This is a collaborative post with Modsy.com. Modsy is a fun personalized home design solution that utilizes 3D visualization technology that can help you fit all your furniture into your tiny nursery room with ease. Use the code CARLY20 to get 20% off your nursery room design here

feeling frustrated trying to create a beautiful nursery in a small space?

It’s been a year of big changes for me… we’ve moved AND had a baby in the span of just a couple months. Since we’re in a new place with a new baby, I’m designing another nursery room. This time around, I’m fortunate to have a slightly bigger space for the nursery than we had last time – but you might be in the same situation as I was in last time, in baby prep mode and trying to cram allthebabythings into a tiny little room.

First of all, if you’re anxious about trying to cram your nursery into a small room – don’t worry –  babies don’t actually NEED a ton of space! There are only a few essential items you need for the nursery, and I promise, they can (almost) always be made to fit in the space you have.

You don’t NEED a bouncy chair, diaper pail, shelf with 13 stuffed critters or a decorative fake plant.

You do need a crib (if baby is not sleeping with you), changing station and storage of some kind (dresser, closet etc). A rocking chair would be the one “essential” non-essential item I’d suggest, if you can squeeze it in.

Even though for my current nursery project I have a little more space to work with, I remember what a challenge it is to cram a whole nursery room into a small space!

These tips will help you make the most of your tiny nursery.

1)  Get beautiful nursery room ideas for small spaces – from professionals

If you’re like me (not that creative, have a hard time making decisions, struggle to visualize your end goal) you can take a ton of the stress out of your project AND get some great ideas by seeking design help.

ALSO if you’re like me, an interior designer isn’t even remotely in your budget.

Modsy is a personalized home design solution that utilizes 3D visualization technology to let you see EXACTLY how furniture will fit in your room before you bite the bullet and buy it. (Even if it’s returnable, lemme tell you – hauling home, setting up, taking down and returning a crib at 7 months pregnant is not my definition of “fun”.)

I tried Modsy for the new baby’s nursery – and I was blown away by the results!

My favorite thing about it was that you could “tell” Modsy what furniture you already have, and what you need to buy – and then they include both in your design.

They find suggestions for things that look great with the stuff you already own – for the room I did, we already owned a crib and rocking chair, but I was looking to purchase a dresser/lamp/storage things.

This is the room before (yes, bleak, I know…)

creating a nursery room in a small space

creating a nursery room in a small space

(Note that you don’t have to get great pictures to upload to Modsy for the program to work for you. These are the pics I uploaded and – as you’ll see – I had awesome success. You have to upload 8 cell phone pictures of your room, one from each corner and one from the center of each wall.)

Modsy comes back with two design ideas for your room – this the first design they did for me:

small space nursery room ideas

You can hardly even tell it’s the same room! I already had the crib and the glider rocker, and told them I would need them to add a change table or dresser plus storage into the design.

(I LOVE the rug they’ve added to this room – and honestly? I NEVER would have considered putting a rug in to brighten up the room, because it’s already carpeted. It just never would have crossed my mind. If you love any of the design elements modsy suggests for you, you can shop directly in the program!)

They also suggested a blue rug for a more bold design – but I really prefer the pastel rug.

(That’s the benefit of seeing your design before you buy anything – KNOWING you’ll love it.)

Modsy gives you two design options – here’s the second small nursery design idea they sent me:

The whole idea behind Modsy is that you can get practical layout ideas custom tailored to your space, and beautiful design ideas all at once. You basically can NOT go wrong with your baby room after this – you’re guaranteed to have a room design you love!

If you want to give Modsy a try for your small baby room (or any other room in your home), use the code CARLY20 for a 20% discount on your room design here

Once you have a design for your room, keep the following in mind to really maximize space in your baby’s room:

2) Skip the change table and use a dresser with a change pad on top

Babies seem to collect a ton of stuff in a short time. Dressers are generally far more practical for storage (of anything) than change tables.

You can buy a change pad for the top of a short dresser, just like in the Modsy design above. And major bonus – you haven’t purchased a piece of furniture that will be useless in 2.5 years. (You can use the dresser forever!)

3) Utilize vertical space

I find that a shelf above the change table is the most practical place to store bum cream, diapers and wipes – it makes them VERY easily accessible, but also keeps them out of the way.

Floating shelves can be used anywhere in the room – you can see a great example of this in the Modsy design as well – to keep them from looking cluttered if you need to store small things, use pretty totes.

If you have many stuffed animals, keep them in a net in the corner of the ceiling.

4) Utilize the back of the door

I saw this idea once for older kids rooms – but really, it’s an AMAZING idea for a small nursery room.

Rather than having a laundry basket take up floor space, hang a laundry bag on the back of the door. (You do need a place for laundry… babies make a ton of it.)

5) Utilize the space under the crib in the nursery room

(We had our first baby in a one bedroom cabin – I am an expert at utilizing space.)

You’ll want to make sure that whatever you get for storage under the crib is short enough that the crib doesn’t have to be moved to pull it out. Under the bed storage containers with wheels are you best bet.

5) Keep toys OUT of the room

When you’re designing a nursery in a small space, somethings gotta give… and if it’s up to me, I’d rather have a rocking chair than a play mat and toy box.

The truth is, for the first year, you’re far more likely to be sitting in a rocking chair at 3 am than you are to be “leaving the baby to play” in their room at 4 pm. (For the first year, it’s just fine to set them down in their crib if you need to do the dishes!)

Even at 18 months, I don’t want my baby playing in his own room, without me there. So we keep toys in the living room. That way he can play where I can see him and talk to him.

6) Keep colors bright/light and don’t go too crazy with patterns in your baby room

Dark, busy spaces feel small and cluttered.

You can add color by choosing bright furniture, buying a pretty throw rug or hanging a few pictures.

You can see in the Modsy photos – they’ve kept the walls light colored and added color with rugs, paintings, pillows etc.

Related: Gorgeous DIY Nursery Room Decor 

Above all, make sure it’s a space you can enjoy spending time in… because you are going to be spending a LOT of time in there over the coming year.

nursery room ideas for small spaces

baby room ideas for small spaces