{decorating with style} Nursery Space Plan & Furniture Selections

In my first post about the nursery, I talked about my design inspiration and color selections. Once we had settled on the paint colors, I knew it was time to get serious about purchasing furniture for the room.

Since the room we are using as the nursery is quite narrow - measuring 9’ x 14’, with an additional 4’ x 2.5’ nook next to the closet, I figured we'd better start with some space planning.  First I made a list of the furniture pieces I felt were necessary in the nursery: a crib, a changing table, a comfy chair, additional storage, and maybe a small bookshelf.  Then I graphed out the space in Photoshop (my favorite way to plan any room layout) so that I could start to envision where each furniture piece might fit.

Here is the to-scale floorplan for the room (each square represents one square foot):

And here’s what the room looked like empty.

We had plans to paint the room with ombre stripes, with the darkest stripes at the bottom, so I knew that I wanted to keep most of the furniture light for contrast - but I didn’t necessarily want to go with all white furniture. I had long had my eye on a great piece of furniture called the Eiffel Bookcase. I originally envisioned it for my guest room, but ended up going a different direction in that space. Then I saw a photo of the Eiffel being used in a nursery, and knew it would be perfect. I loved that it had a good amount of closed storage (a must for any kids space), but also had a fun opening in the middle to display any combination of blankets, toys, and books.  I bought the Eiffel from a Denver shop called Firefly Furnishings, but it's also available online from All Modern.

The contrasting finishes appealed to me, with its white cabinet and dark wood doors (it’s also available in all white, or with light birch doors). I knew this piece would find a home somewhere in our nursery! 

Before deciding where to place the Eiffel, I did some research online for basic crib and chair dimensions, and started playing with various furniture arrangement options. There are two doors into the room - one from the hall, and one from the adjoining bathroom that also connects to the hall. I liked the idea of having the crib on the wall between these two doors, making it easy to peek in on the baby without walking all the way into the room. Additionally, while our house is new and well heated, I still liked the idea of keeping the crib on an interior wall.

With the crib placement set, I played around with whether to put a changing table or a chair in the nook space - but ultimately decided it would be nicer to have a chair by the windows at the other end of the room. And with that, the furniture layout fell into place. I determined that I could fit a crib with the Eiffel positioned directly across from it, a chair in the windowed corner with a low bookshelf next to it (the top of the bookshelf would be a good height for a lamp and would serve as a place set bottles and other items without the need for a separate side table), and, lastly, the nook was just the right size for most changing table options.

By viewing the furniture layout on my Photoshopped graph paper, I was also able to determine that the 5’ x 8’ gray and white zebra rug I had my eye on would fit perfectly in the middle of the room.  Unfortunately, the zebra rug at West Elm was more than I wanted to spend, so I found a very similar alternative on sale for only $200 from Rugs USA, and free shipping to boot.  (I see that they still sell a similar rug in a 7.5' x 9.5' size, but the price is higher.)

With my space plan in hand, I went shopping for just the right furniture to fill the room. I found the Babyletto Modo crib online and loved that it had the same white and dark wood color combination as the Eiffel. I was a little leary at first to order a crib online without being able to see it in person to make sure it seemed sturdy, but the reviews on Amazon were reassuring.  I was also able to find a local retailer that sold a similar Babyletto model, so I could see the quality of construction in person, which made me feel better. I also liked that, unlike many convertible cribs, the Babyletto Modo came with the toddler bed conversion rails - so no need to order and pay for them separately. Now that the crib is in use, I am loving its low profile - being that we're both short, this has made it much easier as we have moved the mattress to lower positions.

After looking at many changing table options, I decided I didn’t really want to purchase a piece of furniture that would only last as long as we had kids in diapers. So, we instead went on the hunt for a chest of drawers that we could use with a changing tray. In keeping with the dark and white wood furniture theme, we decided to go with the dark Hemnes three drawer chest from Ikea (can’t beat the price), and a contrasting white Argington Anywhere Changing Tray (this changing tray has a fantastic non-slip base so that it doesn’t have to be screwed to the top of the dresser - and even with a very wiggly one year old, the changing tray has never slid or moved an inch!). We also liked the small Expedit bookshelf in white from Ikea for the other end of the room.

Finding a chair was the most challenging part of our search. I didn’t like the look of the typical nursery gliders. I wanted something a bit more modern, but still very practical and comfortable. I loved the Storytime Rocker, but just couldn't justify the price (of course, it figures that the price has since come down considerably).  Finally, we came across a small-scale leather rocker at Scandinavian Designs. One of the color options was charcoal gray - a color we had already been contemplating incorporating into the room, and I love that it is super comfy, can easily be wiped clean, and could later be used in another room of the house.

There you have it - an overview of the space plan and all of the furniture selections for our nursery. In my next nursery post, I’ll be talking about how we painted the ombre stripes on the walls, and then I’ll reveal the completed nursery!

Update: Check out these links for all of the posts about the nursery...

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