One of the most exciting preparations an expectant mom makes for her new baby is setting up the nursery. Creating the ideal space for baby to call her own seems pretty high on a mom-to-be’s priority list. She envisions the colors, the crib, the glider, but what’s a mom to do when she’s short on square footage?

Depending on the size of their home, some moms have to get creative when setting up the nursery. Whether it is a very small second bedroom or a converted space, every inch counts. Moms must pick and choose what to have in there since they can’t have it all. Here are some tips on how to have a dream nursery in a small space:

1. Select a light paint color and add an accent wall for a pop of color for the crib wall. One color on all four walls closes the room in even more.

2. Keep the walls simple. Try a unique decal on the crib wall or one significant piece of wall décor to keep the room open and airy.

3. Choose multi-functional furniture. Try a crib that has an under-crib drawer for additional storage. If you’re in love with another crib, choose bedding that comes with a crib skirt. This allows you to hide a storage bin or two underneath the crib for additional storage.

4. Pick a dresser with a changing pad on top in place of a changing table. This will not only allow you to store baby’s clothes and changing essentials like diapers and wipes right underneath where you change the baby for easy access, but once your baby is out of diapers there’s no need to update! Just eliminate the changing pad. The Stella Collection dresser by Bellini uses a removable tray and has small and large drawers. It is also just over three feet wide so it could easily fit in most small spaces.


5. Eliminate the armoire. How many items in a baby’s closet need hanging anyway? It’s virtually impossible to find a small-space wardrobe so using a 5-drawer tall dresser is a more functional, space-preserving alternative. The best thing about storing baby clothes—they’re small! Between the changer and this, you will have more than enough room to store everything.

6. Once you have a toddler, a toddler bed is an amazing space saver. A toddler bed uses the same crib mattress, but is much lower in height and not enclosed by rails like a converted crib. This takes up less wall space, which helps the room appear more open and an added bonus: they’re inexpensive.

7. For the first six months to a year, the mini-crib is a great way to go to keep the room as open as possible. It takes up half of the floor space of a crib while functioning just like one. Most of these are also portable (on wheels) and can be folded up and stored in seconds. The down side: mini-crib bedding is limited and it is a short-term purchase.

8. If you are really tight on space, try a changing tray that can hook onto the top of a crib and eliminate the changing table altogether. Since you only need a changer for the first two or so years, this is incredibly practical. You can store it under your crib when not in use – no loss of floor space.

9. Do not clutter the room with unnecessary items. The only things that really need to be in a small-space nursery are the essentials. Toys can be stored in the common area. Sheets and towels can remain in the linen closet.

10. Stick with light finishes on crib furniture. I am a fan of clean lines and white modern furniture always makes a small space look bigger than darker espresso or black wood. Not all finishes have to match: mixing two looks unique and effortless. Many nursery collections offer two-toned pieces to achieve this look.

11. If you are converting a space into a nursery with temporary walls, opt for a pocket door. This optimizes the space by not having a swinging door invade the room.

12. Most importantly: use EVERY inch of that room practically. Always have your room dimensions accessible so you can find a storage piece to fill every vacant area.

No matter what size space you are working with, the nursery should be the sanctuary for your new baby and for you. With the proper planning and research, you can achieve the perfect nursery regardless of layout or size.


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About LaurenD

Lauren Deneroff is the founder of mama{love}, a maternity consulting and baby planning firm in Manhattan. She lives in the city with her husband, Joe, and two children, Brody & Harper.
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