Is it possible to make a 5x7ft bedroom comfortable for a child once they outgrow the cot?

(69 Posts)
Pascha Fri 22-Mar-13 17:08:37

We have a decision to make:
1) Swap the bathroom and third room back around to what they were originally, giving a reasonable size bedroom and a tiny bathroom. This is apparently quite difficult (according to my plumber husband and FIL) and we will probably not see a return for our money when we eventually come to sell.

2) Leave DS2 there and make the room as good as possible, maybe by building in a bed rather than attempting to put a single in hmm

3) Move. Not practically possible til we have two incomes again.

4) Put both boys in together in our large bedroom once DS2 is out of the cot while we have DS1's smaller but perfectly good sized room ourselves.

What would you choose?

lalalonglegs Fri 22-Mar-13 17:11:58

I'd move the bedroom and the bathroom - never seen the point of a big bathroom if space is at a premium elsewhere as you only spend a few minutes in it per day. If the bathroom was originally where the bedroom is, I don't understand why it would be difficult. I'm afraid a tiny third bedroom will make your house much harder to sell than a small bathroom.

I built a bed in my old house for DD it worked well, got to be worth looking at that option more

Moominsarehippos Fri 22-Mar-13 17:14:34

I'd look onto getting a high sleeper. Room for a desk and wardrobe underneath and keeps as much if the floor clear as possible.

rocketleaf Fri 22-Mar-13 17:14:39

Could you build a cabin bed in the small room or bunk beds in DS1s room so they can share it hence keeping the big room for yourselves?
I would try and work with what you've got rather than messing about with plumbing.

I'd either do 2 or 4.

Personally I can't stand a small bathroom. If I'm trying to get ready in the morning, and then the boys need to brush their teeth, and DH is primping his hair, I get VERY agitated.

If building in a bed, I'd do a high sleeper type deal, with drawers underneath, probably 2 drawers high on one half and shelving on the other half, then it's not so high, but you get some good storage for clothes, toys and books without taking up floor space.

Pascha Fri 22-Mar-13 17:16:17

I agree with you lala and we had decided some time ago that this would be the best option but DH and FIL have taken a proper look this afternoon and concluded that it will cost lots and lots. I trust their considered opinion.

I don't want to have to build a bed in there. I would rather chuck the boys in together than do that. DH refuses to consider this.

Hulababy Fri 22-Mar-13 17:16:49

I'd look at how ,much to swap the bedroom and bathroom. Tbh a smaller bathroom wouldn't be too bad if you sell after but a 5x7 bedroom may put people off a lot more.

OneHundredSecondsofSolitude Fri 22-Mar-13 17:18:03


MortifiedAdams Fri 22-Mar-13 17:19:26

DDs room is a bit bigger than your dss OP but we used to use it as our main bedroom as the master bedroom was the lounge (ground floor flat), and what would be the lounge was a dining room.

When I fell pg we swapped the rooms round to free up the bedroom for dd, and we have the big one and tbh all we do is sleep in it.

If we have a second child we will.move back into the and put the two dcs in the big room with all their toys

Pascha Fri 22-Mar-13 17:20:36

Problem is with high sleepers and such is that the window and the door are on the long walls which rules anything like that out. We will have to change the door hinges so it opens out into the hall as it is to allow enough room for a bed to fit in.

DS1's room is under the sloping roof. We could get 2 singles in easily but not a bunkbed.

something like this idea, although they're more standalone pieces, and looks lovely, but probably pricey

Floralnomad Fri 22-Mar-13 17:22:53

I'd look at some of the set ups in places like Ikea and other bedroom places and then steal their ideas and build stuff in . Your oH and FIL sound quite handy ! It's a small child so it would be playing downstairs anyway on the whole .im sure you could make it look really cosy .

Pascha Fri 22-Mar-13 17:24:26

We have a very large well fitted out shower room downstairs so a tiny bathroom isn't the end of the world, as long as we can get a bath in somewhere I'm happy.

