Closet Nursery! Mr. Powers Evicted, Demolition Begins

When Baby Powers was still a hypothetical possibility, I came up with the crazy idea to house her in one of our two master closets for the better part of her first year. We have TWO huge walk-in master closets – Mr. Powers’s is in a quiet corner of our bedroom, and mine is off our master bath. While we’ve grown accustomed to the excess personal space and sartorial autonomy (in my case, the freedom to pile dirty clothes right next to the hamper without guilt), it’s not even close to necessary.

Meanwhile, while our house technically has four bedrooms, the fourth is a downstairs office, far from the rest of us and not suitable for a child’s bedroom for a number of reasons (even if I were willing to give up the office space). So that leaves two kid bedrooms upstairs and, now no longer hypothetically, a third kid on the way. Girl Powers and Boy Powers will make great roommates, I think – but I’m hesitant to pull the trigger on bunk beds quite yet. Boy Powers is a rotten sleeper, even at two, and with all the adjustments of a new baby and transitioning out of a crib, I imagine sleep getting worse before it gets better. Selfishly, I’d rather not deal with all this while in my third trimester or while nursing a newborn.

All this to say: the kids’ rooms will stay as is until next summer or so (including Boy Powers in the crib until he’s three, which seems insane because Girl Powers was in a bed at 21 months, but I keep hearing that people do this and that as long as he’s not launching himself out and endangering himself in the process, that this is acceptable). By this time next year, Baby will be 6-9 months, Boy Powers will be three and Girl Powers five. In the interim, Baby gets a Closet Nursery in our bedroom, and Mr. Powers gets booted from his closet into mine.

Here is his official Eviction Notice, taped to the closet door on the day I found out I was pregnant:

There’s something that feels like reality TV about being challenged to turn a closet into a baby’s room. Like on Top Chef when they are blindfolded and have to cook with mystery ingredients while the clock ticks. It’s temporary, yes, but I also want it to look like a real (mini) nursery, and not a depressing hovel. To Pinterest I turned for closet nursery ideas (it’s a whole niche, I tell you), color schemes, and tips for refinishing an old dresser (which is currently in the closet and will most likely stay).

The decorating is a way off still, but the demolition began last weekend! We removed one wall of closet shelving to make room for the bassinet (or later, the pack n play) and are leaving the other two to remain as storage.

Here are a few before pictures:

This is the wall we dismantled, after it was cleaned out:

And some of the demo in process:

And here’s the empty wall post-demolition. We’ll sand and paint it – hopefully a color that is both baby-girl friendly and also transitionable back to a manly man cave of a closet next year. A trendy gray, methinks?

Believe it or not, all of this closet talk has a point. Last week on Scottsdale Moms Blog I wrote about my pregnancy resolutions – the things I want to be more intentional about on this last ride on the 40-week roller coaster. One of those resolutions was to write stuff down – boring stuff, deep thoughts, depressing statistics like the fact that Baby Center has the audacity to email me and say I have probably gained about 10 pounds and in reality it’s almost DOUBLE THAT (see? writing stuff down! confessing to the internet my many varied pregnancy sins!).

So in keeping with the desire to document my last pregnancy, I thought a little DIY closet makeover series was appropriate for this here blog. As we continue to turn hovel into haven I’ll post photos and updates throughout the process. While this is hilarious to me for the simple reason that we are the LEAST DIY-inclined family on the planet, it will at least serve as some external accountability for the project (translation: I’m more likely to actually decorate and organize the closet if the internet is watching), AND someday when Baby Powers tells the world that her parents put her in a closet as a baby, I’ll have PROOF that it was much less Harry Potter and much more¬†une petite chambre.

(Because when in doubt, say it in French and it sounds so much less tacky.)

Have you created any non-traditional baby spaces you’d like to share? Any baby-in-a-closet experience or advice?


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18 Responses to Closet Nursery! Mr. Powers Evicted, Demolition Begins

  1. Briney September 6, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Love love love :) — That is all I have to say! You continue to amaze me!

    • Sarah September 6, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Thank you! I’m dying to know – how will #4 change your kids’ sleeping arrangements???

