three kids in a room: part one

December 12th, 2011

swiss cross night light

We live in a small (1000 square feet) house that has two very small bedrooms and there are 5 of us. When we had our third baby I was sure my husband and I would have to share our bedroom with him for a very long time.  Then I came across this bedroom on Ohdeedoh one day. The room is small and not only does it fit three kids comfortably, there is room for a desk and a dresser and toys. I thought if they can do it, we could too. Only we had to do it for a 6 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, and the 2 year old boy.

cloud bed

The first thing we did, or rather the first thing I asked my brother to do, was build a loft bed. The room is 10×10, so there was no way we were going to fit two beds and a crib in there. I hate bunk beds–changing the sheets on bunk beds is the worst, but they can look pretty awful too.  We designed this cloud loft bed (for the 4 year old) so it would almost disappear into the background. The clouds act as a guard rail and I painted them the same white as the walls, but I couldn’t resist one stripey cloud (inspired by this coat rack).

cloud loft bed and ikea bed

Underneath the clouds is my daughter’s bed–the iron number by ikea that everyone loves. We strung christmas lights to the bottom of the loft bed so she has a light. Also because we had to put the cloud bed right in the window. The way the room is set up there was no other place for the loft to go.  I was worried about it, but it turned out just fine–the window and the shade still work and it barely even blocks any light.

crib, masks, and map of the neighborhood

The baby’s bed is across from the clouds. Above the crib is a map of our neighborhood that I painted. It still needs street names and the railroad track and the bike path painted in, but it’s a work in progress–mostly because  I can’t do while the baby is sleeping! I picked up the the masks at our local art supply shop and they work for dress up and decoration (a twofer). There are wooden boxes under the crib for storage (that I talked about here) and the hamper was a lucky thrift store find.

dresser, shelves, and pompom garland

On the neighboring wall is the dresser/changing table and the storage/display shelves. We keep diapers in the wooden box up on the shelf and the red cross thing is actually a nightlight!  The dresser caused a bit of problems when I was redoing the room. I really thought it would look good gray, but it ended up looking like a big gray blob in this all white room. So I had to paint it white again (and again and again–it takes lots of coats to cover up dark gray).

painted dresser drawers

But even though it’s boring white on the outside, the inside is super awesome! I fell in love with the idea of painting the inside of drawers when I saw it on pinterest. It took four cans of spray paint: safety orange, farm equipment yellow, lagoon blue, and fluorescent pink (all rustoleum brand). After spraying a few coats of color, I finished them all with a coat of clear shellac. The dresser is the only clothes storage we have for the kids, so they each get their own color drawer and they all share the undie/sock drawer on top.  What happened to the closet, you ask? Stay tune for tomorrow and I’ll show you!

three kids in a room: part two



Posted in my home.

36 Responses to three kids in a room: part one

  1. jess says:

    These are such great ideas! I love the cloudy loft.
    My two have been asking for bunk (they call them Bonk) beds for some time, and I was thinking after we have our 3rd it might be time to try that out.
    Thanks for the great link to the other bedroom too! Integrating bookshelves into the bunk bed system is the best idea I have ever seen!

  2. christina says:

    Wonderful, creative use of space! Way to make the most of what you have. : )

  3. erin says:

    nice work! i love that loft.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    It looks amazing and still roomy. Great job!!!

  5. LOVE! I’ve had a gallon of white paint ready to go in my 18 month old and soon-to-be-born baby’s room and now I’m feeling inspired to actually put it on the walls! Looks awesome and I la-LOVE the cloud loft bed. Perfect!

  6. You’ve done so much with the small space! I love it! I find it so very inspiring! Truly. I’m so grateful to you for sharing your process with us.

  7. Peggy says:

    What an incredible idea! I have to admit we did live in a smaller home (3 bdrm, 1200 sq ft) but recently added an addition of 400 square feet (much cheaper than selling and moving!!) Oh I think I forgot to mention we are also a family of 5 but our 3 are between 12 and 17.

    I saw the ladder in the closet up to the loft bed! I am truly impressed with what you did! It just goes to show one does NOT to live in a mega house! (i am tickled we are up to 1600 sq ft because ALL our family lives out of town so we no longer have to put them up in a motel when they come to visit… they refused to take our bed but we always offered!)

