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#1 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We have a 3 bedroom house and 3 boys, ages 8, 5.5, and 2.5. Our "master" bedroom is about 12x14. The second bedroom is 12x10 (shared by the two older boys). The third bedroom is 8x12 (2.5 yo currently has his own room).

I would love to have 4 bedrooms so the boys can each have their own room when they get older. But I don't know if we'll ever have the money for a larger house, and we really like our current lot (backs up to woods).

We were wondering if it would be crazy to someday divide the master bedroom into two bedrooms. We'd have to add a window, and re-route some heat into the other half of the room. The closets would be OK, since our room currently has two (one medium, one small one on the other side of the room). This would make two bedrooms that would be slightly smaller than 12x7.

These would be cramped bedrooms, but each boy would then have a space of his own. (And maybe the wall could be "temporary" so it could be removed if we ever decide to sell the house.)

DH and I would then move into the smaller 10x12 room. We'd have to get rid of one of our dressers (we have two in our room right now), and the closet in that room is TINY, so we'd have to keep some of our clothes in the kids' rooms.

Obviously I'll have to wait for the boys to get older and see how the room sharing dynamic is working out (right now they're perfectly happy to share). We may never have to divide the room, but if we DID, would it work out? Or would we be better off just trying to buy a slightly larger house?

Thanks for any thoughts/advice/etc.!
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#2 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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Do you have a garage or attic that could be converted, instead? What is the lot like, could you add a room or two on? We had friends turn a cement patio into another room recently for just $4,000. Obviously, they did it in a clever way, to do it as cheaply as possible but it looks lovely. I think that the two rooms would be a little too small and closet-like in such a small room, so I would be inclined to try to think of any other option. Also, by the time the boys are old enough to want privacy, you might find you are dying to have your nice sized master to escape to!
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#3 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 01:47 AM
 
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I would totally do this. I believe that in a small modern home, it makes sense to minimize areas that are designated for sleeping only, and to maximize areas that are used for daytime living. Ideally, sleeping rooms wouldn't have to be storage areas for clothing, toys, or other stuff. Sleeping rooms should be cozy and have natural light and fresh air.

I wish a family bedroom could work for us, but it doesn't . That would allow us to have a room totally decked out for playing.

My friends have their two boys sleeping in bunk beds in what's supposed to be a walk-in closet! It sounds horrible, but really they spend no time there other than sleeping and reading stories before bed. It's cozy. During the day they can choose between playing in the main living area, where some of their toys are, or the playroom (which also has a pullout couch for guests), where they have other toys.

Also, I got to a certain age where I would have done anything to have my own room and I didn't care about anything else. I spend a year sleeping in a room beside the kitchen that was basically a walk-through area between the kitchen and my mother's studio. But I was so happy to have my own room!

As an adult, it's not important to me to have a lot of sleeping space. One of my favourite bedrooms ever was basically the size of a double bed with almost no floor space (I stored my clothing elsewhere).

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#4 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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As a child, I was much happier sharing a room than having my own tiny tiny room.
I had a bedroom that was 7ft x 7ft. It seemed like fun for the first couple months but got claustrophobic after that.
Our kids have "sleeping only" bedrooms, we have an attic over the kitchen that we would like to finish and have as a master bedroom eventually. Plus we'll be turning the smallest bedroom into a bathroom too. So eventually our kids might not have to share? But as it stands, they will have bunk beds in smallish rooms.

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#5 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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well i don't think 6.5 x 12 is too small, but i would never remodel (even a minor job like that) to gain two tiny bedrooms out of a decent master bedroom, just so each of my three boys could have a private bedroom. no way!

what i would probably do is just allow the 2.5 year old to move into the "big boy room" when he's ready, and let the 8x12 be a toy room. that way, although there are three boys, there are two rooms which any of the three can use - essentially no kid has his own room yet they each have two rooms rather than one. if you wanted, you & dh could move to the 10x12 room so that the boys have more space (or if you need the floorspace for their dressers?).

i imagine they will spend a lot of time together, but if they really want some space, or if one wants a friend to himself, they can play in their bedroom or the toy room. another kid may be playing outside, in the kitchen, in the family/living room or reading quietly in your bedroom. by the time the youngest one is entering his teen years, the oldest is going off to college.

