Small Space Organization: Nursery for Two

It’s been a really long time since I promised you guys this post about our small nursery for two.

This nursery took me a ridiculous long time to put together.  Part of that is due to our deciding not to find out the gender of our second baby until birth. (You can read about that here.)

The other (real) part of the story all has to do with me not being able to make up my fool mind about what I wanted to do! (It took me over a year to finish.)

[Routine disclaimer.  No, the room does not look like this all the time, fool!  I staged it and took the photos while the girls were occupied eating snacks and watching God knows how many consecutive episodes of Curious George. Most of the time play food and naked baby dolls are all over this small, middle floor space. The other disclaimer is that I spent an a ton of time on this room.  I did it purely for my own fun.  Also, do not closely inspect my sewing.  I taught myself late at night using You Tube and a 1970’s Kenmore machine, aka, “Lady Ken!”]

Without further ado, here is the bedroom and play space I created for my daughters, Libby (15 months) and K.K. (3 years).

Chalk Painted Changing Table in Nursery for Two

The trend in baby right now is leaning towards minimal and utilitarian.  (More of a European style.)  And though my inner minimalist certainly gravitates towards many aspects of a that neutral, European look, I also feel that childhood is a magical time.  Kid spaces are allowed be colorful, enchanting and whimsical, which is what makes them so much fun to create! (Here is the old gender-neutral nursery that I made for the first baby. Oh! And our mud pie kitchen.)

Stuffed Animals in Vintage Wire Basket

I had a million ideas and a stash of random decor saved up.  I tried a few different things. In the end (and yes, there was eventually an end) I embraced constraints.  It became all about simplification. I had a stash of vintage pillow cases that I desperately wanted to display in some creative way so I went with my inspiration.  (I am in love with the idea of giving mis-matched grandma linens a second life.)

I built the nursery around one inspiration pillowcase using pink, blue, yellow and lots of white.

Vintage Style Fan in Nursery for Two

Ikea Gulliver Toddler Bed in Nusery for Two

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Ikea Gulliver Crib in Nursery for Two

Dress Up Clothes Nursery For Two

Vintage Sheet Fabric Hoops Nursery

Vintage Sheet Pennant Banner

(I sewed this banner on my 1970’s Kenmore machine, but if you ain’t got time for that and you like instant gratification, check out this super easy no-sew banner tutorial.) 

Pink Vintage Kitchen in Nursery

One thing that’s really important about this nursery is that we did a lot of down-sizing to bare essentials in order to make things fit neatly.  That means less toys, clothes and baby gear.  My biggest concession was the glider (We do have one, but in another room.  It’s an necessity!) We simplified a lot, but to be honest I don’t miss a thing.  Less is so much more.  (We still have lots of clothes and toys that we never use!) I like rooms so much better when they are pared down to only the things that are frequently used or worn.

Nursery For Two Toy Wall

This our toy wall, where we store the majority of our toys and books.  Blocks and puzzles are in the closet.  You can read more about that here.

DIY Vintage Sheet Doll Bedding

Vintage Play Kitchen in Nursery

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I wish it had hardwood floors, but that’s all.

In the end, all the going back and forth was worth it.  I came out a lot more confident in my methods and style preferences.  I also realized that excess stuff and rushing to fill a room always leaves me dissatisfied.  (Never let a blank room make you rush to fill it!)

As life would have it, now that this room is perfected, we are moving!  

Though we will be moving to a home with enough space for each girl to have her own room, I insist that they share. My sister and I shared a bedroom until the day she got married and moved out.  It wasn’t always perfect and may even at one time have involved one enraged sister punching another smug sister in the back and knocking the wind out of her as she lie unsuspectingly in her bed. But we trashed that room together with overflowing Caboodles of make-up, scrunchees and hot Conair curling irons that we left unattended for many hours.

And listened to a lot of Boyz II Men.  And played a lot of Mash.  All to which I think we can attribute the bond of sisterhoodship that we share today.  I can only hope for the same for my girls.

Walls: Behr, Valley Mist

Cribs: Ikea Gulliver

Crib Linens: Sheets and afghans thrifted.  Quilts and pillows made from thrifted pillowcases. 

Changing Table: Freecycle, painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Arles

Oval Mirrors: Target

Curtains: Target

Fan: Target

Glass Jars: Ikea

Wire Basket: Home Goods

Coat Tree: Garage sale

Kitchen: Consignment, shelving from Ikea, curtains and towel hand-sewn

Clock: Etsy (1950’s vintage)

Cradle: Thrifted

Toy Wall: ClosetMaid Nine Cube organizer and fabric baskets, Ikea picture ledges, Ikea Bekvam spice racks

Banners: Hand sewn.  

Fabric Hoops: Michaels, thrifted pillowcase scraps

Photo Canvas: gift, courtesy of Olivia Barbosa Photography

And to all the mamas-to-be decorating nurseries and organizing baby clothes, enjoy!  It’s been one of my favorite parts of motherhood.