Turning a Living Room Into a Nursery

Babies are small enough to tuck in anywhere — it’s all the baby gear that gobbles up property on your own crowded apartment. However, you can repurpose the living room to do double duty as a nursery, and still enjoy some family dwelling room. Integrate baby essentials into the decor of the living room with smart, sleek designs that serve at least two functions. Obtain a wheeled crib so that the baby can sleep in your quiet bedroom when grown-ups are employing the living room.

Sleep Situation

An alcove or an “L” from the living room is tailor-made for a crib. Paint the recessed space a different color than the rest of the walls, to differentiate baby’s space. An excess area rug will muffle sounds and provide insulation from drafts. Pretty curtains hide the crib once it is not being used and pull back to reveal the hanging mobile, the pendant or wall mounted lamp, the tall skinny dresser snugged in next to the crib, and the fabric-covered storage bin on wheels under it. If you do not possess an alcove or a closet area, create a “room-within-a-room” with a hardy open shelving unit that houses books, artwork and photos to the living room side, and baby toys around the nursery side Purchase more time before you have to hunt for a bigger apartment with a crib that converts to a toddler bed.

Treasure Chest

The armoire that may have made the perfect media cupboard in the living room is even more acceptable for a baby closet. Double hanging bars hold cute little outfits; shelves and drawers arrange blankets, onesies, hats, sweaters, bedding, sit-up cushions and crawling-on-the-floor quilts. Shoe pockets hung on the inside of the doors keep small items — and sneakers — all in one easy-to-find place. And all you do is close the doors to make everything disappear.

Presto, Change-o

You do not need a changing table. A thick, cushioned changing kind or a straightforward changing pad on a dresser, sideboard, flat-screen stand or one of the end tables functions too. Store diapers and the remainder of the gear on easy-to-reach shelves above the switching platform and neatly out of sight from the drawers or cabinet under. Or keep supplies at a flip-top ottoman and change the baby to a roll-up changing pad on the floor. Invest in a completely collapsible stroller and then hang it to the back of the door. When you are feeling the onset of cabin fever, pop the stroller open, then scoop the baby up and go out to find the wide, wide world.

Cool and Compact

Believe Mid-Century Modern for living room decor that doubles as nursery furniture. The slider-rocker and its footstool are big and clunky — and you do not have room for it. However, Ray Eames made a molded plastic rocker that delivers a comfortable ride with a very small footprint. Just a little cruiser can work her way all about a Mies van der Rohe leather-upholstered daybed, and you can catch a quick nap on it once she falls off for a while. Eero Saarinen’s womb seat lets you sink into total support for feedings. Muuto’s stackable cube shelving program retains your books and baby’s stuffed animals, so it’s possible to find the floor.

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