Where to Put the Nursery

The new baby will sleep in our bedroom for the first few months. After that though? We’re not sure yet.

We’re lucky to have a lot of space to work with in this house, though some of it is oddly configured from when the home was chopped up into three apartments. There is a bedroom on the third floor that’s ready to go, but it isn’t ideal. (I’m using photos from when the house was empty in this post, because I feel like it’s less distracting and easier to visualize changes that way.)

Third Floor Bedroom

Third Floor Bedroom

The room is 12′x14.’ It has major eaves to contend with and no closet, but our big concern has to do with regulating the temperature up there. We moved into this house in late August and only experienced a few weeks of late summer heat. The house stayed fairly cool with window unit air conditioners during the hottest days, but I still worry that the room is going to be too warm. And even if the heat isn’t a problem, do we want to run up constantly for a year or more when the baby cries at night? We could avoid that by switching one of the kids’ current bedrooms for a nursery and moving either Eleanor or August upstairs, but I feel guilty about that. Like ‘sorry kid, you have to live in the attic now.’ (I mean, it’s a perfectly fine room that just happens to be on the third floor, but you know. Parental guilt is a powerful and sometimes irrational thing.)

Two kids could share a room of course, but we have enough space in this big old Victorian for each child to have their own. Another option would be closing off the room that’s adjacent to our bedroom, but we’ve come to really enjoy that as a family space. So I came up with a brilliant solution — although Brandon is not convinced of its brilliance yet. If we turn the former kitchen on the second floor (a sort-of craft room right now) back into a bedroom, we could all sleep on the same level. Eleanor and August both stay put in the rooms they’re in now, and the baby gets the new space.

Second Floor Kitchen

We would have to remove the sink and its cabinetry, remove the water and gas hookups in the room, and close off some of the doorways. Easy enough. We would likely demo the wall of cabinetry, too. It could be reused as built-in storage (drawers for clothes, cabinets for toys, etc.), but it looks very kitchen-like, and freeing up that wall for furniture placement may be better for a bedroom.

Second Floor Kitchen

Ah, but then it wouldn’t be quite that easy! The wood flooring in that room is newer than in the rest of the second floor and it’s slightly raised, so it’s likely that it was laid on top of the old stuff. That’s fine, but did they go under the cabinetry? My guess is no. The flooring would probably need to be addressed.

Also, the hallway would need to be reconfigured, which means we lose the built-in storage that’s there. That is the main reason Brandon isn’t convinced of my plan.

Built-in Storage Next to the Bathroom

The bathroom itself only has a medicine cabinet for storage, so we fully use and appreciate the extra drawers and cabinetry right outside its door. The back stairway is on the other side though, and the kitchen serves as access to those stairs and a bedroom. The house’s original layout would have had the hallway continue uninterrupted, and that’s the layout we would be returning to. We’d lose the built-ins and gain a fourth bedroom on the second floor.

Possible Reno Plans for Second Floor Kitchen

We’re still thinking our options through, so we haven’t figured out exactly what all of this would cost yet. We could do a lot ourselves, but realistically, I’m a pregnant lady and we already have two young kids underfoot so we’d have to hire out for at least some of it.

My mom suggested doing the conversion in stages. We could demo what absolutely needs to go now, smooth the walls and paint, and just live with the weirdness of having to pass through the baby’s room to get from one side of the second floor to the other. Then in a couple of years when we’ve saved up a bit of money again, we could finish the renovations. When I was a little girl, my younger sister’s bedroom could only be accessed through mine. We shared a room for many years in an apartment after that, but then in another house, I had to go through my sister’s bedroom to get to mine. So maybe my mom and I are biased toward making weird spaces work?

What do you think? Third floor bedroom? Convert the easier room next to our bedroom (and keep the second floor kitchen as-is)? Go all-out with changing the kitchen back into a bedroom and opening up the hallway, or do the work in two stages?

149 Responses to “Where to Put the Nursery”

  1. Loryn March 26, 2014 at 8:09 am #

    I’d think I’d go with room sharing until they’re old enough to think a room in the attic away from everyone else is cool. Scarily enough, that’s not that far away!

    • Rebecca H March 26, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      This was my exact thought!

