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Shared Spaces

Design ideas for boy-and-girl rooms

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City parents have plenty of things going for them, but an abundance of space isn't always on that list. Brothers and sisters often end up sharing bedrooms (and we sure hope they're sharing playrooms). Which is all good, if a bit challenging décor-wise. Of course, sage green and pale yellow are perennial options—but we asked our friends Melisa Fluhr and Pam Ginocchio, the design pros from Project Nursery, for ideas with more pizzazz. And we can't wait to try them.

Rainbow Brights.
Rainbows have been retro-hip for a while now. They're also gender-neutral in a very bold way. We suggest keeping the crib bedding or duvet a simple white. Then layer in loads of accessories and wall art in every color of the rainbow. Finish it off with a multi-colored accent wall, if you can handle it.

Year-Round Summer. Citrus orange, aqua blue, coral pink, and lime green not only conjure up dreams of beach vacations, but they also make an excellent color combo for both sexes. Choose fresh, colorful bedding and add accents that evoke seashells, the beach, sitting on the porch, and other summer fun.

The Mini Traveler. Children love the idea of faraway lands. Choose two dream cities (maybe Paris for her and London for him). Then transform the shared space into a culturally rich theme the whole family can appreciate: collect and display cherished travel mementos, as well as travel-inspired storage accessories, wall art (both feminine and more masculine pieces), and throw pillows.

Black & White (And Toys All Over).
It can be tricky to stick to a concise color palette in the playroom given the rainbow of shades in children’s toys. Instead, think of the room as a blank canvas for color, and use black and white as your base—for the play table and chairs, storage, and even a black chalkboard wall. It’s clean, it’s striking, and it complements colorful dollhouses, bright bulldozers, and everything in between.