Horse Before the Cart: Start Your Nursery Design with Space Planning

Initially after measuring, we thought our 100-square-foot, soon-to-be nursery was plenty of space to create our vision, but after taking into account the ingress, closet door, radiator, and a small jog in the floor plan (aka the linen closet accessed from the hallway), we realized our furniture layout was predetermined and we had more important considerations than aesthetics.

One area of the room is suited for the crib and another perfect for a changing table/dresser piece, and since we also needed to fit a chair as well as a small piece to hold a lamp and storage baskets, it was quite obvious we couldn't over-plan or purchase over-sized items.

This realization suddenly shifted our challenge from designing based on aesthetics to one where space confines require us to consider the size and scale of everything we brought into the room. Just this simple exercise helped expand our focus from color and design to:

• Selecting only multi-functional furniture
• Taking into account the modest scale of our 1922-built home
• Designing for longevity
• Opting for simplicity
• Utilizing natural light
• Creating a functional space
• Purchasing heirloom-quality design
• Constantly considering organization and storage

Sometimes, as in our experience here, seeing a room in scale solidifies the tasks and challenges ahead, possibly shifting your expectations or at least giving them context. Instead of breaking out graph paper and a scale, we created our floor plan using the iPhone application Mark on Call. I absolutely recommend it when thinking about designing any space, it was very helpful!

(Image: Landis Carey)

Join me as I transform a 100 sq. ft. room into a cozy, eco-friendly nursery.
Nesting a Nursery series:
Designing Our Baby's Room from Scratch
My Nursery Planning Tools
What Are Your Nursery Must-Haves?
Using Online Inspiration To Help Define Your Nursery Style
What Are Your Best Tips for Nursery Organization?
Inspirations & Samples: A Modern Nursery
Is a Rocker or Glider a Nursery Necessity?

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Family, Space Planning

Landis is a ceramic artist who hand-makes heirloom-quality pottery for the kitchen, table, and home. She writes about tabletop design and entertaining for The Kitchn and lives in Maplewood, NJ with her husband and toddler.

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