The ABCs of Budget Decorating in the Nursery

One of the first things you start to plan when having a baby is the nursery.  You get to buy all that fun furniture and go all out on a nursery theme, spending thousands of dollars on a room that will only be used for the first two or three years.  The last thing you need to do when expecting is to overspend on a nursery, start socking away money for the college fund instead.

Decorating a nursery on a budget is as easy as ABC:

  • Start with a pale color on the walls – do the pink or blue thing if you really want to and you know what you’re having, but if you don’t,  use pale greens or yellows.   
  • Start the decorating process with a peel and stick wallpaper border with several colors in the palette of your choice.
  • Put the border at the ceiling level if there is no crown molding, and another border three  feet from the floor as an accent.  Using the colors from the border,  start shopping for all the fun stuff, crib bedding, throw pillows, lamps and shades and cute accessories.  Don't forget that some of these items can be gifts from a baby shower, and you can always specify your needs on baby registries.
  • Take an old dresser, either one from another room or pick up one from a second hand shop.  Paint and  stencil to match the border paper.  You can also decoupage with cut outs from the border paper, hand painted designs or even easier, use removable wall decals – you won’t believe the variety available for children’s rooms and nurseries.
  • A rocking chair is a must-have for the nursery.  They’re not difficult to find at yard sales or consignment shops, it doesn’t have to match, it can be painted.   Buy pillows and a seat cushion for the rocker to complement the wall color and border. 
  • One item where you don’t want to skimp is the crib. A safe, quality crib is a necessity. If you must purchase a used crib – make sure you do an internet search to ensure that it has never been recalled for safety issues and inspect it thoroughly.  Your choice of a crib is purely up to you, it’s a matter of taste.  If you already have a good crib and it happens to be oak, your coordinating furniture doesn't have to be oak as well. Mix and match is "in", and if you like white for a rocker, go for it!
  • Use plain white fitted crib sheets as you'll probably be mixing and matching anyway.  Better to toss a plain white sheet that won't come clean, than having to throw away part of your matching crib ensemble!
  • Now add inexpensive framed posters of colorful animals, hot air balloons, cute teddy bears, and you have wall decor that stimulates your baby's brain.
  • Add quality rugs or carpet for soft floors - hardwood floors are quite unforgiving in case of accidents.

With accessories of useful items, baby books, nightlights and items that can transition to the next stage of your baby's room, you can design and furnish a nursery without breaking the piggy bank.