How I Squeezed a Nursery Into 60 Square Feet



My pregnancy was unplanned and unexpected. And my husband Norm and I had actually *just* moved into a smaller unit in our apartment complex when we found out.

Our first reaction was to look for a bigger apartment. Our apartment was about 700 square feet with one and a half bedrooms. The ‘half’ being a 60 square feet nook across from the living room. Then Norm brought up a good point — that our baby would be tiny and immobile for  most of the first year of his life. So we decided to transform the ‘nook’ — which at the time was housing a vintage rolltop desk we’d found at a resale shop — into a nursery.

The first thing we did was paint a couple of the walls mint green (I was on a SERIOUS mint green kick this summer!) and install a $10 red heart-shaped lamp I’d found at Ikea. Then came figuring out what exactly could fit inside the 60 square feet…


After some research we decided that all we could fit was a crib, a storage unit/dresser/changing table combo and a rocking chair.

First came the storage unit/dresser/changing table — the $80 Expedit bookshelf from Ikea.


Next was the crib. We were originally going to go with a traditional wooden crib. But, while perusing cribs at Target, a sage black woman grabbed my hand. “Don’t buy that, ” she said. “You’ll spend all that money and the baby won’t even like it.” For the next half hour she told me and Norm about how she’d bought a $500 crib set only to find that her baby preferred his $70 pack and play. So we bought a Graco pack and play. I mean, it’s not the cutest nursery item in the world, but it turns out the Target lady was right. Noah loves sleeping in that thing.

We finished it off with a $313 Oeko glider I found on (which is hella comfy, btw… I often fall asleep while rocking Noah)


Norman took the lead on nursery decorations. After weeks of meticulous research, he found the $125 wall mural and $125 mobile (which is customizable!) on Etsy. I must say, though, sorting through the baJILLION nursery decorations on Etsy is an ordeal :/ It took us five weeks to whittle down the options and find a mural and mobile that we liked.

And we had our room ? Altogether — including the painting — it cost less than $800 — which is not bad considering that we pieced it together over the course of 8 months.

I think the most gratifying thing is that Noah loves his room because of how colorful it is. He loves staring at the wall mural (or the “owl tree” as I call it), the red lamp and the mobile.

We actually call the changing table his “happy place” because he likes to lay there after being changed and stare at the owl tree while “talking” to himself.

But here’s the downside of a 60 square foot nursery — no storage space for stroller, car seat, bouncer, swing and baby gym. Those five items rotate between our living room, back storage closet and bedroom ?

Have you had to squeeze a nursery or play area into a small space? How did you manage?