Before & After: One Family’s Small Yet Smart Closet Conversion

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: reader Tamera)

Reader Tamera is having a baby — yay! Tamera’s rental apartment does not feature a room for a baby — boo! Fortunately, it does have a generously proportioned master closet, and Tamera had a vision to transform this space.

(Image credit: reader Tamera)

This is so very sweet! The accent wall really makes it feel like a room, the pretty mirror adds natural light to the space, and every inch has been used so wisely. I especially appreciate that space was set aside for art: even in a nursery this small, room has been made for beauty.

It’s also amazing how much room is left after the crib was added; it seems that this closet would be big enough to accommodate a toddler bed when the time comes, especially since the changing table will no longer be needed at some point. Tamera shared how this remodeling project came to be:

This was our master closet, which ended up having a ton of mold/water damage from a leak in our shower. When we fixed all the damage and took out the shelving unit we realized it was the perfect place for our new baby coming in June.

I’m sure Tamera wasn’t jazzed about having to deal with a damaged closet, but things certainly worked out well in the end. Three cheers for fortuitous renovations.

(Image credit: reader Tamera)

It sounds like Tamera had to deal with an annoying amount of resistance, but did NOT have to deal with the actual damage and repairs, thank goodness:

Thankfully we live in an apartment that is responsible for all repairs! We had to ask multiple times and go up the chain, but eventually they agreed to bring in someone to totally replace the wall, flooring, and tiling. During the process they also agreed to remove the damaged shelving unit. After that it just required some paint and decorating. My husband also did two small shelves to create the changing station.

In another clever move, the not particularly beautiful carpet you see above has been covered/protected by an attractive, and more easily cleanable, black-and-white rug.

(Image credit: reader Tamera)

This is the wall on the right, where the wooden shelf was previously. The decorative accessories are delightfully sophisticated, and that little storage cube is handy for holding wipes and such. The whole nursery is such a nice nest for a baby, and Tamera is jazzed about how the makeover turned out:

I love how cozy it is! We were worried we might need to move to a bigger place, but we really love our small apartment and wanted to stay. This small change makes us feel good about staying! It also helped is to clear out what we didn’t need from our closet.That’s a great point: sometimes when spaces are filled with our stuff, we can’t see the spaces for what they actually are or what they could become. When in doubt, clear it out.

(Image credit: reader Tamera)

Here’s the opposite wall, with the beloved IKEA RÅSKOG cart and soft overhead bins providing plenty of storage for all the things babies need. It even looks like there’s room for another cart and bin if needed once the baby actually arrives.

Finally, Tamera leaves us with some excellent perspective on babies:

Babies really don’t need as much space as you think. Just make sure you have good ventilation and be creative with what you have!

Thank you, Tamera!