Small Spaces: Multiuse Nursery
Life changes in dozens of ways once the first baby joins a family. You don't have to allocate a huge amount of space for an infant, but it must be quiet and, most importantly, safe. Arrangements vary according to child-rearing philosophies; in some cultures, a baby sleeps in the parents' room well into childhood. I had an Indian client whose child slept at the foot of the bed on a child-size daybed until the age of 6. Many new parents believe in sharing the bed with a baby, and others aim to move the infant into a separate room as soon as possible.
Typically, a young couple is still living in their starter home when they bring the baby home, and they could well remain there until another child is expected or their infant becomes a toddler. Therefore, it becomes important to find ways to stretch all available space for storage, daily function and perhaps an indoor play area. Much depends on the surrounding neighborhood and whether or not there is a safe play area outdoors.
For example, the urban neighborhoods of Seattle feature tens of thousands of wood bungalow-style homes. Those that hug hillsides in neighborhoods like Queen Anne or Magnolia generally have restricted parking and yard space. Most homes have decks instead of the sprawling yards typically found in suburban settings. Many fenced decks are restrictive and unusable in inclement weather if they aren't covered and heated. Anyone who lives in regions where winters are bitterly cold also understands the need for some type of indoor play space for little ones. What do you do if you cannot move to a bigger home?
Consider transforming your baby's nursery into a high-functioning room that works as a play area and a sleeping room and stores clothes and toys. Here's a fresh idea that incorporates the romance of a teepee and a swing and elevates the nursery to another level. There are circus tents, play tunnels and themed tents available on the market that are made of sturdy canvas or nylon material.
Solveg Swings are timeless canvas and wooden swings made with painstaking care from quality materials. They have been made in New Zealand for over 20 years and are designed without compromise for safety and durability. These swings incorporate yachting braid and stainless steel fittings. The Solvej Baby & Toddler converts from a baby model to a toddler model and is suitable for kids ages 6 months to 6 years. The product carries a nine-year product guarantee.
You could order the hardware online for a do-it-yourself swing project. Just be certain to keep safety in mind at all times. Make sure that you anchor the swing into a piece of solid wood in the ceiling. Alternatively, you could hang a pod hammock child chair. Check out the HearthSong website for the FunShine Swing and other options for toddlers. Visit the Target website for the Swing-N-Slide Child Seat that sells for $34.99 and is perfect for babies and toddlers. Target also has themed swing chairs, like the M&M Sales John Deere or Caterpillar Dozer.
Make sure there are no sharp and dangerous corners your child could hit while swinging. It could be useful to keep an air mattress below a swing. A child-size air mattress is 34 1/2-by-62-by-7 inches and might be stowed upright in a closet when your child isn't playing.
Photo Credit: Holmsater Ltd.
Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego based interior designer and author of "Small Space Living." Send questions and comments to her by email at email@example.com. To find out more about Christine Brun and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.