Share and share alike is good advice, unless you happen to be siblings and your bedroom has become hostile decor territory. Here are some tips on dividing the space without clashing — visually or physically — from Vancouver-based designer Stephanie Brown of McInytre Brown Corporation.
• A physical divider such as a freestanding screen is a great way to provide visual separation and privacy. “As a bonus, it can be personalized on either side with artwork, photos, or a special fabric,” says Brown.
• The older sibling might use their space in different ways and be on a different schedule, so having a removable ‘divider,’ is key. “Depending on the architecture and layout of the room, sliding door panels or drapery are also great ways to separate the space.”
• Generally, more than one accent wall in a room just doesn’t work and creates a disjointed and opposing feel. “Try to have the siblings agree on a wall colour, treating it as more of a backdrop, rather than the statement itself,” says Brown.
• Define what elements need to be agreed upon (for example, wall colour, flooring, large furniture); then emphasize what each child can each personalize, such as their bedding, artwork, rugs and lamps.
• If space permits, the areas can be kept open but defined with area rugs, which will anchor each space and its furniture grouping. Area rugs add individuality and character, but should still coordinate through colour, pattern, or style.
• It’s tricky to mix too many furniture styles into one room, especially if the space is compact. The beds don’t have to match exactly, but keep the wood finishes and the style consistent: for example if one bed is antique, a modern style will clash.
• Let siblings express their individuality and personalize with decorative accents — especially if they have bunk beds — with bedding, pillows, rugs, lamps and art. “Bedlinens may be colourful and patterned to suit each child’s taste, but the duvet covers should be neutral to tie them together, or vice versa,” Brown says.
• Large upholstered headboards of the same size and shape are a great way to incorporate each child’s favorite colour or pattern. A smart move is to get headboards slipcovered, so they can be easily changed when he or she outgrows that look.