Q. What is the best way to maximize space in a nursery? In a city condo, space is limited so what methods do you suggest to make the most of every inch? ie toys, changing stations, play pens (I don’t know if that is the right term) but all the miscellanous ‘stuff’ that comes with entertaining children. Are there specific products you have found that provide storage and purpose? Also, what color do you suggest for the walls of a nursery that could work for both a boy or a girl
-Julie from Windsor, Ontario
A. Julie, first of all congratulations on your need for a nursery! Before you bring your bundle of joy home, we’ll get your nursery functioning so you can change diapers in 15 seconds flat. The best way to maximize space in a city condo is always by going vertical with the storage. This is true not just for the nursery, but for any area in your home.
It is also critical that you minimize clutter. When you live in a small space, the objects that are in that space need to have an excuse to be there. ”Because it was a gift” or “because it was a deal” no longer cuts it. You have to learn to constantly edit the objects in your small space. If an object isn’t contributing to the function or the style of your space, it can’t be there- this includes gifts! Practice this with me, “Thank you so much for the 3 foot tall teddy bear aunt Beatrice. We rotate his toys in and out of storage to keep them exciting for him- that one is in storage right now!” (You can actually rotate toys in and out of storage, you know – or you can donate it to a kid that has a 3,00o square foot home in the suburbs!).
When I say go vertical with the storage, this is what I mean:
Ikea Stolman Storage $720. I would use white bins with labels on them to hide what you are storing and also add interest to the wall. I would paint the wall behind this unit in a really bright, fun color. When accessorizing, think of it as a piece of art and try to find a balance between the negative and positive space. You can keep toys in the lower bins so your little nugget can reach them.
The next step to living large in a small space is finding pieces that function for multiple uses and will transition with you as your baby grows into a big kid. Changing tables are great for about the first four months of your baby’s life. After that, they will be rolling around so much that I find it’s much safer to just toss the changing pad on the floor and change diapers there. It’s a great place to cut cost.
Nurseryworks Studio Crib functions as a crib for baby, a changing table, storage, and transitions into a toddler bed for your big kid! $2100 - available at allmodernbaby.com.
Nurseryworks Studio Crib has crazy amounts of storage! The changing table can be used as a desk as your baby turns into a big kid.
Oeuf Sparrow Crib with Removable Changing Table $730
Nurseryworks Arial Crib $999. This one doesn't have multiple purposes, but its compact design is great for city living. It comes in many different colors, both bold and neutral.
When deciding on a color scheme for a room, I always go to either fabrics or wallpapers for inspiration. I like to go very bold, graphic, and modern in baby rooms- I think it really gives the room a playful energy that appeals to children. If you could actually incorporate wallpaper into your design, you’d get major bonus points! Here are some wallpapers that could inspire an amazing gender neutral nursery:
Contemporary III Optics Wallpaper from Cole & Son
Analog Nights Wallpaper in Surf from Wallpapercollective.com
Delight Water Peppercorn wallpaper from wallpapercollective.com
Maggie The Red wallpaper from wallpapercollective.com
Kew Turquoise Red from wallpapercollective.com
Estrella Regatta on Shimmer from wallpapercollective.com
Rialto Grill Dark Citron wallpaper from wallpapercollective.com
Clouds Wallpaper In Sunshine by Aimee Wilder
While I am on the topic, there are a few baby products that really go well in a city condo! Here are some of my favorites:
Homedics Soundspa Lulliby - $19.99. This is my very favorite product. It doesn't go in the baby's crib, so it won't wake the baby up by going off when they move. It also has lights that shine in interesting patterns on the wall and ceiling to lull the baby to sleep! The best part is that it has relaxing sounds that you play on a pre-set timer. It's great for drowning out the noise you can have in the city. The best part about it is that it doesn't come in primary uggo baby colors!
Graco Bumper Jumper in Jungle $43. Everyone seems to think that babies need ExerSaucers- they're great if you live in a huge space. Actually, I take that back. They are ugly, too big, and parents look at them and reminisce about the days when their space wasn't taken over by mismatched, space-hogging baby products. The bumper jumper safely hangs from any door frame. The baby can jump and play, then when they're done you can easily remove it and put it away. Great space saver!
Some more details to consider:
Offi Dachshund Dog Pet Lamp $69 from allmodern.com
Flensted Mobiles - Scandinavin Swans $29 from www.2modern.com
Dwell Studio Transportation Bedding
floor pillows by lacasadecoto on etsy.com
If you happen to have an extra $1800 sitting around, I highly suggest you pick up this Original Charles Eames Rocking Chair by Herman Miller from 1960. You're rocking your baby anyways, right? You might as well do it in high style : )