It’s been nearly four years since we moved from our home in Florida to a small two-bedroom apartment in New York City. It was quite an adjustment moving from a place that had so much space to a place that offers very little in space.
When we first moved into our apartment we only had our oldest daughter, Harlan. Since then, we’ve added another little girl to her room and have a new little boy on the way! Our kids have added so much joy to our lives, but they have also added more stuff which has made our small apartment feel even smaller.
As we patiently await the arrival of our third child in early February, I have started to prepare my girls for his arrival. One of my favorites so far has been redesigning their room into an official “big girl” room for them. Avery, my youngest, is currently in a crib and Harlan, my oldest, is in a toddler bed. I wanted to help them both make the transition into a room better suited for them well before their new brother arrives so that the transition will go smoothly.
For the redesign of the room, I went to Michelle Freedberg, the owner of Bellini, a family-owned furniture company, who has helped design a number of baby and children’s rooms, including several celebrities. I knew Michelle would be perfect to help me with our small space because she has worked with several clients in New York City who are dealing with the same issue that I am; two kids in one small room.
The furniture I currently have in the girls’ room is the same furniture we used in our house in Florida. It’s way too big for the room and definitely makes it look smaller than it currently as. I wanted to get the most out of our space so that it not only looks bigger, but so that the girls can have more room to play. Their room is the only place in our apartment that is truly theirs, and I want them to really get the most out of it.
Since working with Michelle on the redesign, she’s given me several useful tips for making the most out of a smaller shared space. If you have a smaller space that you have to make work for two, check out Michelle’s tips!
Add Accent Walls 1 of 8
Accent walls are fun. We don't want the room to be too busy, but a fun accent wall to frame the beds or cribs is a great way to create a focal point in a crowded room.
Get Rid of the Clutter 2 of 8
Keep only what's crucial in the room as it helps eliminate the clutter. It's best to only have key pieces of furniture on the floor and nothing else.
Stay Organized 3 of 8
It's important to be organized when planning the design for a small space. Have a binder with all of your measurements and design inspiration. By taking these extra steps to be organized and accurate with the room, it will give your space its optimal potential.
Use Your Walls 4 of 8
Although the room may be small, your walls are a great place to individualize the space. Each child can have their own wall space for shelves, storage or individual artwork.
Use Tall Furniture for Storage 5 of 8
A tall piece of furniture with more drawers is ideal for a small room. It takes up less floor space but gives just as much storage.
Stay Cohesive 6 of 8
Make sure when designing the room that you keep one cohesive look, even if your children are two different sexes. Try to pick colors and furniture styles that work for both kids and then pick accent colors to individualize the looks. Do not create two rooms in one as it makes for a messy look. Let each child pick something that works for them but in the same storyline.
Avoid the Bulk 7 of 8
When shopping for furniture, avoid heavy pieces that are big and bulky. These pieces will take away space from the room. We want to keep the room feeling spacious.
Create Areas for Play 8 of 8
Try and carve out a small section for toys and play. If possible, try to give each child their own tiny slice so they have some ownership of a part of the room that is just theirs.
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Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!