In this age of city living our homes are getting smaller but our stuff is ever-growing. So what do you do when you find out you're expecting and you're not big on space? Do you make the move to a bigger place, maybe even changing the area you live in, or do you make do with what you have and have a small nursery or even a nursery 'area' in the corner of the master bedroom? Well if you decide to stay where you are then keep reading because we've got some tips to help you decorate a small space for your baby.
Decorating a small nursery can be a challenging prospect but we've put together a list of dos and don'ts to help you design this area. Remember, babies are small and once you've accounted for their sleeping space the rest of the room is for all of their 'stuff', so ask yourself if you really need it!
1. Storage is key
By storage we mean a cohesive storage plan. Think in advance about what is going to go where, and most importantly what storage you can use to hide the things away that you don't necessarily want to have on display all the time.
Think about uses, colours and sizes... what will work with your decor scheme? How can the storage you buy be used in the next few years? How easily do you need to access the things you're going to store?
Our super-popular storage baskets by Done by Deer come in teal blue and a dusky pink / burgundy and are HUGE - they're great for keeping blankets and cuddly toys in and they can be folded flat when not being used.
Our Play and Go storage bags that are part-storage and part-playmat are some of our bestsellers and it's so easy to see why - they're so adaptable. You can see them pictured here underneath these wall-hung cabinets, which looks really clean and uniformed. The other wonderful thing about these storage bags is that they can be hung. You can hang them from a wall hook or on the back of a door - using up zero floor space and providing you with extra storage just buy using up negative (free) space.
Don't forget that not everything that you need to put away is BIG, some things are small and just need separating from other things. For example, socks, scratch mittens, baby creams and lotions, wipes, nappies, dummies. The list could go on and on, because despite all of our best intentions we all know babies use lots of STUFF! And some of it is vital (hello nappy rash cream!)
And then finally, furniture! Buy furniture that can keep lots of bits hidden away. The cube shelf units you can buy from a few larger stores are a great way of storing lots of different things in one place. And brilliantly, if you don't need the storage space you can use it to display things like nightlights, wooden toys and create the perfect Shelfie!
No matter whether you decide on a cotbed or cot (see point 2, below), get yourself a cot drawer or storage baskets that can go underneath, which is perfect for storing bedding, so it's nice and handy when an 'emergency' bed change situation arises (which will definitely happen at some point!).
2. Cot instead of a cotbed
While buying a cotbed instead of a cot is a better long term investment, and if you CAN fit in a cotbed you should, but if you're REALLY short on space then go for the slightly smaller cot size - every cm/inch counts at this stage! Especially if your nursery or nursery 'area' is a short-term solution.
We have some great modern designs that will not only fit in your space but can also be a feature on their own - that's how good they look!
This is one of our most popular - the upholstered cot has always had quite a traditional feel... until now. The Retro Rio brings a classic bang up to date, which is perfect for a modern nursery:
And one of our newest products, this GENIUS storage cot - it's cot sized plus has a storage drawer underneath, drawers to the side and a hanging cupboard, and a changing table on top! How perfect for a small nursery.
3. Use multi-purpose items
We're thinking seating benches that can double up as toy storage underneath or furniture that you can use once the baby is no longer a baby. For example, if you decide you do have a room for a nursing chair then choose one that you can reuse in another room, once you no longer need it for feeding - you could go for this luxe feeding chair by Baby Grey that would look great in any room or if you're on more of a budget then just get a comfy arm chair.
4. Use the wall space
In a small room you need to get creative with the space you've got available. Our changing table by Charlie Crane was created for EXACTLY this reason, and the design is modern with a retro feel - good design for your baby's nursery is available!
Pegboards are also bang on trend and they are so practical. Hang it in the right place and you can have everything within easy reach, as well as using it to display items to bring your scheme together.
Also, consider some other forms of storage that can be hung on the wall, such as this Fabelab Wall Storage, which is perfect for the changing station and is so versatile it can be kept and used as your child grows (it's great to hang above a child's desk).
5. Keep everything in its place
This not only helps to keep your nursery tidy but will help when you're in a rush and need to find what you're looking for, quickly. The area this applies to most importantly is the changing area, because you do not want to be searching for wipes with a poo-covered baby on a changing mat!
One other very important reason is that your baby will be awake in the night, A LOT and you don't want to be searching high or low for something in the middle of the night. Or heaven forbid have to turn a 'big light' on to find what you're looking for!
Check out our Wardrobe Dividers for an organised wardrobe.
6. Make a Statement With Your Decor
Once you've researched and Pinterest-ed to your hearts content and you've chosen a colour scheme, or a theme if that's your bag, choose a few select items to tie it all together.
In a small space you need to avoid over-cluttering, but with a couple of well-researched pieces you can create a really cohesive scheme.
First up, choose one area of your space to put wallpaper or wall stickers, ideally behind the cot as this will create a focal point for the nursery or nursery area. You can then choose to layer it with shelving and /or accessories if you wish.
If you're looking for inspiration about a theme for your nursery then head to the 'Shop By Style' for collections of products that work well together, to help give you that cohesive look. For example, if you're looking for a modern twist on a traditional nursery style then take a look at 'Animal Escapades' for a full look at all our animal-themed products and you definitely can't go wrong with our selection of animal heads.
Photo Credit: The Small Kind Blog
Also, how great do personalised name signs look when hung above a cot? Check out our designs to see what might work for your nursery.
Photo Credit: Project Nursery
The idea is that you make a focal point of the cot, leaving the rest of your space for all the other things we know you're going to need!
We hope you've found this blog, all about how to design a small nursery useful and that you'll take away some tips that can get started. Have fun decorating. x