small space living // the shared bedroom

Oh hi there! Well, it’s been nearly three months since we blogged about toddler bed options and we’re finally getting around to sharing. Behold, the shared bedroom.


Your comments made us feel confident in moving forward with a toddler sized bed and although it wasn’t included in our original lineup, we decided to buy the Perch toddler bed from Oeuf. Originally I was turned off by the price and for awhile we considered DIYing something similar (a plywood box on hairpin legs instead). But then a few weeks went by and we realized that it was never going to happen. Or at least in the next several months. For Kyle, the purchase was a no-brainer, but I needed to rationalize it a bit more in my head. I felt better knowing that Lillian could use it down the road and then we could convert it to a daybed/sofa and maybe even put it up in the loft (a space I’m sure the girls will take over at some point). Or y’know, Craigslist.


Overall, we’re very pleased with the quality. One of the side panels had a slight void in the plywood, which wouldn’t have been a big deal but it was on the top and I was worried that Avery would pick at it. I contacted Oeuf directly and they sent a replacement and were super easy to work with.

There isn’t a great solution to get both beds to fit in what is effectively a three-sided room. At first I was hesitant to have the bed overhang the door opening but now that we’ve lived with it for a month it’s really no big deal. Sometimes we just don’t open the doors all the way but most of the time it just doesn’t bother us.


After the new bed was constructed (a task Avery and I did together – she was so proud!) we converted the IKEA Gulliver back to a crib and purchased a second mattress. I haven’t put bumpers on the crib yet (we have simple IKEA ones that we retrofitted for the mini-crib), mostly because they make it a pain to change the sheets. For now, we put her in a lightweight cotton sleep sack and that keeps her from sticking arms and legs between the bars of the crib.


We also reconfigured the storage boxes to fit in front of the window. One of the boxes covers the heat register, so we’ll have to come up with something different (or figure out a way to elevate everything slightly) once the temps drop. Given the summer heat we’ve had, it’s hard to imagine when that will happen.

We also bought two new felt boxes from Land of Nod. One holds baby board books (I’m so over trying to line them up on a shelf) and the other holds Duplos.


I should note that I took these photos this morning. We tidied up a bit first but as you can see it does not take long for things to unravel. We’re keeping it real. Kids are messy, but limiting the amount of stuff and having “homes” for everything makes cleaning up pretty painless.


Lillian is close to crawling, so I’m trying to savor this fleeting time of happy immobility. I will also need to temporarily hide some of Avery’s smaller toys before then.


Not much has changed with the dresser and wardrobe since our update in January. In the living room, we have a bin of baby books, a bin of Avery’s toys (Playmobil and trains) and a basket of baby toys. We converted one of the cabinets in the fauxdenza to hold art supplies, puzzles and games. Other than that, everything fits in their room. (Besides outdoor stuff obviously, which is a whole other topic.) I also recently bought this coat rack from Crate&Barrel. It’s simple, functional and inexpensive. It’s ridiculously hot here now, but most of the year we’re in jackets so I needed something more than the squirrel hook (which will be relocated eventually).


As for the sleep situation – it’s been a little over a month since we moved both girls into the same room and it’s going better than we anticipated. Before, Lillian was still sleeping in the mini-crib, but with the long summer days (sunset after 10:00 and sunrise around 4:30) we had to move her back into our room where it’s much darker. And yeah, that wasn’t great either.

We’re not on a strict schedule, but Lillian generally goes to bed between 7:30-8:00 (it depends more on what time she wakes up in the morning which sets the nap schedule somewhat). Avery’s bedtime is usually 8:00 but that’s been pushed back a bit for summer. We’ve found that it’s easier to put Lillian down first, then read books on the couch (or in our bed) with Avery. Once Lillian is asleep, she rarely wakes up because of Avery. And Avery almost never wakes up because of Lillian (who is often the first one up in the morning), not even in the middle of the night. I’d heard this from other people and it seems to be true for us as well. Lillian also seems to be sleeping better in her new bed. I don’t want to jinx it, but I think she finally, finally might be sleeping through the night now (no night feedings). YAY!

The last few nights, Avery and I have laid in her bed together, opening the curtains just a hair and reading books while Lillian snoozes nearby. I don’t think I imagined that we’d be able to do this so to other parents in a similar situation – I’d say just go for it. You might be surprised what your kids are capable of. Try it for a few weeks and if it doesn’t work figure something else out. I’m sure we’ll hit some road blocks, but it feels good knowing that not only can they sleep in the same room but that they actually seem to enjoy it. I don’t know, they might even like each other. πŸ™‚


The nap situation is getting better too. Both girls take afternoon naps around 2:00, so they nap together in their room. I was mostly concerned with how Lillian would take a morning nap on the weekends (without kicking Avery out of her room), but because that nap is usually only an hour or so it’s almost easier to plan an activity where she can nap on the go. We also still have the mini crib setup outside my office and can roll that in and shut the door in a pinch.


Tucking her animals in for a nap and then asking me to take a photo. (Avery’s toddler bedding is from Land of Nod. They have such cute stuff!)


The nursery (can we even call it that anymore?) has gotten a bit cozier since it’s original reveal – but for the better I think! I love that we’ve been able to modify the space as Avery got older and then adding Lillian. We also realize that it’s still very much a space of our design, but that that will evolve as the girls get older and start adding their own personal touches. Just as long as they’re approved by us first. πŸ™‚

“Composition girls, COMPOSITION!”


26 Responses to “small space living // the shared bedroom”

  1. LauraC says:

    What a fun update! Wow, Avery is a mini-Kyle. I think the space looks great; I’m a big fan of kids sharing rooms.

