How to Combine a Home Office With a Nursery

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

How to Combine a Home Office With a Nursery

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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    The one thing your family needs to practice gratitude

    And a tradition you'll want to keep for years.

    Gracious Gobbler

    I think I can speak for well, basically everyone on planet earth when I say things have been a bit stressful lately. Juggling virtual school, work and the weight of worry about all the things, it's increasingly difficult to take even a moment to be grateful and positive these days. It's far easier to fall into a grump cycle, nagging my kids for all the things they didn't do (after being asked nine times), snapping at their bickering and never really acknowledging the good stuff.

    But the truth is, gratitude and appreciation is the kind of medicine we need now more than ever—and not just because the season is upon us. For one thing, practicing gratitude is a scientifically proven way to boost our happiness, health and relationships. More importantly, we need to ensure we're cultivating it in our children even when things are challenging. Especially when things are challenging.

    I'm ready to crank the thankfulness up a few dozen notches and reboot our family's gratitude game so we can usher out 2020 on a fresh note. So, I've called in some reinforcements.

    Enter: the Gracious Gobbler.

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    So, what's new this week?

    Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

    Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

    WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

    WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

    Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

    Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

    Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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