Before and After: A Cluttered Closet Gets a New (Much More Organized) Life as a Sweet Nursery Nook

published Feb 9, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Under-stairs closet before remodeling - clothes hanging on rack, desk area, lots of framed photos, exercise bike

Small space wins — especially when they make a home more practical and functional for the people who live there — are some of the most satisfying home solutions, and for growing families, closets-turned nurseries can certainly be efficient and functional.

The latest example? A clever closet-turned-nursery project from DIYer Jacqueline Schowetsky (@aurorabyjacqueline). Jacqueline and her family have since moved into a larger place, but back when she was pregnant, she, her husband, and her brother took on this transformation to make a home for their incoming newborn.

As part of the One Room Challenge, Jaqueline decided to tackle this cluttered closet-office hybrid under the stairs in her one-bedroom apartment (part of a four-family, three-story home). The goal: make it into a nursery nook with clothing storage for the baby, clothing storage for Mom and Dad, a changing table, and a cozy chair. “We didn’t have another bedroom and knew this was a perfect spot for a nursery since her bassinet would be in our bedroom,” Jacqueline says.

As Jacqueline recalls, the first step in the eight-week project was decluttering. “It’s easier to see what a space can be when it’s empty and blank,” Jacqueline says. “In order to create more storage, think about the way boxes, bins, and baskets can help you store what needs to stay and what needs to go.” And, she adds, it’s important to think about furniture that can both fit your space and offer enough storage.

Once she had a blank space to work with, Jacqueline got to the makeover portion of her redo. To give the space a new look dedicated to the new addition to her family, Jacqueline re-painted the space and added fresh wallpaper (a floral-patterned peel-and-stick option from Amazon).

With the help of her husband and her brother, Jacqueline remade a large flea market dresser, sanding away the old finish, bleaching it, and adding new leather pulls. She also added some boho touches, including a rattan-framed mirror and a DIY light fixture she made using wooden beads from Amazon and a craft hoop.

“If I were to do anything differently, I wish I could’ve removed all of my clothing and made it an actual nursery and put a mini crib in there, but we truly needed the storage for our things, too,” she says — a relatable predicament for small-space dwellers!

Jacqueline says she loves the combo of the floral wallpaper, the light wood accents of the trim and mirrors, and the warm textures of the dresser and baskets. “I love how the room feels so cozy and warm,” she says. “It makes me feel like I’m sitting in a dollhouse.” Her petite-but-whimsical nursery is certainly a small space wonder!

This project was completed for the One Room Challenge, in partnership with Apartment Therapy. See even more of the One Room Challenge before and afters here.