DESIGN

A Shared Gender Neutral Space For My 6 & 3 Yr Old

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My favorite rooms in our apartment are the ones my children use most! Surprised? Read on to find out how I created a shared gender neutral space for a 6 year old and a 3 year old that is not only their ‘happy place’ but mine too!

Ever since our daughter was born, her and her brother have shared a room. From our tiny New York space where there was no choice to a slightly bigger space in Boston Mass, where even though we had the option of separate rooms for them, we decided sharing, (at least for now while they are so young) would be more fun.

Here is a ‘Before’ shot, if you’d like to see. When we moved, the kids room was the first one we wanted to get up and running so to speak, in order that they would have their familiar things around them. The idea was that they would leave us alone to work on unpacking the rest of the place!

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The room is not big at all and we finally decided to go for the ubiquitous kubra bed. Using Montessori principles of the floor bed, this was the ideal choice for our then not quite two year old and of course exciting for the then 5 year old as it was to be his first ‘big boy bed’ un-shared by mama or baby sister.

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I love that this bed has been  a safe, non restrictive option for this little one, where she can lie down at ease when ever she feels like it and there is enough room for Mama or Baba when the need arises.

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Of course my son wanted superhero bedding. So we set about looking for one with no faces or eyes on the design. This lovely ‘Captain America-esque’ duvet was a lovely gift from one of his Khalas (aunties). The astrology inspired wall stickers are a really easy and fun addition.

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This home-made bunting is so special to me. Its made out of the remnants of an old Macy’s bag! My sisters and I made it together the night before they threw me my first ever baby shower. It still makes me smile to see it hanging above my first ever ‘baby’ s bed who is 6 years old now mashallah!  The ‘Boys & Balloon’ prints were made by the amazing Zarina, who also happens to be my sister!

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The perfect place and height for this cheerful child safe mirror, next to this ‘baby bookshelf’ (which is actually one of those trays used for hanging plants or storing small gardening equipment!) The portability of this book storage idea is the best thing about it. My daughter used it SO MUCH when she was younger. Sitting next to it, choosing her own books putting them away herself… the size is ideal for those baby board books and we look forward to it getting much use again with the new baby (35 weeks and counting now!)

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I know it’s not for everyone, but I love the mismatched / mixed up look. Here I wasn’t afraid of mixing wood, metal, plastic and rattan . The boxes are storage for, dinosaurs, animals, small super-hero figures, large super-hero figures, doll house furniture, wooden blocks and ‘traffic toys’ aka vehicles. These groupings of toys are always stored separately this way. Makes tidying up much more manageable as both kids know the ‘right’ place for all the items.

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Aaaaand… here’s to keeping it ‘real’ !

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One of my absolute favourite corners of the room. This miniature village is from a set that I bought for the kids years ago, I just hand picked a few buildings and put them on top of one of the  window sills. And I mean the top, top.

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‘Sunshine’ means more than jut sunshine to us, as ‘sunshine face’ is one of the names I call my children.

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Here’s the view from the door, for some perspective…

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We are renting so painting walls is not an option. This never bothered me though – even if we could paint I would probably choose a bright white wall anyway, preferring to accessorise with bright textiles and items on hand. And wall art. Always wall art. Always bright and beautiful. The kids both have a ‘painting’ they have done that I framed and put in a trio along with another great print from their Khala (aunt)

‘ladybird’ finger painting by Ismail aged 3!

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‘Guest Of Nature’ paper cut art by Zarina aged 17!

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Hand print ‘hand painting’ by Ayesha aged 2!

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Another way to add dramatic colour is by strategically only giving your child certain paint colours to work with and letting them go all out on a blank white canvas. Voila. (As opposed to giving them free reign of all paints and ending up with a brown mush). These three bears are part of some vintage wooden wall hooks and were a $3 thrift store find!

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Hope you have enjoyed this peek into a corner of my home. What your home’s ‘happy place’ ?

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1 Comment

  • Reply MummyBird November 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    I absolutely love this post. The artwork by Zareen is amazing, does she have an online shop? The boy and balloons are lovely but the ‘guest of nature’ picture is fantastic and such a great message for children.
    P.s. mattress in my little ones room is now on the floor for tonight, inspired by your set up, here’s hoping for some sleep!

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