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Mausoleums and the family bed

February 25, 2010

The building trend in recent years has led to massive new homes that my friend Eve affectionately referred to as mausoleums. These huge concrete boxes are built to take up every spare inch of the block that they are allowed to and then some. When we lived at the beach in Currumbin, we watched many a lovely old home pulled down only to be replaced by massive houses with a tiny bit of turf and a few palms. These houses have media rooms, a room for every person, guest rooms, powder rooms, spa baths, you name it and they are often occupied by two people! Our neighbours at the time built one and split up shortly after completing so there ended up being one man in a house with 8 bathrooms.

When we built our house in the ecovillage, we had to build to a size restriction. Our modest little 2 bedroom home which you see in the banner of this blog is 126m2 in floor area. At the time we had one child but we knew we wanted two. So then we had to consider, how necessary was it to have a bedroom for each child? Well, we chose to follow Japanese tradition and all sleep in one main bedroom. Japan, incidentally has among the lowest SIDS rates in the world.

I co-sleep with my babies anyway but this is most natural for Kosuke too and we have often commented on how strange it would feel to have our children sleeping in a separate room to us. Times when they’ve been sick or restless during the night, we’re right there ready to help and protect them.

Co-sleeping doesn’t work for everyone but I do wonder if people really consider whether they absolutely must have a bedroom for each child. I know a woman with 4 kids who bought a larger house so that each child could have their own room but in doing this, she more than tripled her mortgage and now they are quite stressed financially. Is it worth it?

We have two queen bed mattresses side by side. They are on low slatted pine bases (picked up from Ikea for $20 each) and we have a large cotton gazebo size mosquito net over the whole thing. It feels like luxurious camping and we love it!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2010 5:21 pm

    i love this photo. our kids share a room and are regularly asked when we’re going to separate them. our bed and their beds are fairly interchangable and i’m never quite sure who i’ll wake up with! and i wouldn’t have it any other way – except the way you’ve got it.

    • March 8, 2010 7:06 pm

      It is such a delight to wake up with my kids every morning. I love that early morning feeling when you see their eyes first open and they look at you and smile.

  2. March 19, 2010 5:56 pm

    i was listening with interest to radio national this morning discussing the increasing size of family homes.

    our house is a modest 90square metres and sometimes i yearn for more space. but really we just need to invest in clever storage and give away some stuff!

  3. Chelsey permalink
    July 24, 2012 12:49 pm

    I love your idea! Two queen mattresses are next on the list! And the gauzy textured walls are so great!

  4. July 24, 2012 2:10 pm

    Thanks Chelsey. It’s been brilliant for us. The kids are now 7 and nearly 4 and it’s still working out great. We’ve recently got ourselves off the slatted bases onto higher up beds but the two queen size mattresses are just great and give us a lot of flexibility. The gauze is our summer “tent” – great to keep us protected from any stray mozzies in this subtropical climate.

  5. aurorearnould646051640 permalink
    January 15, 2015 7:33 am

    Not sure my previous comment worked…
    Love your bed.
    We have something very similar apart from the slatted base. did you have the base on the floor directly ? I think this would solve my Hubby’s back issue…

    • August 11, 2015 2:58 pm

      Hi, so sorry for not replying sooner. We have since changed our bedding arrangements but what we had then was 3 single slatted pine bases from Ikea directly on the floor and then 2 queen size mattresses on them. It wasn’t ideal because the dust gathered underneath and to clean, I had to lift everything up, mattresses and all. But it was a cheap family bed set-up so it served its purpose at the time. What we have now is a queen size bed and 2 single beds (1 on either side). They are bed frames that are off the floor so I can easily clean underneath now. I got them on Gumtree. Hope that helps!

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