  2. twonineteentrain September 6, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Well, I can’t help but think of that famous line uttered by Jerry Orbach: “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Apparently the Powers do! Also, “Baby Powers” doesn’t have much shelf life as far as a blog nickname … a year or two max. You’ll have to do better than that :-)

    I’m sure Mr. Powers will manage this small eviction inconvenience. Like many Dads, it’s the first step to discovering that, inside the family regime, the only acceptable place for most of his personal items, interests and pastimes is in the garage next to the beer fridge.

    Finally, good luck on finding a color that can transition back to manly closet mode. It might be easier just to plan to repaint before you put the closet hardware back up after the new tenant vacates.

    • Sarah September 6, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      I know that Baby Powers has a shelf life…but so does my attention span with regard to this blog. Probably by then I’ll have quit (again) or changed their aliases, or something. :) I’m banking on my own fickle nature.

      As for Mr. Powers, he is a very good sport. It remains to be seen how accepting *I* will be of a new closet roommate.

      How about YOU come re-paint the closet when Baby moves out?? ;)

  3. Deborah Cullen September 6, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Elise was tossed in a closet for a while. She would have to tell you if there are any permanent scars. I personally love the idea of a little alcoba for your little one.

    Enviado desde mi iPhone

    El Sep 6, 2012, a las 8:14 AM, Powers of Mine escribió:

    > >

    • Sarah September 6, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      “Alcoba” – I love it! And I think Elise turned out PERFECT. This idea is getting better all the time! :)

  4. Courtney September 6, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    I love it! My friends did a cherry blossom and mint themed closet with all vintage furniture (mini crib style bassinet & dresser). It was adorable! I’m so excited to see what you guys do! We are keeping Lucy in a crib for at least another several months. I think it is safer to keep adventurers contained as long as possible. That being said, the bunk bed arrives next week. I’m nervous, but I think we are ready. The bottom will be a reading nook until Lu is ready for the big move. Our one pinterest project so far has been an ombre dresser. I see more in our future.

    • Sarah September 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      I LOVED your ombre bookshelf – saw it on Instagram! Amazing!! I think R would do OK in a big kid bed soon(ish) but I don’t really want to go through all this twice and I don’t think they are ready to SHARE quite yet. That’s a great idea to get the bunk bed first and have the bottom be a “nook” until the transition. I should totally do that and start shopping around now. Hmmmm…

  5. Kirsten September 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    This is fabulous!! I LOVE that you told your husband you were pregnant with an eviction notice. BTW- as someone involved in a never-ending debate over how many rooms we really need for 3 kids, who can share, etc, I think you stumbled on to a genius idea! Can’t wait to see the end result. No doubt it will be pinterest worthy indeed!

    • Sarah September 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Thanks! The eviction notice was part of one of my other resolutions – to do all those cutesy things that other people do to announce/reveal their pregnancies. We’ll see how the room-sharing actually goes – I’m definitely putting it off a year and very happy to be doing so. :)

  6. Lisa September 7, 2012 at 8:16 am #

    Somewhere in the past I read that children do better when they sleep with a sibling(s). Intuitively I know it to be true as well. In their shared cloister they will talk and giggle and sing and fight, and they will find comfort knowing the other is there with them to battle the imaginary “thing” under the bed or in the closet. And most importantly they will sleep – better and deeper – with the security of knowing they aren’t alone. Lucky little Boy and Girl Powers!!!

    • Sarah September 7, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

      They will have so much fun, I know. :)

  7. Kristen @ Motherese September 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    I love your project, especially as a person who once had a home office in a walk-in closet. I’m all for re-purposing!

    My boys share a room and have since my younger son was 5 or 6 months old. (Until then, he was in our room, in a bassinet next to the bed.) And, pssst, the little guy turned 3 in April and is still in a crib. We keep talking about getting him a bed, but it’s become one of those “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” situations.

    Can’t wait for the next installment!

    • Sarah September 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      I love hearing all the success stories about closet babies and room sharing! And very reassuring that your 3yo is still in the crib – I know lots of people do it, it just feels strange because our first got the boot to a big bed before she was two (to make room for little brother). It is exciting for us, too – a little bite-sized project just the size we can (hopefully) handle! :)

  8. Heather October 1, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    This is such an awesome idea! I love it, and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Also, your eviction notice is hilarious. (“I’m the size of a poppyseed. Whatup.”)

    • Sarah October 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      Thanks! We need to get back in there and start doing some more closet renovations otherwise she’ll be sleeping in a hovel for sure. :)


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