and speaking of going off to college - dorm rooms, first apartments with roommates, moving in with someone / getting married - um, learning to share a room as a child is a great idea.
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#6 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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well i don't think 6.5 x 12 is too small, but i would never remodel (even a minor job like that) to gain two tiny bedrooms out of a decent master bedroom, just so each of my three boys could have a private bedroom. no way!

what i would probably do is just allow the 2.5 year old to move into the "big boy room" when he's ready, and let the 8x12 be a toy room. that way, although there are three boys, there are two rooms which any of the three can use - essentially no kid has his own room yet they each have two rooms rather than one. if you wanted, you & dh could move to the 10x12 room so that the boys have more space (or if you need the floorspace for their dressers?).

i imagine they will spend a lot of time together, but if they really want some space, or if one wants a friend to himself, they can play in their bedroom or the toy room. another kid may be playing outside, in the kitchen, in the family/living room or reading quietly in your bedroom. by the time the youngest one is entering his teen years, the oldest is going off to college.

and speaking of going off to college - dorm rooms, first apartments with roommates, moving in with someone / getting married - um, learning to share a room as a child is a great idea.


All of that. I had 3 kids(4,2,1) in a 7 by 10 room.
Roomates who never sheared a room as a child are a pain to live with.
For some reason this..each child their own room..idea is important to my dh as well. We have 4 kids and a 4 bedroom house so it will probably never happen unless we sacrifice the media room and I like having my tv out of the living room so we will see. My kids love sharing a room. When we moved into this house dd was so excited to have her own room until the first night. Now she asks to sleep with her brothers all the time and this is still happening 2 years later.

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#7 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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I wouldn't divide the master bedroom, certainly not if you're ever planning to sell the house. We looked at a house with 4 small bedrooms when house hunting and contemplated making it into 3 bedrooms by combining 2, but it would just be too much hassle. I think it would be bad for your resale prospects. I'd consider making a bedroom in the basement (if you have one), attic, or even converting the garage before dividing the big bedroom.
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#8 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the thoughts & suggestions!

We live in split level home, so we do have a one-car garage with a long, narrow room next to it. This room and the garage are down about six stairs from the kitchen/living room level.

The long, narrow room (about 7.5 x 20) is cold and tends to get damp. There is a bathroom at the end of the room (great to have!), but the room has the stairs leading down to it, a door to the garage and a door to the basement. We've thought about someday making part of this room into a 4th bedroom. Right now we use it as a playroom/computer room -- a PERFECT use for it!

Our living room and kitchen are small, and we don't have a formal dining room. I really like the layout of our house, I just wish the rooms were a little larger. It's great now, but I worry when the kids are teenagers. (Plus our oldest has Aspergers so I have a feeling he may want to live at home and attend a local college).

If the boys REALLY want their own rooms someday, I suppose we could put up a temporary divider (even a curtain) in the master. You guys are right that dividing the master would probably lower the value of our house.

BTW, I don't want to finish the garage because it's damp in there. And we store bikes, camping stuff, etc. in there.

I would love to build an addition to our house, but it will be costly. There is no easy way to add on to a split level. Several contractors have said it would cost (approx.) 65K for a one-room addition, and 85-95K for a two-story addition! For that price, we could just buy a larger house!

Long story short, I guess there is no easy answer! I just wanted to hear what others have done. Thanks!
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#9 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 02:37 PM
 
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I personally wouldn't. Our 3 older boys share one big room(about 12 x 25). We have talked about splitting it up, but even if we did, it would NOT be into "personal rooms", but instead into one sleeping room, and one playroom. Right now it is essentially split that way, with beds on one side, and a play area (since they are teens, this is essentially a video game station, lol) on the other.

CPST
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#10 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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That sounds really small, would a bed even fit in there?? LOL! If anything I'd go with the temporary wall, maybe even some kind of sliding-doors type of thing so they could have privacy when they wanted it but open when they're playing/hanging out? They are pretty close in age so I can't imagine sharing being a HUGE issue... but my son is only 10 months so what do I know lol

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#11 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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Does anyone have a child who is 12+ years old who enjoys sharing a room? IMO, that's the age range where it could become an issue.

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#12 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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Does anyone have a child who is 12+ years old who enjoys sharing a room? IMO, that's the age range where it could become an issue.
I shared with my sis who was 5 1/2 years younger than me all my life. Even though we had an extra bedroom. We fought but I think it made us closer in the long run.We were so different we never would have gotten to know each other otherwise. There were just the 2 of us.

