Small Nursery Ideas to Create a Hardworking Space

Having a small space or storage room doesn’t mean you can’t have an adorable and practical nursery. This means you need some clever ideas for a small nursery to make the most of your space. It’s time to get creative and make the most of every inch.

When it comes to getting the most out of your nursery ideas, the first job is to measure – around radiators, alcoves and window sills there is often dead space that you may be able to fill with clever decoration or storage solutions for the nursery.

Then prioritize which items need to go there and if there are any that could go in another room. The bed and essentials should be in the baby’s room, but think outside the box for the rest. Could toys be stored in the living room and towels and bedding in the bathroom?

And finally, storage is the most important consideration when planning a small nursery. Keeping things organized and close at hand when you’re sleep deprived and exhausted is essential for a well-functioning room.

small nursery ideas

With these simple little nursery ideas, you can create a functional nursery, even if you’re short on space.

1. Keep everything close at hand with open shelving

White nursery with white scandi style crib and pink accents on curtains and furniture

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

Babies usually come with a lot of things, from diapers to baby wipes. Keep everything in its place with designated storage in your new nursery. Storage trays or shelves are perfect for this and a great solution is to remove doors from furniture – they just take up valuable floor space. In this girls nursery idea, pink accents have been used to add a splash of color to the white room, which is easy to update as your child grows.

2. Make the most of wall space

Blue nursery with multiple wall storage options

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Storage that doubles as a display is a winning idea for a small nursery. Installing shelves, chair rails or hooks on the walls is not only visually appealing, but means you have all the essentials close at hand when it’s time to get baby ready. “A clothes organizer is great for displaying cute newborn clothes – it’s not only functional but also stylish,” says Kris Tolofson, director and co-founder of Nöa & Nani. ‘Hang clothes together in ‘outfits’ so that they can be easily accessed and put back together when needed without much effort or force’.

Doubling up your shelving ideas is a great idea for a twin nursery idea – show off special items for each child on each shelf.

3. Choose dual purpose furniture

Neutral nursery with furniture recycling

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

When there’s not a lot of space in a nursery, every piece of furniture should be as functional as possible – look for smart options that can do double duty without cluttering it up. “I would suggest using a dresser with a changing pad on top, instead of a changing table,” says celebrity mom Concierge Tiffany Norris, www.themummyconcierge.com (opens in a new tab). “This means the drawers below can be used for nappies, wipes and creams, then once your baby no longer needs a changing table, it can also be used as a place for their clothes. “.

4. Try a Monochromatic Color Palette

white nursery with black accents

(Image credit: Future PLC/Oliver Gordon)

All-white walls will make a small room feel bigger, and adding modern monochromatic prints and patterns lets you add definition and interest to the small space, without overwhelming the color. This is the perfect gender neutral nursery idea. Finish with a striped rug to expand the floor space.

5. Look for clever furniture

When it comes to nursery ideas for a small room, super smart furniture should be at the top of your shopping list. This fold-down changing table folds down to the size of a small bookcase and offers stacks of storage – perfect for a storage room or your own early newborn bedroom.

Versatile Storage Unit in a Neutral Nursery

(Image credit: Furutre PLC/Matt Cant)

6. Zone your room for an eye-catching result

Blue baby room with white fireplace and cot and armchair with blue cushions

(Image credit: Future PLC/Dan Duchars)

Clever little nursery ideas aren’t just limited to furniture choices. Use a pattern or color to create a feature wall that zones the space. In this tonal blue scheme, patterned wallpaper serves as a backdrop for the bed, to clearly define the nursery sleeping area without overwhelming the space.

7. Choose a roller blind

Hassle-free window dressing is a must when it comes to small nursery ideas. They’re available in a wide range of designs, so it’s easy to create a focal point in even the smallest of spaces. Additionally, being able to turn daylight into darkness for naps will encourage a good sleep schedule.

White baby room with white bed and chest of drawers and patterned blind

(Image credit: English Blinds)

8. Go for simple Scandi shapes

White nursery with green painted mountain mural behind white bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Choose a clean color palette and simple Scandinavian-inspired furniture with slim legs and a modern profile for a clean look in a small nursery. Add geometric artwork or a wall mural to complete the look.

A mural is a great way to introduce color if you love green but don’t want to go wall to wall with sage green nursery ideas.

9. Use a clever decorating trick (or two!)

Child's bedroom with pink painted paneled wall and white cot with canopy above

(Image credit: COAT)

Think ahead when putting together your nursery ideas for a small room. As toddlers grow, walls can easily be marked, so a hard-wearing wall treatment is a wise investment. Wood wall panels are scuff resistant and can be cleaned in a snap.

Paint the top of the wall white to maximize the feeling of space, while a warm, neutral tone at the bottom will create a cozy look around a cot. “Using neutral paint colors will make small rooms look bigger,” says celebrity mom Concierge Tiffany Norris.

10. Divide storage spaces

Large white storage closet with doors open to see children's toys and clothes stored inside

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

Rather than a single hanging rail in a large wardrobe, a much smarter idea for a small nursery is to combine shelves, a rail and storage boxes. Labeling areas or containers helps ensure that everything has its place and stays tidy.

This means you have space when deciding how to organize baby’s clothes, as well as a place to store all the other things that come with a growing baby!

What furniture should be in a nursery?

The furniture in the baby’s room usually consists of a cot, a changing table and a small wardrobe. “I would always suggest buying a bed that can convert into a toddler bed as your child grows,” advises celebrity mom Concierge Tiffany Norris. “Toddler beds are much smaller than your average single bed and can therefore save a lot of space in a small nursery.”

“A comfy chair with a small dresser is all you need,” says Rachel FitzD (opens in a new tab), baby and parenting specialist and author of “Your Baby Skin To Skin”. “Because baby can be changed on your lap while you sit down for a well-deserved rest and have clean diapers and cotton in your chest.”

How to organize a small nursery?

“Keep it clutter-free and don’t overcrowd the space,” says Kris Tolofson, director and co-founder of Nöa & Nani. “A drawer at the bottom of the main children’s wardrobes is also useful for storing sweaters, as it is at floor level so it is easily accessible for smaller children.”

“A fold-out changing table, hanging organizer, and fold-out lounger would make even the smallest room usable.” said Rachel FitzD.

How can I make my little nursery look bigger?

“Keep it as bright and airy as possible – no bold colors or patterns,” advises celebrity mom Concierge Tiffany Norris. “You can also add mirrors to one wall to make the proportions of the room look much larger.”

“Lighter colored walls and blinds instead of curtains, and wooden floors instead of rugs can also increase the feeling of space,” says Rachel FitzD, baby and parenting expert and author of ” Your Baby Skin To Skin”.

Dora W. Clawson