  2. Suzanne @Sprinkled Nest March 26, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    I vote to use the kitchen as the bedroom. But, I would keep that back wall of cabinetry and use it as the closet. Plus, the flat surface area below the window can multi task over the years. A changing table in the beginning to a window seat for reading books in later years. As for the pretty built ins in the hallway…there has got to be a place you can relocate it to…right??? Good luck! ;)

    • Amy March 26, 2014 at 8:26 am #

      I think whatever you choose to do will work for you – you’ve made such wonderful and creative choices in the past. My only alternative suggestion would be swapping the tv room off your bedroom with the kitchen. My littlest was in a nursery in a room connected off my bedroom. It was so divine to have her separated in her own room, but able to scoop her up in a second when needed. The built ins in the kitchen could be really useful in a tv room! When my daughter got older – we did a shuffle of rooms and she’s now downstairs, and the nursery is my sewing room. You could equally do a shuffle down the road if you didn’t want her room connected anymore.

      • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 8:47 am #

        True, we could always shuffle around again.

      • Sandra March 26, 2014 at 10:58 am #

        I love this idea! Great job Amy!

      • Kim March 26, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

        I second that Amy! This also allows you more time to determine what your needs will be. We have our son and daughter sleeping in the same room with the majority of their toys in another room.

  3. Meg@sparrowhaunt.com March 26, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    Have you asked your kiddos if they want to move to the attic room, that’d be my first thought… Second would be turning the room off your bedroom (the family space) into the baby’s room, and using the kitchen as a family/crafting room. Last thought, if you do end up converting the kitchen to a bedroom, keep the wall of cabinetry, but lose the drawers under the middle section – it would look like nothing more than built-ins on either side of a desk (both bedroom and Victorian appropriate). Good luck, and congratulations!

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      August would be happy to take the other bedroom, so he’s probably the one that would be moving. I should have mentioned in the post though that we have a third kitchen on the third floor (I know — it’s weird) that we could relocate the craft room to. I actually like that option, because then it’s closer to the play room, which has just a handful of arts and crafts stuff in it.

      • Sandra March 26, 2014 at 11:00 am #

        Perfect! Move the craft room up to the third floor next to the playroom and move the family room into the second floor kitchen.

      • Meg@sparrowhaunt.com March 26, 2014 at 11:28 am #

        Not as weird as you think, I’m in the same boat as you – big split-up Victorian, three kitchens lol (although mine would have made a rat choke!)…

  4. Dawn March 26, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    How about the family space as the bedroom and the kitchen as the family space? I love the built in in the kitchen (I agree with Suzanne–you can use it for a changing table and then a window seat) and I can understand why your husband doesn’t want to knock down the one in the hallway. But that’s just me.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      I understand not wanting to get rid of the storage in the hallway too! We definitely make good use of it.

  5. Kristin F. March 26, 2014 at 8:26 am #

    We live in an old quirky house with no hallways, so you have to walk through every room to get to another. Currently our only bathroom can be accessed through our youngest daughter’s bedroom. Thankfully, she sleeps in her sisters bed and this room really functions as a playroom, but it’s still weird for visitors to understand! You just have to make an old house work for you :).

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      We all get used to some quirks in our houses, don’t we?

  6. Estelle March 26, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    I would definitely go with the kitchen as the bedroom, and like Suznne, I would keep the cabinetry and repurpose it as a closet. When the baby has grown in its teen, you could even demolish the cabinetry just under the window and keep the wooden plank as a built-in desk ? I think this is a big part of the whole Victorian house to have such beautiful built-ins :)As for the built-ins in the hallway, well, i don’t know how you could keep it and manage an entry to the room :/ (well I’ve never written ‘built-in’ so much in a sentence before!)

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 9:27 am #

      Built-in, built-in, built-in! Ha. None of those are original to the house, but they are well done, and the storage is nice.

  7. Kathryn March 26, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    You know how much I like to move walls around (maybe not, actually, I haven’t shown the befores). I totally vote for reconfiguring that kitchen, long term it makes the house much more useful. I would probably keep those cabinets by the window though, at least for now. I’m also a big fan of keeping all kids and parents on the same floor when everyone’s small.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 9:29 am #

      I want to see your befores! I’ve seen little bits that you’ve posted, and I sort of know some of what you’ve done, but not everything.