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#13 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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Does anyone have a child who is 12+ years old who enjoys sharing a room? IMO, that's the age range where it could become an issue.
my dad is one of four boys. boys 1 & 2 probably didn't love sharing a room, as they didn't have too much in common (although they did love each other and get along fine). boys 3 & 4 were best friends who would have shared by choice. and boy 4 now has sons who share a bedroom, leaving two spare bedrooms in their house! so some older kids do enjoy it.

people who crave solitude can find it, in another part of the house or outside, speaking as someone who needs that but currently shares a bedroom with a man, two children and a dog.
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#14 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 05:19 PM
 
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I think a curtain might be the perfect ideas, as it would allow them to share the room or to have separate space whenever feelings change.

TBH, though, I think everyone should have a space to call their own. It does not need to be any bigger than a bed or a comfy chair with some shelves above or something. Just a quiet hang out that you know is there for you. An alcove bed would work great for this, with some curtains around. These often have such a cozy feel to them that people end up choosing them over big bedrooms anyway.

I don´t know that you need a bigger house.... just creativity and a childlike spirit. (Not saying you don´t have these.) If your kids think they need something, they will ask for it. Until then, no need to do anything about it.

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#15 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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My kids share rooms and one is 8.5x9 and the other is 8x10... I think it would be hard to share a room that is less than 7ft wide, depending on the layout just because there isn't much space left to walk between the beds in my children's rooms (I guess bunk beds would work though)... but for just one person a 12x7 room sounds huge to me! My girls that share are 12 and 14yo.
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#16 of 35 Old 12-11-2009, 10:03 PM
 
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When I was growing up (ages 4-9) I had a bedroom that was TINY!!! I had a twin bed, a chest of drawers & one small toy shelf. That was it. I believe the room was 7x8. The house was over 100 years old & I am not even sure that room was suposed to be a bedroom. It worked though. I was very happy to get a larger room when we moved--it was very cramped!

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#17 of 35 Old 12-12-2009, 12:54 AM
 
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I've heard economist say that children having their own room, car, bathroom, etc. is a very modern concept and part of the reason why Americans are buying and building bigger homes now. And part of the reason why people get into more debt than they need to. I think you can do fine in your house and they will learn a lifelong lesson about sharing.

My SIL just had her 4th boy and they live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom bungalow! I don't know how she's doing it.

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#18 of 35 Old 12-12-2009, 01:16 AM
 
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We have three boys and number four on the way.We have a 2 bedroom. Yes there is fighting but that's life. Sure everyone wants their own space but the reality is it costs more. They also have a lot of fun together. We will just make the best of it.
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#19 of 35 Old 12-14-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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Throw them all in the larger of the two rooms and throw a futon in the smaller one for when somebody needs space.

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#20 of 35 Old 12-14-2009, 12:47 PM
 
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My 18yos and 13yos share a room, occasionally the 3.5yo sleeps with them. There are a few problems, but frankly I don't care. I am not going to buy a bigger house for what I consider to be a luxury.

One thing to consider is I'm pretty sure my 18yo would try to get away with stuff that is impossible with his 13yo brother sleeping in the bunk above him. That is a good thing IMO.
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#21 of 35 Old 12-14-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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I have a 1920s Craftsman-style home and one of the bedrooms is only big enough for a single bed and a dresser. They were built that way then - probably for a nursery. In my house it's a walk-in closet, now, which is A-OK with me. I also knew a friend in NYC who lived in a small apartment and there was some kind of closet that was HER space. It had room for a desk or something. I think she slept in the living room. I think what you want to do is fine, assuming it is what your boys want. They may be content with a shared sleeping space, but other areas that are just theirs - desk, loft, private closet, whatever. I think people in the US are used to much larger and private spaces.

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#22 of 35 Old 12-14-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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My child has the master bedroom, and I used the other one. It's about 6.5" wide and maybe 11-12" long. It's totally a workable space. I do haver very high ceilings so it feels bigger than it is. The closet is tiny however.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the room size. It might make sense to use a temporary method as to not change the value of the house of course

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#23 of 35 Old 12-14-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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We just did this, turned a 2br into a 3br. DD's room is tiny. Probably 7x10. It was the best choice for us.

I always thought that they could share, but the reality of different bedtimes, and waking each other up, just wasn't working. Well, actually, they all end up in our bed anyway! But it is still nice. :-)

I do think a tiny private space is best. DD is only 2, but definitely already likes it. She will only ever get a single bed in there, but that is fine. Her older bro is 4.