  2. Laura says:

    Thanks for the update! I just found out i am pregnant with #2 and have been trying to figure out if the kiddos should share a room and give up our guest room space (both sets of grandparents live out of town so it would be a big inconvenience when they visit) or have them share a room, which would be my preference, but not sure if they would constantly be interrupting each other. This gives me hope that sharing could work out!

    • Lauren says:

      Congratulations! I know people that have moved kids into the same room as early as 3 months…I’d say just have a back-up plan in place if someone is having an off night or you just really want to make sure sleep happens. Ultimately, that was the big end goal for us – we probably would have moved them in together sooner if we’d known it would work well and if we weren’t so indecisive about the toddler bed situation. πŸ™‚

  3. Looks perfect to me!

    As someone who shared a room with my brother for years and believes we are close as adults because of it, I’m very pro room sharing . So these photos of them playing together in their space are just beautiful.

  4. Marlena says:

    It looks great!

  5. Lisa says:

    Looks good – I like the pops of light blue/turquoise, including the canvas bag.
    I had to laugh – it’s amazing how quickly two individual kids become a collective “the girls”. (We have two sons that very quickly became “the boys” – and still are after 20+ years.)

  6. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for sharing this post! We have been debating whether to move our kids in together, and this has given me hope that it doesn’t have to be a disaster:) Our kids are pretty much the exact same ages as yours (within days), so it is extremely helpful to see what other people are doing in this situation. They are in separate rooms now, but the baby’s room has a spiral staircase leading up to a loft that would be pretty much impossible to baby-proof. Right now he’s in a crib, so it’s no big deal, but we want to move him in with his big sister (also Avery!) before he can start climbing out and causing trouble. I hope everything continues to go smoothly with their shared space!

    • Lauren says:

      I remember someone telling me that sleeping kids/babies aren’t usually bothered by their sibling because they’re basically like “not my problem”. Sounds funny, but I think it’s actually true. πŸ™‚ There were a few days in the beginning when Avery would say, “you take her away?” but then she got over it. She was also a little bothered that her sister got *her* bed (despite all the hyping up we did for her new bed and sheets) but again, she got over it pretty quickly.

      I’m guessing we’ll have some trouble when Lillian can crawl out of the crib, but hopefully that’s a long ways off! (We have also been very firm about Avery not climbing into the crib with her sister.)

      Good luck!! (And that’s crazy that our kids are so close in age!)

      • Lindsay says:

        Yes – there will definitely be more adventures to come as your girls go through their different stages! And isn’t it amazing how much time you can spend stressing about a decision that ends up being just not that big of a deal? When I was pregnant with my son I spent HOURS analyzing what to do with Avery’s sleeping (keep her in a crib, buy a toddler bed, buy a “big girl” bed, which bed to get, when to transition her, etc.). And in the end, we did what we did and it just wasn’t that big of an issue at all.

        At any rate, I love your blog and following along with the snippets you share on Instagram. We definitely have some weird parallels in our lives – our Avery was born on July 25, 2012 and our son was born on September 25 of last year, which is also our wedding anniversary:) Again, good luck and thanks for giving me some inspiration to start thinking about our room consolidation project!

        • Lauren says:

          It’s SO true! I think the analyzing and researching is part of pregnancy somehow…like nesting. πŸ™‚ We ultimately decided that we would do what was best for everyone’s sleep and the rest would hopefully fall into place.

          Ok…did you know that our anniversary is also 9/25? This is so crazy!

          • Lindsay says:

            Ha, yes, I knew that:) And not to make things even weirder, but was your husband’s birthday yesterday? If so, he shares a birthday with my husband. Crazy coincidences! Hope you all had fun celebrating!

  7. June says:

    Always happy to see a new post. Your kids are just beautiful.

  8. Sharmila says:

    Hi, (from down under)

    Just love it! I shared a rol. With my sis, and it was great (mostly). But its also a very efficient use of a small space. It looks really cosy.

    Fyi- your kitchen reno inspired me to do a grey ikea kitchen too. I am loving the cabinets!

    Sharmila falzon

  9. Sharmila says:

    Also, Um, the 25/9 is the date hubby and i started dating lol.

    Our wedding anniversary is 22/4.


  10. eliz says:

    Hi. Just a question about your flooring. I saw in your resources that it is a cork floor. Is it a floating floor or a glue down? I am thinking about installing cork floor in my attic upfit for my kids bedrooms. It seems that floating floor seems more popular but I am worried about how it will be with my 2 kids (girl 7 and boy 2). I am also worried about sound transfer and I have been told that floating floor might be a better option for sound. Also can you explain a bit more about a wax finish option? Any comments would be really helpful. BTW, my 2 kids have been sharing a room since my son was 9 months old and they really love it. We need more bedrooms and bathrooms hence the attic work, but I have a feeling that they would still want the option of sharing a room.

  11. Kyle Zerbey says:

    Hi Eliz,

    Here’s a full post on our cork floors:)

  12. Jordan says:

    Such cute pictures! If my kids were that age, I definitely wouldn’t have made as nice a bedroom as this… I wouldn’t want them to make things messy! But it looks like the two really enjoy their room, and spending time together.

  13. Kari says:

    Hi Lauren & Kyle!

    Oh my gosh! I just saw you guys on TV! I heard “We are the Zerbys” and my head popped up. πŸ™‚ After years of following your blog, it was like seeing someone I knew and I said “OH MY GOSH!” right out loud to an empty room. (Well, a room with two doggies, but they were NOT as excited as me.)

    From one former Ballard-ite to another – Congrats, that’s so awesome! πŸ™‚

    xoxo Kari

  14. Barb says:

    Please come back. It’s been too long…….

  15. Jenny says:

    Could you please let me know where you purchased the table and chairs in the girls’ room?

  16. Timothy says:

    It is looking an amazing and how you managed the room is also amazing.

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