I ran into four awesome small space bedrooms that I just had to share with you tiny house/small space enthusiasts.
Three of the rooms are from small houses and apartments and one of them is in a tiny house, you’ll see..
These Small Space Bedrooms Sleep up to Four People
My question is… Do you think it would be comfortable to raise up to four kids in a 2-bedroom home if they’re all under the ages of.. let’s say, 13?
Before your mind takes you anywhere else… take a look at the bedrooms below. I think it’s totally doable with bedroom systems like this.
Do you remember that show Home Improvement? The kids in that show had a pretty cool shared bedroom if I remember correctly.
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Photo Courtesy of Houzz
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What are your thoughts/stories on kids sharing rooms? Let’s talk in the comments…
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Well, when I was growing up we had a 3 bedroom house with 4 kids (3 girls, 1 boy). So my brother got his own room, and the three of us shared until I was about 6. The only reason I was moved out (into the dining room, in case you’re curious) is because my sisters were substantially older than I was, both teens, and their conversation was not deemed suitable for me.
So yes, I definitely think four kids can live together in a couple of rooms, as long as they’re all within a few years in age.
I shared a bedroom with my two younger sisters until I was about 16. My brother had the little room until my parents got a small caravan and put it in the garden for him and I moved into his bedroom.
Great a solution! Thanks for sharing Patricia!
That’s such a great point. You don’t want the young ones listening in on that kind of stuff! Just not necessary!
These beds are awesome!
We’re moving this weekend, and will be living off the grid on our 5 acres in the desert. Our ‘main’ house will be the old RV we purchased. Eventually, we’ll be building a series of small buildings (under 120 sq ft to get around building codes), and each will have it’s own function; kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc…
My camera isn’t that great, but I shot a video of my daughter’s ‘bedroom’ in the RV. http://youtu.be/ItdN02jTroY I used an old blanket and some batting behind the fabric on the walls to make them softer. Used left over material to make a bedskirt, and even though you can see it, I ran ribbon with beads dangling down across the cabinet above.
When Becca decides which way she wants to place her head, we’ll be adding some shelving in the corner.
BTW: Becca’s favorite color is red!
Thank you Alex for giving us so much inspiration!
4 boys and 2 girls, military family. We were always sharing, hand-me-downs, bedrooms, 1 bathroom. Our first ‘off-base’ house was 3 bedroom. Girls in one, me and my little brother in the other, and my older brothers in the ‘converted’ garage. We didn’t know any different and it felt normal. We always worked it out.
Thanks for sharing Kevin!
I ooh’ed and ahh’ed over all the pics… and then had a major Little House on the Prairie moment for the last one 🙂 Love them all but the last… just a tad too rustic for my tastes.
Haha, yup, that last one definitely had a different style about it than the others. Thanks for noticing! 😀
Yes, this is sooooo rural ARkansas, too, especially back in the day!!! When I was a young child, long ago, I shared a bedroom (two bunkbeds in the small room in the back of the house), with my first counsin in Jacksonville, Florida in my un-airconditioned grandmother’s house. We loved it and did not think anything about it. When our families got together at grandmom’s big house and stayed over night or weekends sleep over, sharing was common, back then. Not so much now, sadly. I might add that the ‘TV’ was not the center of attention, either in my childhood. I am an only child, and in my home, (around the corner from my grandma’s house) in hot climate Florida, I had a small bedroom, small closet space and slept in a canopy bed, and had no TV, back in the day.
solo & barefootin’ and living small in rural Arkansas, drinking spring water — car-free & child free by choice (smiles)
Thanks sesameB! Great to hear about your upbringing!
FAbulous…I loved the one with the stripe spread on the beds. Window beds without the windows. I am hooked on window beds…. Such a smart use of minimal space. I designed two of them into my new little home.
I think these are good for any age and company. Add a fabric curtain wall that opens and closes and everyone has privacy. The right room could sleep 6. Ikea Malaysia has a youtube video for a room that sleeps 6. Love it!!!
