Simple hacks to make most of a small nursery

Are you facing a challenge of decorating a small nursery?

Here, in the UK we've got the smallest homes in Western Europe ... and babies often get the smallest room in the house, yet the “tiny people” usually have the most stuff to accommodate.

When planning my son’s “compact” nursery I had to get my brain in gear to make sure I can fit everything in, while keeping the room functional, safe and cozy. Ufff… wasn’t easy.

But let me tell you that it’s not about the space itself, rather how you use it.

So, for those who face the challenge of decorating a small nursery, here is a list of very simple yet effective hacks to work this special place to its maximum advantage.

Make it mobile.

Attach the wheels to the bottom of a cot bed, wardrobe or a changing table and you’ll be able to move furniture around getting more space whenever necessary e.g. for play time

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Space saving changing station

If you don’t have enough space for a regular changing table in a nursery:

try an over-cot changer

use a changing mat that can be stored behind the wardrobe or under the cot

use a wall mounted changing table

think out of the box, you can create your changing station in all sorts of unusual places

Use every corner of space

corners are often overlooked and left bare in the nursery, consider corner cupboards, shelving or corner hanging nets to use the space to its maximum

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Create a space for play

babies need room to play, so the fewer pieces of furniture you can get away with, the better. If you don’t have enough space for the rocking chair in the nursery place it in your bedroom or in the living room. If you can’t fit a changing table in move it to the bathroom

Transform closet into a cozy alcove

You can easily transform closet into a petit, pretty baby nook.

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Use space on the back of the door

This often forgotten space is perfect for hangers, towels, bathrobes or hanging hampers.

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Clever storage

Go tall not wide. Go for slim and tall furniture like tall one-door wardrobes with shelves all the way up, slim wall-mounted shelves all the way to the ceiling

Upgrade your wardrobe/closet:

since babies clothes are small you should be able to add at least one hanging rail or shelf in the wardrobe

use the bottom of your wardrobe or closet, put shoe racks, storage boxes or a set of drawers at the bottom of the wardrobe

use the top of your wardrobe, if you have a space above the wardrobe, storage boxes or baskets can be placed on top

add organisers onto the back of a closet door

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Valuable space under the crib.

Use baskets or boxes to store anything from blankets to clothes, mainly items that aren’t used very often.

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Tiered accessories.

Tall tiered accessories are perfect for small spaces. They don’t take up too much space and provide added storage

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Under the window.

The area under the window is perfect for a cozy bench topped with a cushion, which can double as a low bookshelf.

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Storage on the wall.

Choose wall shelves over floor shelves. Hang shelving all the way up to the ceiling. Take advantage of the space above the changing table.

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Trick the eye - make the small look spacious

No more doors. Remove nursery doors or get rid of the closet doors, which can claim space by swinging too far into the room.

You will make the room look more spacious. You may consider hanging the curtains so you can hide the mess if you need to.

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Mirrors, sparkles and the light.

use mirrors to create the illusion of space, they are great developmental tool for babies and are available in fun shapes and patterns to add some character to the room

let the light in - keep window treatments to a minimum to make the most of natural light

mirror opposite a window reflects natural light, brightens the space and makes it look bigger

add sparkling flashy elements, they also reflect natural light making the space look open and airy

Keep it out of sight. Keep accessories to a minimum otherwise they will clutter up the room. Plan your storage carefully so you can take things out of sight and avoid visual overwhelm.

Make decorations functional. Install decorative hooks on the wall, a bedside table with a cabinet inside, paint inside of your bookshelves.

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Make furniture blend in.

choose simple furniture with clean lines and a light finish that blend into the overall design

use acrylic furniture e.g a cot bed or a chair, they look very special, and take up very little visual weight, they will almost disappear in the room

but don’t rule out large furniture completely, one “substantial” piece of furniture may work better in a small space than too many small pieces which will make the room feel cluttered

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Basic flooring is your friend.

Avoid busy patterns and area rugs that can break up a room and make it look even smaller. Go for plain flooring like e.g. wall to wall carpeting in neutral colour.

Make one wall a focal point:

dark colours do not necessarily make a room look smaller, especially in a narrow room you can bring the far wall forward by painting it a deep shade

use interesting wall art or wallpaper to create an accent wall which will provide the illusion of depth and will expand the room visually


Prioritise the essentials.

Make sure you only buy what you absolutely need! While planning a small space you must make every furniture, every accessory and decoration item choice count. Ah, and instead of thinking of your nursery as tiny, appreciate it for its coziness.