Motherhood Mondays: Nursery in a Closet

Our friends Ashley and Aron live in a 500-square-foot studio apartment in the East Village. When they found out they were expecting a baby boy, they rolled up their sleeves and transformed their walk-in closet into a six-square-foot nursery…

I interviewed Ashley on Martha Stewart Living’s new blog, if you’d like to hear how she once army-crawled past his crib to get to the bathroom. And isn’t the wallpaper a great touch?

P.S. More nursery inspiration

(Photos by Ashley and Aron of Hither and Thither)

  1. I love the army crawl to get to the bathroom. Oh the sacrifices we make for our children. The detail of the wallpaper is what makes this nursery in the closet just perfect. Congrats to your friends Ashley and Aron for making a NYC apartment work!

  2. I’ve been coveting that wallpaper ever since I saw it here a while ago, but I feel like putting it on a wall of a full-sized bedroom could be overwhelming. Oh well – I could probably never convince my husband anyway! :D

    But here, it looks amazing.

  3. Kinda sneaky but genius for Babyletto to claim the crib is theirs. They do have some nice looking cribs but this one is the Alma Mini by Bloom.

    Love this tiny nursery!

  4. Gracias por compartir. Este sitio web es demasiado yo también tengo que ayudar. Muy good.I como la forma de escribir.

  5. We’re in a similar situation, expecting our second baby (any minute now) and living in a sub-500 sq ft one-bedroom in DC.

    We’re building-out our one bedroom to make space for our second baby as we speak. We used the closet for one kid’s “room” and a little alcove for the other. I’ve hacked Ikea shelving units to make the walls and have even installed bi-fold doors. My toddler son sleeps like a champ. Here’s the plans and more links to the progress: We’re about half-way complete.

  6. haha – our sons room blocks the bathroom and i have had to army crawl and open the squeaky door one inch at a time while crouching on the floor on more than one occasion. And you freeze for minutes every time you hear a deep breath or change of position…hilarious the situations you end up in because of small homes. Have to be hilarious because otherwise you would freak out about it all the time!

  7. LOVE the green wallpaper!

  8. That is pretty cute. Wow… I can’t imagine living in a space that small w. a baby (or without one for that matter). My apartment is around 800 sq. feet and it feels so small w. my boyfriend and I. We’re considering moving somewhere bigger soon with a second bedroom (no plans for baby yet though). I guess that’s what happens when you live in NYC, though… freaks me out. I don’t think I could ever live there unless I was rich.

  9. The idea of army crawling past the crib cracks me up :) I love the crib and the wallpaper.

  10. I just love the quote from the blog article… “that time we lived in New York and Hudson slept in a closet”. It will be a beautiful family memory…

    p.s. love the wallpaper and mobile!

  11. Our baby Lola has her cot in our dressing room as we didn’t want to use up our gues room which is large with just her little cot. My other two both share. Who knows they could all go in one room for a bit one day!

    Have you seen our latest kids room tour?

  12. Anonymous says...

    I love the wallpaper and having a cosy nook only for for sleeping is all it takes!

  13. The wallpaper makes it! We’re going to be moving soon, with no guarantee of generous space, so this is inspiring.

  14. My favorite part of living in a small house is figuring out creativie ways to get everything we can out of each space. We’re a family of five, living in a rancher. One of the best things we’ve done is finish our basement so that the “den” area is just one, big master bedroom. It made a ton more space for us, looks great, and this way, none of our kids had to share a room.

  15. Our son’s room was a walk-in closet off our bedroom for the first year of his life. It makes for a good sleeper, through the noise of people sneaking around and bumping into things in the dark! Like this post.

  16. This is lovely…I am intrigued and amazed to see how people manage with children in tiny spaces. I am a follower of Hither and Thither and loved seeing them on your blog. x

  17. Love that wallpaper! Especially with the yellow over the bed. So genius!

  18. Nicole says...

    This is so inspiring for us NYC apt dwellers! I was wondering if you happen to know if the mini crib can actually be used up to 2 years? My son is already 7 months and I am considering purchasing this crib as a space saver but I’m just not sure if it would be worth it at this point. Any tips would be great :) thanks for the great post!!!