I agree that’s such a neat way to organize bedrooms. I guess it’s sort of like those tour buses that famous people use when they’re touring the country. Close up the curtains and you feel tight, cozy and private. 🙂
More from me on this topic and the the timely topic of Micro House Builder on Tiny Houses and Freedom
I have been waiting to write more subject for a while: how living small can change your spending habits. I should know—-I have lived in a small dwelling without a car for many decades, solo. Yup. It really has been a car-free joy ride to financial liberation and ‘house’ ownership liberation, too. Remember ‘HOMESHARING’ is on the rise in America, as well as in the correctional system, too. In my distant past, I have homeshared in Washington, DC and in the state of Washington (Colville, WA.)
In reference to a large portion of Americans living tiny/small spaces, (not by choice) many are in the U.S. corrections system. Read on, please. Including jail and prison inmates, the total population of the U.S. corrections system now exceeds 7.3 million — one of every 31 U.S. adults, the Pew report said. One recent example from my files was New York’s Oldest Inmate Charles Friedgood Granted Parole at 89, November 8, 2007. Charles Friedgood lived in a small/tiny space for many years, not by choice though. The former heart surgeon was convicted of killing his wife more than 30 years ago and was serving a 25-years-to-life sentence. Alex and readers, we all need to know that Friedgood is one of the fasting growing segments of the prison population: older prisoners. These prisoners cost two to three times the cost of younger prisoners to hold. They also represent a fraction of the risk of recidivism, which greatly reflects a drop in risk with age. New York is one of the states with the largest populations of older and geriatric prisoners. The five states with the highest rate of adults under correctional supervision were Georgia, Idaho, Texas, Massachusetts and Ohio. Those with lowest rates were New Hampshire, Maine, West Virginia, Utah and North Dakota. Wow! Blow my socks off, a large amount of Americans are living tiny/small – some by choice and others not!
Also, see next post……
All Senior Citizens need Life Alert!!! | No, I say all Senior citizens need to live in tiny/small houses! This is another real life story showing the need for many older folks to live ‘small/tiny homes’ in later life. The mansion at 4949 Swiss Avenue sags like an aging diva.
“You’d see her, too, in oversized glamour shots hazy with dust from collapsing ceilings. Those portraits dominated everything. In every one, she was a platinum-blond ingénue. Rusty screens cover dark windows. A beam props up the porch roof, obscuring a once-grand entrance.If you talked your way inside before the courts started auctioning things for the legal bills, you’d stop in that doorway and stare at the sweeping staircase, trying to place it in some old movie .Once your eyes adjusted, there’d be more to gawk at: gilded candelabras, faded sprays of plastic flowers, a pair of grand pianos reflected in a mirror bigger than a garage door. The last occupant,88 year old, Mary Ellen Bendtsen, liked to say her home was built around that mirror, the biggest in any house in Texas. Swiss Avenue was laid out at the beginning of the last century as the heart of Munger Place, an exclusive enclave east of downtown. With Dallas’ first paved streets, it was a developer-designed showplace for an aspiring, image-obsessed city. The mansion at 4949 Swiss, built in 1917, was among its grandest homes — a prairie-architecture palace, 7,000 square feet and three stories in yellow brick. There were seven fireplaces and a trio of big crystal chandeliers. The main staircase was hand-rubbed mahogany. A tiled veranda rimmed the front.
And, of course, there is ‘VALLEY OF THE DOLLS’ star Duke, 57, has opted to put her 40-acre (16 hectare) ranch in Idaho up for sale after five years of owning it, and bidding currently stands at $333,433 (GBP185,246) on e-bay. “I stayed there a lot, (but) I didn’t live there. She’s had this house for maybe five years and it’s up in north Idaho. It’s a beautiful home. (Ugh, bigness!!!!!!)
