We all either know that couple who’s had a perfectly sized house for all their needs and desires…and suddenly there is a new family member on the way. Of course I’m not talking about Aunt Gertrude trying to move in; I mean a baby! Or maybe you’ve been that couple?
Either way, it’s all too common for expecting families to face the task of converting their guest room into a nursery. Maybe it’s short-term until you find a larger home. Or maybe you just want a gradual transition from guest room to bedroom, but you’d like to multi-task that space in the meantime.
Allowing the room to do double duty is especially ideal if you’ve got friends or family members who may be coming to help out once the little one arrives. But how do you approach the transition without making a huge mess and breaking the bank?
We’ve got a few ideas about making this transition as smoothly as possible.
Work With What You’ve Got
The most reasonable first step in this transition is to take inventory of how the room is already laid out. This not only includes furniture, but decor and closet space as well. Here are some examples to consider:
- Have you got a full-sized bed you could simply move to the corner to create space, rather than completely removing it?
- How about a half-full dresser that can be emptied out for future use? Maybe take inventory of its contents and use that as a springboard for decluttering in general.
- On that note, what’s in the closet? Could it moved to a coat closet, a storage space, or even the garage? Again- this is all a great opportunity to inventory what’s in the room and prioritize both your space and your belongings.
How to Make the Most of Small Closet Space has some useful ideas.
- What color are the walls? If you want to bring a more nursery-like vibe without a full make-over, consider painting a single accent wall to soften the energy of the room.
- What other furniture is in that room? You’ll likely want a chair in your nursery, right? Perhaps there’s a chair in your study that you could swap out with that bookcase in the guest bedroom.
Basic Decorating Ideas
When you’re in transition, you want to think twice before committing to permanent changes- especially if you’re on a budget. Wall decals are fantastic because they’re both inexpensive and removable. Add a playful border on the upper walls, that you can steam off later on.
If you already have children, take a look at smaller decorations they may be outgrowing. Infants don’t need the newest and the latest when it comes to creature comforts. Browse around the house for old quilts, cushions, art, and stuffed animals that can be repurposed as your other child(ren)’s tastes continue to mature.
Making Smart Additions
As you prepare for Baby’s arrival, we all know you’re gonna have to spend a little bit of money, right? You’ll need a diaper bin, a changing table, and various other must-haves. Be on the lookout for yard sales, Craigslist deals, and quality finds on social media. Again, these things don’t need to be new; they need to serve their intended purpose!
If you’re short on space, consider what can be placed inside that closet you just cleared out. If you’ve got a decent amount of square footage in the closet, a laundry hamper or even a changing table may fit in there quite easily.
There are also dual-purpose dresser-slash-changing tables, as well as cribs that convert into twin-size beds as the child grows. Make sure the money you spend, and the furniture you purchase, gives you as much mileage as possible!
Keeping Your Guests Comfortable
Perhaps this space you’re transforming will eventually become the child’s bedroom. But in the meantime, we want to keep it somewhat user-friendly for your adult guests. Airtight diaper bins, wireless headphones (for TV or PC usage), and many other creature comforts are more affordable now than ever.
If you’ve chosen to fully replace the guest bed, consider a smaller day bed that can double as a couch. There are many styles available that offer under-the-mattress storage. This is not only convenient for extra diapers, blankets, and so forth, but it also gives your adult guests a bit of extra room to unpack for their stay. Check out Making the Most of Limited Storage Space for additional space-saving ideas.
- Utilize what you’ve already got before you hit the stores. Rearranging and repurposing can save a lot of time and money with just a bit of creativity.
- Take advantage of the opportunity to organize and declutter. This is a great chance to prioritize both your space and your stuff as you enter a new life chapter.
- Make small adjustments when decorating. Buy some decals, paint a single wall, or use an older child’s blankets and decorations that they’ve outgrown.
- Once you’ve identified necessary purchases, shop smart. Search online for quality used pieces when it comes to items that don’t need to be bought new.
- Optimize any available space you’ve got (e.g. closets), and go for furniture pieces that can serve multiple purchases (e.g. beds with lower storage, dressers that double as changing tables).
- Keep your adult guests in mind with smart choices about storage, comfortable bedding, electronics, etc.
As always, Birdseye Construction is here to help with any of your home construction and decorating projects.
Click here for a free estimate!