Designing a nursery can be so fun, but it can also cause you to rack up some pretty big bills. Baby supplies in general, and especially nursery furnishings are not cheap. When I was pregnant with Maddox, we were still living in our townhouse. He had a super tiny room we were trying to make into a Pinterest worthy nursery and a budget almost as small as the room. We made it happen through shopping sales, repurposing furniture, and a little DIY. You can read about the whole process here. This time around we were also hoping to stay within a small budget for designing our baby girl’s nursery. We moved into a new house so we have more space to work with, but with adding a second kid into our budget we were hoping to still save on the decor.
The first thing we decided on was reusing the furniture from Maddox’s nursery. He had graduated to a big boy bed so no longer needed the crib. We also were ready to move the glider out of his room so he could have more space to play. Both of these we are utilizing in the nursery now. We also assessed the house for other things we could repurpose. We have a refinished long white dresser that used to be a TV stand in our old living room. This is now her dresser/changing table. We had some white shelves that we used for storage in our old basement. We moved two into her room/closet for extra storage. We also had a large piece of art in our old living room that didn’t really have a home since we moved. The color scheme is pink, gray, and gold which actually was perfect for our nursery design. We were really leaning into the pink theme and the gray from the art really tied in the colors of the glider and crib from Maddox’s old nursery.
At this point I felt pretty good that we had the base items covered. I made a list of the additional items we wanted and then waited for sales. My company offers a discount at RugsUSA so we were able to get the rug we wanted for a reasonable price. We found a lamp we loved on clearance at HomeSense for $25. I waited for some sales at Target to pick up this Studio McGee mirror and shelves (they were only $20 each!). Amazon was my go to for picture frames, curtain rods, curtains, and storage baskets. We were also lucky enough to have most of her linens gifted to us which was really helpful. What I would categorize as the “unnecessary” or “cherry on top” items were the Barefoot Dreams blanket, the art prints, and the ceiling light. One of my best friends gifted us the Barefoot Dreams blanket (she also gifted me my very first one, so kind of a tradition I guess!). As for the ceiling light, I almost purchased one off of Amazon until my sister (who was decorating my niece’s nursery) clued me in to this steal from Lowe’s. It is about $140 which is a great price compared to some others I was finding (think in the $300+ range). This one is great quality and looks a lot more expensive than it is. One of the last items I decided on were the prints for her wall. For Maddox’s room I found prints off of Etsy and did the whole digital download, print yourself, cut to size thing, which I didn’t mind. This time around I found an Etsy shop with these two prints (1, 2) and just knew they were perfect for the room. I ordered them already printed and it ended up being about $50 total. It was more expensive than the DIY thing, but I was happy to support a woman owned small business. I love that I can tell my daughter that one day when she looks at them.
Overall I am so happy with how the nursery turned out. I don’t feel guilty that we spent too much money. Looking back I’m relieved that I put the money I wanted to spend on an entirely new, stark white Pottery Barn room set in her college fund instead. No shade to anyone who goes for the splurge, it just didn’t feel necessary for us. I think it’s cool that a lot of the pieces in her room have a story about where they came from, just how Maddox’s room does. I am also really shocked at how different the gray glider and crib from Maddox’s nursery look in the new nursery. I was skeptical at first, but seeing how well everything came together definitely made me realize how little decor tweaks can make all the difference.
If you read my post about designing Maddox’s nursery, you are probably already familiar with my tips for finding sales and staying on budget. This time I’m going to leave you with a few new tips after going through this a second time.
Tips for Designing a Budget Friendly Nursery
At the end of the day, no matter what theme you decide on or what budget you are working with your baby will love their nursery. It is a special place that you put love into creating for them. You’ll be spending a lot of time in there with your little one over their first years so the biggest tip I have is make sure it is a place where you feel comfortable, calm, and safe so that your baby can learn to feel that way in their room too!
Putting together Maddox’s nursery was one of our favorite projects leading up to his arrival. Online shopping for the perfect pieces was a welcome distraction during the quarantine and gave Matt and I something to work on together during our many months at home.
A few months ago I shared how we were staying on budget and what we chose to save vs splurge on. You can check that post out here. I got into the specifics around our big pieces of furniture in the room and how we were deciding on what decor details to invest in. I also shared the inspiration behind our safari theme and how we planned to bring it to life.
Now that we have put the finishing touches on the nursery I wanted to pick up where we left off from the last post and share the final product.