Making her room tiny gave us a nice large closet in our room, which is sorely needed in our small 100-year-old house.

Good luck with whatever you choose!
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#24 of 35 Old 12-15-2009, 03:24 AM
 
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I have kind of an opposite problem. We have a large 2-story 5 br house. We have 3 kids so each child has their own room and the 5th br is 'nephew's room' (he has stayed with us for part of each summer since he was 9 - he's 17 now). While my oldest does like to spend some time in her room by herself when she's frustrated or stressed out by her younger siblings most of the time my 2 girls end up sleeping together. I'd say probably 5 nights out of 7 I find the 4 yr old snuggled up to the 7 yr old. DS (who is 2 1/2) needs his own space so he's still in the 'nursery' in a toddler bed (or sometimes the crib if he decides to climb in there during the night).

In your case, I would wait and see if any adjustments need to be made later. I'm seriously thinking about moving older DD's bed into younger DD's room and leaving older DD's current room as a quiet place where she can do her homework, read books or color if she needs some space.

HTH,
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#25 of 35 Old 12-15-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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We live in a small 60 year old house. Our bedroom is 10x10. In it we have a king size bed, (It takes up the whole room really but we need it DH is a giant!), a nightstand, a tall dresser and a small wardrobe. No closet because we had to get rid of it to fit the bed!

Our 2 kids share a room that is 10x10. They have a bunkbed and two tall dressers with shelves with doors on top. They have two closets!

I think the room sizes you are talking about would not be too small but I am someone that just sleeps in bed, I don't hang out in my bedroom during the day. Having said that I wouldn't go to the trouble of building walls unless I absolutely had to though.
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#26 of 35 Old 12-15-2009, 10:45 AM
 
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When my mother remarried we moved into her husband's house and my bedroom was 8'x6'. It was TINY. My brother and I switched beds, because his was elevated with drawers underneath, and I had a computer table. It was small, but certainly livable. I was also a teenager, so I spent a LOT of time in my room.

When I was in college I had the larger bedroom in a two-bedroom apartment, but the second bedroom was only 8'x10'. I was really impressed with some of my roommate's space-saving tricks. She was perfectly comfortable in that room until we moved out.

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#27 of 35 Old 12-15-2009, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate the continued comments. It does seem like a better lesson for kids to have to share, but then again it's so important to have your own space when you're a teenager.

For this house, I suppose the best option would be to let the two older boys share the larger room when they get to be teenagers. We could put up a curtain or a temporary wall, so at least they'd have their own spaces within the room (and I wouldn't have to build walls, add windows, etc.)

I guess what I really want to know is if we should buy a slightly larger house. And I won't know that for many years. Right now we can't afford that, anyway!

It is getting hard to manage three boys in this house. There is not much storage, and when I pack the closets full, things grow mildew. My biggest problem is storing the hand-me-downs. I have a dresser in my hallway and a dresser in a closet -- JUST for storing clothes that nobody is wearing right now! I don't want to put these in the basement or garage because they might get mildewed.

Thanks again -- it is certainly good to know that kids have shared smaller spaces or have had really tiny bedrooms AND have managed to survive! We live in a town where our house is worth well below the median home price, so most of the people we know live in HUGE houses.

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#28 of 35 Old 12-15-2009, 12:33 PM
 
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You know, it sounds like you have more of a mildew problem than a space problem LOL... Why is your house so damp??? I can store things in my attic/basement and nothing gets mildewy... half our basement is finished and we could and would use it as a bedroom if necessary, it's not too damp... so maybe you need a dehumidifier or something so that you can use the space in your house better?

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#29 of 35 Old 12-15-2009, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, we have a mildew problem AND a space problem! We do run a dehumidifier in our basement. We store lots of stuff down there, but sometimes it does grow mildew (some years are worse than others). I store toys, food (sealed, of course), kitchen stuff, camping stuff, etc. down there. We are thinking about installing gutters in the spring. Maybe that will help.
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#30 of 35 Old 12-16-2009, 01:37 AM
 
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just wanted to add dh and his brother shared a bedroom until they went to college...XL twin bed each, one double dresser. they loved it. he thinks its so weird that i grew up sleeping on a queen sized bed...what a waste, he says. haha. i would definatly wait and see what your boys want and need as they grown. you may be just fine

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