      And I think everyone is in favor of keeping those cabinets (except for me).

      • Kathryn March 26, 2014 at 10:53 am #

        Well, you’re the one who has to live there :)

  8. Nathalie March 26, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    I think it would be great to use the kitchen as a bedroom. What if instead of removing the whole wall of built-ins, you just removed the top half? Then you wouldnt have to worry about the floor, and you could put some fun shelves or art on either side of the window. Plus bonus storage in all of the drawers. Maybe skip the hallway project for now- babies don’t really care if you walk through their room. Or- you could make the room a couple feet smaller and open up the hallway? Slide that blue wallpapered wall over a few feet and keep your hallway storage, or heck, even add more.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 9:31 am #

      I thought about that, but then we either need to relocate or add a radiator, so it’s still a big job. It does keep the bathroom storage intact, but it’s a little bit of a waste of square footage with the way the back stairway would connect.

  9. Molly March 26, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Like the idea of the old kitchen as the bedroom! It will make your life so much easier having them all on one level! Could you leave existing floor to ceiling built-ins as storage (most baby clothes are folded anyway) and paint them, get a cool armoire for the hanging clothes, then pull out sink , get a great piece of marble or something and turn it into a modern changing table?

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      We still fold all of the kids’ clothes, so I’m not too worried about hanging clothing storage yet. I’m not sold on keeping the sink though!

  10. Katie March 26, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    My instincts lean towards using the easier room adjacent to yours. Having a family space is nice, but you also have 2 other floors of what could be family space. Alternatively, using the second kitchen as a room would be cool, and I think the built ins would still work in that scenario (and it seems that everyone else does too, lol).

    Or asking one of the older kids if the upstairs sounds like something they would like?

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      August would be happy to take the upstairs bedroom if that’s what we decide to do. I think I’m hesitant to convert the admittedly easier room (next to ours) because it’s one of the things we really like about this house. It’s cozy and tucked away, but by being open to the bedroom, it still feels spacious and gets lots of light.

      • Katie March 27, 2014 at 8:56 am #

        It sounds awesome to have that space there. Tons of opinions floating around in the comments. Go with your gut!

  11. Sarah March 26, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    I would absolutely turn that kitchen back into a bedroom! I’d keep the wall of cabinetry (doesn’t look kitchen-y to me, particularly if you make a window seat / reading nook and use it as a dresser and closet) and just lose the sink. Strikes me as a great solution. Will be fun to watch it evolve. :)

    • Antonella March 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      I second Sarah. Easy and convenient! :-)

  12. Candice March 26, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    I know you prefer to keep the room next to yours as a family space but could the kitchen not work for that purpose? It seems if you flipped those spaces (kitchen would become family space, family space would become baby room) you wouldn’t have to make some of the adjustments that would be needed if the kithcen had to be converted into an actual bedroom. Some of the kitcheny items could even stay in a family space like the cabinetry which could store games, snacks, etc.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 9:41 am #

      I really like the family space being open to the bedroom though — at least right now while the kids are still little. Sometimes (like right now!) I can be in the bedroom working on my laptop, and Brandon and the kids can be playing in the next room over. Separate, but still connected.

  13. Laura March 26, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    If either of the kids would like the baby to share their room, that would be easiest. We did this with our girls and it was not as tricky as I thought it would be. Alternatively, I vote kitchen as bedroom. Just lose the sink. Keep the built in for storage (those upper bits could act as closet, no?), and paint the insides a bright color. I don’t think having to go through a room is a big deal at all. And in 3 years or so, Eleanor will be begging you to move up to the 3rd floor and you can rearrange.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

      Eleanor has been offering to share her bed right from the start. :)

  14. Katja @ Shift Ctrl Art March 26, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    I would use the old kitchen and take out the dresser under the window, but leave the rest of the built-ins along that wall. Then I would build a window seat there with some open shelving under it for baskets or pretty toys/styling. If the dresser part can be taken out in one piece, I would wrap it in wood/hack it and make that a furniture piece changing table and put along another wall. I would take the sink and cabinet out. That cabinet could also become a changing table or an outdoor kitchen prep area if it has a cover to go under… Just thinking out loud.

