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Mother and Baby

Welcome To The Multi-Tasking Nursery

When space is already short, a new arrival can threaten to take over your office/spare room/storage space forever. We’ll show you how you can have both.

Babies might be small, but they come with a lot of stuff, so finding space in your home can be tricky. But using a room for your child to sleep in doesn’t necessarily mean losing your spare bedroom or office.

The trick is to think of your baby fitting into your home, rather than having to change the status quo dramatically. It’s taken you years to get your living space how you want it, so why should you ditch or move your gear for a tiny new arrival? After all, they don’t really need a whole room to themselves until they are at least two. Until then, you just need somewhere to park their cot.

If your budget or space isn’t large, forget matching nursery furniture. Apart from buying a Moses basket, crib or cot (these can be second-hand, but always buy a mattress new for safety reasons), you can reuse and repurpose existing items.

Versatile Spare Bed

But your new multi-tasking space can look good, too – and work hard for you and your baby. Make use of a single spare bed in the corner of the nursVersatile Spare Bedery by covering it with lovely throws, blankets, toys and cushions. It’ll create a cosy day bed for stories and quiet times with your child.

Choose A Portable Crib

Make space for visitors in your (former) spare room with a portable or folding crib – for one like this, try the Katie Crib, £99.99, Babies R Us. Simply move it when your guests arrive, and your baby can sleep in another quiet corner of your home.

Room For Children: Stylish Spaces For Sleep And Play by Susanna Salk (£30, Rizzoli Publications)

Multi-purpose Shelving

Use a shelving unit or bookcase as a room divider. Two rooms instead of one, plus extra storage? Yes, please. Works with kids of different ages or in a nursery/office.

Playful Home by Andrew Weaving (£28.95, Rizzoli Publications)

Share The Same Storage

Got a big shelving unit? Put toys at the bottom in easy reach of young children and paperwork for the grown ups at the top. Cover in gorgeous but durable fabric and voila! Storage for the whole family.

Room For Children: Stylish Spaces For Sleep And Play by Susanna Salk (£30, Rizzoli Publications)

Two Rooms In One

A multi-purpose area can transform from dining room to nursery in a matter of minutes. Go for a wheeled cot (for one like this, try the Stokke Sleepi Bed, £559,, so it can easily make way for a table and chairs.

FamilyLifeStyle: Home by Anita Kaushal (£19.95, Thames & Hudson)

Creative Toy Storage

Don’t feel you need to buy everything new – be creative and add a magical edge to an old bookcase by using it to store toys. We love this dollhouse-style shelving, or create a multi-storey garage for cars and trucks.

The Homemade Home For Children by Sania Pell (£16.99, Cico Books)

Customise Old Furniture

This simple bookcase once held office files but now organises babycare essentials. Use non-toxic paint to transform your own – ideal for children’s bedrooms. Inspire me Children’s Spaces:

Zero To Ten by Judith Wilson (£14.99, Cico Books)

Find your baby a space

If you’re planning on creating a multi-tasking room, here’s what to consider:
> Try and remove items that you know you’ll need from the room before bedtime.
> Use blackout blinds to keep light to a minimum.
> If you need to move furniture around regularly, make sure it’s on wheels or portable.
> As your tot grows, keep all dangerous or breakable items out of reach.

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