Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Baby places in oh-so-tiny spaces

Creating space for a new family member in a small home.


Our one-bedroom condo on Queen Anne is full of light, warmth, and is the perfect size — for two. When my husband and I discussed expanding our family, space was always an issue. Facing the same financial constraints as many young, city-dwelling couples, we decided to focus on now, dig in our heels and give small-space living a real try. With a baby girl due in late fall, we came up with a solution: put the baby in the closet!

We agreed that our little one should have her own quiet space for sleeping, apart from the busy living room or too-tiny bedroom. Our roomy utility closet is close enough for comfort (about 8 feet from our bedroom), provides plenty of ventilation with an open door and table fan, and is easily recognizable as a nursery to rescue workers. Plus, it allows us enough space to continue about our day when the baby is sleeping.

It was a juggling act finding space for the things that once resided in that closet. To make room, our Christmas decorations, paint buckets and cleaning supplies were sorted, binned and dispersed between a linen closet and building storage space. With an organization plan and a nod toward simplicity, it was doable — the key was recognizing items we needed, and those that could be thrown away or donated.

To prepare the space for her arrival, we stripped the walls of shelving, patched, repainted in a fresh white and installed light fixtures. To dampen noise, we added soundproofing foam, a layer of carpet and a snuggly faux sheepskin to the floor. A new Babyletto Origami Crib fits perfectly, and the inverse of our hallway milk door is a built-in shelf for a fan or sound machine. We added Blik adhesive wall tiles for a bit of color, and constructed a happy cloud mobile out of felt and clear thread. Baby's night lights are simply portable, rechargeable table lights and a bit of black tape cut into funny faces. A little elephant hamper will serve as toy box and storage.

Everything else one might find in a nursery is peppered unobtrusively around the rest of our home. Our new changing station happily lives in the corner of our bedroom. A reading nook, complete with rocker and favorite childhood book selection, is just off of our kitchen.

Anxious as we are about becoming new parents, space is only a minor worry. What's most important to us is to be comfortable and happy in the home in which we reside, regardless of its size.