So you’re having a baby! After the excitement settles in, and you’ve read 10,000 parenting books, you decide to start preparing and buying all the baby gear (and there is a lot of it!). And the eventually and inevitably, the question of where to put all the baby stuff in your tiny home comes up. In small homes, there often is not a huge bedroom that you can convert to a nursery, instead sometimes you have a small den or room that can be converted to a nursery, sometimes you have to dedicate part of your bedroom to be a ‘nursery’ but whatever space you do decide to use for the nursery has to be space efficient.
When designing a tiny nursery, some of the key things to keep in mind are:
Focus on function first. The main things you need for a newborn are
- A place to sleep
- A place to feed
- A place to change diapers
You can focus on these 3 zones when designing the baby’s new space and deciding what furniture pieces you need to purchase.
First, the baby will need a crib or bassinet to sleep in. For small spaces, bassinets or mini cribs work great and take up less floor space.
If you have enough space, a rocker or recliner is a great nursery addition to feed the baby in. If you have less room and need something a little smaller, a simple chair can work for feedings. Look for chairs with wider arms to help support you during those late night feedings. Regardless if you go for a chair or recliner, look for fabrics that are stain resistant and can handle throw up or other messes. And if you do not have room for a chair or recliner, fret not, you can easily do feedings in a chair in your living room or even on your bed.
If you have space, a changing table will be useful for all those diaper changes. Dressers with a changing tray on top can also be used for diaper changes and can store extra diapers and wipes. The dresser can then be used when the baby grows up and no longer needs a changing table. Don’t forget a diaper pail next to your changing station for easy disposal of smelly diapers.
If you are short on space, systems such as pack’n’plays provide a place for the baby to sleep as well as a changing station that goes on top of the crib for diaper changes. In small spaces, multi functioning pieces such as these can be very efficient and a wise choice.
When deciding what furniture pieces to buy, be realistic about what will fit in your nursery space. While it would be ideal to have all three zones in the nursery, sometimes you will have to use other spaces in your home. Other than a dedicated crib/ bassinet to sleep in, you can use other pieces in your home for feedings and changing diapers if you have to. It certainly won’t be as convenient or as pretty, but it will get the job done.
Once you have figured out what furniture pieces you need, you can play with the colors and accessories of the nursery!
Figure out the color palette you’d like to see in the nursery and make sure all the furniture, fabrics and accessories you purchase are in this color palette. For example, if you are going with a white, grey and pink color palette, you can purchase the crib in a white wood, paint the room a soft pink, have a grey fabric recliner with different shades of grey/pink/white/ black accessories.
Wallpaper or murals look great in nurseries, and there a range of patterns from geometric to chinoiserie. If wallpapering the whole room is out of the budget, wallpaper a focal wall such as the wall the crib is on and paint the other walls a coordinating color. If painted walls are more your style, try a colorful wall paint or an interesting paint treatment. Wallpapering the ceiling or painting it a different color from the walls can add a fun and distinctive touch to the nursery. You can really go many directions with wall paint and wallpaper, they don’t have to be pastel or primary colors just because it is a nursery!
Soft rugs are key for tummy time or crawling on the floor. Keep it in your color palette, and pick materials that can withstand stains or cleanings. Fussy materials such as viscose or silk are better used in another area of the home. Again, there are so many options for rugs out there, from geometric patterns to more traditional Persian style ones. Try to avoid very plush rugs with long pile such as sheepskin rugs, as food and dirt can get caught in the fibers. Try to pick a size where most of your furniture is comfortably on the rug.
Use blackout curtains or shades to keep out light and allow the baby to sleep undisturbed. Automated controls would be best, but at the very least, use cleats to fasten any control chains so they are less of a choking hazard for young ones.
Fun art is great for catching a baby’s imagination, but make sure they are hung at a height and placement where baby hands cannot pull and displace the pictures.
Use a few toys such as rocking horses or large stuffed giraffes as accessories to decorate the room instead of hiding them away in the closet. Use the closet or baskets to corral toys and books so that the space doesn’t look cluttered. You can use fun and colorful baskets or even baskets with pom poms for storage.
Use wall mounted shelves or ledges to display photos, art, or books. A series of wall shelves on top of each other can add height to a particular area of the room and can act as an art installation to display colorful children’s books.
If you need any assistance putting together your nursery or just need a few ideas, please feel free to reach out to me at reenaravi.com, I’d love to help!
Reena Chen | Owner, Reena Ravi LLC
I’m an interior decorator that loves to mix it up. I have a global eclectic approach to design. I love to draw inspiration from my multicultural upbringing and travels abroad and blend different styles to create stylish, functional and unified spaces. My mission is to approach each project from both an aesthetic and functional point of view, working closely with you to ensure the space truly reflects you and your needs and goals. When I am not designing, I can be found exploring different cities and restaurants with husband and dog Butters.
Learn more about working with Reena Chen of Reena Ravi Designs LLC through her eDesign Tribe Featured member profile!
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