How to Combine a Home Office With a Nursery

Well Rounded’s news editor shares how she made room for her second baby.

When I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter, I was faced with a major dilemma: give up my office for a second nursery or let my two girls bunk together. Neither option felt right for us, so I decided to create a space that I would share with my new baby — an office that moonlights as a nursery (or maybe it’s the other way around?).

This teeny-tiny room is basically a glorified closet. So I really tried to maximize the space and function of the room, while creating an environment that felt like home for both my daughter and me.

Here’s how my tiny nursery + office hybrid came to life, in four steps.

hanna nursery

Step 1: Common Ground

The unifying force in this room is the mural. I’ve been pining for a wall mural somewhere in our house for quite a while, and I even considered trying to paint my own before I found this gorgeous paint stroke mural from Anewall. I love the modern look it gives to the room the second you peek in. It’s striking and eye catching, even to my three month old daughter, Gentry, who loves staring at it.

hanna's nursery 2
hanna's nursery

The shelving is also a place for our worlds to intertwine: my computer, camera and photos blend so perfectly with her toys, towels and baby monitor. The Japanese language blocks are from Bitte, my go-to for cute shelfie items. You can’t go wrong on their site. They also have Chinese, Spanish, Korean and ASL blocks. My husband is Japanese — my girls are Mila Yayoi and Gentry Miyoko — so we thought the Japanese blocks might pique their interest in the language. The lovey and the little wooden bunnies are from Bitte, too.

baby essentials in hanna's nursery
hanna's nursery 7

Step 2: Baby Essentials

Although I get the most use out of this room, it is, ultimately, the room my baby sleeps in. The crib, the rocker and the blankets are all must-haves.

I fell in love with the Jubilee crib from Babyletto the second I saw it. It’s a 30in-1 convertible crib, and it’s one of the only new things in the room. I’m also obsessed with how soft the muslin quilt from Little Unicorn — a registry must-have.

hanna's nursery 3

The rocking chair is the same one I’ve rocked my older daughter, Mila, in since she was born. It is so comfortable, but dreadfully covered in stains, so sheepskin Ikea sheepskin to the rescue.

hanna's nursery
hanna's nursery 6

Step 2: Mama Essentials

My half of the room is this glorious DIY wall mounted desk my husband put together for me.

The rails and brackets are Rubbermade from Home Depot. They come white, but we painted them green. The chair is one of our dining room chairs from Ikea that I sanded and painted gold a few years back. When we have extra dinner guests, I’ll just carry the chair back to the dining table.

I mostly work from my laptop, but when I edit video I like to use a larger screen, which I keep in the closet with my wifi printer when they’re not in use, so the room doesn’t feel too cluttered.

hanna's nursery 8

Step 4: All the extras

A long time ago, a friend of mine taught me to first “go shopping” in my own house when redecorating. It’s some of the best design advice I’ve ever received; and I love repurposing things (mostly because I’m sort of a hoarder and hate throwing things out), so I welcome it with open arms.

I love that nearly every piece in this room brings some nostalgia to the space. The cacti hanging on the wall are tiny pillows I made for Mila’s mobile when she was a newborn. I didn’t do a mobile in this room, so instead I literally went outside and got a stick off a tree in our yard and strung them up.

swan in hanna's nursery

The brass swan (similar here) is from a vintage store in Baltimore, where my husband and I lived before becoming parents — a little nod to our pre-kid life. Plus, I spotted the exact same swan in a scene of Mad Men in Don and Megan’s Manhattan apartment. Kind of weird, but also kind of cool!

hanna's nursery 5

The cowhide rug is a gift from a friend who recently sold everything he owned and now lives on a sailboat. The camera is my first DLSR and the lens is from on of the Sony BetaCams I used back in my days as a television reporter.

For now, this space really works for us. Having a beautiful place to get my work done really motivates me more than sitting at the dining room table; and I love that I can stay close to my snoozing baby while getting work done.

Hanna Nakano

Hanna Nakano

HANNA NAKANO is the News Editor at Well Rounded. She's a D.C. based journalist + writer, and mama to Mila Yayoi. She's married to a medical doctor with a culinary degree; you can find their recipes and ramblings at Chef Meets Girl. Say hi on Instagram.

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