The Shared Bedroom…An Update

About a year and a half ago I wrote about our decision to have Harvey & Stella share a bedroom. So far I’d say our 5 main takeaways have held true.

  1. Kids sleep with Dad ears, not Mom ears. – CHECK
  2. Consistency is Important with Kids’ Sleep Routines, but Don’t Be Afraid to Switch it Up when Necessary – CHECK
  3. They get used to each other’s noises, and white noise helps a lot.- CHECK
  4. You’ll probably get less sleep in the morning if your kids share a room. – CHECK CHECK TRIPLE CHECK
  5. It’s really awesome to watch the relationship between your kids grow when they share a room. – CHECK

So…what’s there to update? Well, we went ahead and actually built them bunk beds this summer, so I thought I’d write about the pros and cons of this arrangement!

At first I was just looking for something cheap on local message boards, but the more we thought about it, the more I wanted to build something quality that would add functionality to our home. It’s only 1,400 sq. ft. to begin with and not a very great layout, so we wanted to find a way to increase our ability to comfortably house guests while not taking away from the limited space we have to begin with in the room.

The key for us? Queen over queen built-in bunk beds!

I started off by pinning a bunch of ideas here so that my husband would have a good idea of what I was looking for, and then thanks to having a handy husband who can build things, we ordered up the materials and away we went!

IMG_9114The key things I wanted in our beds were:

  • Queen over queen beds so that adults would comfrotably fit in them
  • Stairs, not a ladder, to reach the top bunk
  • Drawers in the stairs for storage
  • Space for under-bed storage containers
  • Built in nooks for alarm clocks & books & water
  • Built in outlets to plug in said alarm clocks without stringing cords all over

Sounds easy, right?

Well, there were definitely moments that involved a bit of cursing during this project, but in the end we are both really happy with how everything turned out! Bonus – while we were doing this, we finally painted the ceiling a nice, crisp white (which had ONE strip painted 4 years ago when we converted it from a loft to a bedroom but we never got around to painting the rest), bought a new smoke detector that wasn’t a putrid yellow-y color (um, still need to do this), painted the west wall of their room teal to try to make it not quite so pink themed, did touch-up paint on a bunch of areas throughout the room, put glow in the dark starts on the ceiling, removed the crib, and basically converted it to a kid room instead of a nursery.

WAAAAAAA. WAAAAAA. I’m the only one sad about this in a way I think!


So far we are really loving it, BUT, the biggest issue is with the kids playing musical beds. We have let them figure out where they wanted to sleep, and most of the time Harvey is in the top bunk and Stella is on bottom, but we definitely have nights that they go from separate beds to together on bottom or together on top. Little twirps. Lately we have actually taken to me putting Harvey down first at about 8pm. I’ll crawl into the top bunk with him, sing a few songs, say prayers, tuck him in, and leave. Then 20-30 minutes later either Charlie or myself will sneak back in with Stella and tuck her in. That way they don’t chat forever (like an hour +) and usually stay in their own beds. Sleep is always a work in progress. 🙂

I’ve written a lot about sleep in general (click here for a list of those posts), but here are the posts I’ve written about their actual room and it’s evolution over the years. It’s so crazy to see how it’s gone from a workout room / office to a baby nursery to a shared baby/toddler room to a little kid room.


  1. sangela71 · · Reply

    These bunk beds are so cute! I love that you built them yourselves so that they would be precisely what you want/need. 🙂

    1. Yep! Exactly what I wanted and for half the price. It was a win/win. 🙂

  2. Those beds are SO COOL! I love them! Very nice job, both of you.

    I wish I could build things like that. It would be so awesome!

