Let's start with when a toddler and a baby share a bedroom. This parent has made the room comfortable for both children while creating a bit of separate space for the older child. The blackboard over the toddler's bed gives him a healthy and safe way to express how he is feeling, while marking that part of the room as his alone. Walls painted different colors delineate whose space is whose while adding color and fun to the decorating scheme.
If you use a dresser like this to change diapers on, consider engineering a guardrail for the outside edge. Babies have a habit of deciding to turn over willy-nilly, without regard for their own safety.
On the other hand, if you have twins or children very close in age, separation is probably not what they want. Two of my grandchildren are identical twins, and they are joined at the hip, figuratively speaking. Alyssa and Alexis are each other's best friend, confidante and playmate. They want to be together all the time. This is often true as well for children who are very close in age. When you create a shared room in these situations, you'll want an open, we-like-being-together feeling.
If you have more than two children sharing a room, this ingenious arrangement of bunk beds is a terrific solution. Building them into the corner makes maximum use of the floor space, while adding the cubby at the head of each bed guarantees every child a private nook. Bookshelves add an important dimension while also providing a bit more separation between the beds — and thus between the children.
If the shared bedroom is small, gain extra space by building up. Here a play loft has been created over the beds, adding considerably to the available area. It has the added perk of giving children an "away" space to go to if they want some time on their own. Let's just hope both kids don't want to use their away space at the same time, or they'll have a great opportunity to learn about conflict resolution.
And then there are the desks, which seem more necessary then ever these days. I am astounded by how much homework my three first-grade grandchildren have. Memory certainly dims, but I'm adamant that my sons' homework load was nowhere near what their children are bringing home. (OK, maybe they just never did theirs, but that's beside the point.)
The twins would joyously embrace this desk arrangement, with its two identical chairs and shared workspace. GatorGrid metal pegboards, hung over a desk like this, are a versatile and child-friendly solution to storage and display needs, and the color choices are awesome.
More: Oh, Baby! 12 Ideas to Get a Chic Nursery Rolling