Often, we may select the smallest bedroom in the house for a nursery. At first, it may seem like it makes perfect sense: smallest person gets the smallest room. But despite their size, babies come with lots of stuff, and you may be spending lots of time and late nights in that room, especially in the early days. Feeling claustrophobic is the last thing you need.
There are some simple strategies you can use when decorating your baby’s smaller nursery to open it up and make it feel larger. These tips also work when converting your nursery into a child’s room. In many homes, especially with multiple kids, at least one kid has a smaller space and these ideas will make it feel cozy but not tiny.
Think Light on (Almost) All the Walls: Use lighter colors or light wallpaper patterns in the room to keep it feeling open and airy. If you’re in love with a deep purple or blue, however, you can consider an accent wall. Painting one wall in a stronger color can create a natural focal point and an optical illusion that expands the entire room.
You can also paint the trim or any moulding in the room a lighter color than the walls. This creates a visual trick that makes the walls feel further back and the room feel bigger.
Whatever you do, keep shades in the same color family to keep the space feeling larger.
Choose Furniture Wisely: Much like paint, lighter-colored furniture is going to feel less imposing, which means it won’t close in the space visually. Consider whites and grays, for example, as opposed to a dark wood. Also, select furniture that is lifted off the floor (ex., a dresser on legs) to create more airiness in the room.
While you don’t want big, hulking pieces of furniture taking up a ton of space, cluttering up your space with lots of smaller items won’t help either. Carefully select a few pieces that are truly functional--or even multi-functional. For example, get a dresser with a changing table attachment on the top. Ours actually flipped over to be a toddler dresser after my son was big enough, saving money and space.
Get Great Storage: Clutter is the fastest way to make a small room feel miniscule. Invest in some great organizers and storage to keep the room tidy so clutter doesn’t overtake it. Baskets and bins for diapers, wipes, blankets and toys, bookshelves and hampers are great ways to keep all the little items that come along with caring for a baby out of sight so the room feels tranquil, welcoming and more open.
Organize the Space by Function: The room may not be that big, but it needs to serve lots of purposes. Organize it by function and keep everything you need in specific spaces. This will reduce clutter and just make for an overall more user-friendly room. For example, next to a glider where you might feed or nurse, be sure to have all your necessary accessories like burp cloths or pacifiers. Near the crib, create storage for sleep sacks. At the changing station, stock plenty of diapers, wipes and changes of clothing within easy reach as well as extras like diaper cream.
Put it On the Wall: Attach anything you can to the wall instead of taking up floor space. Consider floating shelving, hanging storage baskets, etc. The less of the floor that is covered, the larger the room will feel.
Maximize Natural Light: It’s tempting to put black-out blinds on a baby’s room (because sleep trumps everything) but try to find a solution that lets you open up the blinds and let light filter in during the day. Natural light is the key to making a space feel bigger. Add in some mirrors and reflective surfaces to maximize that light and again, create a visual trick that the room is bigger.
Remove the Closet Doors: (Caution: not for the clutter-inclined!) If you have a beautiful closet in the room with shelving and storage, removing the doors can create a more functional and open space for you. Buy attractive bins for storage and make the closet another part of the space. Paint the inside to match the walls. And save those doors in case your perfect baby eventually turns into a mess-inclined kid who doesn’t like to hang up clothes.