  19. This is inspiring! I absolutely am all for the notion that you DO NOT need to have a ton of space for Baby! We live in a one bedroom condo in Toronto and sometimes get some stares from parents when we tell them about our living situation after they complain that they’re 2bedroom houses are too small. You just have to be creative! It can totally work!! Baby needs you and lots of love to be happy – NOT square footage!

    waiting for kittenheart

  20. mp says...

    love seeing mini nurseries! we are expecting our first child and debating between the alma mini and the alma papa. we’re moving in less than two years, so if the mini could work it would be nice to save the extra space and extra money vs. getting the papa. would love to know more people who were able to make the mini work for more than one year!

  21. Thank you so much, Joanna! (Confession: I keep opening this post up and looking at those blue eyes that I love so much, even though this is my photo. I just can’t help myself!!) P.S. Janine–he’s walking and it’s WILD!

  22. How cute and a great way to work with what you’ve got! Kudos to them!

  23. Awww, this is awesome. And yes, i love that wallpaper!

  24. Oh, I love it, the wallpaper especially. When I nannied during grad school, the family lived in an open one bedroom loft. I tried to float the closet-as-nursery idea by them, but no dice. I like seeing posts about small space living because I think a lot of Americans have more space in their homes than they know what to do with (Manhattan not included, for obvious reasons). When I was little I always dreamed about having a huge house for my family, but now I’d love something smaller and cozy. Maybe I’ll have a baby in our closet one day :)

  25. That is adorable. I love the simple setup and how they made it work.

    We have just over 900 square feet with two bedrooms and two little boys. When I was pregnant with our second we decided to save space in the second little room by building the baby a crib in the closet. It turned out perfect, and they are both happy as can be as roommates.

    Cheers to apartment living!


  26. Anonymous says...

    Great interview. Loved it!

  27. Very sweet. I love the last line of the story…

  28. We have a one bedroom apartment and had a baby 6 months ago. We also converted our walk in closet into a nursery. Our closet is much bigger (probably 25-30 square feet) so it actually fits a small crib and a changing table/dresser. You can definitely make small spaces work with a baby as long as you are creative!

  29. if i have learned anything in my 400 sq ft nyc apartment, it’s that small spaces lead to ingenuity! i also have a friend who put her baby in the closet and it’s really such a perfect solution. also, love that green and yellow combination!

  30. What a great interview! I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself as my husband and I have a similar situation in our tiny apartment as well. We are on our way to a bigger space, but like Ashley we will always be nostalgic for our baby’s first space :)

    xo Nadia

  31. I love this! So funny about army crawling past him at night :)

  32. I love apartment stories, and seeing how other people make it work!

  33. Aww so cute!

  34. how awesome! My brother grew up with a closet for a room…my parents built a little loft so that he would have more floor space. He loved it!

  35. Susan says...

    A cute idea, but where do they put their clothes? My kids managed to learn how to crawl out of their cribs even with the side up and the mattress in the lowest position by the time they were 11 months old. This couple is lucky they are moving since the small space only works for a short time.

  36. I spy our Grayson crib! We love seeing it in action :)

    xx the Babyletto team

  37. I was glad to see at the end of your interview that they said they were moving. I was just thinking they were going to be for a rude awakening when that baby walks!

  38. That’s so perfect!! How much space does he need??? :) It’ll work for a while, right? Love it!!!

  39. This is so genius. With my little guy Benjamin, I end up spending most of the time in our room next door anyway, ha ha. As pretty as our nursery is, I don’t think he’ll really use his room much until he’s 2 or 3….and by then it will be time to redesign the whole thing, ha ha.

  40. Haha, oh wow. I like the wallpaper. Gotta read this army-crawl story.