A built-in low cabin bed is theoretically possible but I still don't really like the idea. DS2 would have virtually no floor space at all

lastSplash Fri 22-Mar-13 17:25:18

If you're planning to be in the house for a good few years, definitely 1.

Luckily you're husband can do the plumbing.

The kids having decent sized bedrooms of their own will be worth the money.

Iatemyskinnyperson Fri 22-Mar-13 17:25:27

My nephews bedroom is v small, but they've made it very functional & fun with a purpose-built bed. Loads of storage underneath & bed on a high platform (railing around it). He loves it & my DS always asks for one like it.

It wasn't that expensive IIRC, a local carpenter made it for them. Think it was a hybrid from a couple of flat pack units!!

That does make the bathroom move better then. We're stuck with one bathroom for now. grrrr.

Here is that bed, it's on sale. Just as well I'm not in the Uk right now, I'd probably get it for our box room!$4-cabin-beds/archie-cabin-bed?/?utm_source=af&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=affiliatewindow&_$ja=tsid:24695&awc=3295_1363973036_126f788d88066eefa8785bc7d2053868

Pascha Fri 22-Mar-13 17:26:25

Oh I like that, HerRoyal. Its too tall though, it would block the window.

I suppose no floor space means no mess? <hopeful>

MortifiedAdams Fri 22-Mar-13 17:27:43

You could.make your own storage bed like this which he wouldnt grow out of.

pooka Fri 22-Mar-13 17:28:55

yes - depends how longterm this would be.

Either move ds2 in with ds1 and have the tiny bedroom shelved out for toys and books.

Or change the bathroom and bedroom round. How big is the bathroom? That would be my first choice.

Or you move into ds1s current bedroom, using tiny room as walk in clothes storage. And ds1 and ds2 share the larger bedroom.

I really can't see a 5x7 bedroom working for the long term.

MortifiedAdams Fri 22-Mar-13 17:31:29

Even more storage

MinimalistMommi Fri 22-Mar-13 17:34:58

Could you look for a futon style floor bed but with a proper mattress and a very very low bed frame? The bed could easily be used to sit on/play on as well as sleeping on.

pompompom Fri 22-Mar-13 17:35:53

If he's just out of the cot then surely you can't get a high sleeper - I wouldn't be happy putting a child under 4 up so high confused

I'd just put them both in the same room tbh.. Or at least do a trial and see how that works (to convince your DH). If it doesn't work, swap the bathroom and tiny bedroom.

I don't think a 5 x 7 bedroom would be good at all

Pascha Fri 22-Mar-13 17:39:40

He's only 10 weeks old, Pompompom grin We're planning this for next year.

Current bathroom is 7'6 x 8' with a built-in cupboard - perfectly fine as a single bedroom. Current bedroom is 4'7 x 7' with no storage space.

When we moved here pre-children, I did use this room as my walk-in wardrobe grin

I slept in the tiny bedroom as a kid and liked having my own space while my 2 younger sisters shared the big room. I had a bed cut to size to fit in, then when I got older they did similar with a high sleeper.

I think I would do 4. Let the dcs share the big bedroom, you have the reasonable sized room, and leave the little bedroom as a study or something.

I wouldn't faff changing the bathroom to another room.

SquinkieBunnies Fri 22-Mar-13 17:57:21

I'd switch rooms with Ds and put them together in the big bedroom, and use the small room as an office with a closet in for all my stuff, dressing room style.

piprabbit Fri 22-Mar-13 18:07:57

Could you move him to a toddler (junior) bed when he moves out of the cot? They come in at about 5ft long, so should fit along one of the short walls, and would probably last him until he is 5 or 6 years old. By which time, who knows what you might be planning?

pompompom Fri 22-Mar-13 18:16:43

Our tall 5yo is still in his toddler bed - its an Ikea kritter one so longer than lots of them. I think he'll be happy in it for another year smile

forevergreek Fri 22-Mar-13 18:23:36

A cot bed will last until 6 years approx so if you use one it will lengthen time not needing to do anything.

