it!! We moved our 2 boys into a room together when the youngest was 6 months. The 2 year old loves having his little brother in the room with him and it only took a couple nights for them to get used to it. Thankfully the baby is a solid sleeper because his brother likes to get up early and slam the door! The baby naps in our room during the day. I can't wait to add more kids to the room!

  15. You could cut fabric scraps an inch or so wide and wrap it around the metal. Spray adhesive or decoupage would help it stay in place–maybe?

  16. We're inheriting bunk beds in November- they were my mom's when she was little & my grandma has been kind enough to gift them to my children. I love seeing what you've done & knowing that it is do-able for a brother & sister to share a room (at least for now). Can't wait to see what's next :)!

  17. Love this, Ashley! And I totally agree on the "less is more" when it comes to toys. Our house isn't big enough to have a separate play room, so what my 1 year old plays with is in her room and our main living room. A few stylish baskets in the living room keep our house from looking like a day care! We currently have a teepee set up in our living room, and although it looks kind of cute, my plan is to eventually move it to her room once we no longer need her changing table in there. Her room is her own, but it's tiny so space is definitely limited!

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