With the walls and furniture being gray I used accessories to add some texture and pops of color into the space. For bedding we choose this palm print from Spearmint Love. These added a pop of color and complimented the throw pillow that we designed the room around. For storage we have a variety of woven baskets in different sizes that mix up the color and texture. They are great for keeping toys, blankets, and clothes organized in a stylish way. We received a bunch of adorable blankets and stuffed animals that we incorporated throughout the room between the glider and the crib. Being the Disney lovers we are we made sure to collect all of his Disney toys to be waiting for him right in his crib.
The artwork above the crib was something I went back and forth on whether to save or splurge for. I found these prints on Etsy and the frames on Amazon. I got the artwork printed at Staples and in total the six pieces were completed for under $75. That is a total steal considering some of the artwork we were looking at purchasing originally was $75 each!
Above the dresser/changing station I wanted a brass round mirror to compliment the light fixture we chose. It took forever for this one to come back into stock at Target, but after a few months of stalking the website I found it just in time to get hung before Maddox’s arrival. Target was also my go to for the table lamp. Since it sits under the wall shelves the lamp couldn’t be too tall so I found this mini model for only $15 at Target. It adds another wood element and provides just enough light for nighttime feedings.
The hanging shelves were a bit of a splurge from Crate & Barrel so I made up for the extra cost with some great deals on the decor. Most of the decor is repurposed! The succulents were gifts from my sister and I had them in my dining room before rehoming them to the nursery. The wooden animals were from the dollar section at Target and used as decor for my baby shower. I wasn’t planning on reusing them, but once I brought the home I realized how perfect they would look on these shelves. The palms were from the dollar section at Target as well, but from years ago. I was using them for my summer set up in my dining room, but they were just too perfect not to move into the nursery.
I’m so happy that our safari vision came to life in a way that is cute and comfortable. It was so important to me to have Maddox’s first space be welcoming, playful, and something he can grow with.
Recently on Instagram I shared the progress we have made on decorating Baby P’s nursery. In my “Pregnancy” highlight I got into the details on my inspiration for the nursery design along with how we are keeping it budget friendly. Over the past few months I’ve done a lot of research on where we can get the most bang for our buck and quality for our little one.
I wanted to put together some links on where I have found some of our favorite budget friendly items that are still high quality and chic.
Crib + Mattress
After shopping around we decided to go with the Delta Children Essex 4-in-1 convertible crib. We decided on Delta because the brand go great reviews and most of the styles are under $200. They have a variety of different styles so you can pick the perfect model to match your vibe. After research we went with this mattress from Target as well. We went middle of the line with the mattress, some of them can get really pricey which I didn’t think was necessary.
Target has plenty of ways in which you can save. If you have the RedCard you automatically get 5% off and free shipping. They also run a variety of different sales. We got ours when they had a deal for a $40 rebate and 20% off of a crib mattress. The delivery was quick and the set up was easy.
For rugs, RugsUSA is always my go to. I love their moroccan styles and the low price point (they are pretty much always having a sale). We have gotten multiple rugs for our house from RugsUSA and they never disappoint.
We went for this moroccan style one for the nursery. It has a durable weave and is perfect to add some texture and pattern to the room. It even has a little metallic flare woven in.
Lighting was an area where I went back and forth on. I originally wanted to go with a brass floor lamp. The more I looked into it, I decided that a floor lamp was not the best option safety wise. Our nursery doesn’t have a ceiling light already so we are insisting the help of my father in law to install one. That is only one part of the challenge. The other part was finding a light that fit the small space. There is an abundance of adorable chandelier style lighting for nurseries, but finding a flush mount for our small space that was our style was more difficult.
We found the best options from Wayfair and Shades of Light. We ended up going with a white and brass dome light. We also didn’t want to spend a fortune. I would have invested more for a statement chandelier but for a standard flush mount I knew we could find something more cost effective but not blah.
My in laws wanted to gift us our glider which was so amazing and generous of them. I did a ton of research to find one that was comfortable and would fit our small space. I ended up deciding on the Olive Glider from Davinci Baby. After getting it delivered and trying it out I stand strong with my decision. It is incredible comfortable and the back is high enough that I will have full support during long nights of nursing. It is pretty compact but somehow feels like you are sitting in a huge comfy chair. I also love the modern look. The Davinci Baby chairs consistently were rated well and actually were not at the top of the price point scale. I made sure to do my due diligence before deciding on one so that not only could we have a quality piece but I also wasn’t asking my in laws for a huge investment. Since this was a generous gift we were lucky enough to not have to make the investment ourselves but if you are able to do so I highly recommend this one. The more I sit in it to break it in, I realize that is basically going to be my bed for the first part of my baby’s life, so it had better be comfy!
