we live in a legal 2 bedroom basement suite. we own it, actually, we went in with my husbands parents and we have 1/3 of the house and pay 1/3 of the mortgage.
elliott's bedroom is at the end of our hallway behind a fire-door that was actually not part of our suite, it was intended to be an office for use by whoever is living upstairs. we built a door at the top of the stairs, and now being able to use that room makes our suite a 3 bedroom suite, which was a prerequisite for us when we moved here. we wanted each of our kids could have their own bedroom, mostly so they wouldn't wake each other in the night (when we moved in elliott was 3 and molly had just turned 1). elliott's room has been great for him, his little ikea kura loft bed fit perfectly on one side, his dresser under the window, and two shelves full of toys, it was all he needed. that room also has the furnace room closet in it, which is really noisy when it comes on but has never been a problem for elliott before. until now. nothing like a traumatic incident to scare an already sensitive kid into not liking his own bedroom anymore. let me explain:
last week during molly's nap elliott was playing with toys in the living room where i was watching tv. i wanted to watch something he wasn't able to watch (i'll admit it, it was gossip girl, tee hee) so we grabbed his toys and i went with him to his room so he could play in there. the fire door had been closed and when we opened it his room was full of smoke. i quickly scoured for all light sources that may be producing the smoke and discovered that it was coming from a lamp in the corner (that looks like the one pictures over to the right--->).
i looked inside the top and there was a glowing, almost-on-fire pair of pyjama pants that had been accidentally tossed into the uplight. i rushed the jammies into the bathroom sink and soaked them so they wouldn't catch on fire, then unplugged the lamp and ran it outside, and opened all the windows. although nothing bad ended up happening the whole thing really shook elliott up, poor guy. just the thought of it or the lingering smell of smoke would cause him to power-frown and tear up. suddenly every strange smell and every noise has him remembering it, and the whole past week has been a struggle at bedtime, it's been taking him a really long time to stop crying long enough to fall asleep, and he's been waking up scared every time the furnace starts. we've read the advice and followed all the suggestions, but nothing seems to be helping. so, since molly has been sleeping through the night now, we thought maybe they should try sharing a bedroom for a night, see how it goes. well elliott LOVED that idea, and molly said, "sure!" so try it we did.
we put his mattress on the floor of her bedroom last night, had his sleepy kitty and his own bedding and pillow to make him comfy, and said goodnight. it took a visit or two for them to quiet down, and just when we were about to give up they both fell asleep. it wasn't the best quality sleep for anyone in the house, elliott woke up crying once or twice still and tried to come out way too early in the morning, and molly woke up twice because of him and once on her own. thankfully, she's easily comforted back to sleep, and when she cries at night elliott doesn't even stir. it just may work.
so we're planning to try it again tonight. if all goes the same as last night or even better we'll officially move him into her room so they can share. that frees up a whole office-sized room that we might be able to fit a hide-a-bed or at the very least our computer desk and the kids toys. this excites me because it'll free up our living room a little if we move the desk out, i'll get to redecorate an office/playroom, and i'll get to have a blast coming up with ideas for making a cohesive shared girl & boy bedroom.
thank goodness for pinterest, i've already been searching it this morning for ideas now that this is a real possibility. here are a couple that i've pinned:
|neutral walls, colour appropriate bedding, and my favourite idea is the matching gender-specific pictures above their beds, it makes the room a little more symmetrical.|
|i'm not the biggest rainbow fan but i like how the banner ties the boy side colours and girl side colours together.|
|when molly moves from her crib to her toddler bed it'll fit perfectly like this under elliott's ikea loft bed, it would free up more floor space to play|
|because "girl colours" and "boy colours" in one room can get a little too colourful for my taste i love the idea of making the room really neutral like this room, and then adding in a pop of colour here and there|
|grey, natural and this pale greeny-blue would work well for a girl or a boy|
if any mom's out there have any advice for kids sharing rooms, or more specifically for a sister and a brother sharing rooms, or decorating ideas, please comment and share! i'll (hopefully, no promises;) keep you posted! at the very least, if we go through with this change, i'll post pictures when it's all done.
i'm excited about this. last night i was nervous and skeptical but this could really happen! i hope no one thinks we're freeing up the office for a nursery. we're not. i promise. not on purpose, anyway...