After that I would just put two children in together, turn smallest room into either a study for them/ den/ reading room/ or toy storage. Keep big bathroom.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Fri 22-Mar-13 18:31:16

I had a bedroom of similar proportions when I was little. It was fine, we just have fancier expectations now.

My dad turned the airing cupboard into storage for me (the boiler went up in the loft)

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 22-Mar-13 19:07:03
MisForMumNotMaid Fri 22-Mar-13 19:10:16
katcatkat Fri 22-Mar-13 20:20:50

my son has a bedroom that is only slightly larger. we used an ikea extend able be still he was big enough to go into a higher sleeper, which was great as it was 3ft wide and went from 4ft to 6ft in length.
he spends most of his time downstairs and only sleeps in there.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Mar-13 20:23:54

We have two children in a room approx 7x9 ft.

Obviously a small bedroom means toys have to be stored elsewhere.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 22-Mar-13 20:26:28

I would do 2 or 4,but most likely 2 as mine would love their own rooms now,however small.

rocketleaf Fri 22-Mar-13 22:01:54

I think pooka has a great idea there, both boys to sleep in one room but have the small bedroom as a playroom/den. That sounds like the least hassle and expense.

We do have a similar problem in that DD is currently in the box room (8x8) and will be moving to a bed this year. The space the cot is in is only 145cm so unless we get rid of vital storage then she going to have to have a toddler bed thus putting off the move to the big room for a bit longer. Could something like that work?

Jojay Fri 22-Mar-13 22:06:44

What's your age gap?

There's 2 years between my boys , 6 and 4, and they LOVE sharing! Don't rule it out.

Pascha Sat 23-Mar-13 09:12:55

Thanks for all your replies, folks. I have been looking at the links. OMG missmaid that bed on hydraulics or whatever looks amazing! Can't see it in my house but a great idea if you have the wall space.

DS1 is 2.6 so there is just over 2 years between them. I measured the 5ft wall properly last night and its actually 4'7" (139.7cm) which would just fit a standard cotbed mattress (140cm), with a squeeze, without a frame. A Boori mattress like DS1's is 132cm so we could get one of those instead and build a frame and storage round it.

Such a faff. I might have a better go at persuading DH that the boys will like sharing when the time comes. Actually they could easily share DS1's room and use the other as a cubby hole just as someone upthread suggested.

I'm going to quiz him later on why exactly he and his dad think its too much to swap the bathroom over.

Doingthedo Sat 23-Mar-13 09:32:13

my 3 dc have room each, the middle one, however, insists on sleeping in the bunk bed with her brother, she gets lonely otherwise! while they are young they will probably love sharing and having a toy room to play in - bean bags, books and posters?

I have a box room leading off a room though.

How about putting bunks in the box room leaving the bigger room as a playroom only. No one loses out. Toys have proper storage space.
You can get short bunks. They only need room to climb in.

MrsJamin Sat 23-Mar-13 11:44:08

No idea why you'd consider all these other options when you have 2 reasonably-sized rooms - just move children into the largest room and you have the other room. Our boys have always shared and they love it. We're about to move into a 4 bed and they will still be sharing for a while as it has a lot of benefits. When they wake up in the morning they are happy to play with each other before they come in and wake us up. Bunk beds are great, we have a thuka one which is expensive but you can get cheaper ones.

Tertius Sat 23-Mar-13 11:48:26

Build a bed, surely?

Pascha Sat 23-Mar-13 12:05:48

DH doesn't want them to have to share a room hmm. I'm quite happy for them to.

greenfolder Sat 23-Mar-13 16:50:20

i think you need to point out to your dh that you do not live in a 3 bedroom house. a "room" that is 7 x 4.5 is the size of a single bed with, at most, 1 foot along one side and 1.5 feet along the other. if he is not going to swap with the bathroom, then the only sensible option is for the kids to share. mine have shared at various points- would be hell now they are teens, but they actually preferred to share when little.

OhTheConfusion Sat 23-Mar-13 16:59:20

Why not let the boys share DS1's current bedroom and make the small room a play area? 2.6yrs is a good age for sharing.

