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A shared space for parent and child

10 March 2017

Sharing a small bedroom with a child doesn’t mean everything has to be childish. But it does mean everyone should feel comfortable and have room for their things, because it’s their room. Check out our tips to make a cosy, functional shared bedroom with lots of love and room to be you.

An aerial sketch of a shared parent and child bedroom with zones labelled for sleeping, storing, playing and working

Planning zones ensures the basic activities like sleeping, storing, playing and working are covered. Even in a shared space, everyone needs a sense of ownership and privacy, so some zones are personal, too. We put the child’s bed (with play space underneath) in one corner and the adult’s in another. There’s lots of storage, a work space for one or two, and plenty of personal touches. Overall, the light woods and white textiles against the dark walls give the room a modern, adult look and a calm, cocoon feel.

The child’s area in a nook gives a private, room-within-a-room feeling. The dark, grown-up walls unify the room, but painted stars add a fun, childish touch. A lamp makes it easier to play and read while creating a sense of cosy security, especially during middle-of-the-night wakeups. Below the bed is a play area with toys, a subtle, whimsical flower scene and a sofa-style spot that softens up the floor. (We put in a bed mattress and lots of cushions.) Toys that match the wall colour can be left out because they blend in! 

An adult’s bed in against a wall covered in children’s artwork and wall rails with hanging organisers

The adult’s area is on the opposite wall with the bed facing the child’s bed, so you can easily see each other. When there’s no space for a bedside table, wall rails, hooks and hanging storage work well instead by making room nearby to hold the essentials. The rails can also be a base to build a gallery wall of your favourite photos and mementoes, so the space shows off you and your loves. And of course, you need a lamp for nighttime reading, too.

A GIF showing wardrobes doors opening and closing to reveal separate storage for a child and a parent in a shared room

Maximising storage in a shared space can be a challenge, but it helps to keep it all collected. So we used one wall for shared/separate storage with tall wardrobes for everyone. These flexible wardrobes adjust to grow up with kids, so everyday things can be placed at child or adult height. Seasonal stuff or anything that should be stored away for safety’s sake can go higher up, too. The parent has enough storage space in the wardrobes and in boxes under the bed. Plus, the wall rail hooks can hold tomorrow’s clothes to save time in the morning.

Between the parent and child areas, we made a shared work zone (or a playing-is-hard-work zone). The desk is adult-sized, but the child can use it too by sitting higher up in a junior chair. Painting or budgeting, a lamp is important to keep eyes from straining. The wall is covered in chalkboard paint for big pictures and big plans. Arts and crafts supplies can be stored on shelves and in cabinets. Putting supplies just a tad higher up means they’re out of reach for the child, so beautiful messes aren’t made without asking you first!

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

See also our range of mattresses and children's mattresses for more options for your shared room. 


Interior designer: Emma Parkinson
Photographer: Mats Eklund
Writer: Marissa Frayer