When I considered having a baby, I knew it would involve many personal sacrifices. Losing my walk-in closet, however, felt like the biggest. The upside was that I always enjoy a good home design project, and I was excited to take on the challenge of designing my son's nursery.

One of the classic layouts of a Brooklyn brownstone includes a small room situated over the entry of the parlor floor. In New York, this is a bonafide room, but measuring at only 6 feet by 8 feet, this is a walk in closet in the rest of the country. Before having a baby, our apartment was huge by NY standards - huge enough to turn this "second bedroom" into my walk-in closet. Now it was time to transform this room where my clothing, handbags, jewelry, scarves, shoes had provided me with years of great dress up opportunities. In hindsight, it was not such a huge loss since as a new mom spending more than 5 minutes getting dressed is not an option. In exchange, my little boy has a special place to sleep, play and show his friends.


This is how we did it:


We needed a place for all the contents from the walk-in closet. We loved the PAX designs from IKEA and I ordered pulls from Anthropologie to make them look less generic. My wardrobe was very happy in its new home.

Step Two: PAINT

I was inspired by a photo on my friend Mieke’s Instagram. It was from a home decor photoshoot in France. The blue color in the interior was very regal and made me think of Marie Antoinette - perfect for my little boy's room, ha! I found the perfect match in Benjamin Moore paints : Nantucket Fog. For the trim, I chose White Dove.

Step Three: ACCENT

With such a serious wall color for a baby boy's room, I chose a funky orange to offset the blue. The polka dot rug from IKEA gave it the fun pop every child's room needs.


In such a small room, an open concept closet/ storage system will not congest the space. It does mean everything is on display (see decor below) but this can be a good thing. Within this area, I used a chest of drawers as the changing table. The round crib is also a great space saver in a small room--aside from looking really good.

Step Five: DECOR

Many children's toys and books and clothes are too cute to hide. So instead of storing it all away, I let it serve double duty as room decor. This also makes it easier to see what we have to play with. This open shelving system serves as a nice display.

Step Six: COZY

Lastly I made it cozy with treasures like sentimental gifts, souvenirs from travels, plants from friends, a New Orleans map blanket, throw pillows for sitting on the floor, and a white noise machine.

Voila - Now we have a nursery!

Really, once it was completed, I wanted to sleep in there as it was now the best room in the house. It is now a bonafide room (albeit a tiny one).

*Always remember that baby's room should have proper ventilation! If you have any questions about your baby's safety, ask your doctor.

Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:

Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

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