If you had told me a few years ago that we'd be living in our one-bedroom duplex with a baby, I wouldn't have believed you. Well, maybe the baby part (mostly because I had "the fever" throughout most of our marriage), but not the still-in-the-duplex part. After we found out we had a wee one on the way, our first inclination was to scramble to find a larger place. Initially, the thought of the baby not having their own room seemed ridiculous. A baby needs their own nursery, right? We figured there was just no way to fit all the baby stuff into our already-full place.
However, after a certain point, we kind of looked at each other and were like, "Why don't we just...stay?" After we started talking about it, it began to make more sense. We didn't really want to pay more than we were already paying in rent (and if you know anything about Southern California, renting a two-bedroom place somewhere you won't be chopped to bits in your sleep is ridiculously expensive). Also, the more I talked with other parents about it, the more I realized that many babies don't even sleep in their own rooms for quite some time after they're born.
So, it was decided. We'd stay.
We began moving things around…transferring some of our less-used belongings to the garage. I downsized my clothes so that they fit into my side of the closet and just two drawers, and Jay even parted ways with a few bags of items from his gargantuan wardrobe (no, really—the man literally has four times the amount of clothes I do).
Slowly, but surely, our one-bedroom duplex started to feel a bit more baby-ready. Our bedroom—which had previously also held our large computer desk—was now filled mainly with our bed, a changing table, a nightstand, and a crib. And it didn't even seem claustrophobic. It seemed like a miracle, and I was thrilled.
I'm constantly seeing these stunning nurseries online that give me heart palpitations due to their gorgeousness—and, to be honest, up until now I have been too intimidated to share Eisley's "nursery" space with the online world. There was so much more I wanted to do with it! Photo collages! A mobile! Handmade things! Stuff to impress everyone!
But then I took a step back and realized that I was being ridiculous. It is what it is, and every time I walk into our bedroom it makes me happy. It's our room. It's where we enjoyed our first days with Eisley. It's where I've spent sleepless nights and cheerful mornings. It's not fancy or perfectly coordinated, and doesn't fit in a magazine, but it is exactly what we need right now. It took me a while, but I realized that I'm quite proud of the space we've created for our little peanut. So, I thought it was time to buck up and share it with you. I also hope to show that it is, indeed, possible to have a baby in a one-bedroom place!
Here is a little tour:
When you walk in the door to our bedroom, this is what you see! I love that the sunlight fills the room during the afternoon. So warm and cozy. I also like that our above-the-nightstand collage is reflected in the mirror above the changing table.
If you're standing in the corner of the room, this is the view. I zoomed out a bit with my camera lens, but this sort of gives you an idea of the size of the space we had to work with—and we're lucky, really, to have a good-sized bedroom! We're able to fit quite a bit into it. (Also, can you see the wee one, trying to take a book off the shelf? Sneaky little nugget.) Here are a few notes on her side of the room:
- Eisley's crib and changing table are a hand-me-down from Jay's Aunt and Uncle. They're in perfect condition and I adore them so!
- I use a couple of the drawers in the changing table for my clothes, and we are able to store diapers, blankets and other items in bins (from Ikea) under the crib.
- The metal "e" above the crib was purchased from a thrift sale, and the frame around it is actually an old frame I took apart and was going to throw away (until I realized how perfect it was to reuse!).
- The framed "La Vie en Rose" print is from Sycamore Street Press.
- Her adorable tulip bedding was purchased on super-clearance from Target!
- A white-noise machine is resting on top of the heating unit. It's a must-have for where we live (since there is constant traffic noise) and it also helps her nap without hearing what is going on in the rest of our tiny duplex.
In the corner, we have room to store a laundry basket, a Diaper Genie (which is a must-have for the small space!), and a few other items (like extra wipes and some nursing necessities).
Here's a close-up of a little inspiration board I put together for Eisley! It includes the following items:
- A flower (this was actually taken off a gift bag and was also used on a makeshift headband from this photo!).
- A sweet mini-print from Persimmon and Pink.
- A print that was given to me from a friend.
- One of Eisley's ultrasound photos.
- A vintage-style calendar page from the month she was born, and a cute list sheet that I had every intention of writing something witty on (we'll see if that ever happens).
- A few magnets, Eisley's ankle "bracelet" from the hospital, and a porcelain bird.
The changing station features her fluffy changing pad, a few diapers, an Ikea lamp, and some hand-sanitizer (I refill the cute dispenser with stuff I buy at the dollar store!). I made the paper banner from the pages of a paper catalog (I loved the bright pattern) and a couple pieces of ephemera. The hanging cloth bag was an adorable (handmade!) baby shower gift from a sweet friend.
NUGGET BABY! Sorry, I got distracted for a second. When you turn left from the changing table, you'll see all this goodness. Literally everything (except a few knick knacks on the shelf) is from Ikea. Ikea, Ikea, Ikea, amen.
I've come to really love "our" side of the room. I love the collage above the nightstand. I love the "breathe" wall adornment (purchased from Oh Dier). I love our mustard-colored curtains. I love the fact that I can charge my iPod on our nightstand for those late-night nursing sessions (during which I must check twitter and get all riled up by the shenanigans on the BabyCenter message boards).
So, there you have it! We managed to cram everything we really need into this room (as well as the closet and drawers just outside our bedroom). Contrary to popular belief, a family of three can actually fit into a one-bedroom duplex without going absolutely crazy.
That's not to say I don't dream of having a nursery to decorate someday. But I kind of love the cozy situation we have going on right now. And for that I am thankful.
[Image frame via irocksowhat.com!]