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how to not plan a nursery – probably

Ok, brace yourselves, because this is what the future home of baby Butler/Parent currently looks like:

I know – yikes.

We put these shelves up thinking that would solve the storage problem.

Not exactly.

Where the hell did all this stuff come from?

I like to think I’m pretty good at weeding stuff out, tossing things – i.e., not being a hoarder (moving every few years certainly helps), but I’m at a loss for what to do with all this.  It’s a combination of not having a studio space at home (well, this was, uh, supposed to be it), so we have cameras, slide projectors, sketch books and related art paraphernalia, mixed with a former career in the auction biz (that might become relevant again – more on that later), meaning auction catalogues and reference books out the ying yang, and topped off with all Sam’s former music college recording stuff, current music making stuff, and now including everything for the studious accounting student.  Phew.   Oh, and we discovered everything in the basement gets mouldy so some stuff had to be relocated up here.

I guess it was obvious from this list that 2 measly shelves wasn’t going to cut it.

And now we have to fit baby in here too, and of course I want it to look super sexy. Well, ok, not sexy, like I want a sexy baby (weird), but I want a great looking space.  Actually, at this point I would settle for one that wasn’t a crap-tastic dumping ground and could make way for, I don’t know – a dresser, maybe a crib.  Obviously a change table would be asking too much.

Unfortunately, baby furniture appears to be a minefield of pure awfulness.  Check out this little gem that popped up when I innocently put the word ‘crib’ into Amazon:

Wow.  And only $7,932.50.

But apart from decor/taste issues, the simple issue of size is something I can’t get my head around.  How can something so small need so much stuff?  And why is it all so huge?  Someone on-line (can’t find where I read this unfortunately) lamented the fact that many children’s cribs are the size of a small hatchback.  Too true.  And we don’t have room to park a bike in there, never mind a vehicle-sized bed for a tiny infant (well, I’m hoping tiny, otherwise I’ll be rethinking this whole ‘natural childbirth’ idea).

We have a maximum of 57 x 45 in. for crib, change table and some kind of storage.  Yep, it’s a challenge.  I also have to accommodate my family who will be coming over for the birth and still have room for Sam to study as he’ll be heading into final exams – just after the baby is born.  Convenient.

So, here’s a few thoughts I have:

1. I’m actually considering an Ikea loft bed with a desk underneath.  Bed for mom, plus office area for Sam:

Obviously the ladder isn’t ideal for your average grandma to be, but my mom isn’t your average grandmother (she was a PE teacher – nuff said).

Ok, so the bed combo aint sexy, but it might work.  Never mind Ikea is an 18 hour drive away and they don’t seem to deliver this particular bed…it’s the idea we’re working with here people…

2. I have discovered there is such a thing as a ‘mini crib’.  Horray!  Here’s one:

This is by Bloom.  I love that it has wheels and is only 19.2 x 37 x 33 inches.

3. I’m on the search for a wall mounted change table that doesn’t look like I’m in a public washroom at Walmart.  It’s proving near impossible.  There’s this one by Bo Design,

but there’s something weird about it, like it’s a plywood toilet seat.  And it’s $750.

Not gonna lie – I have no idea how this is all going to pan out, but I do have another 3 months.  Surely we can pull it together by then?

Ideas welcome…


11 responses »

  1. I once had to cram my adult life into a single rented room. I did the bed up/desk below thing and it worked great.

    I made the bed with four 2″x2″ corner posts. You really don’t need to build it out of 2x4s and other heavy stock if you brace well; many people overbuild things like work benches and shelving. Pick good straight pine 2x2s without knots. I X-braced the two sides and the back with 1x3s. Up at mattress level I think I used 1×8 boards to make a ribbon around the 2×2 legs, then put a 1×2 cleat on the inside bottom of the ribbon. Then I cut a sheet of 3/4″ plywood (don’t use particle board because it is heavy but not strong and it is super toxic) and dropped it onto the cleats, and a mattress on top of that. Everything got yellow carpenter glued and screwed together with drywall screws. Everything except the mattress that is. No screwing happened on the mattress. This worked well for a year and it was cheap enough to abandon when I left. Good luck with your project, a backhoe works great for housecleaning.

    By the way, as I write this, my wife’s cat (it’s NOT mine…) just peed on my paper shredder. Oh goodie.

  2. doll – you dont need a change table. put the change pad/pillow thing on top of the dresser. and just tack it to the back of the dresser so it doest slip. you dont need a crib till baby is about 3 months old – so wait on that and you have room for mom! baby can sleep in a basket till then.

  3. Yup, Brady is right about it all. I find I rarely change the baby in his room anyway; typically on the couch or whatever room we are typically in – usually the living room. BTW, very sexy rocking chair but honestly, you will be sitting in that thing in the middle of the night, possibly for very long streches of time, holding your arms in a rigid, locked position which will soon experience lactic acid burn, so you want to be mega-comfortable. (we bought though it is a small fortune and half of it was paid for by others as a baby gift…)

    • Nice rocker! I still worry about finding space for something like that though – I’m really not sure it would fit. Hmmm…
      Yeah, I think I’m over the changing table. When I was at my sister’s I never used it anyway (was too worried about Tilly rolling off so used to put her on the floor instead). It’s just amazing what people assume is absolutely essential. I have to stay off the internet!

  4. Not really a solution to the problem, and probably expensive but nice design idea anyway:

  5. Dude. It’s your friendly West Coast neighbour here to tell you that you don’t need any of that stuff. Ira still sleeps in our bed with us, we change him on a ‘change pad’ (foamy thing that helps him not roll off) on top of the dresser (but to be honest, we used the floor for ages), and his dresser has all our clothes in it (me and Brian’s clothes, that is), except one teeny drawer for all his clothes (winter jacket to boot). In fact his room isn’t his room at all. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t actually set baby-crawling foot in his own room yet and he’s nine months old. You really don’t need much at all. Just boobs, some diapers, blankets, a baby carrier and a good sense of humour.

    And for rocking chairs – I agree that the softer the better. My friend took a big ol’ free, green chair off the road for this purpose and now that her kids are old enough not to breastfeed any more, she still can’t part with it as it is far too comfortable.

    If you’re looking for inspiration on how to keep things manageable and only get what you need, check out this blog and her really cheap e-book:

    with her book titled, “The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year”. If you don’t want to purchase the book, just sift through her posts for some general tips on keeping to what you need when it comes to a baby.

    I’m game to talk about this any time, my friend. Send me an email if you want to chat, or just wait until late January when Brian and Ira and I will be in the ‘fax for a visit (and at that point you can tell us why it is such a horrible idea to visit the ‘fax in the middle of winter).


    • – and you can tell us why it is such a horrible idea to LIVE in the ‘fax in the middle of winter.

      Thanks Dee – great advice. It’s so hard not to get caught up in all the new baby mania!

      Can’t wait to see you guys in January!

  6. Pingback: A Nursery in 36 Sq Ft – The Final Countdown « a cat peed on my drywall

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