And last buy not least, here is another example of the difficulties that can arise in later life housing for all of us. This is another story from my files about Charlie Parks, the 90-year-old former school teacher, who was jailed for assaulting caregiver leaves facility to go to Prison (2007)—In November, Parks, a school teacher for 40 years, packed his frying pan, clothes, crystals and meditation books into a tattered plaid suitcase and sneaked out of his assisted living home in Kalispell, Mont., ahead of spirits he thought were chasing him. He cashed his Social Security check and bought a plane ticket to Alaska. Once in Anchorage, he took up residence at the Days Inn on East Fifth Avenue… His hotel bill mounted and the Veterans of Foreign Wars chipped in before hotel staff found Parks’ daughter, his only child, in New Mexico. He has been in the Alaska prison and it is reported he likes the structure, warmth and regular meals of prison life. He also felt safe there and wasn’t lonely. With an average age of 35, the other prisoners looked up to him as a grandfatherly figure. Charlie Parks was the oldest person in Department of Corrections custody by more than a decade, a DOC official said. Mr. Parks is living tiny/small cell sleeping in bunk bed now in later life!
Happy and safe holidays to all of you,
From my solo ‘weebee’ casa in a meadow with my locally Arkansas handmade pine box, barefootin’ in rural Arkansas, drinking spring water, Re-wilding myself is an ongoing process – December, 2011
PS: Mass. maximum security prison installing bunk beds
Prison officials are installing bunk beds for the first time at the maximum-security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.
I grew up in a very large family and remember 6 kids and two parents living comfortably in three rooms and once in just two. We were happy and a strong family, I think the key was that bedrooms were for sleeping so we werent actually in them for long.
As for the pic of the bunks with the staircase going up the middle (I seen this one before), I always thought that those bunks were rooms in themselves as they are so spacious and offer a high degree of privacy.
Thanks for sharing your background, really appreciate it! I agree, those bunks are genius.
The four-bed set-up with the stairs would be perfect for children ~ especially if curtains were added for privacy! But my favorite is the small rustic space at the end ~ PERFECT for me! I love it! I am so glad that you found these photos and shared them. I believe more folks should go the smaller home route. It is sad to see so much waste ~ space, time, energy, and more ~ with the larger houses. When will more people realize that square footage does not equal happiness? Children do not require that much room for sleep and storage ~ and play time should be outdoors or in a main area of the home with proper supervision. I know children who would adore any of the above rooms!
Thanks Kat- you’re awesome!
We have some friends who had six kids when they had a house of, I believe, only two bedrooms. I remember the kids’ room with bunks three beds high. Now they have 9 kids (and wanted more but God closed the womb), and they have a larger house. The kids are the most pleasant, responsible, and well behaved that you could ever imagine.
My wife and I lived in a 1-bedroom apartment when both our kids were born. We let them have the bedroom, and our room was the living room which, with the sofa sleeper which folded out, became our bedroom at night, converting in seconds. I could have lived that way indefinitely, but my wife wanted a house after the second child was born. It just allows more room to accumulate junk. When both kids are married and gone (which will be soon), I want to downsize again.
Whoa! I’ve never seen bunks three beds high! Got to find some examples of THAT! 😀
Thanks for sharing! With the right design, you can do a lot with a 1-bedroom… even with a family. Like you said, you can use the same room for multiple purposes. Especially with today’s technology and design concepts.
Example: (Link Expired)
I remember a triple bunk set that was called Jail house bunks, had wirewove bases with metal framing.
Whoa, cool! Thanks!
In the documentary film, “The Hotel Upstairs”, (2001), filmmaker Daniel Baer brings to life the world of the Columbus Hotel, an all-but-invisible residential hotel in the heart of San Francisco. The 50-room hotel is home to an unexpected mix of single aging artists, immigrant’s families and urban hermits, all who live in tiny/small spaces. You all gotta see this film. I viewed it many years ago for FREE at a film documentary held in my state.
I’ve got to check out that movie, can’t wait to watch it!
See everyone in 2012, living small/tiny and being safe.
From rural Arkansas
I gew up in a low income family where my father worked 2 jobs to make ends meet, but he did work and he was creative in welding together a bunkbed for us that made us feel special and gave us more space in our small room for playing. It is not easy sharing a space, but my mother showed us how over the years, and I can honestly say that it was the best social behavioral lessons I ever received, and I credit that learning how to share space with my ability to get along well in groups. My children also shared rooms, and I feel that it had a large part to do with my children being so successful today. There is too much me, mine, and I in our society today. Let kids learn how to share!
