three kids in a room: part two

December 13th, 2011

closet studio

This is what was once a closet. The closet never worked all that well for clothes storage (name me one kid who puts their clothes on hangers).  Luckily it was deep enough that we could make a workable art studio in the space. The deal was that my son would get the loft bed and my daughter would get her own desk.  Obviously they share this space, but my daughter is the prolific artist in the family.

My brother built the desk and shelves with leftovers from the cloud bed and whatever wood he scrounged up in our basement.  The top shelf is for coloring books and work books. The other two shelves are my older kids’ special shelves. All the pretty rocks, weird bits of plastic, pieces of string, cards from grandma, and whatever else ends up in their pockets goes here.

tin can storage

The art supply wall idea came from Pinterest (it’s originally from HGTV, but I can’t seem to find the link).  I called up a sheet metal shop in town and asked if they could cut a piece of metal to size for me. “No problem!” they said.  They were the nicest guys–made sure there were no sharp edges, drilled holes so I could hang it easily, chatted me up about the weather, and charged me 20 bucks. I glued 2 super strong magnets to the back of each tin (though some could use 3, I think) and filled them up with pencils, markers, glue, tape, and all that other good stuff. This art studio is one of the best parts of the room–it gets used every single day.

kids' room from above

Here is an overview of the room. You can really see how small it is from this angle.  It looks so clean and uncluttered, but wait, what is all that stuff under those beds:

tons of storage in a little room

There is a bunch of hidden storage in this room and it works out really well. Under the crib (on the left in the photo) is a box of linens for all the beds, a cradle full of babies, and a puzzle box. The ottoman with hairpin legs (thank you, craiglist!) is also a toy box. Under my daughter’s bed is the giant box of dress up stuff (which was a curbside find) and a wooden box for their pajamas. Not bad, right?

It’s taken us 9 months (really?!) to finish this room. Whew! All of that  for a few before & after shots:

before and after

before and after

before and after dresser

This room was a nursery, then two toddlers’ bedroom and now three happy sibling share it! So here is a little bonus before & after with a before-the-before photo  in there:

way before, before, and after

Thanks for coming along with me as we made this room. Here are all the posts about this little room in one place:



Posted in my home.

31 Responses to three kids in a room: part two

  1. arabella says:

    Just want to say THANK YOU for these posts and photos. We live in a very little house and while we do have 3 bedrooms, my husband works from home and it is an all-hours sort of job so he really needs dedicated space. All our rooms are small (you can’t walk around our bed if the closet is open kind of small) and we are about to go from 2 to 3 kids. So I’ve been worrying about the space issue…and also the “is anyone in this day and age crazy to put 3 kids in one room?” worrying.

    But this…and a bit of rooting around on Apartment Therapy has confirmed that we are not crazy and we will find a way to make it all work :)

    • meg says:

      not crazy at all! good luck!

    • Cdub says:

      It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Our 3, 2 &1 year old have been sharing a room about this size (I think it’s 9×10) they sleep through the night most night without a problem. There is some serious partying going on for the first 15-20 min after the lights go out but other than that they sleep well. Naps work w/o a problem for the younger two.

      We have the two older ones in the “kura” low ikea bunkbed but I am LOVING this loft…..I did get my husband a jigsaw for Christmas…

  2. Annika says:

    This is fantastic. I do not have your aversion to bunk beds (in fact, we are about to get one for the bedroom we share with two children!) but I love seeing good alternatives.

    The under-bed storage is aces! And the art closet…I want one for myself.

  3. Claire says:

    This is a great space, so warm and cosy, not crowded or cluttered at all. Can I ask you about the white shelves – are they a DIY or thrift find or can I find these in a store somewhere? Thanks, Claire xo

    • meg says:

      The white shelves above the dresser? They are shelves and brackets from Ikea that I painted white. They are super sturdy!

  4. lauren says:

    This is really really brilliant. I love the way you’ve used the space, and I love how it’s interactive, instead of being a toy-shrine!

