Nursery Design: Small Spaces

In celebration of their giggle collab, Sissy + Marley’s founders share 5 tips for maximizing your urban baby space.

Nursery Design: Small Spaces

If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest oggling nurseries, there’s a good chance you’ve pinned more than a few of Sissy + Marley’s creations. With their impeccable taste and urban sensability, this mother-daughter trio of children’s interior designers -- Diana Rice, Chelsea Reale and Rachel Geisler -- are a city mom’s dream.

So it was only a matter of time before the baby experts at giggle collaborated with Sissy + Marley to add custom design services to its smartly curated offerings for nursery. Throw in Sissy + Marley for Jill Malek wallpaper--a new category for giggle--and, well, we’re heading home to make a baby, stat.


We recently stopped by the Soho giggle store to check out Sissy + Marley’s sophisticated and whimsical (and totally shoppable!) nursery replica, and chatted with Chelsea about creating drool-worthy spaces for NYC’s most stylish parents. Get a glimpse of the collab below (or in the Soho or Upper East Side giggle stores), then read on for Sissy + Marley’s 5 best tips for small space nurseries.

Why are Sissy + Marley and giggle such a great fit for a collaboration?

We are both passionate about good nursery design and being in the business of making magic happen for expectant parents.

How does NYC influence your design and aesthetic?

Our aesthetic is modern and functional while still achieving a dreamy space that oozes character, much like the city we live in.

How do you balance utility and decor when you are creating a nursery space?

Having kids of our own helps us to see design through their eyes, what excites them and what works in reality. In the end it has to look good, feel good and make sense functionally.

What are some of your absolute fave pieces for urban (i.e. small) baby spaces?

Working in NYC, we have the challenge of designing many small spaces. We look for pieces that are practical and functional with a petite footprint. Our go-to pieces for micro spaces are: Monte Joya or Eames Rocker, Stokke Sleepi Crib, Oeuf dresser/changers and Sheepskin rugs. Every small space needs some gorgeous accessories to make it feel special.

What’s your best tips for nursery design in small spaces?

  1. Less is more. Trying to squeeze to many pieces in a tight space leaves little room for your growing child to play and makes the space feel smaller.
  2. Clear the clutter. Good storage is key to any kids space. A place for everything makes clean up quick and easy.
  3. Size is key. Choosing pieces with a small foot print is key to fitting in the necessary pieces.
  4. Keep it light. You can never go wrong with white walls especially in small spaces.
  5. Make it special. Filling the room with gorgeous goodies makes any space (big or small) feel special. It's all in the details.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

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

Keep reading Show less

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play