    I’m impressed with your commitment to two kids in one bedroom. As you know, we sleep in what is supposed to be our living room so our kids can have their own rooms. Sleep has always been such a fraught issue at our house, our kids struggle to go to bed every night (like, for HOURS) and then one wakes up really early while the other does not. I wonder sometimes if having them sleep together would make them closer, right now they are mostly at each other’s throats… I also assume that at some point we’ll want to separate them since they aren’t the same gender, but maybe that isn’t necessary. I’m curious what your thoughts are on that? Is there a point at which you will separate your kids because one is a girl and one is a boy? Or are you going to stick with the shared bedroom?

    I really do love the custom-made bunk beds. So super cool.

    1. Yeah, we were hesitant at first to put them together, but we both shared as kids and we both really like having a guest room / office, so we figured we would give it a shot! 🙂

      Our kids aren’t perfect sleepers by any means, and when we split them up they both seem to sleep about an hour later, BUT, I think sleeping together has actually made them both *better* sleepers overall because they have learned to not be bothered by random noises around them throughout the night. If we put them to bed together, they tend to talk for 30-60 minutes. If we put them to bed apart, they both fall asleep quite quickly and easily (with minimal bedtime routine – maybe 5-10 minutes max).

      We will play it by ear regarding separating by gender. I shared with 1 sister and 1 brother until about 5th/6th grade, and I remember when I started developing a little and really wanting privacy, and that was when I converted a walk-in closet of that room (true story) into my own teeny-tiny bedroom. Haha! I still had to walk through their room (which was an open air room at the top of the stairs) into my room, but I LOVED that little space. It fit a single bed, an end table, and a built in tiny bookshelf that my dad built for me, and that was it, but it was perfect and private! Long story short, I’m hoping we get another 7ish years out of the shared room arrangement. We have also talked about building another bed/bath off their bedroom over our garage someday if we have the money, so that’s a possibility too for us to not lose our guest/office space. Because of Charlie’s business, we REALLY like having that dedicated space for him to do all of his bidding in.

  3. How are you keeping them from jumping off the top? (Honest question, no judgement I promise, I wanna hijack your ideas.) Little Monster isn’t allowed on top of their twin bunk bed but got up there unsupervised for a literal minute, jumped, banged her head on the ceiling, then smooshed her face so hard the ER doc could tell we have uneven wood floors not so long ago. Luckily she just had a truly impressive shiner but oh man it was scary.

    1. Hm… Well, Harvey is a crazy coordinated climber and jumper so I honestly have never worried about him, but also the bed is so high that you couldn’t even stand on the top bunk and we initially said never jump and he has never even tried. Ha! No help, sorry.

  4. mcmissis · · Reply

    Great job!!!! There were bunk beds in the room the kids were supposed to sleep in on our vacation last week, with a double on the bottom. “Great!” we thought. “Gracie will take the top bunk and the littles will sleep together on the bottom.” We figured from the get-go, we’d put Poppy down in our bed, then move her in with Lyla when we went to sleep.


    NONE of those things happened.

    The main thing is that Gracie gets up every. single. night. to come to our bed. We were scared of her half-asleep trying to climb down a ladder in the dark to sneak into our room in a place we’ve never been and having her fall and break her leg. So, after just moving her to our bed the first night, we took the mattress off the top bunk and laid it on the floor for the rest of the trip. Every single one of us slept in every single bed at some point. It was musical beds every night for a week 🙂

    Anyway, I love the drawer stairs. What a good idea! Have you had any grown ups sleep up top yet?

    1. Honestly, knowing Gracie, I bet she’d have been just fine with climbing that ladder half asleep. 🙂 I do get the fear though, especially when you’re in a new place! You and your family musical beds. Ha!

      Charlie and I have both slept on top once just because we fell asleep up there. Generally we make the kids sleep up top and we take the bottom bunk, just because there’s way more head room on bottom.

  5. I love everything about these bunk beds! Especially the stairs that have drawers. :oD

    1. They’re a fun little detail, aren’t they? 🙂

  6. He did such an amazing job on the bunk beds, and I think it’s great that the kids get to share that space, and memories, with each other. Way to go coming up with the idea, mom!

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