Small Home Tour (Mini): Alyshia and a closet nursery in 640 square feet

Small Home Tour (Mini): Alyshia and a closet nursery in 640 square feet

In the midst of everything that is going on in the world we are taking it back to basics here on, back to where it all started… how to have a baby in a small apartment. Today I am sharing a Vancouver couple who have created a clever and adorable sleeping nook for their baby in their small one bedroom apartment. I love the creativity and also how a mini crib can offer so much flexibility! Thank you Alyshia for reaching out to share. And to Rachael for the lovely photos!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your space?

My husband and I moved into our one bedroom 640sq ft condo in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver nearly 5 years ago with the intention to stay in our small space when, eventually, our family grew. In June 2020, we welcomed our daughter Nola to the family. At the time we thought we would just play it by ear and see how long we could share the bedroom before offering it to Nola and moving our bed into the living room (either with a sofa bed or wall bed).

How did the nook come about?

When Nola was 4-months old we had to temporarily move out of our space for 10 weeks due to water damage from a leak from our upstairs neighbours. During that time we had to move furniture for painting, and this caused us to reimagine our space.

How did you make the space?

We discovered that a small corner of our hallway, which previously housed a big IKEA PAX wardrobe, was actually large enough to hold Nola's mini crib and a dresser, and that if we could find a way to separate this space from the rest of the living area (sound-proof and light-proof) then we might be able to create a space just for her, while keeping our bedroom (for now anyways). We brought our vision to life with some floor to ceiling blackout curtains which we close during nap and bedtime and a good sound machine, and named it Nola's Nook. I really enjoyed decorating the space and making it feel like a special place for Nola.

How is it working out ?

Nola has been sleeping in her Nook for just over a year now, and it's still working well for us! We recently upgraded her to a full-size crib. The full size crib fits perfectly lengthwise in the Nook, although we've had to move Nola's dresser into our bedroom. The one caveat is that now she can reach the curtains for the nook from her crib. We're only a couple weeks in and find that some naps and nights she does play with the curtains and call out to use for a bit before she settles. It probably doesn't help that there is a floor length mirror opposite the nook! That being said, we figure it's not all that different from the transition families face when moving your toddler to a toddler bed where they suddenly have the freedom to leave bed and come find you in the house. We're hopeful that the novelty will eventually wear off, and with the added space for her in the crib we can keep using the nook for an additional year or so.

View from the living room

How do you handle noise while she’s sleeping?

When Nola is sleeping we can absolutely move around the apartment and make noise. We try and limit noise when we first put her down so she has time to settle. After that, we can watch movies, play a board game with friends etc while she is asleep. The noise machine helps to drown out any noise we make. We do try and limit cooking/dishes as the sink is right next to her space.

Alyshia kindly shared some sources from the nook:

Mini Crib - Babyletto Origami (HERE and often available secondhand)
Blackout Curtains - Home Depot
Wall decals - Etsy (similar HERE) (The little terrazzo spots are actually individual stickers that I put up piece by piece! It took hours but I'm really happy with how they add a splash of colour and tie the space together)

Thank you so much Alyshia for opening your apartment to us and sharing your creative use of space. It is a lovely nook and proves once again that babies don’t need much space to be happy. I should repeat my love of mini cribs with this older post about our experiences and love of mini cribs HERE. And some closet nurseries I have loved over the years. Whitney Lee Morris , Cup of Jo, Reading My Tea Leaves (mini crib in the room).

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