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How to Decorate a Nursery Area in a One Bedroom Apartment for a New Baby

By Christine Gauvreau ; Updated June 13, 2017

Creating a nursery space for baby in a one-bedroom apartment can be challenging, but not impossible. Plan ahead to determine the space that would best accommodate baby and her furnishings. Select a theme and color palette that will define the area as baby’s. Use free-standing screen dividers if you prefer to create a separate room or choose a design that will complement the existing décor of the room.

  1. Choose a location in the room where you can set up the nursery. Consider the furniture you will need to fit in the space as well as placement for function. A bassinette can save space, but your baby will quickly outgrow this sleeper. Choose a full-size crib if you plan to remain in the apartment for several months. Rearrange your existing furniture to accommodate the nursery area.

  2. Paint the nursery area wall in the color you wish to have for the baby area. Choose from traditional pink or blue or select a color that matches the rest of your bedroom décor. A cream color or pastel version of your existing paint color will work well to define the space as separate while still complementing the rest of the room.

  3. Add furniture. Position the crib against the painted wall. Purchase baby bedding in the color and pattern of your liking. Drape the crib with a quilt in a whimsical baby pattern or purchase a blanket embroidered with the baby’s name to help define the space as belonging to baby. Remember to remove the quilt before placing baby in the crib for safety purposes. Hang a baby mobile as a decorative accent that will entertain baby in his crib.

  4. Convert an existing dresser into a changing table by adding a changing pad. This will save space and add character to the décor. Paint it to match the crib and add stencils or peel-and-stick embellishments to the front and sides. Clean out the top drawer and fill with diapering necessities. Purchase a cover for the changing pad in a color that suits your nursery space design. Take advantage of the changing pad’s mobile function and move it from room to room as needed to use on other surfaces such as the coffee table or couch.

  5. Accessorize with baby decorations. Hang decorations such as themed wall stickers or a plaque with the baby’s name above the crib. Paint a stencil design as another option to decorate the nursery wall. Use a standing partition screen to section off the area or assemble bookshelves to position as room dividers.

  6. Add decorative storage to the space beneath the crib. Purchase canvas bins in complementary colors. Fill with baby toys, clothing and blankets. Slide some under the crib and place others on the divider bookshelves to incorporate your nursery colors in more spaces.

  7. Plug in a night light or add a baby themed lampshade to a floor lamp placed in the nursery area. If outlets are not available in that section of the room, hang a battery operated, colored paper lantern to create a pretty accent with soft lighting.

  8. Place a small, matching area rug on the floor of the nursery space.

  9. Tip

    Place a rocker in another room to save space and to allow for one parent to actually sleep while the other is feeding and rocking baby back to sleep.


    Free standing bookshelves, floor lamps and screens can be toppled once baby is mobile, so think about securing them for safety. Consider the terms of your rental agreement prior to painting and hanging decorations. Be prepared to repaint or repair any holes prior to moving out.

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