  5. Cate says:

    This is really great! I am amazed at how uncluttered you’ve made such a small room look! We have 3 children in a(I think slightly larger) room and it feels so full! What amazes me the most is that you have all of their clothes in one chest of drawers. Do you have more stashed elsewhere? Do you store away the winter/ summer things out of season, or do they just not have that much? Really, I’m bamboozled as mine have an ikea wardrobe each, and share a massive chest of drawers! I also wanted to say how much I love the way you’ve reused so much to make everything so purposeful and kid friendly. It’s designy without the elitism.

    • meg says:

      I do store out of season clothes in the basement, but that one dresser is all they have. Everyone has one drawer and they have plenty of clothes– some of which don’t even get worn!

  6. Lucy says:

    cheers meg, so fun to see what you’ve done! congratulations! my kids have more stuff than any of us know what to do with…. simple really is best….. and so creative – love the creation station closet! ;o)
    thank you!

  7. shelly says:

    Impressive, creative and what Franco said when he say the pictures “oooh cool”.

  8. Carla says:

    You are officially my small space decorating idol!

  9. kristin says:

    really great stuff, meg! love the “hidden storage” especially. oh and that art closet is fantastic.

  10. anne says:

    amazing!!! excellent job – I am going to star this for reference! I love the insides of the drawers and the art studio especially : )

  11. Liz says:

    It’s really lovely Meg….and so thoughtful and heartfelt….I have a feeling it was more an overwhelming task of ‘organization’ with 3 kids in one space and everything that you got into it.

  12. CitricSugar says:

    Great use of space! It feels light and airy despite the fact that you’ve squeezed a whole lot of storage and multiple children in there. Wow!

  13. Neus says:

    wowww!! Stunning! I love the way you’ve designed the room, it must be very difficult, but the result is perfect! Nice to see this photos! Neus

  14. molly says:

    Yeah, you rock.

    Man, that neighborhood map…. gotta make me one of those…

  15. Can you tell me about that hanging planter in the ‘before’ shots? I think it is so beautiful, and exactly what I’ve been dreaming of. Please, for my sake, don’t tell me its another great thrift find!? Thank you!

  16. Beth says:

    Hi Meg – great room! It really shows your kids’ personalities and looks real. I love your daughter’s white metal bed – where is that from?

  17. Meadow says:

    Looks great! We have 3 kids in one small room too. Love the closet idea. We the kids closet to store clothing not in use because I agree that getting young kids (and most likely older kids too) to hang clothing is impossible. At least in our house it is.

  18. Meg, it’s a wonderful room. It really shows that we could all do with a little less sometimes. How do the kids keep it tidy? I imagine one afternoon’s toys would cover the floors in no time. Is there much fighting over space?

  19. Hi!

    I just had to comment and let you know that I LOVE this room (I commented on the D*S post as well)!! In fact, I love it so much that I did a blog post of my own about it and linked back here:)

    One question for you – how do you fit all of their clothes in one dresser?! I’m really intrigued! :)

    Stephanie May*

  20. MelanieO says:

    This is fabulous! We have 3 kids to a room, too, but older (4-11). And all girls. So it’s quite purple-y in there. We also resorted to a pre-fab loft bed w/ a desk & dresser under it (Craigslist) and a bunk bed (Craiglist). All of which we painted white. I’ve contemplated doing a little tour, too, but ours isn’t nearly so creative. And it’s never very neat…

  21. elana says:

    love the room!

    where did you get the jars with lids on the shelves? i’ve been looking for them and i thought ikea had something similar but i can’t find it!

  22. Oh well done! The rag rug is so lovely. My sister has a giant loom and I’m itching to make a rug on it. Alas, our home is small and a giant loom would occupy walking space. (plus my husband would break out in hives.) But back to you— thanks for the tour, it’s beautiful!

  23. Jennifer says:

    Wow, what a lovely room! Thanks for the inspiration. I love how you have incorporated such a fun, colorful, and yet simple design for your kids.