    I would have to see the floor plan to say about the hallway. I like the idea, but your built-ins out there are super rad, so I would worry about taking them out.

  15. Laura @ Rather Square March 26, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    Like many other commenters (and yourself!), I think it’s a good idea to keep young kids on the same floor as you. The second-floor kitchen looks like a good solution, and I like your mom’s idea of doing it in stages. However, I would have the hardest time taking out the wall of cabinetry! Personally I’d try to make it work somehow (which would also save you the rework of the floors). But only you know what will work best for your needs.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 9:50 am #

      Everyone wants to make the cabinets work! I’m not against it, but I’m not strongly for them either.

      • Kristen March 26, 2014 at 9:55 am #

        I am in the process of buying cabinetry for my kids rooms! I would kill to have that awesome vintage storage in my house!

      • S March 26, 2014 at 10:29 am #

        I think the cabinetry looks great as is and chime in for leaving it there.

  16. Jenn March 26, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    I’d keep it simple and put the baby in the family space or in the slightly altered craft room. The baby might be a great sleeper, but you don’t want to be running up and down those stairs or worrying if the baby is too hot or too cold! In a year or so the baby might want to share a room with a sibling (our boys share even though we’ve always had enough rooms for them to have their own) or one of the older kids might want to move upstairs. And I think down the road, one of the kids will definitely want to move upstairs. You have so many options in your spacious house!

  17. Laurie March 26, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    Phew! That’s a big project! But you know, those cabinet built-ins don’t look TOO kitcheny. You might be able to repurpose them. If you take the doors off the upper side cabinets and turn that into open shelving, it might look more bedroomy.

    While the baby is little, the extra door access might be handy but you’re right, that extra storage is going to be tough to lose. There must have been some kind of linen closet originally. I wonder where it went?

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      This house has changed a lot in its nearly 125 years, so it’s hard to say.

  18. Lisa March 26, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Apparently, I’ve become much too attached to your new house. The thought of removing those beautiful built-ins in the second floor kitchen is giving me anxiety! It seems this would remove a lot of the charm of that room and lose SO much great storage. I’d personally rather lose the hallway built-ins than the window wall! I’m sure whatever you do will be lovely…(scratching hives). :)

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

      Oh no, sorry! I’m not set on getting rid of them yet, so don’t worry too prematurely. ;)

  19. Jessica March 26, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    Here’s an idea – What if you made the top floor into a kids sleeping room with mattresses on the floor under a teepee or fabric fort and encouraged the biggest kids to camp out there for a while. If either (or both of them!) took to it, it might make the transition to moving one or both up there when baby comes?

    I love how you let a little older Eleanor have more control in her bedroom design. Maybe August gets a choice of what room he wants (his current, upstairs or next to you) and if the upstairs is really cool, maybe he’ll just swap and let baby have his? Of course I don’t have children yet and I’m sure you’re going to make the perfect nursery where ever is goes!

  20. Sandy March 26, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Any chance you could post an overhead (estimated) view of the floor plan of the space? Might be a cool way to get some feedback. I have an idea, but I was wondering if I was looking at the pictures incorrectly.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      I’ll consider posting a floor plan of the room and hallway. I feel a little funny about posting all of our exact bedroom locations.

  21. Alana March 26, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Ahh, this is much easier. I was trying to picture it when you were describing it the other day.

    You know, it might be quite handy to have the sink and such in the nursery, no?

    I know there’s a concern about the heat upstairs, but could you just add a small window unit to help with that?

    The built ins in the hallway are gorgeous! I’m sure it’s a tough decision whether to tear those out or not.

    Otherwise, is it a bad idea to let the two older siblings bunk together for awhile? Will and Fi have rooms next to each other but always end up sleeping in her full size bed. I figure, enjoy them loving to spend that time together while it lasts. :)

    Good luck! Whatever you choose will be wonderful. It’s good to have so many options!