Marsha I love the points you just brought up. I also agree… I shared rooms with my brothers for a few years but when we got older we each had our own even though we ended up in the same room most of the time. But the point is, I know that having kids share their space early on helps them greatly later in life. I think that’s huge. Thanks again for sharing!
We’re raising three girls in a two-bedroom house. Their room doesn’t look as tidy as the ones in the pictures, but it’s a fine way to raise children. Who said everybody needs their own bedroom? They mostly just sleep in there, and spend a lot of time outside and in the rest of the 1,300 sf house (also small by US standards, but enormous if you’re from Japan…). The down-side is we don’t have enough room for an exchange student. The upsides are numerous, including that we hang out together a lot. My girls have well-developed negotiation skills…
Thanks Rebecca. Pretty much same point as Marsha brought up.. Have your kids share rooms and they’ll develop better people and negotiation skills. Which means… they’ll end up with what they want in life!! Right? Happy new year!
I know it is possible. I have friend who is raising 4 kids in a 2 bedroom house. 3 girls and a boy. They have done wonders with the arrangement. She says it works and they have no plans to buy a bigger house.
Thanks Teezie. If I had kids I’d have them share until a certain age. The social benefits for them are crucial!
I think shared bedrooms would work, but it would depend on the children involved. Beyond a certain age, it is not a great idea for boys to be sharing a bedroom with their sisters.
And introverted children need more physical and psychological space than extroverted children, While the latter would welcome the company, the former would find it living hell. Been there!
Excellent points, Trish. I totally agree. There are always exceptions and you said it beautifully..
I so agree Trish! I breathed a sigh of relief when I moved into a bedroom of my own as a teenager.
I agree, Trish! My daughters were so different that it was important for them to have their own rooms even though the spent a lot of time together. There was still times when they needed separate space.
On the other hand my sis and I shared a bedroom all our childhood till we left home. When we got into those teen years I just bought a beaded curtain an separated our “already” small room into two. (she was a slob…lol) Worked for us!
Thanks, Alex…thoroughly enjoyed the ideas you send. 😉
I’m 45 and my youngest son and I room together in one room with two twin air mattresses on the floor which we simply stand against the wall during the day, while my oldest(adult) son has the master bedroom all to himself. My condo is 1020sq. and most of that space isn’t even used. I love the air mattresses, plus we can take them with us when we go camping and we didn’t spend any more money for additional mattresses. My only wish is that I could make it look a little nicer when they’re put up.
Air mattresses are great, but yes, it’s also great to have things that look nice so you feel good. Until then though, you have to do what you have to do! 🙂 I’m wishing the best to you and your children Theresa. Happy holidays!
I never shared a room as a child but when I went to Uni at 18 I chose to go into a shared room in halls of residence – my thinking being if I had a single room I’d hide away in there and not make any friends. My room mate and I got on well and when we left halls after a year moved into a flat together (with another girl) where we continued to share a room for another year!!
Awesome Claire! Glad you shared, thanks!
When I was at college in hall, I chose to have a single room next door to my friends who shared three to a room. It gave me the space I needed when I wanted but was close enough to company should I want it.
I didn’t go to Uni with anyone I knew so that wasn’t an option for me!!
Neither did I. We had to start out in digs in the first year and only got to go into hall in the 3rd year.
That’s a good way to go, too. Would probably be my choice. I love my private space.
Alex , check out OPLoft beds website…. turned a one bedroom into a 2 bedroom by building a kingsize loft bed with a “room” for a 3 year old underneath… excellent plans, cost effective solution to adding more space, and easy to build and SOLID…
Thanks Susan I’m looking for it now… those plans sound very useful! Glad you told me.. Alex
Here’s the link that Susan’s talking about, you can see pictures here and there’s also a section with free plans if you’re interested!
i honestly love all these bedroom options, there is a way to do things in tiny spaces, I think there should be a law that when the kids leave home, parents should have to sell and DOWNSIZE leaving those big homes for big families
Thanks Jean I’m glad you liked them!
