Choosing Furniture for a Shared Bedroom

Furnishing a kids' shared bedroom takes some smart planning to find the right combination of shared and individual pieces that suit each child. Functionality, style, theme and color palette should be the main considerations.

Keeping major pieces identical – matching beds, for example – creates a uniform backdrop for the room. Look for modular furniture sets that can be configured different ways, such as a pair of twin beds placed at right angles to each other.

Look at your children's activities and emerging needs to decide on new pieces to add, whether it's a larger dresser, a size-appropriate comfortable chair for reading or a desk for homework. When space is tight, look for furniture with a compact footprint or for pieces that serve multiple functions. Map out furniture carefully on a floor plan before buying to make sure everything fits nicely.

Decide if you want twin or full, trundle or bunk beds. For kids six and up, bunk beds carve out cozy sleeping quarters for each child and take up minimal floor space.

A twin-over-full bunk bed can be a great choice for a room shared by siblings of different ages.

Look for double-duty pieces that incorporate storage, such as a play table with built-in drawers or a dresser that can be used as a footboard. Consider desks and tables with pullout work surfaces. If you don't have room for multiple desks, try a table with chairs on opposite sides.

It's important to remember that each child needs things that feel like their very own.

Make sure each of them has a designated drawer or shelf for things that are especially meaningful to them, whether it's a journal, an award or a toy that's their absolute favorite.

Soft seating or beanbags with personalized slipcovers are relatively compact, and they allow each child to have their own "lounge" area in the room. Plus, they give your children a great way to settle in and play games or just hang out together in their room.