“We’re expecting our first child, and we need our spare room to function as a nursery and a guest room. How can we make the most of our space?”

With space at a premium in most modern houses and flats, how you divide up your space, and how you use it, can have an enormous impact on your home life.

If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, transforming it into a nursery may not be an option if you need to use it for other functions as well.

A dual spare bedroom-cum-nursery room requires a bit of careful planning and a lick of paint, but if you get it right, you’ll have the perfect space for visiting grandparents and a snug spot to keep your baby happy, too!

A sophisticated, neutral palette is a wonderful starting point for any bedroom, especially one that needs to cater to different age groups.

1. Neutral territory

A sophisticated, neutral palette is a wonderful starting point for any bedroom, especially one that needs to cater to different age groups.

If your spare room is on the small side, decorating it in cool, pale hues like oyster or steel will keep it feeling bright and airy – perfect if you need to fit in a bed and a cot.

For a more cosy, intimate feel, opt for versatile neutrals at the warm end of the spectrum, such as cocoa, chestnut or sandstone.

Which paints?

30YY 50/176
RICH PRALINE 4
10YY 27/060
30YY 22/059

Muted hues will help you create a whimsical scheme that’s both pretty and modern.

2. Pretty in pastel

If you’re dreaming of a traditional-style nursery scheme but still want to create a space where grandpa feels welcome, why not replace the sugary pinks and baby blues with a more grown-up palette?

Think elegant gelato-hued colours, like apricot, plum, lavender and mint. The perfect compromise between sweet and sophisticated, these muted hues will help you create a whimsical scheme that’s both pretty and modern.

Which paints?

ROSE TRELLIS 6
00YY 65/060

Thick vertical stripes by your baby’s cot will look super stylish, particularly in warm neutral or pastel shades.

3. Divide and conquer

If you’re keen to define the different spaces in the room, consider creating a feature wall by the cot or at the head of the bed.

Thick vertical stripes by your baby’s cot will look super stylish, particularly in warm neutral or pastel shades. It’s also a great way to add interest to this part of the room without appearing too babyish for the rest of the scheme.

For a bold, designer-style look in the adult section of the room, create an ombre paint effect on one wall using one of your favourite pastel hues with a stronger shade for a pleasing contrast. Try buttery pale yellow with a tangy lemon shade for a cheerful look.

Which paints?

VANILLA MIST 1
99YR 82/029
60YR 56/049

To avoid the space being overwhelmed with nappies and lotions, choose moveable, stackable storage units that can easily fit underneath the crib or sofa bed.

4. Use your space wisely

If you’re struggling to fit everything in, it may be time to rethink your furniture. If you already have a double bed, it may be a good idea to replace it with a futon or sofa bed that can double as a place to sit and feed your baby.

Babies may be small but they come with a lot of stuff that needs to be stored within arm’s reach. To avoid the space being overwhelmed with nappies and lotions, choose moveable, stackable storage units that can easily fit underneath the crib or sofa bed.

A curtain suspended from the ceiling that draws around the crib is an easy way to create a makeshift “room” and give both baby and your guest a little privacy.

5. Curtain off

A curtain that draws around the crib, or a fold-away screen, is an easy way to create a makeshift “room”, and introduce the illusion of separate spaces.

Top tip

Decorate a neutral scheme with some easy-care pot plants and some framed photographs. A wall of family portraits is a great way to personalise the room and can be added to with new images to chart your baby’s growth.

Featured colours