MILLIONS of children will not return to school this week because of soaring coronavirus infections, which means many of us will be jostling for space at home.
This can be especially difficult for kids who share a bedroom – even more so when they reach their tween or teen years.
Parenting expert Liat Hughes Joshi says: “Often we lump our children together as ‘the kids’, but they are individuals and sometimes they need their own space.
“As children get older they need a space of their own, somewhere they can retreat to when they are tired, overwhelmed or just want a bit of time to themselves.”
While it is impossible to magic up a spare room, Lynsey Hope finds out how we can create personal space for children by using nifty ideas to divide bedrooms or create their own areas.
1. BUY READY-MADE ROOM DIVIDERS
SPLITTING a room in half might very well stop sibling squabbles.
Professional organiser Vicky Silverthorn says: “Room dividers are a brilliant idea if you have room, especially if kids are reaching an age where they need more privacy or if there is a bigger age gap.”
B&Q sell them for as little as £40. Some parents have shared innovative ways they have used dividers, such as painting each half of the room a different colour or using them to hang artwork from.
GoodHome Alara white modular room divider panel (£40, diy.com).
- Vicky’s book Start With Your Sock Drawer is available on Amazon.
2. CRAFT WALL
TRY to make full use of the height of the room.
Professional organiser Vicky says: “We tend to have a lot of wasted space high up. Bookshelves are a great way to make use of height.
“You can also buy Play & Go toy storage bags to hang on the wall at the end of the day.”
Abby Lawson, who writes justagirlandherblog.com, was applauded for creating a craft area on the wall, above, to make the most of limited space in a kid’s bedroom.
Play & Go storage bag, £33 at kidly.co.uk
You can mix and match to create a variety of levels, and of course they also create extra storage for books or school work.
Billy bookcase (£35, ikea.com)
4. THE DESK
USE a shared desk as a central point and decorate each half of the room differently so both children feel they have their own space.
With home-schooling, each child can keep to their side of the desk – or the desk can be used on a rota basis.
CAN you create a quiet zone elsewhere at home? Liat says: “Look around and see if there is anywhere you can give them a space of their own.
“Is there a play room where they can both have a corner? It doesn’t have to be a huge space, just somewhere with a bean bag where they can read.”
Faux fur pink fluffy bean bag (£40, argos.co.uk)
6. JUNK WALL
YOU could recycle an old wooden pallet or two to create a makeshift wall, and use them to hang photos and artwork from, so that each child can personalise their side.
Alternatively, use an old screen divider or make one by attaching three doors together, or wooden frames with fabric inside them.
7. BED TENT
IF you do not have space to divide a room, Liat says: “A pop-up tent or a bed tent is a great idea to give kids their own privacy in a bedroom.
“It provides a physical barrier with the rest of the house.”
Snuggy Pod bed canopy (£99.99, amazon.co.uk)
HANG several pieces of thick rope from the ceiling to the floor to create a rustic curtain dividing two halves of a room.
Alternatively, you could use ceiling hooks to hang fabric from, or even a foil disco-style curtain.
Or you could even hang wooden frames upholstered with fabric from the ceiling.
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IF the room is too small for dividers, use a clothes rail.
Liat says: “Using something else to split the bedroom is a great way to give each child their own private area.”
Instead of using the rail for clothes, hang a curtain on it. And because clothes rails often have wheels, you can move them around.
Cream clothes rail (£30, dunelm.com)
10. BUNK BEDS
MUM Sharlene Tait showed on Facebook how she created space using her girls’ bunk beds, by installing wood panels to divide up the room.
Each half was then decorated differently.
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