Patrick’s tiny nursery and tips for setting up a small nursery

Patrick’s tiny nursery and tips for setting up a small nursery

The other week my little man made the big step of moving into his own nursery so I thought it was about time to share the space with you.

I wasn’t quite ready to move him into his own bedroom downstairs so instead, I converted the small landing space outside our bedroom (designed as a study nook) into a nursery.

It’s a teeny tiny space that only just fits a cot, chair and clothing rack but I love how we’ve injected personality into the space with sweet buys from local makers and our own DIYs.

Here are photos of the space and my tips for setting up a tiny nursery.

Decide what’s essential and what’s desirable in the space

When you are working with a tiny space, it’s likely (no matter how hard you try!) you won’t fit all the pieces you want/need in there.

Cot, change table, chair and clothing drawers/rack were all on my essentials list but given the awkward doorway I needed to keep clear at the back of the room, there was no way they were going to all fit.

Now that Patrick is a bit bigger and sleeping (sort of) through the night, I decided to keep his change table in our bedroom so the other items would fit in here.

Teepee clothing rack

Experiment with furniture configurations

Although there are only a few large pieces in this space, I tried many different configurations (such as cot where the chair is, cot where the clothing rack is, and finally cot where it’s pictured) before deciding on this layout.

Sometimes the best configuration isn’t what you would expect so experiment and move the furniture about before you fill the space with smaller pieces and decor. And sometimes furniture can look best when it’s pulled away from the walls (if you have space to afford it) or on an angle.

Look for light furniture or with legs

When you don’t have much space, the last thing you want to do is fill it with dark heavy furniture. Create the illusion of space by selecting lighter pieces or furniture with legs. When the furniture is raised off the ground, it allows your eye to see more of the floor which creates the illusion of space.

I opted for light timber and white furniture in this space, it keeps it feeling light and airy.

Cushions in cot

Maximise wall space

Too often we forget to maximise the vertical space in a room!

The bear shelf we made holds many of Patrick’s favourite toys and the two white book shelves display all of his books. Over by the chair are also some wall hooks, which are ideal for hats and other small pieces.

Bear shelf

Toys on shelf

Use rugs to create zones

Just like in any other room of the house, rugs are a great way to anchor the space or create the sense of zones.

In Patrick’s nursery, I wanted to create a ‘play zone’ below the half-height door at the back of the room. I used a small round rug to achieve this with several baskets of toys.

The rectangular race track rug emphasises the length of the room, helping the space to feel larger.

Toys in basket

Play area

Display wall art

Wall art draws the eye upwards and around the room.

I created a cluster of pieces above his cot — Shenton & Thrello ‘Mr Patrick’ name banner, bear illustration and Emma Kate & Co ‘Wander’ map — as well as above the chair and near the clothing rack.

There is such a wide range of nursery wall art options available now and I find Instagram is a great place to search for independent artists and designers. Also, don’t feel that wall art always needs to be in a frame or behind glass. The name banner I’ve used, those ‘Sleepy Eyes’, wire words, bunting, or even stuffed animal heads are just some examples of different types of wall art you could use.

Art in nursery

Hooks

Supplier list

Cot: Teeny cot by Incy Interiors
Chair: Kmart
Teepee rack: DIY tutorial here
Fur ottoman: DIY tutorial here
Bear shelf: DIY tutorial here
Book shelves: IKEA
Race car mat: OYOY adventure rug mat
Confetti mat: Kmart
‘Mr Patrick’ banner and ‘Bear cave’ print: Shenton & Thrello
Bear wall art: Handsome Pretty
‘Wander’ map wall art: Emma Kate & Co
‘And suddenly you were my everything’ print: Little Papeterie
Baebes print: Yorkelee Prints
Ply arrows: DIY tutorial here
Peg wall clip: Lucie Kaas Peggy clip
Milk bottle wrap: Tom and Milly
Mint speckle cushion: Milk and Sugar
Koala cushion: Miann & Co
Silver heart cushion and black polka dot cushion: Self made
Monochrome baby book: Blueberry & Co
Timber bear: Baby bear from Urbaani Homewares

Baby book

Book shelf

Tiny nursery

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9 Comments

  1. Good effort making the most of a small space! I’m a big fan of that kind of low wall mount shelving to store books. The best thing is you’ll get to do plan something new when he moves into his ‘big boy’ room! 😉

    • Gina Ciancio

      Thanks Jane 🙂 I’m really looking forward to doing his next room where there’ll be more space to work with. I like the idea of a small table for him with cute chairs where he can do colouring in and some sort of tent or cubby would be sweet too.

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  3. You’ve used the space so well it looks amazing. I think utilizing wall space is a great idea and I can’t wait to find some wall art and decor, I’m obsessed with Etsy so many beautiful things to pick from 🙂

    • Thanks Michelle, it’s a bit weird to look at these pics now because his nursery is temporarily just a white room with a cot and chair 🙁 He was waking in the night and getting way too stimulated by all the books and art in the space that he would then want to play at like 2am! So I stripped everything out of this room and he now sleeps through the night. I’m about to create his ‘real’ nursery downstairs so wish me luck that he can handle all the decor that will be coming his way lol!

  4. It never crossed my mind. Is it really hard for kids to sleep in a room that is so interesting and fun? It does make sense. We always read about how bad it is to work on a desk in a bedroom, since mind can’t easily shift from work mode to sleep mode, and changing ambiance can help us to sleep better. Maybe a bedroom/nursery shouldn’t also be a playroom.
    This could be so helpful for our clients. And for parents. I’m so glad I read your comments, but I also wanted to say how much I love the idea of using the more practical space for the nursery, even though it may not be an ideal one. And I’m sure it’s amazing even without the decor.

    • Gina Ciancio

      All the books, toys and colour were a big distraction for Patrick but I’m happy to say that 4 months on, he’s sleeping like a champion and I’ve been able to slowly reintroduce some things. I recently moved him downstairs to his own room now that he’s bigger and sleeping through the night. I’d like to decorate that space soon so wish me luck he can handle what I’ve got in mind, ha ha! 🙂

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