But a little background first.... French homes are, generally speaking, smaller by American standards. When we bought our 4 bedroom French-style townhome, we decided it would be sufficient for our needs. Only one day, we knocked a wall down to turn two small bedrooms into one giant master bedroom for the king and queen. We have absolutely loved it!
Alex, our only boy, has his own bedroom; and Elena and Gabriela share the original master bedroom with each other. Our first thought when we found out I was expecting was to put the wall back up between the two bedrooms. But in the first place, I just couldn't imagine living in one of the tiny bedrooms that existed before, and secondly, to move back into the original master bedroom, where our girls now live, seemed like such a huge project (i.e., re-build a wall, tear down old wallpaper in three bedrooms, re-decorate three bedrooms, etc., etc., etc.). Restraints on our abilities, time and budget would have made those projects nearly impossible before the arrival of the baby.
The only answer? A baby nook in our master bedroom! Sam wasn't too hot on the idea at first and we'll actually have to see how things work out once our baby is finally here (i.e., night-time activity: nursing, crying, etc., etc.).
But little by little throughout my pregnancy, I've worked on our baby nook. It's been a long process of sorting, rearranging, getting rid of a lot of stuff and perhaps a few tears of frustration and a few more of joy! So here it is... along with some of the things I did to make room for our baby boy.
One of the initial steps was moving all of our belongings to one side of the room: bed, nightstands, closet... We wanted to see what space we had to work with. This meant getting rid of a bookshelf, finding new homes for a lot of books, and moving a large computer desk to a different area in the house.
The leather recliner recently came upstairs, which was such a sweet and unexpected treat from my loving husband. I really really wanted it upstairs for night-time nursings, but it meant a lot of additional rearranging.... He surprised me last Saturday afternoon and I was overjoyed! There's my new Boppy! Ready for nursing!
Moving all our belongings to one side made it easier to move baby furniture into the other half. The changing table came from Ikea and the bassinet is on loan from a friend. When the baby gets old enough we'll simply replace the bassinet with a small French-style crib, another gift from a sweet friend.
This dresser used to be mine. I stripped it of all my belongings and gathered up from around the house my Precious Moments and baby picture frames, with photos of the children when they were small, to make it sweet for a baby nook. The girls helped me make the confetti garland last year, out of scrapbook paper, flower cut-outs and yarn.
Early in the year, I went through my closet and dresser and pulled out 5 large bags of clothes that I never wore! I gave it to some friends and suddenly it was easy to empty out all the drawers of this dresser. I keep all my clothes in my closet and the dresser was emptied and cleaned to keep our baby's clothes.
We are so blessed because a friend of mine who was making an international move gave me all of her baby boy clothes and everything was so cute and in perfect condition. I washed it recently and the girls helped me fold and arrange it in the drawers.
This closet used to contain my girls' dress-up clothes. We decided they didn't use them often enough and so we also prepared two big boxes to give to a cute little friend of ours, who was thrilled with her new treasures. A lot of these outfits belonged to Alex and I've kept them all these years!
Limited space and a new member of the family on the way? I've learned that there are countless creative solutions to make room! We have found new homes for so much of the stuff that we had cluttering up our home this year, that it has made me reflect on the excesses of modern living. I love the simplicity and airiness of less stuff! And even when it was hard to get rid of a few things, I just had to remember that a little person is so much more important than "stuff"!
Do you have limited space in your home? What are some of the ways you've adapted? And for those of you who have used a baby nook, how did things work out at night?
I'm off to take a sweet nap before I got pick up my children from school. Happy Tuesday!