Room Redesign: Sisters Shared Bedroom

I occasionally get requests for help on decorating ideas – which is great since I have this horrible habit of making rooms over in my head, and this gives me license to vocalize my thoughts. Coming up with decorating ideas via internet is even better since I’ve got both Olioboard and Pinterest at my fingertips to flush out my ideas in mere seconds (okay, takes a bit longer than that…).
girl bedroom
My sister approached me with a design dilemma in her daughters’ bedroom. See, they recently had a cute (and very chubby) baby boy who is getting ready to move into a room all his own. That means her two girls will need to start sharing a space they will both love.

She’s made a good start with the traditional pinks that little girls enjoy, but with mix-matched furniture, and the need to accommodate a big sister, this room is ready for a change.

The Requirements
Designing a room rarely comes without some sort of budget or special request from the homeowner, and my sister is no different. She’s put up a budget of $500 to get this space ready, which means we’ll recommend using some of what she’s already purchased to make this room come together.
girl bedroom
Sheena wants it to be a fun and bright space, but preferring not to paint the walls or existing trim and doors. And she’s mentioned more than once that she isn’t too keen on using a bunk bed in a girls bedroom so we’ll have to look at other options for a sleeping space, without busting our budget.

Up for change, Sheena wants new window treatments, furniture, bedding, lighting and accessories.

The Challenges
At a total room space of 139” x 139”, we have a square room that’s dominated by a 3 foot x 3 foot low-to-the floor window on the west side with a large closet and entry door taking the majority of the space on the north side.
girls bedroom makeover
This limits the area for the beds (which take up the most space) to either the east or the south walls, which might get tricky depending on the beds we end up choosing and the layout for the rest of the room.
girls bedroom before

The Plan
Since the girls like their pink, we’ll be keeping some pink accents, but we’ll also be introducing  tangerine, brown, and a soft green to round out the scheme. Our mood board will help focus our colors and patterns to give an idea that will help direct her in decorating.
girls bedroom mood board
Because the bed will take up most of the space in this room, it’ll be our starting point. I’ve played around with ideas for putting the beds in a corner – similar to Ana White’s 2010 plans straddling the east and south walls with storage underneath, but the space required for the corner at the top of the bed puts it too close to the opening door on the north side.
corner beds
And with the room small enough, two side by side beds, while cute, would take up too much of the space, and might as well be one bed.
House Beautiful girl room
Given that those options won’t work comfortably in the room, I turned to a trundle bed – you know, the kind with a mattress that can be slid under the main bed.
trundle bed
This option takes less space leaving lots of room for the girls to play. To keep on budget, I recommend looking at something similar to Ikea’s Tromso pull-out bed and putting it beneath a higher bed frame. A long skirt on the main bed will easily hide the slide out bed when it’s tucked away.
tromso bed
The fabric selection will be inspired by those seen in the mood board ranging from whimsical birds in pinks and orange to polka dots, stripes, and chevron.  Redoing some of the existing furniture in bright oranges and pinks will help bring color into the room without having to paint the walls.
anthro pink drapes
Larger floor-to-ceiling drapes (similar to these from Anthropologie) will also bring in some much needed texture and color to the room, and the ruffles are very girly – so they are sure to be a hit. Of course, to keep within budget these might have to be created at home instead of purchased. Good thing I know Sheena owns a sewing machine…

It’s important for me to keep this room tailored to my nieces’ personalities and interests.  Both of them are budding artists so the frame collage you see on the mood board will be used to house their latest works of art, which can be rotated easily by clips we’ll be attaching to the wall inside the empty frame similar to these fantastic ones by Less Than Perfect Life (in our colors of course).

frame wall

I’d like to replace the existing dresser with a desk (the dresser will be moving to the closet) where they can draw and paint to their hearts content.  I love the finish on this desk and I think it would be a fun pop of color to brighten up that corner.
orange desk
Above the desk I’ve recommended hanging two or three bird cages from the ceiling corner to add height, interest, and more of that whimsy.  I’ve seen a few tutorials on Pinterest for creating scrap fabric birds, and I’ve decided they will be finding a home in the floating cages.  I think they will be very happy there.

fabric birds

Accessories will ultimately be determined by what can be found at thrift stores, garage sales, or her own house, with a few splurges here and there. It’s going to take some creativity and a bit of elbow grease, but I’m confident she can make this the room of the girl’s dreams…all within budget.

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  1. Oh my, what a fantastic design! Heck, I want that room for myself! 😀 It’s “me” from the colors to the birds. I hope your sister goes for it. I’d love to see that design plan come to life!

  2. I am so excited to see this room come together. Sheena’s girls are super lucky to have such an amazing bedroom design. You and Dustin are soooooo talented and I love seeing what the two of you come up with!

  3. The trundle bed works better for a sleepover situation, but for every day living, it is just not practical. Whose bed gets slid away, while the other girl lounges in comfort on her bed? I have two girls who shared a room for 6 years. We invested in sturdy bunkbeds, which are still getting use in my parents’ holiday home. We bought a trundle bed for my son later, and it was tough to pull out over a carpeted floor, a bit easier over a wooden floor. You have to take all the pillows and comforters off of it to push it back under the bed, and it requires an adult to push it back or pull it out, as you must keep it straight.

  4. Also, stuffed animals and the like tend to migrate under the main bed when the trundle is pulled out, and they are hare to retrieve.

  5. I LOVE the mood board and am so excited to get started. Thankfully I have a very talented family. Those curtains are fabulous.

  6. Love the mood board. Such fantastic colors too!