We’re kicking off this week with a 3-part series on Nurseries. Our friend and soon to be mom, Sarah Donoghue, is in the process of preparing her home for a little one. She and her husband currently reside in St. Louis but she honed her design aesthetic while working at Vogue in NYC. After years of living in small New York apartments Sarah also knows how to make best use of available square footage which is important when considering how to make a nursery work in your home.
Finding the Right Space
Shortly after you have lived through the shock of hearing the words, ‘we’re pregnant’ reality sets in. Somewhere in-between your first OB appointment and sorting through the hundreds of pacifier options (and figuring out which one to register for) – the realization that you need to make a space for your baby. And if this is your first, it isn’t just any space; it has to be just right… mostly it has to perfect. We have been on this journey for just over six months (25 weeks and counting) and slowly realizing what we need and where to find it. And so we begin the extremely challenging effort of creating the right (and best) space possible for our baby.
If your living situation is anything like ours, space is at a premium. So preparing for the new family remember not only requires us to find a space for the baby, but reworking everything else so it all fits. Of course, there is probably a lucky few that have a spare room, for the rest of us here are a few tips.
Which room to use? Something has got to give, so what will it be? In our case, we both had to give. My husband had to give up his ‘man room’, and I my dressing room/office into what is now our shared office/guest room. We have both lost ‘a room of our own’ in the process. To identify which room is best for the baby, here are a few things to think about when picking the right space:
NOISE: How noisy is the room? Is it near a creaky step or a loud alleyway? Obviously, the quieter the better (for all).
TEMPERATURE: Does it get really cold in winter/hot in summer? Are the windows drafty? Ideally, you want it to be warm and cozy all year round. Is it sunny? Natural sunlight enhances the mood of the room.*
ELECTRIC: Are there enough outlets to accommodate all of the baby accoutrements? Like the nightlight, humidifier, monitor, etc… You can always remedy this but the less work the better.
SPACE: Babies bring lots of stuff, is there a significant space for everything? The Mordecai’s, first time parents, said, “We wanted a nursery that was warm and inviting, organized and easy to deal with, that had room for a rocker, plus all the baby gear.”** A closet or enough wall space for a set of drawers. This is a great article from Martha Stewart about how much space you will need.
Of course, there are a few things that you can’t avoid, but find the best alternative and get creative. We’re beginning to clear the canvas for the ultimate baby room that does not succumb to the tragic baby-ness of most baby rooms.
Part I: Finding the Right Space
Part II: Design Inspiration
Part III: Decisions and Doing
*Credit: Jonas and Sarie Calkins Abney and baby daughter Willow
**Credit: Heather and Adam Mordecai and son Charlie.
photo: Conor Keller