  22. Lesley March 26, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    When I was a kid, I had the attic room and I loved it! I loved that it was quirky and had odd angles and that I had my own little hideaway. My sister has actually revealed that she was really jealous that I got the attic room. Granted, I was about 7 when I moved up there (we shared a room for about a year prior), but I wouldn’t rule it out!

  23. Alli March 26, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    To keep the built-ins, move them, or create new into the area you have marked as “hallway (open up that door)”. Build it into the shared wall between the hallway and the “new closet”.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      Yes, I thought about that too! I doubt they could be easily moved though, so it might be something that wouldn’t happen right away.

  24. Heather March 26, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    I really prefer to have everyone on the same floor, especially while the kids are young, so I’d go with your mom’s idea. Sure, built-ins are nice, but there are probably other ways you could somehow get that storage back. Then the attic can one day be an awesome hideway for the kids.

  25. Kelly March 26, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    As a lover of restored homes, I would vote for returning the second floor to 4 bedrooms and using either the living room or the kitchen as bedroom 4. As for the hallway built-in that would have to be taken out… I wonder if there is a space in the hallway close to the bathroom that it could be relocated to, its a built in so it would nest into the cavity of the wall.

  26. Alex - Hydrangea Girl March 26, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    I agree that it makes sense to have everyone on the same floor. Baby goes into the craft room, but I would actually consider keeping the sink in there. Would that not be handy being able to do a small amount of prep and cleaning of baby stuff right in his or her room? Says the woman with no kids. I haven’t been through the motions of little ones routines so forgive me if there are some serious plot flaws there.

    xx A

    p.s. I would absolutely die to have your house. I seriously adore quirky older houses with rooms that don’t match up. It’s so inspiring compared to cookie-cutter houses nowadays.

  27. Jo March 26, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    I grew up in a small house, and you had to go through my younger sister’s room to get into my room. (There was actually also a door from my parents’ bedroom that led to my bedroom, but it was blocked off with a wall unit.)
    We learned to love it. We always talked to each other at night through the open door. We have a six year age difference and it was honestly just never a problem. You make it work.

  28. Debbie March 26, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    I am having trouble visualizing this. Can you make a floorplan?

  29. Courtney March 26, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    I think you should change the room by yours into the nursery and than make the walk through area the family room, the built ins would be great for that and its a logical place to have walk ins. Remove the sink area, move your craft room upstairs and bam, save money and have nice flow.

  30. Jenny B March 26, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    Forgive me if I missed this but could you convert the current family room into the new baby’s room and convert the old kitchen into the new family room? This would allow everyone to be on the same floor but without such drastic remodeling. Plus there is the added bonus of being able to keep the built-ins for toy/etc. storage and not have to worry over the flooring issue. There may be something I missed about why that wouldn’t work but hope this helps!

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      That’s one of the options, yes. It’s not my favorite option, but it is one of the easier ones.

  31. chris March 26, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Good luck with your decision and congrats on your expanding family. How exciting! I like the built-ins in the kitchen and would leave them if converted to a baby room. I might even leave the sink! Wouldn’t it be great to have a sink in the same room you’re changing the baby? It would be a challenge to create the feel of a nursery, but probably a fun one. If you lose the hallway built ins, you could borrow some storage from the baby’s room and find a narrow cabinet to place in the hallway; after a couple of months you might not miss them so much. Whatever you decide will probably feel like the “right” decision once it’s complete and you’ve adjusted :)

  32. Nicole M. March 26, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    I know it sounds like a lot of work (and $), but I think the best solution would be to convert the kitchen to the nursery. Having all the bedrooms on one level will bring peace of mind and be a great selling point for future buyers. The only other solution I could potentially see is the master bedroom move to the now “family space” and the “kitchen” becomes the new “family space”. Then, the nursery would be the now master bedroom. I don’t really think this would be the most ideal option because you would loose the beautiful windows and closet in the master bedroom, but thought I would throw it out there.

  33. Kara March 26, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I think in the big picture, restoring the original layout is the right move. I get what a loss those great built-ins outside the bathroom would be, but the flow seems so choppy this way. Also agree with comments that you should do it in phases, remove only part of the kitchen cabinets, etc.

