How to create a nursery in a one-bedroom apartment

There’s no doubt about it; by Manhattan standards our 1,000 sq ft floor-through Brooklyn apartment is BIG. But we still only have one bedroom. So as soon as we found out about the junior (now six days over due), I was worrying about where to put the little thing.

The H1B maintained that babies have survived for centuries sleeping “in a drawer” but I was hoping for something a little more ceremonious for our first child.

One option was to convert our middle room (currently the TV/lounge) into a kid’s room but I didn’t want to lose any adult relaxing space plus it wouldn’t be practical as we’d constantly we walking through the area.

The best option was to try and corner off some space in our massive bedroom. But the question was how to also retain a semblance of privacy/personal space for all of us?

I stumbled across this brilliant one-bed solution on – of a rather clever conversion of a corner of a room using some dry wall stacked on to of an Ikea bookshelf unit, with funky curtains that can be drawn across to block out any light at night time.

You can see here how a clever friend of the couple used plasterboard and dry wall to make the room divider look like a proper wall. Clever, no?

Bingo! Except our high ceilings are waaay too tall for any attempts at using dry wall to make the box look like a proper room. It wasn’t within the H1B and my scope of DIY prowess and we didn’t want to have to pay someone to come in and do the work. Plus, we weren’t sure our landlord would go for it anyway.

But we stole the Ikea bookshelf idea and have create a nursery nook  behind the door.

I think it’s worked out pretty well. We can put up a curtain across the ‘entrance’ when the baby is a bit older and needs more dark to sleep. For now, I like it open for the airiness and access.

As a reminder, this is what the room looked like when we moved in:

Bedroom as it was when we moved in

And this is what it looks like now:

The bedroom

We tucked the ‘nursery nook’ behind the door to the right:

Showing room divider/Ikea shelves and crib with door to middle room open

The bookshelves provide loads of storage space for the baby’s clothes, nappies etc etc etc. I even labelled each basket with some cute mini chalkboards from Etsy in a bid to stay organised and avoid frenzied searches for matching tops and bottoms or favourite onesies.

Room divider and changing table

The quilted wall hanging was a project I was working on when I was clearly nesting and had loads of energy. I really wanted something to brighten up that big dark door (that goes through to the hallway but we don’t use except for moving large objects around – like the 9ft Christmas tree we had in December). It took me, like, forever on my rickety budget sewing machine from Target (a Singer Promise if you’re interested), but I think it really looks pretty.

The fabric is from Carousel Designs and I learned how to do the pinwheels and prairie points (I had no clue what they were called before I started either) from various YouTube videos and googling.

The tags for hanging can be easily removed so it becomes a quilt or playmat.

Quilted wall hanging I made to brighten up massive brown wooden door to hallway (not used)

Excuse the indulgence of a close up – but it did take me about a month to make


3 thoughts on “How to create a nursery in a one-bedroom apartment

  1. Pingback: Cabinet Affairs | Adventures of a British Housewife in New York

  2. Pingback: Property Stalking! | Adventures of a British Housewife in New York

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