ARTICLE: Erin Reilly

The arrival of a kicking and screaming small human into this world is in equal parts the most exciting and the most daunting experience of any new parent’s life. Many questions are asked, the most common being, “Why won’t it stop crying?” Another is, “Where on earth is this baby going to sleep?”

Babies are small so they don’t need a lot of space. But when one is on its way, it’s common for almost-parents to wonder if the home they currently live in will still work when their family expands. Forget buying a new house though; renovating is a much better solution.

Find the perfect space

A nursery doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be filled with love (and baby wipes). Look at your current house layout and decide if there’s a corner that could be converted into a nursery. The spare room is the obvious choice (invest in a pull-out sofa bed for the lounge at the same time), but don’t be afraid to think outside the square. Perhaps you could downsize your study from a whole room into a nook in the lounge that can be hidden away with sliding doors, then turn your ex-study into a cosy nursery. Do you really need that second lounge? Maybe not.

Get creative with paint

Once you’ve decided on where your nursery is going to be, it’s time to get creative. Use paint to turn a blank slate into a room fit for a small king or queen. Blues and pinks are traditional color palates but don’t be afraid to experiment with other hues. If you’re feeling particularly creative, think about going with a theme. Use tester pots to paint a wall mural or use decals or wall prints to create a whole new world within four walls. And the best thing about paint? It doesn’t take much effort to turn a plain baby’s room into a vibrant toddler’s room.

Don’t forget about flooring

Babies and toddlers spend a lot of time on the floor so it makes sense to pay serious attention to this part of the room during renovations too. If you’re going for carpet, choose a shade that won’t accentuate spills and stains. If you’ve got wooden floors, a colorful rug or two will not only add a pop of color to the room, they’ll also help keep the room warmer while cushioning any tumbles.

Think about lighting

New parents will spend a lot of time in their child’s nursery at all hours of the day and night, so a good lamp or night light will make life much easier. Think about dimmer switches to allow for different levels of light depending on what you’re doing in the room too. When it comes to natural light, don’t forget that your child needs to sleep in their room – even during the day. A good set of blackout curtains will help create the perfect sleeping environment, day or night.

Invest in heating

It goes without saying that babies can’t just put on a jumper or grab another blanket if they get cold. A great heating plan is important for every room in the house, but it’s essential in a nursery. Hopefully, your house is already well-insulated; if it’s not, now’s the perfect time to look at your options. Panel heaters and heat transfer systems will make a room nice and toasty, while retrofitted double glazing will keep the heat in and the cold out.

Don’t skimp on storage

Despite their small stature, babies come with a lot of ‘stuff’. Great storage solutions will help you keep their nursery organized and clutter-free. If the wardrobe has a lot of wasted space, install shelving. If there isn’t a wardrobe at all, build one or buy a shelving unit along with a selection of story storage baskets.

Remember your deadline

If you’re going down the renovation track, do everything you can to finish the job with lots of time to spare – you’ve only got nine months, after all. Bringing a baby into a world full of dust and loud noises isn’t the greatest idea, and you don’t need the stress of renovating keeping you up all night when your baby will be anyway.

 

You might be interested in reading: Project Estimate - Loft conversion or second story addition

 

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