Forget room dividers — the best way to carve out a nursery in the bedroom is to blend it into the existing décor so it feels like one well-designed space, says Shalena Smith, of Shalena Smith Interiors and founder of GaGa Designs. “I’d hate to walk into a room and there’s a primary thing going on with the parents’ area and then there’s baby’s stuff in another section,” she says. “It should feel like a shared space and like there’s a purpose to the design.”
Thankfully, pulling that off isn’t as tough as it sounds (yep, totally doable, even with mommy brain). Here are some of Smith’s go-to tricks.
Create a mini-me crib. Baby’s bed is going to be the biggest addition to your room, so plan on spending most of your decorating time here. To help it mesh with the existing décor, choose one that matches your bedroom furniture’s style and finish, Smith says. And pick crib bedding that resembles yours too.
Be smart about placement. If you’re strapped for space, arrange the crib diagonally or buy a round one and float it in the center of the room.
Make the area feel special. Give baby’s nook its own color or wallpaper treatment. Or hang a crown canopy above the crib and drape sheer panels over it (they’re inexpensive and go with anything). Lay down a stylish area rug in front of the crib.
Maximize storage space. “When you have a tight space, organization is really important,” Smith points out. To cut down on clutter, find a home for everything before baby arrives (down to the tiny cotton swabs and bottles of lotion). Also, look for furniture with serious storage potential: a crib with a drawer underneath, a multipurpose armoire or a dresser with adult-size drawers. Use drawer dividers to separate onesies from tiny pairs of socks and, if you can swing it, reserve an entire drawer for diapers, since they’re notorious space hogs.
Stash too-big clothes in labeled containers and put them under the crib or in a closet. Then choose a date when you predict baby will be big enough to wear them and make a note on your calendar to pull them out of storage.
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