Planning for a (Pink!) Multi-Functional Nursery Closet

DIY bi-fold door trim | above closet storage | brass knobs | brass cabinet latches

A question that popped up more than a few times during our nursery kick-off was, but where’s the changing table? I brought it up briefly at the very bottom of the post, but today, I’m going to dive into those plans! We struggled with this room layout for a while, and to say we considered at least a dozen configurations would be an understatement. We knew we wanted these four staples – crib, toy/book storage, rocker and changing table – but deciding what goes where and in a way that would create the most amount of space possible (no small feat in a 7′ wide room!) was definitely a challenge. You know now that Modsy helped us visualize three of those main components in a huge way, but yes, what about the changing table?

You guys, it’s going in the closet!

When we modified the closet earlier this year, our hope was always that this would be our future nursery. With that in mind, we made every effort to maximize the width, depth and height. And do you remember when we had to drywall around the exposed pipes? We did it in such a way that those otherwise annoying roadblocks could be integrated into shelving! More on that in a second, but in the meantime, we triple checked our closet measurements and visited our friend Meg at Megmade, knowing that she was guaranteed to have the perfect, oddly sized little dresser that we could use as a changing table:

Meg has been a great friend of ours for years – she even donated that stunning black console to the One Tail at a Time Adoption Center! – and together with her husband Joe and the entire MegMade team, they restore and customize all the furniture in need of rescue. It’s insane what they’re able to accomplish, and wandering the aisles of their warehouse is our idea of a good time; just look! (Chicago friends, the warehouse and showroom are absolutely worth a visit, but they ship all across the country as well.)

We had originally picked out a pretty curvy legged dresser, but a few days later, they posted a handful of new items to their Facebook page. After spotting the guy below, we immediately changed our minds on the initial one, and we practically ran to their warehouse to see this one in person. The divided top drawer is perfect, the glides are smooth, and aside from a few scuffs and scratches, it’s in pretty great condition! The detailing along the sides is reminiscent of our window trim, and it took us all of 10 seconds to confirm that this was the new one. The original polyurethane coating had yellowed over time, so the Megmade crew will be stripping the finish and applying a water-based matte clear coat, which should lighten everything up, too!

With our dresser picked out, we were able to officially plan the rest of the closet’s layout. Using blue tape, we masked off a rod, shelves, the dresser and changing topper, and those small blue dashes represent a vintage mirror we’d like to hang above the table. (Once baby girl starts having more clothes to hang and the changing pad is no longer needed, that mirror will come down.) We initially had a much more complicated design plan – more rods, more dividers, more drawers – but things quickly began to feel messy and cluttered. Scaling back reminded us that less is more (isn’t that always, always the case?), and once we add some bins and baskets to the shelves that made the cut, there is going to be more than enough storage – more than our own closet system, and definitely more than I had as a child!

Each side of the closet has a bump out that hides furnace ducts and gas lines, and while we were initially bummed about it, we’ll use these little ‘nooks’ to add even more shelving! At the lowest level, we’ve also made room for a diaper pail and a laundry basket (one necessity per side):

Scott installed baseboards a few weekends ago, and once I spackle the nail pops and caulk all the seams, this multi-functional closet will be ready for paint! I mentioned in this post that because the room will be filled with whites, creams and ivories, we’re looking to add some flair in the closet. Now to find the perfect shade of not-too-baby-but-still-playful-pink:

Although we’re still deciding on the perfect shade of pink – we actually used Morristown Cream on our shipping table (last swatch, second one down) and love it – we’ve already picked up a handful of closet supplies! I was initially pushing for a fancier Elfa system (there are so many great options!), but Scott convinced me that we could create a closet that would look just as nice for half the price with more DIY effort. With a splash of cheerful paint and textured baskets, our goal is that the closet will look nice enough to leave open more often than it’s closed.

We can’t wait to make some waves in this room!

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  • Eric - October 10, 2017 - 7:17 AM

    That closet is going to be so cute and functional. I *wish* we had a store like that here in Austin where I could find all kinds of vintage furniture.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 10, 2017 - 8:34 AM

      It’s hard to believe you wouldn’t! Even if it’s not a refinishing shop as well, you could surely find gems at architectural salvages, habitat resales and definitely hit up the online classifieds. The hunt is half the fun! :)ReplyCancel

    • Lori - October 10, 2017 - 11:45 AM

      Check out Room Service Vintage and Rave On Vintage on North Loop (and they both have great Instagram accounts)! There are a ton of great vintage shops in Austin. Here’s a great list, complete with map: http://vintagearoundtownguide.comReplyCancel

      • Kim - October 10, 2017 - 11:49 AM

        You’re awesome!ReplyCancel

      • Blythe - October 10, 2017 - 1:11 PM

        Yes! Room Service Vintage in particular has great prices. If you see something you like on their Instagram feed, call right away to place a two-hour hold: their stuff tends to sell really quickly.

