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Decorating a Nursery on a Budget

There are a lot of things to consider when decorating your baby's room. The budget you are willing to spend on the nursery is a big factor. Items for decorating a nursery can get costly, but it doesn't have to be that way. When thinking about how to decorate a nursery, no matter what budget you have, it is important to think of an overall color scheme (all one color, two coordinating colors, two coordinating colors and one accent color, etc).

There are four main categories that all nurseries should have:

  1. Lighting
  2. Furniture
  3. Wall coverings
  4. Flooring

There are low cost solutions for each of these four categories.


Lighting- every room needs light. In our "mommy research," we found that mothers (and occasionally fathers, too!) really like to use a low wattage lamp for nightly feedings. The normal ceiling light seemed to be too bright and woke up the baby and/or mother more than necessary. A simple night light wasn't bright enough to let the parent see around the room, so a dim lamp was the perfect solution.

Some mommies even left the lamp light on all night so the baby would not be too startled when turning it on for feeding times. This also meant that mommy wouldn't need to turn it on when entering the room.

You can get very creative with the lamp that you choose for the nursery. Please, make sure that it meets all codes and is safe before using it in your home. You can find old lamps at almost any garage sale or thrift shop, but usually they are very dated and do not look very "baby-like." While spray paint and a new lamp shade is an option if you choose to purchase an "outdated find," you might like the comfort of buying a new lamp altogether.

When purchasing alamp, you should pay attention to the base of the stand. Make sure that it is sturdy and will not easily tip over. The color of the base is also important. If it is neutral, you can change the lampshade without having to worry about matching the stand. You can also make a gender specific shade for one child, and if you have another child that is a different gender, you can just change the shade.

Other lighting features, besides the lamp that we consider a necessity in a child's room, can include a mobile, a ceiling light, wall sconces, and even a chandelier. The possibilities are endless.

Window coverings also fall under the lighting category. They should be thick enough that they will keep out most of the light when necessary. This will probably help the baby sleep longer in the mornings, especially if the window faces East. You can use window blinds, or curtains, or both. If you are using curtains, you can get a really decorative rod, or just get a simple curtain rod. You can use two layers- a layer made from thick material to keep out light, and a layer on top for decorative purposes.

One of our favorite ways to make curtains is to take a somewhat sheer piece of cloth and appliqué shapes from fun fabrics onto the top of the cloth. The shapes can be stars, sail boats, stars, hearts, flowers, etc. The simpler the shape, the easier it will be to appliqué. We use a thicker fabric underneath the sheer to keep out the light.

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