Jean, I’m not sure I would be in favor of government telling us more of what we must do or cannot do, but maybe there could be some kind of incentives. Not downsizing when the kids are grown and gone is indeed part of the problem, so I’m glad for the tiny-house movement. Our neighborhood started out with all houses being about 900 square feet; but now most houses have been added onto–a lot–so there’s nothing for a newlywed couple or a single person looking for something small and inexpensive. The local governments like that because they want more property-tax revenue, which means no such help will come from them. I really want to downsize–waaaaay down–when our kids are married which will be soon, but the list of options is pretty slim, also because of zoning laws.
Great points, Garth, it’s always a little scary when the government gets too intrusive. I don’t like that either. You make excellent points on the lack of availability for small spaces too!
Once I met a family with 12 children — a good number stilllived at home. Each had a tiny bedroom, just enough for a bed and a tiny desk. They were built into the apartment, lined against a wall, almost like open cabinet spaces, stacked 2 high. You got into the top tier via a ladder. My guess is that there was a curtain a child could close for privacy. Very creative. The family lived in 2 apartments next to each other. Wonderful family and everyone was as happy as people can be.
That’s a really interesting arrangement I can see it working just fine, too. Glad you told us about them!
I absolutley love all of these beds! It would be no problem to have 3-4 kids in a small home with this system. It’s amazing what people can create in a small space!
Thanks Danielle I’m happy you liked them! I’m amazed by what you can do with small spaces, too.. Creativity is key!
I’m glad that I found this blog! I am fascinated by the tiny house movement, but most people who are doing it are small families. My husband and I could easily do 400 square feet (we did our first year of marriage), but having kids really changes things. I want a big family, as I try to research how to do small with a big family, I don’t see many people doing it. “Life in a Shoe” is a good blog for a family of 12 living in less than 1200 sq ft. We are expecting our 4th and are not done, and people think I’m crazy for wanting to do it in 800 sq ft, but I really want to try. We are finishing a triple bunk bed, and I’m aggressively thinning our stuff down to try. My husband says he wants to rent for a year before he commits to building or buying something so small. Sorry for rambling, and thank you for your informative blog!
Tips and tricks for tiny homes: (Link Expired)
Various floor plans: (Link Expired)
These units are very expensive as they are custom-built.
So true. But I can imagine ways to do it with plywood/reclaimed stuff if you’re a “do it yourself” type of person. Heck, you can also hire a handyman and get him to do a less expensive version of it, too, using inexpensive materials.
We had 5 kids in one room at one point. Granted, it was a huge room, and my dad built bookshelves to go across the middle of it to separate the girl’s room from the boys room. The boys got the bigger section, by about 3 feet, ’cause there was three of them, they had a bunkbed & a full size bed. My sister & I had matching twin beds. On both sides, there was just enough space to move around the bookcases & beds, not really any significant play space.
Hey Laura, thanks so much for sharing that with us!
I love the first picture! That would be perfect for my 3 girls! Where can I get something like this?
Isn’t it neat? I’m not sure Marie. I’m thinking it’s something that has to be custom made. Might be some plans out there to help. That one looks as if it were done professionally by a carpenter and designer.
I love them! We share a tiny beach house with my husbands parents in the summer. My husband and I share a tiny bedroom with our 3 children. We are looking for a new solution now that our youngest is 2 and may not be able to sleep in the small portacrib this summer. I am thinking maybe the second pic might be a great solution.
I am so excited to have found this site! I can’t wait to look through for other great ideas for our tiny beach house, and our small 50’s cape!!! Thank you!