        I’ve also found awesome pieces for sale in the “Austin Mid-Century Modern Buy / Sell / Trade / Chat” Facebook group.ReplyCancel

        • Lori - October 10, 2017 - 10:42 PM

          Ooooh, thanks for that FB group tip! Joining as we speak. :DReplyCancel

  • thelady - October 10, 2017 - 8:05 AM

    This is SO exciting, and I haven’t had a changing table in 14 years!! :) I think you are wise to go less is more, you will figure out what you need as you go along, and luckily for you guys you are handy and make magic in your home daily! Prepare yourself tho, for the onslaught of “for a baby, here’s what I did, here’s what you should do, you will never need X…you will always need Y..” Us parents have lots of old, unused opinions that we love to drag out after years of hiatus :D :DReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 10, 2017 - 8:37 AM

      Haha, we’ve been getting that in small doses. I think it helps living in the city, where most people don’t like an onslaught of extra ‘stuff’ in their (smaller, skinnier) homes, and it’s all about what’s lightweight and efficient. The absolute necessities! Even still, we happily welcome the advice and then weigh it against our lifestyle. It’s all helpful in some way or another! :DReplyCancel

  • katie - October 10, 2017 - 8:17 AM

    Great idea for shelves with baskets, I’m always amazed on how many little things you need for babies. We have a mirror above our changing pad and our little one loves to wave at herself after diaper changes. :)ReplyCancel

  • Ashley- At Home with Ashley - October 10, 2017 - 8:48 AM

    That store has me drooling- I love that you had a one stop shop for a vintage dresser! And I am so excited for the pink closet. I think it’ll be so nice to be able to close the doors and have a clean calm space. We love our changing table so much that we still use it and my son is two and a half! He’s potty training right now and I haven’t even started thinking how to update the space without it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 10, 2017 - 9:51 AM

      MegMade is definitely a gem in this city!ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - October 10, 2017 - 9:07 AM

    I love the idea of doing a fun color in the closet! I want to do something like this in my son’s room. I just can’t pick a color!

    I kinda think it is fun designing function around an obstacle (like the little nooks). Forces you to be creative! Love this little nursery!ReplyCancel

  • Monica - October 10, 2017 - 9:45 AM

    wow, what a great dresser find! your plans sound beautiful. Do you think you’ll leave the closet doors open most of the time?ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 10, 2017 - 9:52 AM

      At the beginning, most likely! Our hope is that it will still look great open, but we can close it off when we need to close off any chaos.ReplyCancel

  • Steph M. - October 10, 2017 - 9:51 AM

    We painted the interior of our entry closet with Paris Romance from Benjamin Moore and it is so good! It has just enough purple undertone to make it not feel like Pepto Bismol! I highly recommend it!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 10, 2017 - 10:01 AM

      Ooh, that’s a pretty one.ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm - October 10, 2017 - 11:03 AM

    Oh this is going to be amazing! Can’t wait to see it!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.comReplyCancel

  • Lori - October 10, 2017 - 11:48 AM

    I didn’t realize just how big that closet was until I saw your tape outline on the floor! I like the idea of being able to hide a changing table in there. Can’t wait to see how everything comes together!ReplyCancel

  • Alison Davis - October 10, 2017 - 1:51 PM

    Our daughter’s room is painted Love Story (Ben Moore). It’s warm, soft and not at all girly. Still love it after 6 years!ReplyCancel

  • Haley - October 10, 2017 - 2:45 PM

    I know I’m way ahead of the game here, but I assume that as your daughter grows up this will still be her room? Are the dimensions the same as the guest room downstairs? Such a fun cozy space!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 10, 2017 - 3:21 PM

      Yup, this will still be her room! So she might want to take the dresser out of the closet to make room for another rod, and I imagine there will be some rearranging to be done down the road. And you’re not ahead of the game by asking, we think about these things, too! Haha.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - October 10, 2017 - 2:51 PM

    ADORE that dresser. It’s so perfect! The pink will be super cute as well. I know you are set to DIY the closet but I have to say I LOVE the Elfa systems. We now have it in every closet and I can say that I have changed the configuration in every one at one point or another!! The kids closets have both changed 2 or 3 times. Some small and some big (my daughter’s mostly!). I’m sure whatever you do will be great though!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - October 10, 2017 - 8:57 PM

    Clan I just say you are my favourite bloggers and I’m obsessed with your blog! Everything you do gives me a longer project list. I don’t even have kids and you make me want a nursery ha! Kidding on that one of course. I wish you had a contest to help a Canadian out with a room makeover!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - October 11, 2017 - 9:15 AM

      Stephanie, you are so sweet! Great to hear from you. We’d love to have the option to include Canada in room makeovers! There’s always a possibility…ReplyCancel

  • Jaime - October 11, 2017 - 6:33 PM

    OMG that warehouse!!!!! Love the dresser you picked out! Can’t wait to see how the closet turns out.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle - October 16, 2017 - 7:30 PM

    You might want to think about making some kind of spray guard around the changing table, even baby girls (and poop!) can travel quite a distance. Nothing says fun like dragging out heavy furniture (or unscrewing anchors) to clean poop off the walls.ReplyCancel

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