AliceWChild Sat 23-Mar-13 17:22:24

What's your husband's solution? If he's finding problem with yours, what has he managed to come up with?

Pascha Sat 23-Mar-13 17:28:20

Ooh more replies. His solution is building in a bed to fit. I am not keen as the room will be difficult whichever way we go about it. Easier all round to let them share. He objects to sharing, he says his children shouldn't have to as we have 3 bedrooms. The fact that the 3rd bedroom wasn't ever mean't to fit a bed is beside the point, apparently.

AnnoyingOrange Sat 23-Mar-13 17:32:10

If ds2 is only 10 weeks old, you can use a cot for the next year or so, then get a toddler bed for a few more years and make a decision when the boys are older.

They might want to share or it might become apparent that they need separate rooms and you can revisit the solutions then

Wolfcub Sat 23-Mar-13 17:36:22

I'd do 2 until second child was about 8 and then do 4 but would ask the children at that point what they wanted

Pascha Sat 23-Mar-13 17:37:36

Yes, DS2 is still in a crib in our room so theres no hurry at all, just planning ahead.

MisForMumNotMaid Sat 23-Mar-13 17:39:27

Is it possible to pinch a bit of space by moving the partition wall between the tiny room and another?

LittleFrieda Sat 23-Mar-13 17:44:52

Could you draw a little plan of the oom to show where the door and window are on the floor plan.

My daughter (7) has a teensy bedroom and she adores it. We managed a standard single bed but I did look into orienting the bed the other way and found a co that makes mattresses to order.

swampster Sat 23-Mar-13 17:49:21

Four bedrooms here, three DSs. They share a room, have a playroom full of their junk toys, we have a small guestroom, and DH and I have the big bedroom. Works perfectly, one bed time and one bedtime story (or two, but they all hear it). Now DS1 is 9 I think he'll probably want his own room soon but until he asks for it we'll probably keep them in together.

swampster Sat 23-Mar-13 17:50:54

So I'm a fan of option 4.

LittleFrieda Sat 23-Mar-13 17:56:47

I wouldn't underestimate the value of having a room that is entirely yours. I would never put my children into share as I still bear the scars from a childhood spent sharing with my adorable but very very untidy sister.

I'm not sure what your layout is, but could you move one of the walls a bit and take some of the space from one of the neighbouring rooms? Might be cheaper than moving the bathroom. Otherwise I would probably do junior bed until too big and then get a mid-height storage bed even if it does block the window a bit. It should be safe as they usually have rails on both sides.

It's fine if they want to share and are happy, but it's nice to have options if they don't want to later on.

nellyjelly Sat 23-Mar-13 18:23:42

My DS is in a tiny room. Shelves on one wall, small set of drawers and a toddler bed on one wall. We took the door off and ise a curtain instead. It is tiny but he was in here as a baby and his toddler bed just fits. It buys us a bit of time until we can move in a couple of years hopefully.

I store some toys in boxes under his bed but the rest are in his sisters room or downstairs. He can't play in there really but is fine for sleeping.

We have ds1 (8) in a cabin bed in a 5x7 room. He has a desk and a chest of drawers, and room to build endless lego play under the bed. Ds2 (5) has a big room, and pretty much all their toys are in there. They both play in there. Ds2 is always always happy to have his big brother play with him so that works, and ds1 has his own little space when he needs it to build lego.

But I planed our previous house really thoroughly, looking ahead at what all 3 dc would need as they got older - and then we relocated, so I needn't have bothered. I think you should put the little one in a cotbed in the little room. He'll do nothing but sleep there for about 3 years yet, and then you can think about what will work next. You might have had twins by then

MrsJamin Sat 23-Mar-13 19:36:08

I think we need to hear what your DH's objections to sharing are. It's madness to consider swapping bedrooms and bathrooms when your children who are not old enough to know any better could share quite harmoniously. It sounds like he has too much pride to look like his children "have" to share.

Pascha Sat 23-Mar-13 20:06:19

Bang on, MrsJamin. He thinks it's a bit of a failure if our children can't have their own room. I think he's daft. I shared with my sister for years and I'm still alive to tell the tale (even if we did try to kill each other every week or so).

