How to make room for a baby when you don’t have room for a crib

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Shortly after becoming pregnant with my second child, I realized we didn’t have room for a dedicated crèche. It was two years into the pandemic and the guest bedroom was masquerading as my husband’s office. The living room had turned into an improvised games room. And my 2 year old son’s nursery also doubled as a guest bedroom.

Due to the lack of space – and my experience with my incredibly nocturnal first child – I decided to keep my baby at arm’s length, so I decided to create a nursery nook in the master bedroom. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it, though, or make big structural changes; I knew the baby would quickly outgrow the space. So we transformed the wall in front of our bed into a nice corner of a child’s room.

After over a year of living with it, I can say it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

If, like me, you’ve been thinking of ways to add a nursery nook to your bedroom but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. We talked to some designers about easy and budget-friendly ways to decorate a temporary space for your baby. Here are their suggestions:

Choose a consistent palette. If your room was neutral before your baby arrived, stick to this color scheme. By honoring the existing palette, you can make the nursery a seamless extension of your bedroom. “In a muted room, you can dial in the pizzazz with colorful accents and dreamy prints, patterns and textures on bedspreads, blankets and rugs,” says designer Mel Bean of Tulsa. Interiors Mel Bean.

Tips for choosing nursery furniture that will grow with your child

Go big with accents. Accessories are a great way to decorate an ephemeral space, as they can be put on and taken off quickly. Bring along dreamcatchers, whimsical decals, lamps, and artwork that delineates this part of the room as dedicated to the baby. Bean also suggests using peel and stick wallpaper in kid-friendly designs to accent the corner. “Wallpaper on an accent wall can be an absolute sight.”

You can even channel your creative side by introducing decorative elements suited to the season – and your baby’s developmental stages – like an LED lamp mobile for Diwali, a garland crib skirt for Christmas or a potty pouch. rotten pressed flowers attached to the bottom of the cradle for the summer.

Sarah Sham, Founder and Lead Designer of Mumbai Essajees Workshop, recommend adding a natural touch. “Plants are a nice, natural way to bring the outdoors in, and they…make a visual impact too,” she says. They are the perfect way to add interest without making the room too juvenile for a shared space.

Look for multitasking furniture. Remember: your baby will quickly outgrow this space – and the furniture – so it makes sense to opt for multitasking pieces, such as removable shelves, bassinets with drawers, compact storage ottomans, bassinets that double as storage baskets and nursing chairs that can be used. as accents. “A contemporary, convertible crib can fit right in with the aesthetic and be transformed into a bed when your child is old enough to move into their own room,” says Sham. Bean suggests using your dresser as a changing table to make the most of the pieces you already have.

Plan your storage. Look for solutions that are big on storage but small in size. Hanging shelves, wall hooks, door hooks and wall organizers, for example, are great ways to utilize vertical space. Kim Lewis, founder of Austin Designs by Kim Lewis, also suggests updating your wardrobe. “Adding a second rod can be a quick and convenient way to double your closet capacity,” she says. “You can do this by attaching a new rod to the existing one with a light chain and using carabiners, S-hooks or eyelets to secure the system in place.” The rolling carts can be used to hold diapers, creams, washcloths and blankets, and the carts can be stored away when not in use. And make the most of the space under the bassinet by filling it with storage cubes and baskets to hold sheets, mattress pads and other non-daily use items.

Personalize your lighting. What works for adults in a master bedroom may not be suitable for babies, so adjust your lighting accordingly. Sham recommends using soft lighting with a dimmer instead of an on-off switch. “A lot of times when babies wake up, you want to be able to have light that goes from bright to dim, or at least provide ambient coverage,” she says. “Soft lighting can minimize the contrast between light and dark and thus avoid overstimulation.” Sham also says to avoid halogen lights and exposed bulbs. Opt for diffused or shaded light and use soft white or daylight bulbs. Placement matters too. “Some types of bulbs are prone to overheating, so if you use them, it’s important to keep them out of your toddler’s reach,” she says.

And layer your lighting so you have options for different tasks. “A single bright light source can be overwhelming for a baby with underdeveloped eyes, so it’s a good idea to have at least three light sources to light up the room as needed,” says Sham. “For example, a ceiling lamp, a bedside lamp and a changing table lamp can work independently or together to give you enough light where you need it.”

Dora W. Clawson