One of the most exciting projects for a parent-to-be is the job of decorating the baby’s nursery! It’s an especially fun project for nesting moms. Unfortunately, sometimes the most logical room for the nursery is also the one with the smallest footprint.
They might be the smallest member of the family, but babies require a lot of stuff! Keep your nursery short on space, but big on style (and efficiency) by following my small nursery ideas below.
Keep Colors Light
It’s a good thing almost all baby décor is pastel. Dark colors can make an already small room feel smaller. If an all-pastel room just isn’t your thing, stick with one color and use several shades for a monochromatic look.
You may also enjoy: The 10 Best Greige Paint Colors for Your Home
Paint the Ceiling
Forget the idea that ceilings should always be white. No matter what color palette you choose, paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. Or, to reinforce the monochromatic palette, use paint that is a shade or two lighter. This is another interior design trick to make a small space feel larger than it really is.
Keep Trim Light
One last note on paint – keep the trim lighter than the walls, too. Trim certainly makes a room feel complete, but it can also really weigh a room down. Light trim almost seems to float, instead of pulling a room down.
As with all interior design “rules,” this one can be broken. If you have a historical home with unpainted wood, you don’t have to paint it! But if your trim is already painted, or the plan was to paint it anyway, choose a light complementary color instead of a dark one.
You may also enjoy: 8 Reasons to Paint Your Wall and Trim the Same Color
Include an Accent Wall
The idea of an accent wall is all the rage with nurseries! And for good reason, too. Accent walls can sometimes feel whimsical or fantastical, which isn’t right for a family room – but is perfect for a nursery. You can use a pattern or paint color to create a focal point in your baby’s room. This is an excellent way to incorporate the dark color you couldn’t use on all four walls.
A note on pattern usage: If your pattern is too large, it could end up dwarfing your room. There isn’t any math or rule of thumb for the size of your pattern relative to the size of your room, so this is really one of those “trust your gut” moments. I know, I’m an interior design expert and I told you to trust your gut. But it’s your room and your baby!
Along the same lines as using light colors – use lights to keep the room feeling large. Use natural light to your advantage and keep window dressings gauzy and light. Of course you’ll need a blackout to keep baby sleeping peacefully, but don’t keep those shades pulled 24/7.
A classic interior design tip for any room is to hang a mirror to reflect light. A bonus for a nursery is that this provides a great learning opportunity for your child!
Add to the natural light in the room with lots of light fixtures and lamps. Task lighting is important here to keep lights low when necessary, but you can also flood the nursery in light as you spend more time with your toddler.
You may also enjoy: Casting A Glow – How Lighting Design Enhances A Room
Plan for the Future
Speaking of toddlers, think about your future child as you design a nursery for your baby. By selecting furniture that will last past their baby years, if possible. In some situations, you’ll only have room for a mini crib, and that’s okay. But if you can, select a crib that converts into a child’s bed. That way you know the room will continue to grow with your child without completely overhauling the space.
Be Creative with Storage
One of my favorite tricks is to use ottomans not only for kicking your feet up, but for seating and storage as well. Ottomans are a great place to store off season clothing or anything that won’t be used day-to-day.
Almost any open space can and should be used for storage when possible, like the space under the crib. Just be sure that anything you store there is soft and baby-friendly. Once those curious hands start exploring, you know they’ll want to take everything out of anything in sight!
You may also enjoy: 7 Clever Nursery Organization Ideas
Choose multi-functional furniture
This tip is so straight forward, but it makes perfect sense. Instead of having a changing table and a dresser for clothes, convert the top of the dresser into a changing station! You won’t use a changing station forever, but the dresser will live on. As your children move to a bigger room, the dresser can move with them.
Use the walls
Your wall space is rife with opportunities for storage! Keep books on a book rack, or on book ledges as an alternative to a bookshelf. Above the changing table, install a peg board (painted the same color as the wall) and hang bins and baskets for baby-changing necessities right at eye level.
Convert the closet
Take the door off of the closet! You don’t really need a door that shuts. By removing the door, you can put a dresser or toy storage on the closet floor. You can hang a curtain to hide what’s in the closet while maintaining space.
If you still like the idea of a “traditional” closet with a door, be sure to use the door for extra storage with over-the-door-storage racks. You can also install a temporary second clothing rack, to make the most of extra space (and the sort length of baby clothes).
You may also enjoy: 6 Gender-Neutral Nursery Ideas to Inspire Your Nursery Design
The birth of a new baby is such an exciting time! New parents, don’t stress over how you’ll fit everything into your baby’s small nursery. Follow these tips to maximize space while keeping personality in your nursery.