Making an already organized and jam-packed-to-the-hilt home feel a little more roomy was quite the challenge. And I am sorry to report I didn't take any "before" photos, mostly because we moved furniture around so much over the past year that it was making my head spin. But we finally settled on a plan, thanks to hours spent "making it work" on a scale model I built in Illustrator:
When Maya realized she could propel herself head-first out of the crib at 20 months, we FREAKED OUT. And she was in a toddler bed that very night. So we knew she could handle a "big kid" bed. Finnn, on the other hand, had some attachment issues. Mainly to my pillow. In my bed. We went to Ikea, and Wes made the executive decision to buy a bunk bed with a full-sized mattress on bottom. We quickly discovered the kids could easily sleep together in that bottom bunk, turned like a day bed, and still roll all around and never even encounter each other during the night. The ladder was not added (Monkey Maya), and the top bunk is now fully outfitted for anyone who dares to sleep up there when they come visit. Or for stuffed animal storage, which is the current state.
Maya essentially needed her own closet, seeing as the wardrobe they shared was INSIDE their current tiny closet. So we found a tall skinny wardrobe at Ikea, and bolted that sucker to the wall. We also happily discovered that the train table drawers fit perfectly under the bed, as well as three long storage boxes! Score. So the train table itself moved on to bigger spaces in the garage, while the drawers are still serving their purpose. I pared it down to as little as I could, while using the space as smartly as possible. I managed to move everything we were previously storing for the kids in other areas of the house, into their own room, and still hide it from view.
I love color. Adore it. Especially green. So this is a very green room. It feels appropriately unisex, and works well since Finn is still so young. He loves the red fox on the fabric I used to make the curtains and long pillow case (another Ikea find). I used personal artwork from my shop to complete the whimsical woodland feel of the room (I didn't want a "theme" room, but wanted it to feel fresh, verdant, and fun). I kept the bookshelf and rocker inside the room, rather than divide them up, since both are mandatory to Maya's bedtime routine (a routine which now includes both children at the same time—sweet relief).
So I know you are dying to know. How did they do in the bed together? Well, Wes and I shut the door, and the containment—I mean safety—gate). Then we started telling each other that "it's only the first night," "let's expect a long, rough night," "it's going to take some adjustment." Then we sat down to watch a movie with a little hesitation. There was some quiet giggling from the bedroom, then silence. It was WEIRD. We looked at each other in amazement, then made out for two hours. Ha! They slept all night. It was the first good nights sleep I've had in four years.
It's officially amazing. The kids love sharing a bed. Not just a room, but a bed. They both feel safe and secure. When Finn is six, he can move to the top bunk. I even have a contingency plan in place for when one of them gets sick in the night, or wets the bed (which I have already put into practice without a hitch). Let's just look at it as us forcing them to be best friends. ;)
This is a 12'x12' room. Prepare to be amazed: