If you’re expecting a new baby, you’re no doubt encountering some big changes. A new baby changes everything and requires a great deal of preparation. In addition to the many new joys and challenges a baby brings, you will probably also need to reconsider the way you reallocate the space in your home.
If space is tight, you may be thinking about ways to convert a room into a nursery while still using for another purpose. A nursery can easily double as a guest room, allowing you to still host guests in your home as needed (helpful in-laws, perhaps?). Since you probably only use your guest room occasionally, it’s a good choice of room to pull double duty. Some simple decorating tips can help you create a space that’s a warm and nurturing room for your baby as well as a comfortable and stylish place for your guests.
Wall Color and Decoration
It can be tricky to find a color palette that’s bright and cheerful enough for a nursery but still looks tasteful enough for a guest room. Pale shades of sunny colors like blue, yellow, or green make a soothing nursery but are still pleasing for an adult. If you opt for wallpaper, choose a print that’s bright and stimulating for an infant, but not one that’s overtly childish (no clowns or circus animals.) On HGTV.com, Sarah Raskin offers some visual suggestions for a combo guest room-nursery.
Wall decals are a great choice for a nursery because you can apply them to the wall and then remove or replace them as your child gets older. A pattern or picture can be placed in the part of the room near the crib and changing table to give your baby something to look at, and you can opt for more sophisticated décor by the guest bed. Pictures and wall hangings can likewise be hung throughout the room, making the space appealing to both adults and children. Babies love looking at patterns, and you can find wall hangings with attractive patterns that your guests will enjoy as well.
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Smart Use of Space
Since you’re probably using the room primarily as a nursery, you’ll want to consider your needs on that front first. If you’re only using the guest bed when you have visitors, placing it in a corner against a wall will maximize space in the rest of the room so you can fit all of your baby’s supplies. Even a Murphy bed could be a consideration, especially when transforming the nursery into a room for an older child. A small nightstand next to the bed won’t take up much room and will make your guest feel more at home. For more privacy, you may want to put up a room partition or screen. Many of these can be easily folded and stored away when you don’t have company.
The same rocking chair or arm chair you use to rock your baby to sleep can serve as a reading chair for your guest. Again, you may want to choose a chair in a neutral color or print, which can also make it easier to transition the chair into the rest of your décor when you no longer need a nursery.
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Life with a baby is chaotic, and the nursery is often ground zero for mess and clutter. Having good storage options will make life easier day-to-day, and especially when you’re hosting a guest. Built-in shelves can make storage more manageable, and making one is a relatively easy DIY project. Alternately, look for changing tables with good storage options. You can find or build dressers with changing tables on top, which is a great way to save space and reduce clutter.
Convertible furniture can also help with sleeping accommodations. Instead of having a bed in your nursery/guest room, a sofa bed or daybed provides bed space only as needed.
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No matter what options you choose, creating a space for a baby in your home is an experience to cherish. The nursery is the place your new family will come together, and you’ll want to make sure it suits your needs.