High Design at a Budget Price

This is my daughter’s nursery. It’s a dream, isn’t it? I can say that without sounding prideful because I had very little to do with the brilliance that is this room. If I could take credit for this work of art, I would but I’d never get away with it because the person who designed it is my blogging partner. Wendy’s good ya’ll, in case you haven’t noticed!

Million dollar nursery

The Design Concept

If you can’t tell, I adore this room. I wish I were a baby so I could have this be my room! Wendy and I began discussing this room long before my daughter Selah was born. I wanted a princess theme, but not “cartoon princess” or “Disney princess”. Selah, being the ever-stylish pre-born baby that she was, needed “sophisticated princess.”

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Wendy based the design around crown canopy with lace and the vinyl print quote on the wall:

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And there you have it! A princess room fit for a queen! We decided on white and gray neutrals as the base colors and pale pinks and greens as the accents. The metallic elements are all matte finish and blend perfectly with the shabby chic design of the furniture.

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The Budget

I had very little money to put into this nursery. Selah was the 2nd baby in an 8 month period (Now that’s a long story that you can read more about here) and we were up to our ears in medical bills at this point. But there was one thing that kept this nursery budget to under $300. You heard that right. I spent less than $300 thanks to one word: secondhand. Absolute nothing, with the exception of a few small accessories, was purchased new by me. This nursery is constructed out of shower gifts, hand-me-downs, and online buy/sell/trade sites.

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The crib, dresser, and end table came from a close family at church. The rocking armchair came from another sweet family at church. The mattress was donated by another church friend. The bedding was a shower gift. Most of the wall hangings and decor were also shower gifts. And the crown and lace were from the brilliant blogger/designer herself, Wendy Evans!

The secondhand nature of my daughter’s nursery is one of my favorite elements. When I pick her up out of that crib, I think about the loving family who gave it to us. During those late night feedings in that plush armchair, I say a little prayer for the sweet mama who passed it onto me so that I could appreciate it as much as she did when she fed her girls. There are names associated with almost every element in her room and I feel that love every time I walk in the door. My daughter feels that love when she falls asleep. That is something you can’t put a price tag on!

Tips on How to Construct a High Design/Low-Cost Nursery

1. Don’t be afraid of DIY projects

The crib, dresser, and end table came to us in their natural state. The wood tone was so beautiful and I was so torn. To paint or not to paint?

 natural wood crib

Now, I’ve always considered it a capital offense to paint wood this gorgeous but the design called for white furniture. I settled on using chalk paint and a dry brush technique to create a texture that allowed some of the wood grain to come through and then sanding in some places to allow the original color to shine through as well. My husband, dad, and sister took on the project and did a stellar job! The shabby chic bedroom suite is perfect in the space!

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2. Network with your friends and family to find baby things that people are about to get rid of

Baby stuff is EVERYWHERE! Babies grow out of stuff so darn fast by the time you use something once, they’ve grown out of it already! Talk with people whose kids are a couple of years older. They will probably sell you some furniture at a quarter of the cost to purchase it new or be happy to pass it along to someone who will appreciate it as much as they did.

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3. Come up with a design FIRST and build your shower registry around your design

So much of Selah’s nursery came from our showers. Those gifts saved us hundreds of dollars. I was so grateful!

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4. Remember that less is more

Don’t overbuy for your baby. This is a real budget buster! Keep the decorations to a minimum, especially at first. Over time, as your child grows, you will have more and more to display. Buy only what you need.

In the end, I only ended up spending about $150 in paint and supplies and $120 in accessories and curtains. A huge blessing for our budget and an even bigger blessing for our daughter. Our little princess loves her room! Now if she’d only sleep through the night in her room!

Any advice or tips you can also to add to the list?

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