    I am so excited to see what all you did with the closet!!

    • meg says:

      a bit more space must be amazing! I love living in a small house, but sometimes (like in the dead of winter) I go a little crazy :)

      • Peggy says:

        The space has been a God send as the middle child plays a big instrument… the marimba. Think of it as a xylophone on steroids. It is literally longer than a twin size bed. I do love our addition as my folks come to visit about once a year for a little over a week at a time and now they have a place to stay! When they aren’t here it is used as a sewing/craft/storage/music room!

  8. anna says:

    so beautiful and sweet. love the dresser drawer detail. and thanks for the inspiration, I only have two to squeeze into a tiny bedroom, but I’m already worried about what’ll happen as they keep getting bigger! :)

  9. Maggie says:

    That cloud loft bed is so dang cute! What a brilliant idea. I gotta ask though, how do you change the sheets…it seems it would be similar to wrestling with sheets on a top bunk, no?

  10. carolyn says:

    These are such fantastic ideas! I love nothing more than great use of space!

  11. Karin says:

    That dresser is a show-stopper! Well done! (Oh, and now you have me rethinking our bunkbed plans. I didn’t think about the sheets…)

  12. Kimberly says:

    It looks fantastic! I especially love the cloud loft bed and painted neighborhood map. We also live in a small space (just over 900 sq. ft.) and this gives me so much hope that we can “make it work.” Lots of love went into this room, that’s a given. Thanks for showing us your beautiful space!

  13. Nichol says:

    What a wonderful room. Lucky kids!

  14. Carla says:

    I love it! And I love that you manage three kids in 1000 sq feet. Our home is a little smaller than that and I’m wanting a second child, now I feel like I can just have them share without sacrificing style. I’d love to hear how the actual sleeping and space sharing works for you guys. I could use all the advice/encouragement I can get.

  15. Georgi P. says:

    Wow you are awesome! I love to see people make do with what they have in this age of have have have. Small houses, no cars, more bikes and walking – those are the things that will make us happy and give us more livable communities. Not giant houses with unfriendly garages for front doors! Good work!!

  16. Ginger says:

    I love the cloud loft!
    There are 6 of us in 1100 sq ft. The baby is in with us and the big three share a bed made of two twins pushed together. The baby will probably be joining the big boy room soon. The sleeping seems to work fine (and they look so cute all cuddled up and passed out), but I feel living space during daytime hours is really cramping our style…that and we could also really go for a second bathroom…

  17. It looks great, Meg! I dream of putting all four of mine in one room, making one room for sleep and the other for play. I’m not sure I’d ever get any of them to sleep at night, though! We do have some big clunky bunk beds I’d love to get rid of! You may have planted a big seed in my head…

  18. kristin says:

    i LOVE it, meg. cheers to small, old houses! ours was just 1,200 sq ft until we finished our basement…now it’s a whopping 1,800. livin’ large! i love that small spaces make you pare things back and be more creative, like the cloud bunk for instance! just awesome. thanks for sharing.

  19. Kristine says:

    wow! we were just discussing making lofts for our girls to open up some floor space. I’d love to see the ladder to get a better feel for how to do it.

  20. Lisa says:

    Very cute! Awesome ideas!!

    We have three kids (5, 3, and 10 months) in an old farmhouse under 1000 sq. feet. Creative thinking goes a long way in making it more than manageable!! I’ve turned an old entryway we didn’t use into a closet for us and my daughter has to go through the boys room to get to hers but everything is cozy.

    People tell me all the time we need to add on or build a bigger house and my response is why would I want to do that….it’s just more to clean!

  21. lindsay says:

    I absolutely LOVE the cloud bed. Everything is so perfect!

  22. laura says:

    I just love this room and the idea of all your children sharing! What a blissful space.

  23. amanda says:

    I love this room! Its great that the loft bed doesn’t block the window and i can see why it took 9 months to finish because it seems like you thought of everything to make it comfortable and functional. Great job.

  24. Aleyta says:

    Amazing! You rock mama!