All these pictures look great but in my house bunk beads would be my last choice. I have found that only small kids like bunk beds so as they grow older no one wants to have to climb on top to go to sleep and as kids grow taller they have to stoop to sit on the bottom bunk. Plus the person on the lower bunk is tossed around everytime the top occupant rolls over and vice versa. If you have room for two sets of bunks you could possibly have room enough for trundle beds as long as there’s enough floor space to pull out the bottom bed. My biggest gripe with bunk beds is there is no good way to change the sheets or make up the bed. Usually they are pushed against a wall so there’s no access to one side leaving you to crawl up there to try and change the sheets. Nothing like being on top of the bed when your trying to make it up. My vote would be against bunk beds and for a trundle bed. During the day the bottom bed is hidden and it leaves more room in a small space for kids to play. The only bunk beds I’ve ever seen that I liked have stairs not ladders and are built in a large room with access to both sides of the bed…which kind of throws out the whole space saving idea.
I slept in bunk beds from first through eighth grades, mostly along with a lot of other kids in a 2nd-8th-grade boarding school in another country. We seldom used the ladders, preferring instead to just climb up the structure of the bed at the ends. All of us, even the 2nd-graders, had to change our sheets ourselves every Saturday morning, first thing after the wake-up bell. Since a limited number of sheets in the linen closet were flanel and some of the kids wanted those, there was a mad race to get those first. The bunks were not built in like in the pictures above though. They were free-standing, and could be moved (although their weight made it impossible for the younger ones to move them). I never met a kid who didn’t like bunk beds. Our own two boys grew up with them, taking turns who got to sleep on the top. Now that one is married and gone, the other has the room to himself and uses the other bed for storage. 😀
The movement issue is no worse than two people in a double (or bigger) bed.
That pic is either from HOUZZE or PINTEREST—I would search around for quad (or however many there were!) bunk beds image and you should turn it up–I know there is a story with it.
If you worked with some one I am sure you could build a similar unit. The biggest thing is to make SURE there is enough support–not just for the kids as they are NOW but later–for friends to get up there–and for someone to get up there to clean and change sheets etc.
We had bunk beds for awhile in a decent sized bedroom for two very active boys to allow for floor space—we have winter about 11 months of the year here or so it seems and we wanted them to be able to do things. However—it seemed that we could NEVER get them to actually go to SLEEP and they annoyed the crap out of each other. So the older one moved into a finished basement bedroom. And is still there! Past college and gainfully employed so—just likes his nest I guess!
Now we have a loft bed in the much smaller bedroom for our grand daughter—and our grand son has a toddler bed inside the long narrow closet in his parents bedroom–the SAME room we had the boys in! And NO floor space at ALL now!
All looking to move to a warmer and bigger place!
I’ve saved some of these pictures from the internet because they are attractive built-ins but as a parent/grandparent the problem I see with some of them is no safety railing system to keep the child from rolling out of bed and falling. My grandson moves a lot in his sleep and sometimes ends up partially or completely on the floor but he is in a low bed so no major problem–not true with taller bunks. Even in college my daughter’s roommate’s father wouldn’t allow his daughter to loft her bed because of bad experiences with such .arrangement in their home when they tried it with her older brothers. My daughter lofted hers and slept fine at 17. I just found it interesting when reading the comments that no one mentioned the lack of safety railings. I slept in old heavy wooden bunk beds at camp growing up and they didn’t have railings either but we were upper elementary school age and we didn’t live there so less nights to get hurt. I believe that top bunks aren’t generally recommended for children younger than six so while these combinations of beds look attractive they don’t necessarily address safely sleeping multiple children of all ages in a limited space.
For our kids, someone gave us a type of railing that has a couple of rods that tuck in perhaps a foot and a half under the mattress, so if the kid is close enough to the edge to fall out, they’re adding a little more weight right there to holding the railing in place. It can be put on or removed in three seconds or so.
It was probably given to us because our older son gave us a funny story to tell when he was three or four. There was a large cardboard box of toys on the floor next to the bed. During the night, my wife and I were awakened by this very loud clatter-clatter-bang from the kids’ room. I got up and went in there to see what happened. The boy had fallen out of bed (off the top bunk) and into the toy box, and was still sleeping peacefully on the toys, unhurt. I put him back in bed. He laughed when we told him about it in the morning.
Beautiful!! You know what the first image with the four bunk beds reminded me of my childhood days when I and my two siblings share a room with 3 floored bunk beds. I cant take my eyes off your bed. Thanks for sharing.