Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Making Room for Baby: How to Borrow Space for a Nursery


By Jennifer Adams

One of the most fun things about having a baby is decorating the nursery. Ideally your baby will have his or her own room, but sometimes your living arrangements simply don’t allow it. How can you find space for all the furniture a baby needs if you don’t have a spare room?

Babies do need their space, but it doesn’t need to be extensive. Unless your bedroom is really large or can be sectioned off, it’s not a good idea to share your bedroom with your baby. A separate space will foster independence and allow all of you to get a much better night’s sleep. Fortunately, babies are not very picky. All you need to do is make it quiet and safe, not big and luxurious.

Never ever share your bed with a baby, no matter how convenient it seems or how small your house is! The risk of you rolling over onto the baby, or the baby suffocating in your fluffy bedding is, tragically, all too real. See our previous post on Kids’ Rooms for more nursery safety tips and links.


Think about all the potential alcoves, leftover or unused spaces or wide spots in your house. Is there a space at the stair landing or hall that you can’t figure out how to furnish it? All these can make cozy and charming nursery corners. Here are some more great space-saving ideas we’ve found that prove you don’t need a lot of space for a nursery.

Closets make great alcoves for a crib. Many modern cribs will fit perfectly in a closet opening! Remove the doors, shelves and hang bars, place a chest of drawers or changing table next to the closet and you have a perfect compact nursery. A spare room that is an office or guest room will work well, as long as it’s quiet and you can provide some separation from whirring computer noises and flashing lights. You won’t sleep well with a computer in your bedroom, why would your baby?

Room dividing screens and draperies create a little extra separation. Just make sure all draperies, fabric, cords and anything string or rope-like hanging from the ceilings or walls are well out of reach. Resist the temptation to use draperies at the closet opening. Once your baby can roll over, reach or grab, these become strangulation dangers.

Consider a bay window in a hall, dining room or even your living room. I would love it if I was small enough to have a bed that fits on a window seat! But because a bench makes a terrible bed for a baby because he or she could easily roll off, yank it out and replace with a real crib. Make sure the windows are not drafty, nor too warm or too cold. And add some opaque room darkening shades so you can control the light for midday naptimes.

Set up corner of a little-used room, such as your formal dining or living room. Your life changes dramatically when you have a baby, so should the way you use your home. Move past traditional room functions and use the space for something truly necessary. And, in many current homes, the formal living and dining rooms are located perfectly for a nursery. They’re usually convenient to the kitchen and great room or family rooms, but are far enough away to be peaceful and quiet.

Swap your master bedroom for a smaller room. Many homes are built these days with more than one master bedrooms, big closets and multiple bathrooms. If you are using your extra master bedroom as an office, convert the walk-in closet to a nursery. Or, move yourself into the smaller of the two rooms and create a family room or play area in the bedroom part, and turn the closet into a little nursery. As the child grows or if you have another baby, you will be able to add a bed in the main room.

Decommission a spare bathroom! Pull out the plumbing fixtures and build a nursery in the bath. Have a plumber add caps to the drain holes, then carpet over the flooring. Bolt a solid counter over the sink and you have a convenient changing table and storage. The crib may fit nicely where the tub once was. You can always replace the fixtures if you need to move or reclaim the bath in the future.

Finish the space under the stair. If you have enough room for a spare closet or powder bath, you might have room for a crib. Create an alcove, but don’t worry about fully enclosing it. You’ll gain space without building walls, and later after the crib is gone, you can add a beautiful armoire if you need the storage or a decorative table.

Speaking of armoires… no, never mind. Even for a newborn, the inside of an armoire would be a pretty tiny sleeping space, even if you could rig some rails! Use an armoire for the storage you’d give up if you converted a closet to a nursery.

What do you think? Send us a photo or describe your creative space. We can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Photos courtesy of Domino Magazine and Pinterest.



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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 9:01 AM 

1 Comments:

Anonymous Jacqui said...

I really love this idea and babies grow fast so you will not need a nursery for a very long time. This is a practical way of getting a room for your baby. These are great tips and I am considering the closet idea you suggested. I think that will work well for me and for the structure of my closet space.

April 2, 2013 at 5:15 AM  

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