Other Cost Saving Tips
My stepmom is amazing at refinishing furniture so we took advantage of her skills and turning an old dresser into a dresser/changing table to match the crib. If you can find a way to repurpose or paint existing pieces that can be a big cost saver.
We looked throughout our house/decor storage to see what we could repurpose. Since the vibe of the nursery matches well with our whole house vibe, the decor is pretty consistent. I have been able to swap some accessories in other rooms to repurpose decorations and pillows that will look perfect with the nursery.
Where We Splurged
Two things I knew we needed to have from the minute i started designing the nursery was the In the Wild Barefoot Dreams Baby Blanket and this pillow from Clairebella Studio. I explain it on Instagram but I basically designed the whole room around this pillow so it was a much needed splurge. It was around $50 but great quality and brings the room together. The Barefoot dreams blanket isn’t just an aesthetic thing even though it goes great with my jungle vibe. I have a barefoot dreams blanket myself and my life has never been the same. I know it sounds dramatic but I am in love with this blanket. I sleep with it in bed every night and it makes me feel so cozy. I thought about my baby being out of his warm habitat and into the world for the first time and wanted to make sure he had the ultimate cozy blanket to keep him feeling safe and snuggled.
More to Come
We have the essentials down and most of the accessories I have already picked out and am just waiting for a deal. I always really love Target for lamps and mirrors. Amazon had also been one of my go to’s. For items that don’t have to be super high quality and are just used for show, I’ve been getting ideas from Pottery Barn or Crate & Barrel then searching for dupes on Amazon. They have a lot of textured hampers, chic hangers, and little accessories to add some extra depth to the room.
As we continue to add to the nursery I will provide updates, along with any sales I see that are too good to miss. I’ve enjoyed this process so much, not just because I love putting rooms together. I have been so passionate about creating this first space that my baby will get to know in this world. I want him to feel safe and secure while also making it full of cool things for all of his senses to explore. This is truly my favorite project yet.
For those who want to see my original idea, this is my vision board below. I provide more details around the backstory on Instagram.
This year marks our second holiday season in our house! Last year was a whirlwind with our wedding ceremony and planning for our big celebration for the summer. We were super busy and in major budget mode so Christmas festivities and decorating were pushed by the wayside while we hustled through life. This year things have slowed down so we are trying to enjoy every second of the holiday season and make sure our cozy home is just as festive as we are.
While we are amping up our holiday spirit we are also trying to do so on a budget. As much as I love swooning over the huge trees and the extensive displays of Christmas decor on Pinterest, I have to be realistic. We live in a townhouse which is perfect for us but doesn't boast a ton of additional space for 9ft trees and such. The challenge is decorating for a smaller space while on a budget and also looking cute. The perfect trifecta.
I have some tricks up my sleeve that will help you do all three. Now I'm no Martha Stewart so these recommendations are simple and do not require much DIY work. I know there are a ton of DIY hacks for Christmas decor but I do not have time for that. Just being honest.
First things first. Get yourself a tree! And don't spend a fortune.
I know this will shock some of you all but I have never had a real tree in my entire life, I always go artificial. That is just how I grew up. So if you are looking for the real deal just skip this section.
If you are like me and keep it artificial, check out Target. They always have great deals on trees and they are pretty good quality (they also have a TON of options)! We just got our new tree on Black Friday for 40% off from Target. They are still on sale for 30% off now and they have plenty that are under $150 and even under $100.
My top picks are...
You can use these trees year after year if you opt for a classic option or if you want to go trendy (this blush tree is calling my name) the choices are cost friendly enough that if you want to mix it up next year you can.
When it comes to decorating the tree I know there can be mixed opinions. Some people like their tree to be very cohesive and others want every ornament they've ever owned since birth on the tree. I've settled on a fun middle ground that keeps my OCD in check but still has a fun bit of history and personality.
Since my sister and I were born, every year when we were young, Santa would bring us a special ornament that represented us or that we were just really into that year. As we got older we picked these ornaments out for ourselves. Looking back at our ornament collections now is so fun because you can see how we progressed through the years. While I don't want an entire tree that is all childhood memories they are fun to sprinkle throughout the tree each year and always prompt some funny stories while we are putting them up.
