Children, no matter how close they are, do need to be alone occasionally. If they’re sharing rooms, this need is even greater. Dividers can separate, yet provide equal storage or work space for each child. These can be truly ingenious separators, providing the storage and work space, tack board, or even a combination of all three, which each child should have.
The most versatile and economic of all dividers are window shades. I used shades to provide privacy by making them part of the furniture in a room shared by very young twins, a boy and a girl. Rather than divide the tiny room, I decided to make the area surrounding the beds as private as possible.
I built a frame, around each bed, of 2-by-2-inch construction, similar to a four-poster. The top of the frame is used to support the full weight of the roller shades that are attached to the uprights with standard shade hardware and rollers, just under the top frame of the bed.
From the top frame, I suspended vinyl straps that snap to the face of the top frame ad hold the roll when it is rolled up. I didn’t use the familiar “spring” roller, but a plain rod, because the shade cloth would have been too heavy for easy, faultless operation. The vinyl strap holds the shade in the rolled-up position. To release the shade and let it down, the tots have to ask for help in unsnapping the strap.
I used off-white felt for the shades, a pleasant contrast to the robin’s egg blue of the walls. I chose felt because it is available in a six-foot shade, and does not require hems. I made matching shades, on spring rollers and of shade cloth, for the nearby windows. In the long shade that drops down on the wall side of the bed facing the window, I “built in” a window made of a clear vinyl that allows light to enter the bed area when all the shades are down.
Both beds are equipped with rolling night tables of white plastic. Bed lamps are fixed to the wall. a shelf stretches wall to wall across the wall opposite the beds, supported by two chest of drawers. This provides plenty of surface for the twins who can play together by day, and sleep in privacy at night.