  34. Jessika March 26, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    I don’t know if I’d demo anything. The kitchen upstairs could work, but can’t you close it off but work around the current built-ins? It works so well as a multipurpose room that you might regret removing everything very soon down the line. I really like converting the room adjacent to your bedroom. It seems much more like a “can be adapted to be a nursery, but can also be adapted right back if we someday change our minds.” It wouldn’t surprise me that in a year or two August will want the upstairs room anyway. Maybe you can move the adjacent room into the upstairs kitchen and work to convert that space (in a non-permanent way) into an upstairs family-type room? Those built-ins are just so great… I’d really discourage their destruction.

  35. Ursula Ellis March 26, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    What about using the kitchen as the family room and then turning the family room into the baby’s room. If it’s large enough, perhaps you could keep some of the kitchen built-ins and include a wet bar or something along those lines with a sofa and TV, etc. Maybe it’s just too small?

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      It’s too small to do all of that, and the cabinets, four doorways, and the radiator limit furniture placement.

  36. Melissa @ HOUSEography March 26, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    I LOVE the idea of taking the house back to what it used to be. That room is always going to be awkward and I don’t think you’ll ever regret losing that little bit of storage – your house is huge – you can always find another place for stuff. And the value of adding back a true 4th bedroom on the same floor is fantastic. What a great house!!

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

      That’s how I feel about it! Brandon’s not on board though, and obviously not everyone agrees in the comments either.

  37. Evelyn W March 26, 2014 at 10:56 am #

    Is there anyway to combine the bookcase building with remodeling the kitchen aka potentially third munchkin’s bedroom?

    Get the construction out of the way all at once? Sometimes it offsets the costs ever so slightly but enough to get it all done at once.

    I was still secretly hoping you guys would keep the extra kitchens/apartments and run a glorious bed and breakfast.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      No plans for a B&B, but we are going to get an estimate from our carpenter!

  38. Megan March 26, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    I can’t remember if you said the sink worked or not, but you might find it convenient for a while for diaper changes etc. We have pictures of my parents giving us baths in the second kitchen sink that ended up being my sister’s room when they lived in a house that used to be a duplex with a unit on each level.

    I appreciate having us all on one level for sleeping. But I am also grateful we finished the brunt of our remodeling before the baby arrived – even if I was rather useless for much of the manual labor.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

      The sink does work. There’s a vanity sink in my closet that didn’t work when we moved in, but upon further investigation, the supply lines were just turned off because the pipes underneath drip.

  39. Misty March 26, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Why not use the attached room for the baby and use the 2nd floor kitchen as family space?

  40. AnnW March 26, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    I would keep everything as is right now. I’d put the baby in the kitchen and keep the sink. That’s a real bonus with a baby. Wait for two years then reassess. You’d save money and you’d get a clearer idea of what would work for your family. The baby will probably only sleep in that room, and spend all of his/her time on the first floor or in the room next to your bedroom. And who knows, Eleanor might want her own suite on the third floor to get away from “the boys” if you have a boy. Good luck.

  41. Sandra March 26, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    1. Move the craft room to the third floor.
    2. Remove the sink in the kitchen (this would be the only construction). Move the living space into the kitchen. I think placing the couch where the sink is and the tv across from it would give a good layout. Use the cabinets for family games storage.
    3. Turn the living space into the nursery.
    4. Down the road when you won’t appreciate a nursery next to the master bedroom anymore, and you’ve saved up some more money reconfigure the 2nd floor to it’s original layout making the kitchen a bedroom (for baby #3) and return your living room to your living room.
    This way you do the least amount of construction and you aren’t backtracking. You’re able to enjoy your house and not feel like it is awkward and in-process. Don’t board up any doors. And you have more time to think about that hallway closet storage loss and how to remedy that with the conversion later on.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      A good plan, though the kitchen doesn’t suit itself well to the family room — even with the sink removed. The layout is awkward.

  42. Dee March 26, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    I see a lot of people suggesting taking out the cabinetry under the window but leaving the cupboards on either side. I think the opposite (kind of). If you took out everything above counter-height, you could have one long storage along that wall for toys, books, games, and baby things. A changing mat could go on one section with supplies. How beautiful that would be!

    Plus you wouldn’t have to worry about changing the floors!

