Bringing up Babies

How to carve out a small, stylish space suitable for a new baby, grandbaby, or two babies!

  • Photo by Craig Bares
    Sleek gray cribs are a modern neutral. $399 each,
  • Photo by Craig Bares
    A sturdy bar cart (on locked wheels) makes a great changing table. $129,
  • Photo by Craig Bares
    Swap the glider for a reading chair that slides into a small nook. $395,
  • Photo by Craig Bares
    Benjamin Moore’s Simply White in a flat finish perked up the natural light on the walls.

0312-Kate_200-(1).jpgWhen editor and new mom Kate Rogers first got word she was having twin boys, she cried, laughed, and quickly called in help from her childhood friend-turned-designer Siri Knutson. With little space to lend in her Linden Hills bungalow, Rogers wanted to turn a tiny alcove at the top of the stairs near their master bedroom into a nursery. Knutson, a young mother who happens to be expecting again and is a self-described minimalist, was totally on board.

“We knew we were working with a temporary space here, eventually we plan to make this a home office for Kate or a very deserved dressing room for the only woman in a home full of boys,” Knutson says.

To create a clean, light, airy space they removed the carpet and discovered wide-plank pine floors, which Knutson treated with a durable, glossy porch paint. Since there are very few windows upstairs she stuck to soft, white paint in a flat finish, as “it does a beautiful job of diffusing and amplifyng the natural light throughout the day.” For when the babes are asleep she hung thick, rustic, bisque-colored drapes off industrial-grade hospital tracks, which also serve as a sound barrier.

Steering away from bold colors, Knutson stuck to neutral creams and grays, relying on texture to give the space depth. She repurposed furniture rather than buying a glider or changing table and layered in fur pelts, chunky throws, vintage lighting, and artwork, including her own gold leaf paintings. Together it feels calm and interesting for both adults and babies.

“Especially with baby and kid rooms, there is a big push to have a lot of fun, wild, eye-popping things in the space,” Knutson says. “Only choose the essentials and you’ll not only save money and spend less time dusting, but the space will feel smart and inviting.”

“Rich, varied texture can speak louder and more eloquently than the boldest in colors and pattern.”-Siri Knutson