I like to start with a neutral set of ornaments that can serve as a base. I feel like the neutral helps to keep things cohesive and then you can add in fun pops whether they are your childhood picks or something funny that you and your hubby are loving this year. Like these disco balls.
These are the basic ornaments I like from Target. They are only $15 per set so you can stock up. They also come in a ton of different colors so you can pick which neutral or base color you want to go with.
When it comes to decorating the rest of the house I have a similar mentality. When we first moved in I invested in some more neutral items that vibe well no matter what kind of Christmas decor theme we choose. These are things like a classic green garland, gold reindeer figurines, and a big fur wrapped present. To me fur and glitter reindeer are neutrals, to you they may be different but you get what I'm saying. Most of these pieces I got from Hobby Lobby when they were having a 40-50% off sale.
This year I decided to add some pops of color and picked up some accents from Target. I love Bullseye's Playground aka that area at the front of the store that has seasonal items from $1 to $5. To be fair I was oblivious that this was called Bullseye's Playground until my mom told me and it all just clicked. (Thanks mom). The selection online isn't that great so I do recommend checked out the in store options. This year I picked up fun dish towels, a table runner, and glittery snow covered faux succulents, all together under $20. Last year I picked up some towels for our powder room, snowflake wine glasses, and coasters, also all for under $20.
These little pieces are a great way to add some trendier cute decorations to your collection without breaking the bank. If they aren't still trendy or relevant next year, you won't feel bad because you didn't invest a ton in them.
I also love using letter boards (like in my first photo!) for funny holiday quotes. I have a blush pink one and a black and white marble one that I rotate based on the season. They also are cute decor between holidays as well. When in doubt a quote from The Office is always relevant.
Another trick I have for updating your decor each your on a budget is using mini ornaments. You can pick them up for only about $3 per set and you can put them in anything from vases to mason jars. They are a super easy way to add a new pop of color (or glitter) into your look.
An area where I don't mind spending a little more money is in the pillow department. In a smaller space these can be a great way to add festive decor into your home. Each year I fall in love with a new collection of holiday pillows but, let's be real, it doesn't make sense to buy five Christmas pillows that will only be out for about 6 weeks to a month. I hack this by investing in some wintery pillows that can be out all season and then accenting them with one or two Christmas specific pillows!
Here are some of my picks for pillows you can enjoy all winter long.
These are the two Christmas pillows I chose for the year! Matt always complains that I don't add enough color into the house so I'm trying to branch out from my go to's. I love that these are a bright and fun take on Christmas colors and the pom poms/tassels are right up my alley.
Similar to pillow, wreathes aren't cheap! As much as I love a big Christmas wreath, this year I opted for one that definitely has Christmas vibes but is holiday neutral enough to remain on the door all through winter.
This one is also on sale right now which is even better!
My last piece of decor (for now, at least) that I picked up this year is this adorable garland! Our Christmas tree is in our dining room (small space probs) and while we can still see it from our living room it isn't front and center. I'm hanging this garland under our TV to add some more festive vibes to the space we are in most. For only $15 I think it is a steal and it can be repurposed in different areas of the house next year.
Last but not least, the stocking situation. We don't have a fireplace in our home so that means no mantle to hang our stockings. We also are so extra in the dog parent department so we have stockings for them as well. It took me a while to find a cute place that we could display our stockings that didn't make them seem out of place.
Finally I had an epiphany and used command hooks to hang them down our railing. It allows them to be on display and you can decorate the railing with a traditional garland or something different and fun each year. After the holidays are over you can remove the hooks with no damage done! If you don't have a railing these obviously also work in other areas of the house so find a cute place where you can create your own stocking display.
Make sure to follow along on Instagram (@crohnicallyblonde) as I continue to share our home as we decorate for the holidays! I hope my tips and tricks were helpful in making your home a cozy and festive place to enjoy with your family this holiday season.
Mental health advocate.
Sharing my raw and real journey through motherhood and navigating Crohn’s Disease. CrohnicallyBlonde is a place where I serve up my unfiltered commentary on chronic illness, mental health, pregnancy, and motherhood alongside lighter lifestyle content like beauty product reviews, travel tips, and book recommendations. My hope is that by authentically sharing my story I can help others going through similar situations not feel so alone and maybe even laugh along with me.