It’s so inspiring to go on Pinterest and see these gorgeous, huge nurseries for little baby-to-be. I mean, the colors, the patterns, the themes- it’s all enough to get my creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take to long to realize, Oh wait… I don’t have nearly enough space or budget to make these beautiful rooms work!
So this mama on a mission created her own unconventional, budget nursery that works in the space we have. Hopefully, this will help inspire you in small ways on how you can uniquely create a practical yet beautiful ‘baby’s space’ in very small quarters.
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Okay, I know I’m not a baby expert- I am constantly revising my ‘great ideas’ to become better for our baby. I’m sure all the seasoned mothers will have their own separate opinions apart from mine, and that’s fine. For now, I’m writing what practically works for our family in this stage of life.
For now, though, here is what we have done in our Tiny House to make a cute yet functional space for baby Joy.
From the moment we found out we were pregnant, we choose a specific spot in our home that was deemed ‘baby’s space’. Honestly, we didn’t have many options- our house was already pretty much laid out, so we worked with what we had. In our unique situation, we choose a open corner near the front of our house. Originally designed to a window seat for reading & studying, the space became our ‘nursery’.
As you can tell, the space is really quite small. Literally big enough for a mini-crib, and that’s about it. That means her ‘nursery’ is very much a major part of our tiny house, and therefore everything we buy for her needs to be cohesive and complimentary with the style, color, and design of our house currently. It was important to me in this process to love her space as much as the rest of the house- after all, it’s not in a room I can just close and hide away! If I didn’t take care in choosing colors & style for her ‘room’, then it would be likely that her nursery would have become an eyesore to me and easily form a attitude of resentment and discontent. When you live in small space where you sacrifice so much anyway, it’s crucial to guard your attitudes in this way by being especially careful with how you decorate and design the space.
The Decor & Furniture
That said, pretty much every detail was accompanied by a lot of research, planning, and second-guessing. Every piece I chose (or that was given) I had to ask myself if I would be okay with that piece if it was a living room or even my bedroom permanently.
Since our little Joy is, in fact, a girl, I opted for soft pink and light grey to be the main colors. At first, I was really toying (and loving!) the idea of yellows & light blue to keep it more gender-neutral (and maybe less baby like?), but couldn’t see myself loving that long term. Grey is one of the core colors in our house, anyway, so the light pink plays into that in a feminine way to define baby’s space without being overbearing.
We tried our best to keep the designs as minimal as possible as well. I was dead-set against chevron bed sheets at first (it seems so overused!), however I really loved how it looked in our brighter, open Tiny House verses solid fabrics & bolder designs. When choosing a mobile for her crib (something I didn’t think I needed, but have been proven wrong!), we stuck to ‘simple is better’ with the light pink + white color scheme, and the cute little birdies. Ironically, birds seem to be an ongoing theme in our house.
It was apparent from the beginning that a full-sized crib would not work in this space, so we really had no options except to search for a mini-crib. There are a lot of options out there, but a lot of them didn’t fit my personal style or taste, or looked tacky to me. I still wanted Joy’s space to be stylish, even if it had to be small. I found the PERFECT mini-crib for the space on Amazon, and Target sells the same one with slightly different dimensions. This crib is adorable, yet practical for small spaces (unlike others I’d found). I seriously can’t recommend this crib enough! We spiced it up with the nursery’s chosen colors and this adorable home-made garland to give it a girly flair.
One of the most crucial parts of a nursery is having a place to put all of her stuff! This process has been the most stressful for me. Obviously, I want our child to still have all of the clothes and necessities she needs, but at the same time I don’t want to go overboard with non-essentials or have all her things thrown about because of poor planning.
So although this process is probably the most unfinished and will continue to be refined over time, I figured I might as well share what we’ve started with.
From Target, we found these cute little cubicles & baskets for a reasonable price. Totally love how they aren’t canvas, and that the white makes the cheap sheathing look a little less, well, cheap. In a small space, it’s nice to have quality items, but unfortunately budget interferes often. Therefore, I really took my time in picking out the right storage solution for this space. As I’ve already mentioned, it’s essential in such a small space to love everything you put in it.
The three baskets are organized by things I think we will be using the most often. For example, the top two baskets holds all of her newborn onesies, nighties, and clothing- much like dresser drawers. The bottom basket is filled with her swaddles, blankets and other cozy comfort items that we may need to grab at a moments notice!
We do have overflow storage, of course. Underneath her crib, we have two long storage bins from WalMart. Cheap stuff, of course, but I attempted to hide it as much as possible with this super cute home-made bedskirt my sisters-in-law made for me. I digress; these bins and the space above it has tons of space for overflow storage and other items that aren’t used as often but still necessary.
Tub one, for example, is filled with all of the diapers I could stuff in it, as well as lots and lots of wipes. We were told (and experienced!) Joy going through 10-12 diapers a day when she was a newborn, especially in the first few weeks, so we wanted to be prepared! (Disclaimer: at two months our baby is only going through five or six a day). We also store some of her diapers and wipes under our kitchen sink for convenience. You may think it’s funky that we store diapers and wipes in two places, but really this is done for my own sanity. I know that in the middle of the night it will be a massive pain to bend down, pull out the large container, and then pull out what I need to change her diaper. It’s just so much easier to have a small basket with everything in it right where we change her for quick changes any time of day.
Tub two is her ‘overflow’ clothes. Right now we don’t have a lot, but we have a strong amount of 3-6 month clothing as well as some older girl clothing that has been gifted to us. The tub is plenty big to fit all of these clothes (tightly folded) in half.
I’ll save the in-depth analysis of accessories storage for another time- but figured it was worth a mention that we do store baby’s bath gear & diapers, etc in the kitchen + bathroom (for convenience). We also have some space carved out for her underneath our couch that holds all the feeding supplies (bibs, breast pads, milk containers, etc) & breast pump. She does also share closet space with us for her dresses.
This is quite possibly one of the longest articles I’ve written! Hopefully, you have found it helpful as you create your own space for baby in a small house, apartment, or even a Tiny House of your own! I’d love to hear what unique features you’ve added to your nursery, and what (over time) you have changed!