Large space can easily make two bedrooms

DESIGN LINE

March 19, 1995|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

:Q: Our new home is big on space but short of rooms. Our two daughters, ages 6 and 9, will thus have to share one large bedroom. Do you have some suggestions for how best to arrange this space? We also need advice on the furniture and colors for the room.

A: My first suggestion is to get both your daughters involved in the design process. Even if kids don't seem interested in selecting furniture and colors, you can be sure they'll let you know what displeases them -- after the room is finished.

But before you start negotiating, consider this factor: Two small personal spaces are usually preferable to a single large room that has to be shared. Perhaps, then, you'll want to install a partition that will give each of your girls a sense of territory and privacy. That's the solution applied in the photo, which shows one half of what was originally one big bedroom.

Note, however, that the partition need not extend all the way up to the ceiling, as it does in this case. A partial divider that ends, say, 2 feet below ceiling height will achieve the same spatial effect while also allowing air to circulate between the two individual units.

The furniture here is mostly of the built-in variety. An 8-foot-long dresser, only half of which is shown in the photo, has been placed at the end of the partition, forming a T. It allows each child to have separate drawers in the same piece of furniture. Other furnishings of the kind should be more or less suitable for your daughters' room(s). I wouldn't worry much about making the design gender-specific. Pink hardly seems essential in 1995.

My advice is that you not go to enormous expense. No matter what kind of furnishings you buy, your daughters will soon outgrow them -- aesthetically as well as physically. Keep an eye out for pieces that can be reused and re-adapted for your 6-year-old as your 9-year-old turns into a teen.

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