A space for playing, sleeping and growing times two.


With a bit of imagination, a clever layout and multifunctional furniture, even the tiniest shared bedroom can be a great place to play. Stylist Sam Grigg showed one family that sharing doesn’t have to mean double the trouble – it can mean double the fun!

“When you’re planning your child’s room, start by thinking about how the room looks from their perspective. What can they reach, what spaces can they fit into and what games do they want to play?”

Sam Grigg, stylist

Turning a plain bedroom into an imaginative space

Like many families we meet today, Hanta and Remi have a few generations living under their roof. With eight children and three grandchildren, their five-bedroom London apartment sees plenty of comings and goings. The way rooms are used changes regularly, which is what happened when their daughter Chloe moved back into the family home with her children Letitia (5) and Isaac (3). For a while, the three shared a room, and when Chloe got her own space, she struggled to make the twosome’s room anything more than a place to sleep. We got stylist Sam on board to help turn it into a fun spot where they have more creative activities to do and games to play than hours in the day!

IKEA Ideas - A space for playing, sleeping and growing times two

Before and after

Letitia and Isaac’s beds used to be side by side, which didn’t make effective use of the space. They’re too young for bunk beds though, so we sketched a plan to arrange their beds along one wall. We added a STUVA desk, wardrobe, drawers and toy storage chest to the opposite side, so there’s space in the middle for games, toys and a comfy rug to play on. To prevent any arguments, we picked the same furniture for both of them!

IKEA Ideas - A space for playing, sleeping and growing times two

“I wanted to create plenty of different play zones in the room, so once the kids get bored of one game, there’s always another activity to stimulate their creativity. The space is split so they can spend time together or separately, depending on their mood. There are calm spots too, where they can curl up when they’re tired. Now, even if they wake up early, they won’t go bouncing down the stairs and wake up their granddad Remi!”

Sam Grigg, stylist

IKEA Ideas - A space for playing, sleeping and growing times two

Pick a theme that works for girls and boys.

Letitia loves bugs, and Isaac likes animals, so we created a nature-themed bedroom that suits both of them. Sitting underneath the bed canopy feels like a magical space in the middle of the city. The canopy’s also a clever way to lower the light level in the room, help the kids fall asleep faster and stay in bed longer. We snuck a beetle light in to encourage them to read too.

IKEA Ideas - A space for playing, sleeping and growing times two

Make happy hideaways.

When the kids feel like being by themselves, there are private spaces – like the “cocoon” chair and play tunnel – for them to hide in. Chloe says: "Isaac will take a pile of books into the swing chair and I won’t see him for hours!”

Plan for the future.

"Look ahead and think about how your kids might use the space when they get older," says Sam. For now, there’s a pull-out toy chest on wheels next to the desk, which is easy to throw toys into once playtime is over. Adding a cushion on top turns it into a quiet spot to read too. In the future, the chest can be removed so Letitia and Isaac both have a place to do their homework.

“The best kids’ rooms are those that grow with them. Letitia and Isaac’s STUVA wardrobe fronts can be changed whenever their favourite colours do, and their beds are extendable to keep up with their growth spurts.”

Add a drawing zone.

“Kids have a habit of drawing on walls when there isn’t any paper around, so I stapled some IKEA fabric to plywood for them to scribble on to their hearts’ content. It’s easy to change once they’ve covered every inch of it, or when they grow out of coloring in. There’s also a roll of paper on the desk for them to draw on when they’re sitting next to each other.”

Encourage independence.

“Help your children play by themselves – if everything in your children’s bedroom is at their height, they can pick it up (and put it away!) on their own. They’ll also entertain themselves when they wake up early in the mornings!"

IKEA Ideas - A space for playing, sleeping and growing times two

"The kids love their new room – it’s made them so happy and added a lot of fun to our house. The makeover has made a massive difference to the whole family. Thank you IKEA!"

Hanta, Letitia and Isaac’s grandma