How to Design a Baby Nursery for Less

Prepare a Room for a Newborn

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Most new parents spend way too much money on everything. They think that only the best (and most expensive) is good enough for their baby. When it comes to safety, this is probably true; but for everything else, an experienced parent knows that their infant doesn’t know the difference and they’re only going to throw up on it in the long run.

So when it comes to setting up the nursery, don’t think you have to drop a fortune on top-of-the-line furniture and a professional decorator. Instead, cut back on your design budget and save your money for the best stroller and the safest car seat (items that you need to be sturdy and secure). Here are just a few ways to get a gorgeous nursery for a lot less than you planned.

1. Paint

You can actually save a lot of money in this area, but not if you want to go green (and you should). Most paint will run you about $25-35 per gallon. If you spend about $10 more, you can get Sherwin-Williams Duration paint instead. It has low-VOCs (volatile organic compounds), meaning less air pollution, and low odor (so you won’t have to avoid the room for several days or risk a headache).

In addition, it is actually less expensive than their no-VOC paint (the Harmony line, which has a limited palette and poor coverage), comes in dozens of colors, and reviewers claim it can cover with one coat. Considering what you would spend for primer and a couple coats of regular paint, you might actually end up saving money.

2. Flooring

You may not need to install new flooring, but if you do there are a couple of ways to save. Carpeting is always pretty cheap, but it can trap dust and allergens that could be harmful to your baby’s developing respiratory system. Instead, consider reclaimed hardwood flooring, which will give you a beautiful and easy-to-clean surface for a fraction of the cost of new. Plus, it comes with the patina of age. Laminates are another good option.

3. Furniture

This is another area where you can really cut the budget if you’re just willing to give up on the idea of new stuff. Take a look on Craig’s List; you’ll be surprised by the number of people selling or giving away kids bedroom furniture, from cribs and bassinets to changing tables to entire sets (that are practically unused). Of course, you’ll have to shop around to find the right pieces for your space, but this is a great way to get your furnishing for a lot less.

4. Bedding

Unfortunately, you probably shouldn’t go second-hand when it comes to mattresses, pads, and so on. It’s not fun to think about, but just like adult mattresses, all kinds of stuff builds up over time (dust mites, oils from skin, allergens, and so on). So spring for new in this arena. But to save a bit on retail cost, just cover the bases: wait for sales, search online for coupons, shop online (often less expensive), and join clubs (members or subscribers to newsletters often get special deals that aren’t offered to the public).

5. Linens

DIY is the name of the game when it comes to the finishing touches in the nursery. So haul out the sewing machine and head to the fabric store to get supplies for throw pillows, blankets, curtains, and any other textiles that need to go in the room. You can even get organic fabrics for less than you’d spend on pre-fab items at the store.

Can’t afford to design your baby nursery? Buy baby stuff now, pay later.