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In Room Nursery, Sharing a Room with Infant, Nurseries in Small Spaces

This is where I tell you how insane I am. I live in 700 square feet-ish. Two bedrooms, a tin can for a bathroom, an austere kitchen and walls as thin as printer paper {seriously. you can hear the toilet flush in the apartment next door}. Add: two babies, a husband, a mother-in-law who sometimes crashes over here to help us out with the kids, and every kitchen appliance known to man. For real. Every single kitchen tool. Test me.

Personal space is culturally normative. Everyone is different, so some people are totally fine if a friend or relative is a close talker, for example. Well, not most white people and especially not me. Oh no. I lived alone starting at the immature age of 18 and got really comfortable spreading my stuff out across vast amounts of land, much like my ancestors have done globally, I might add.

So needless to say, the space thing is an adjustment.

You see, what my mother-in-law coins ‘chaos culture’ (non-Western culture) allows for some rolling with it. Growing up, you sleep on aunties beds during parties and learn to share a bedroom with your Dadi (grandmother), your uncle, and/or your brothers. Space is at a premium, and there isn’t any such thing as private space. Which is why she’s so cool, by the way, with crashing on our futon in the middle of the living room/kitchen/dining room/office if we need her. Thank God.

[Because, if fancy soaps and a fresh, warm terry robe, her own boudoir and a mint on her pillow, are what she requires, she's out of luck, until next year, at least]

OK. So circumstance (having two babies and a husband in school) has determined that I must adjust, by default, to a chaos culture of our own. And adjust I have. I’ve done so by making use of every single inch of space in this claustrophobic townhouse until I can find it breathable. I get rid of things. I consider alternatives. I organize.  I own fewer shoes and purses. I sometimes cry, but nearly never anymore.

In Room Nursery Solutions, Nursery in Small Spaces

And when we needed to sleep train our nighttime socialite, Eze, I came up with a very ingenious and quite lovely solution. He will stay in our room until he a) sleeps through the night and can move in with his big bro, or b) we move and have a third bedroom. Knowing that neither of these will be likely, at least until Summer, we made him his own, teeny-tiny dark and cozy ‘bedroom’ within a room.

Small Space Nurseries, 2 Under 2, Creating Nurseries in Small Spaces

We used Ikea’s Kvartal curtain system, the Anita curtains and the Gulliver crib and some amazing bedding from Fawn and Forest. The curtains reduce noise, darken the space and give us a small partition.  It’s not the perfect answer; but the limitations of our home force upon me flexibility, imagination, creativity and ingenuity.

10 Comments

10 Responses to Managing in Chaos: Our Small Space Nursery Solution

  1. littlemissmagicNY says:

    This is such a cool solution to a problem that I know so many people face. 2 bedrooms, 2 kids, and 2 adults. How do you put the two kids together so the younger one isn't waking up the older one? Its nice to have a shared space, while at the same time the baby is in a little "lair" at night.

  2. Tahmina says:

    Wow, Kate the tiny bedroom with the room idea is great. I think it gives a a good individual feeling to the child. I remember my Moms house, as a child I was very independent and even when we had many "sleep in members" I always had my own corner. Once a verandah, was partitioned and tiny cabinets were built in with board and painted. I remember painting small decor stuffs by the knobs myself with my art hobby. I had a tiny divan made to a bed. I was so happy to be on my own for some quiet hrs after all the fun with others, when the rest of the house shared with other "live in" , "walk in members" or visiting members staying over. It was a very common culture back then in our part. IKEA has great stuff, it used to have lovely bedsofas which I used when my parents and inlaws visited us sametime one summer in Sweden to help out with Little Iraj while we both worked on our PhDs. U re on the right track, organising is the key, discard items and do enjoy your crowd. As times will fly and later u may have too much space and lots of memories to treasure. Take care, Tah

  3. Jessica says:

    You are simply a genius! I love this idea.

  4. Amanda says:

    I love discovering that I am not the only one! I spent 9 months in a 400 sq ft studio apartment with my husband and toddler and came up with some curtains hanging from the kvartal track system to keep my toddler in a separate space. Call me crazy, but I think i actually enjoy the process of figuring out how to make a small space work (living in one is a slightly more difficult process requiring far more time dedicated to cleaning and organizing than i care to give). I got a picture of my curtain solution in action on a blog I posted if you care to see… with some other small nursery ideas to further help the small space solution seeker. http://justafriddlebit.blogspot.com/2011/07/small
    Best of luck in your small space!

  5. Pingback: Gratitude and a Warm Bed | Perpetually Nesting

  6. 长春办证 says:

    btw you put this under the forge mods and I had to re install all the mods I had -_- and just wanted to tell you

  7. Thanks a lot for producing this great article. I'll definately return later on to read more.

  8. Net Curtains says:

    Small rooms often lack defining architectural features. Consider painting an accent wall, which provides the illusion of depth and creates a focal point for the design, or add flair by painting the inside of shelving units or windows. Don't allow pattern to overwhelm your space. Use bold, large-scale patterns sparingly, choosing a pattern with a lot of neutral space and reserving it for curtains, cushions and other accessories.

  9. If you want to live a life freely then get education because you have the education you have freedom. You have a better financial career, you have freedom. You have a better opportunity, coping abilities, job stability, you have freedom.

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    Mom, foodie, fashion junkie, social media native, writer of words. Is coming to terms with the fact that becoming a soccer mom is no longer optional.
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