How to do up Small Spaces in your Home


It seems extravagant to buy three cots in succession, one for the newborn baby, one for the toddler and yet another when a real bed is needed. It can be very tempting, especially with a first baby, to spend money on pretty rib boned and frilled baby cradles and baskets but such cots last for three months at most and a baby should not sleep in a cot too small for it. A tiny baby can sleep in a cheap cradle or basket; if you have to budget, it is better to spend money on a sturdy cot with bars for the toddler stage, which lasts for about two years. Thereafter a full-size bed or bunk will probably be the last expensive bed you will need to buy.

An answer to the first cot can be to buy a travel cot. There are several good designs available which are flame-retardant, easy to erect and dismantle, but which won’t fold up while the baby is asleep. (Some will, so test carefully before you buy.) Many travel cots are simple and attractive, and will last the baby until the age of six months or more. Once outgrown, it will take up little storage space until the next baby comes along. A travel cot is also invaluable on holiday, with the advantage that the baby is already accustomed to it and will not be upset by having to sleep in a strange bed.

Small Spaces in your Home

When it comes to the second stage, at around six months, and especially in homes where storage space is limited, it may be sensible to buy a cot which can later be converted into a bed. Several shops sell modular systems designed so that items of furniture can be built up next to or on top of one another, to cope with the needs of children as they grow and also to fit the capacity of the room. You don’t have to buy the units all at once but can add them on as the child grows older. Such a system might include a low bed (with drawers underneath to hold toys or clothes); cupboards, chests-of-drawers and shelves. Many modular systems have a choice of painted or natural finishes.

This kind of system is useful when you are trying to fit furniture round existing radiators and doors. For example, you could place a narrow chest-of-drawers on either side of a radiator, with a wide shelf/worktop placed over it. This would provide plenty of storage and workspace, and would also direct the heat from the radiator into the room, keeping the child warm when he or she was seated at the desk (always a chilly occupation). As well as the conventional cupboard, shelf and drawer units, many modules include double-height and double-width units, desk units and accessories such as hanging racks, hooks and mirrors. It should be possible to work out an ideal combination for any particular situation.

Modular systems are normally bought as kits to assemble at home and should come complete with screws, handles and instructions. Whether you buy them in a shop or receive them by mail order, the first thing to do is check that all the pieces specified are actually there, as well as the instructions.

Small Spaces in your Home

When they were first introduced, bunk beds were the ideal way to allow each child their own bed in a small home. Nowadays bunks can also be a way of using space efficiently by giving a child more room for playing, homework, clothes, etc. In their most basic form, bunks can be a couple of solid chests-of-drawers with a bed base laid across them and a mattress, plus, of course, a guard rail and a simple ladder, but there are now many variations on this simple idea. Some supply room underneath the bunk to use as play space, storage space for toys or hanging space for clothes. Make sure that all bunks have safety rails and that they are solid and secure. Some double bunks are designed with the option of being used as twin beds.

If space is desperately cramped, folding foam beds can be used for older children but they are never satisfactory for long-term use. It requires effort and discipline to unfold and make up a bed every time it is needed, something which is fine on holiday or short visits but becomes very tiresome as a daily routine. When buying any foam furniture, make sure it conforms to safety regulations and is covered in fire-retardant fabric. Foam is highly poisonous if it catches fire.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance

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About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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