  43. Rachel H. March 26, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    Whatever you decide to do, PLEASE don’t get rid of the wall of cabinetry in the kitchen!!! It adds so much character and can be used for so many different things. It doesn’t look kitchen-like at all to me, and I think it would be a huge mistake to take it out.

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      It looks so kitchen-like to me because it is exactly the same configuration as the cabinetry in the main kitchen!

  44. Melanie A. March 26, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    Just wanted to say that you have THE coolest house. I am so jealous, but I really love seeing what you’re doing with it, and how creative you guys are with using it! Congratulations on the new little one! I am 14 weeks with #4, and stressing a bit on how to fit him/her in our little 3 bedroom! Gonna be sharing, for sure- just have to figure out the right configuration of kids for that. :) Good luck!

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      Congrats to you, and good luck on finding the best configuration!

  45. Jo March 26, 2014 at 11:57 am #

    I’d turn the room off your bedroom into a baby room. And put the family room stuff in the kitchen. You can always reshuffle later. But I’d do the simple option now. Plus, by the time you want to shuffle – maybe one of the kids will really want to move upstairs (that low window makes me nervous though).

    If you do make the kitchen into the baby room – I’d leave those cabinets for clothes/storage. I might leave the sink too – it would be totally convenient to bathe baby in that sink!

    Congrats on the baby too. I predict a boy!

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

      The window makes us nervous up there too. We’d put window guards up (which unfortunately are pretty ugly and look like horizontal bars).

  46. Alison March 26, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    With a baby (and future toddler) who will be napping for at least the next two years (at least let’s hope!), plus possibly going to bed earlier than everyone else, my biggest concern would be people walking through his/her room to get to other parts of the second floor… my own toddler is napping as I type this, in a nearly pitch-black room, and it’s just hard for me to imagine cracking open the door, closing it super quietly behind me, and tip-toeing across the room trying not wake her up.

    So personally, if I had to prioritize, the room configuration would be my big thing. On the flip side I could live with those “built-ins” for a really long time and would actually love a sink in a baby’s room!

    • Making it Lovely March 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      I don’t like the idea of having to go through the baby’s room on a regular basis to access parts of the house because of that.

  47. J.Lee March 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    If I was 6 and mom was having another, I would want the attic space for quiet. I would rock paper scissors all day for it. It could be really fantastic and private, magical haven. Margot Tenenbaum, but happier.

    I had 2 sisters that invaded my space constantly, clothing, tore pages from favorite books to give to dumb boys they liked. We’re wonderfully close but they still drive 4 hours to peruse my wardrobe and rip pages from my magazines 20 years later. Sigh.

  48. Elizabeth March 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    I understand that you like having the family room connected to your bedroom, but it seems like that connection might be the only reason not to put the baby in there for now. So I guess your decision depends on how important that connected space is to you.

    My vote is with those who suggest putting the baby next door to you and moving the family room to the kitchen. That way your only construction is taking out the sink, and you get to keep all the storage (which would be excessive in a nursery, but really useful in a family room), saving $$$ on the floors. The craft space goes upstairs, and everyone sleeps AND hangs out on one floor for now. And the now-kitchen, with its multiple doors, might still feel connected/open to the rest of the floor?

    It seems like that would be the least expensive plan, and involve the least work for you RIGHT NOW. Babies don’t stay babies for very long, so pretty soon your family’s needs will change again, and then two kids can share a room or someone (or two) can move up to the 3rd floor, and you can reconfigure the 2nd floor to suit your family’s long-term needs. And we’ll enjoy reading about BOTH phases of change!

  49. Andrea March 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    I have never de-lurked and commented before but I just had to – keep the sink ! What an amazing luxury to have a sink right in your nursery. Perfect for diaper changes and the most convenient, non backbreaking baths! You could put a change table to the left of the sink or use the space under the window – lovely for baby to gaze out.You could easily take some shelves out of the cabinets and put in a pressure mounted rod for hanging those little clothes. Anyway- there’s my 2 cents. And warmest congratulations!

  50. thelady March 26, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    remove the kitchen cabinets (I assume they are not that great) and add a closet/wardrobe wall like this
    http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/03/kids-built-in-wardrobe-closet.html

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