Good things come in small packages – jewellery, newborns, and yes – even nurseries. As the founder of Decorette Kids’ Interiors, I specialize in creating beautiful and functional spaces for families with kids. Many of my clients live in condos with tiny plus ones, or narrow city homes with small bedrooms – myself included. My daughter’s small nursery is just 70-square-feet, but thanks to some strategic decorating, it’s my favourite room in our home. Here are my top small nursery ideas for creating a magical space for your little one, despite its petite footprint.
Measure, Measure, Measure
Keep your measuring tape handy because you’re going to need it – a lot. Measuring is crucial to creating a small nursery layout that fits the essentials and has proper flow. Even just a few inches can make a big difference in a small nursery. Before purchasing any furniture, get the dimensions and use tape to mark the floor where the items would go. It may take some trial and error to fit everything in, but being diligent in this step will help avoid mistakes in the long run. When measuring, don’t forget to consider clearance for doors swinging open. And always, always make sure you have at least three feet of walking space in areas with heavy foot traffic!
Think about how you’ll use the small nursery and prioritize items that are important to you – in terms of both budget and size. I splurged on a big, comfy glider because I knew I would be spending so much time there, so I didn’t mind sacrificing the floor space. My dresser/change table, on the other hand, is just big enough to fit the change pad on top, but plenty of drawer space mean diaper essentials are still within reach.
With floor space at a premium, make your walls do the work. A plug-in sconce between the glider and dresser in my daughter’s room allows for an extra source of light where floor space wouldn’t allow. Floating shelves above the glider keep favourite books on display. Utilizing vertical space is key to fitting everything you need into your small layout.
Tuck Essentials Away
If your small nursery doesn’t have enough room for a large change table, it might be a blessing in disguise. Keeping diaper essentials on top of your change table can be an eyesore, especially in a small space. Instead, choose a change table with heavy drawer space that can double as a dresser, and store diaper essentials in the top drawer for easy reach. I love the idea of choosing a beautiful piece that can grow with your child. Pop a change pad on top of a sweet vintage piece or a sleek modern beauty for a change table that has serious style. Just make sure the drawers are big enough to house diapers – and lots of them!
When it comes to small baby room ideas, you’ve probably heard the advice to paint your room a light colour. A soft and soothing paint colour will do wonders in terms of visually expanding your small nursery – and so will a bit of contrast. This two-tone palette creates the illusion of depth to help the walls expand outward.
Let the Walls Breathe
Avoid over-saturating the walls with art, which could make the small space feel closed in. Instead, choose pieces with a mixture of sizes, silhouettes, and textures for a designer look. Some of my favourite small nursery ideas for art are textural wall hangings and mirrors in fun shapes.
Choose a Multifunctional Glider
Purchase a glider with a built-in foot rest and recliner to avoid the need for an ottoman. Believe it or not, this tiny ottoman is actually just a photoshoot prop! On a day-to-day basis, it’s not in the nursery. My glider allows me to prop my feet up (or lay down and go to sleep if need be) without the need for an additional piece of furniture.
Treat Toys as Decor
It’s crucial to keep a consistent palette in a small nursery, and this includes toys. These stuffed animals fit perfectly with the vibe of my nursery. They look great on the shelf and provide endless hours of play, too.
Use Bins & Baskets
You can never have too many pretty baskets. Use them to add closed storage to shelves and store just about anything, such as burp cloths, swaddle blankets, and extra supplies.
Drapes make such a big impact in a space. They draw the eye up, soften the hard lines and create a beautiful layer of texture. Ultimately, they help create a soft landing space to retreat to in the tiring days (and nights) of new parenthood. Whether you get custom drapes or purchase pre-made panels, make sure they are just long enough to “kiss” the floor.