It’s pretty unusual to have a full nursery in a studio apartment, but that is exactly what we set out to do here. My husband, Billy, and I were expecting our first child this past January, and we knew we wanted to continue living in our studio apartment because we love it so much. We’ve lived in this apartment for about four years, and since moving in no major updates had been made. Having a baby though, was the big push we needed to finally get the renovation ball rolling.
Here is a little nursery tour video we made:
To jump right in, yes, living in studio as just a two person couple has it’s obvious challenges. Add a baby into the mix and you’ve got no other choice than to get creative and simplify.
We knew in order to do this, we were going to have to get rid of stuff and try to live more minimally since there would now be three of us living in 700 square feet of space. We first had to get rid of all the clutter – all the stuff we didn’t need. Clothes, knick-knacks, anything we didn’t have a place for. And then we had to get rid of some furniture and rearrange. If you saw our other post & video on redoing our living space, we decided to mount our tv and shift our couch to the foot of our bed, which essentially eliminated our “living room area” and freed up a whole corner of space making room for a nursery.
Stick to One Style
We spent a long time envisioning what we wanted our studio to look like – bright white with pops of color, updated and fresh, with a modern, and slightly boho/tropical vibe. So one of our main concerns with incorporating a nursery into this space was how do we make it seamless, so when you walk in the room, it flows together well and the nursery doesn’t look out of place.
We tried to achieve this by sticking to a similar color scheme and vibe for our nursery decor. We chose to use soft pastel blues and greens, raw wood and seagrass, and simple furniture and decorations. This way everything ties together with the other elements we had in our studio, ultimately creating that nice flow.
Another thing we wanted was to have the nursery be fully functional. Yes, we wanted to keep it simple but we didn’t want to compromise on the functionality and necessary items that a typical nursery would have. So we chose to stick to three main furniture items – a crib, a glider/recliner chair, and a dresser/changing table combo.
Sources: Table Lamp
Another thing we did was convert the small closet we have into the baby’s closet. Our studio has one large closet, which my husband and I now share, and then one smaller closet. This has been really great, and another key component for making this nursery work in our studio. The closet, along with the dresser, ultimately give us all the space we need for all the extra baby stuff.
The Giant Dried Palm Leaf
I knew I wanted something awesome above the crib, but since we had such limited wall space for decorations I knew this piece had to really make a statement and set the tone. So I cut a large, fresh palm frond out of fan palm tree and dried it out in the sun. This was super easy and only took about a week, flipping it over once. This leaf turned out amazing and is probably one of my favorite things in the whole room. It really just evokes that tropical vibe we were going for.
We decided to build a few floating shelves around the glider chair in the corner – this way we could add a few more decorative elements to that wall space. We went ahead and painted them white so that they wouldn’t stick out too much, and I think that really does help to not make it look too busy. It’s just enough. We left the shelf next to the chair empty so that we could set our drink and our phone down, etc. while rocking the baby in the chair.
Vintage Model Cars
Another one of my favorite elements is the row of model cars. These were my Grandfather’s cars that he had collected over the years, and I remember him having them on display in his den when I was a kid. I thought they would be perfect for adding a little bit of a Palm Springs – California vibe, so I built this simple little shelf, painted it white, put those up there, and it turned out really cute I think.
Sources: Wall Baskets
So we have a dog that loves his toys – stuffed toys in particular, so we knew we wouldn’t be able to have stuffed animals for the baby just sitting around. We got these round, seagrass baskets and hung them on the wall as a solution. Again, super easy to do, we just screwed some small white hooks into the wall and looped them through the coils on the baskets, and wa-la – a hanging stuffed animal display.
Sources: Changing Pad
Source: Drawer Organizers
This is the last decorative piece that we got creative with and customized for the space. Originally dark brown, we sanded this dresser down to the raw, lighter colored wood, and then did a rough white wash over the entire thing – a technique I like to call “bali-style-painting”. It’s the same way I painted our mantle in our previous post, so now those two pieces match. And then I took these two wallpaper samples I had been saving and put them on the side panels of the dresser and finished by painting the knobs a mint green to match. Love how this dresser just completes the space and gives us the storage we need for diaper changes & clothes, etc!
Other Baby Gear
So other items we felt we needed for baby were a Mamaroo swing, which sits just below our mantle, a DockATot, which sits on our now ottoman (we got rid of our coffee table). We’ve got a Halo swivel bassinet next to our bed, and then in our opened floor space we’ve got a Lovevery play gym that we are really loving right now as a play/toy area.
Living in a Studio with a Baby
So you might be wondering, how is this actually working out, having your child live in the same one room as you and your husband? That one room also being your kitchen, living room and bedroom…?
Well right now it’s working great! Typically most people have their newborns sleep in their room for at least a few months or up to a year anyways, and that’s about where we’re at right now. Our son, Liam, sleeps in a bassinet on one side of the bed, and that makes middle of the night feedings and tending to him super easy.
As far as my husband and I still being awake and active in the room after he goes to sleep though – that’s where you just have to compromise and adjust your living habits. This means after he goes to sleep at night, we have to be a little bit more quiet, and most of our lights are turned off so it’s darker. We do still sit on the couch and watch tv, we just turn down the brightness and sound some. And some nights when we make dinner after the baby’s in bed, we just have to be a little more careful not to make too much noise with our pots and pans, etc. For nap times, we just close the curtains to filter the light a little and then go about our normal activities. And so far it’s working great for us!
Now as he does get older and more aware of his surroundings, I’m sure we’ll face more challenges that we’ll have to get creative with – especially for sleep times – but for now we seem to have figured out what works for us.
We do have plans to put up curtains around the main nursery corner once he makes the switch to the crib. Just because once he’s more aware of us up and still moving around the room, we can close the curtains and hopefully he can still sleep. But we’ll be sure to update you on how that ends up going.
Sources: Crib Mattress