Nursery Renovation Part 1 – Making the Most of Small Spaces
Over the last few weeks, we have been working hard to convert our small box room into an inviting and comfortable nursery for our youngest daughter, who is nearly 7 months old. The process is long overdue and should have been completed months ago, but as with most things, time runs away and as such, she is currently still residing with us! 🙂 As she is my last child, I am feeling quite emotional about her leaving our room, but I am keen to make her room a welcoming and comfortable place! 🙂
I know how much everyone loves a nose around other people’s homes (I am no different!) so I will be doing a series of posts showing you how we have been getting on with our project, and the changes we make to her room as we do them! 🙂
My first update is around making the most of a small space.
The first thing to point out, is that the room we have for Neve’s nursery is one of the smallest rooms known to man. A box room is probably a generous term of phrase, as there ain’t much room for more than a couple of boxes! This has proven to be quite a challenge, as generally cot furniture isn’t on the small side, and I’ll be honest, that at times I have got myself pretty frustrated about the whole thing! I have been known to spend hours scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration, only to become disheartened when even the suggestions for smaller nurseries are bigger than we can accommodate!
We decided we wanted to paint Neve’s room as opposed to use wallpaper, and hence our first project was a quick re-plaster. We have lived in the house for some time, and the original plaster was in a bit of a sorry state.
Due to budget constraints (maternity pay sucks!) we have had to stick with the same cot and dresser set we have had in Erin’s room from 3 years ago. It is not small, and as such, we are having to make the best use of what limited space we have left. We are keeping a rail spare in the wardrobe in Erin’s room for some of Neve’s clothes, which although not ideal, will allow some hanging space for dresses and larger items as she grows!
Here are some of the approaches we have taken, and hence my tips for making the best of our small space:
- Think about what you really need– As much as I would loved to have had a wardrobe in Neve’s nursery it just isn’t going to happen! I have had to cut down to the bare minimum, as otherwise the room will just become cramped and unsightly. We have decided to focus on what we categorically HAVE to have in the room. For us, that is the cot, a drawer unit and a compact but comfortable chair which I can feed in. Anything else is a bonus.
- If you need a changing unit, consider an over cot changer, as these take up MUCH less space. (As it happens I am happy to change her on a mat on the floor so we haven’t bought one). The changing mat can be slid in and out as required from under my chest of drawers, and therefore can be hidden out of sight when not in use.
- Consider furniture that will last through the toddler years too. Whilst you may be able to find a small cot that leaves you lots of space, a cot bed may be better if, like us, you’re child is likely to be in that room for the long haul. We have a cot bed that will convert to a bed when she is older, and as such, it does take up a little more room. I would rather this however than have to have a whole furniture reshuffle in a few years time once she out grows the cot. Alternatively, if you’d rather focus on the short term and have the extra room, you may wish to consider something like the Multy if you are planning on using the nursery from birth. This can be used as a small crib for up to 6 months, then converted to a highchair, toddler chair or storage unit once you no longer need the crib.
- Make the most of storage space – We will be using an under cot drawer which is useful space that is otherwise wasted- perfect for storing linen and blankets. We are also looking into shelving and storage boxes, to make the most of wall space and room height as opposed to the limited floor space!
- Pick your colours wisely – light pastel shades create a more airy open look. Darker or bolder colours in a small room can make it look even smaller!
Seeing the room a dark brown shade before the plaster started to dry highlighted just how crucial the wall colours will be. That said, Neve seemed to give it her seal of approval anyway!
Come back soon for our next instalment…. colour matching & painting walls! 🙂