I have no idea how to draw a room plan and put it online.

Window wall: 7'0 with a window 1m in the middle.
Door wall: 7'0, door to the right side as you look into the room,
Two walls: 4'7" blank.

I know I'm not seeming very receptive but all ideas are under consideration.

millymae Sat 23-Mar-13 20:40:15

The first time I had a room of my own was when I went to university and it certainly didn't do me any harm. We were in the same situation as you a few years ago and decided to put our two dd's together so we could keep the very small room for storage etc. Within a very short time we had an unexpected lovely surprise on the way and had no choice but to use our 'spare' room for ds. It's so small that it will be hard to get a normal size single bed in when the time comes for hime to move into one but we've swopped the normal door for one that folds and that's given us a bit more space to play with.

Samnella Sat 23-Mar-13 22:53:34

DD2s room is slightly bigger - 6x 7 I think and she hasthis shorty mid sleeper although I didn't put her in it until she was 5. She also has a chest of drawers and all her toys under the bed. Her hanging clothes in her sisters room. Ideally they would share in bunk beds but they keep each other awake hmm

Lancelottie Sat 23-Mar-13 23:02:53

But if the boys don't share, once the younger one realises that he has a teeny room you will get the wail of 'It's Not Fayurrrr!'

Voice of somewhat bitter experience here... DD is already encouraging DS1 to move out so she can 'finally have a proper size bedroom'.

flow4 Sun 24-Mar-13 08:31:28

I had this situation a few years ago.

Swapping the bedroom/bathroom is usually a lot of expense and upheaval: with a standard bathroom replacement, you whip one out and stick another in within a day or two; but moving rooms, all the pipework, drains, electric wiring and ventilation need relaying, with floors and/or ceilings being ripped up meanwhile. Also, crucially, the external ventilation and drainage cost a HUGE amount to move or change, and in many cases can't actually be changed at all. If your tiny room is on the other side of the house away from the drains and in a place you couldn't dig a new one, it might be very difficult or even impossible.

Your age gap is quite small, so sharing a room might be OK. My boys are almost 5 years apart in age, and sharing only worked for a very few years, from 2+/7+ to 5/10. There were problems with different bedtimes, waking times and sleep patterns, and once my eldest hit adolescence, he needed privacy and it no longer felt appropriate for him to be sharing with a much younger child.

My eldest had the small room from 10-13/14, then they swapped so my youngest has had it from 9-13... IMO small children benefit from more space to play in, then teenagers need bigger rooms simply because they can't fit in tiny rooms, especially with a friend or two! Now I have two teens, the tiny room is a problem, and it's one of the reasons we're looking to move...

Dededum Sun 24-Mar-13 09:21:50

We have the same set up as you 2 very big rooms and 1 tinie and 2 boys 2 years apart. They have shared but didn't work out long term, youngest was quite happy in smallest for a while but lack of play space was a stress.
Last year completed loft conversion and DS2 moved into big room. First thing he did was asked for a double bed as he wanted to s..t..r..e..t..c..h out.

Your youngest will be ok for 4 or 5 years, then you can re-assess.

LittleFrieda Sun 24-Mar-13 19:46:38

My daughter isn't the youngest but she has the smallest bedroom. She adores it, it's her little sanctuary. There is no jealousy at all about rooms or I've of rooms. You can make very small spaces very lovely.

LittleFrieda Sun 24-Mar-13 19:47:27

I've size of rooms.

DD has a mid sleeper with space underneath in her tiny room. The room was too narrow for a single, so we bought a wooden frame one and cut it to size, ordered a mattress made to measure.

She can use the space underneath to play.

RandomMess Sun 24-Mar-13 20:17:48

I would build a bed along the short wall so only 4'7" it will last a lot longer than you think at which point you may be able to move anyway or loft conversion or some other alternative. My friends 13 year old is still in an Ikea bed that is only 165 long.

My dc slept in their cots with their sides off until about 4 and still had loads of room length ways.

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