I’ve mentioned before that we live in an apartment. It’s not small enough to qualify for some kind of T.I.N.Y. prize (like this one). It is, however, under 900 square feet – small enough to mean that every room serves at least three purposes.
So when I say “nursery”, I’m really referring less to an entire room and more to a dedicated half of a room. When Miles was tiny, he slept in a cradle in our room. At around 6 months, he migrated into his crib and about a month later finally started actually sleeping in his own room (now dubbed “the nursery”, which also doubles as “the guest room”).
When we first moved into our apartment (when Miles was 3 weeks old), I knew the he would be in our room for a while, so I didn’t stress too much about having The World’s Most Gorgeous Baby Nest perfected.
But even before Miles was born, I approached the choices I made for our baby furniture and nursery set-up much the way I approach other choices: I prioritized the major needs/wants and let the rest take its course without agonizing over it too much. Here are the priorities that guided our nursery design (beyond safety, of course):
- Reasonable investment. Mark and I aren’t trying to reinvent the art of raising a human. Our baby needs to be safe and comfortable in aesthetically pleasant surroundings, but he’s going to spend less time with all of the baby supplies we buy him than I spent in my college dorm room. Dropping thousands of dollars on the finest baby furniture and decor in the universe is just not my thing. (I don’t mean this critically. This is a choice thing. If you like to spend money on baby furniture, that’s completely within your rights.)
- Space-friendly. Our apartment is very small. Doors are narrow and we move pieces around a lot to accommodate changing needs, guests, my early-morning decorating whims, finals week study sessions, etc. Baby furniture needed to take up as little space as possible and pieces needed to serve various functions.
- Aesthestically minimalist. The more visual clutter I can eliminate, the better. Small and slender was the name of the game for picking furniture. For colors, I love LIGHT, whites, and light neutrals. Our apartment carpeting and paint colors (not our choice!) are neutrals just on the darker side of cream, so I’m constantly trying to brighten up our space. No heavy dark woods for us, at least not now.
That’s it. Those were the three guidelines. Our nursery layout is so very simple and I love it. Our crib is light and small. I obsessively use baskets for storage and have baskets of all sizes in all of our rooms. Storing Miles’ toys in one basket and his bath-time/diaper gear in another underneath the crib was an easy way to hide clutter while efficiently using space and also keeping it within easy reach.
His clothes, towels, and sheets are kept in one small dresser across the room. When he outgrows a size, I remove the pieces and store all of those clothes elsewhere so that he’s actually using all of the pieces in the dresser.
The baby furniture also includes a rocker and a cool mid-century table that we’ve collected. The beautiful hand-lettered canvas and engraved metal piece were gifts. I picked up the wooden letter at Hobby Lobby (although I’ve linked to a similar one below).
Sources for pieces are as follows:
If you have questions about our setup or about living with a young baby in a small space, let’s chat in the comments!