How do you decorate a nursery on a budget?

Question
I’m pregnant and due in a couple of months. We’d like to decorate the nursery but we are on a tight budget. Do you have any suggestions on how we can decorate the room on a budget, while still making it look nice?

 
Answer
I would suggest before buying items for your nursery that you ask mothers who, from experience, know what is essential and what is just excess. I know from my own experience, that some items were never needed, and in fact never came out the box. The same goes for decorating the nursery. It is so tempting to go over budget as you want your precious new baby to have the best that you can offer. However, babies grow and change so quickly and what was age appropriate for them one day is not the next. So, when doing up the nursery I would not spend on the details or give the nursery a theme. Focus on the fact that this will be your child's bedroom for potentially years to come. Invest in good quality larger pieces that will last. A baby compactum (changing table) is seen as one of those essential items. However, this item has a relatively short usage and before you know it your baby will outgrow it and you'll have to replace it. Another good idea is to find a cot that can convert into a bed at a later stage when needed. Rather buy a good quality chest of drawers that you can paint in a neutral colour. While the baby is small it can be used as a change table and once the baby has outgrown this, it can remain in the room as a chest of drawers. We feel the pressure today to rush out and buy matching compactum, cot and crib etc. As an expecting parent you are an easy target as you are high on emotion and are about to embark on a whole new experience, one that you can never really prepare for. Try and remember that the baby stage is so fleeting and turns into a little person in no time! You also won’t have the time to redo the nursery for every age stage. So keep the shell of the nursery fairly neutral. If you know that you are expecting a girl for example you can make it more feminine, or colour appropriate for a boy. Avoid going into full theme mode because even if the child does not grow out of it, you might! You also do not want to buy all your accessories along gender lines in the event you have a second child. For example, princess themed linen will not work if your second child is a boy! When shopping for the nursery, don't limit yourself to baby stores with exorbitant prices. Websites such as Gumtree have a lot to offer because parents are keen to sell or give items away as their children outgrow them. You can find barely used and even unused items on these types of websites. Above all, choose quality items. Rather spend your money on a few good pieces than trying to source the cheapest options that you will probably have to replace over time. Good quality pieces speak for themselves and can be kept very simple. A beautiful armchair, for example, can be used as a feeding chair but will not be limited to this further down the line. It is unnecessary to get a specific feeding rocker chair. Once again think of your nursery as a standard room to furnish and not necessarily a room for a baby. Overall you want your nursery to have a calm nurturing environment, so choose comfort, quality and subtle pieces which can be layered as time goes by and as you become more familiar with you and your baby's needs.  
 
Expert
Giselle Wason
Interior Designer/ Co-Owner
Dominico House

Telephone
021 487 9162

Email
gigi@dominico.co.za

Web
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