Ivy hanging out in her crib! Wallpaper mural inspiration in the background.

When I selected the theme for my little girl’s nursery, I learned a few things along the way that saved us money in the long run: 

#1:  Choose something that will last through the toddler years or perhaps even longer. 

When considering a theme, look for something that can be easily adjusted as your little one grows up . . . for example, sports are great for a little boy, but leave out the teddy bears with baseball caps wall border.  You can always add plush animals around the room when your boy is little and replace them with sports gear and memorabilia as he grows up.  For a little girl, nothing is sweeter than flowers, but choose a flower that either has a modern graphic edge or has a variety of mature colors besides the typical baby, bubble gum pink. 

#2:  Stay away from the pre packaged “Baby Bed-In-A-Bag.” 

You know the wall at the baby superstore that is lined with every adorable bedding set known to man . . . each costing at least $100.  Stay away!  First of all, it is suggested by the American Association of Pediatrics that an infant not sleep with a loose blanket, sheet, or bumper pad.  Secondly, the baby superstore ups the prices because they have the market cornered.  Instead, spend your money on color coordinated sheets, a crib skirt (buy your own fabric to make your own), and matching accessories.  Most people just end up hanging the expensive quilt/bedspread on the wall as a decoration rather than putting it to use. 

#3:  Do pick and choose!  

Love the idea of ballerinas!  Don’t buy every ballerina that you can find!  Instead, choose two or three ballerina accents that successfully pull off your theme without going overboard.  These are pieces that can easily be switched out for your little ones latest favs in the future. 

#4:  Invest in furniture that can be utilized for quite awhile. 

We all know that a three-in-one crib is great for toddler beds and the future big girl or big boy bed, but consider the finish as well.  Although the white crib with handpainted roses and vines might be adorable, is that really going to be useful when your little one is a tween? 

As soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I immediately started decorating the nursery in my head.  Should I do pink, should I do blue?  But when we decided to wait on finding out the sex, decisions became a lot more difficult!  Not wanting to do the typical green and yellow nursery, I set out to find something different.  I considered farm, alphabet, and even sesame street as my little girl seems to be so fond of it, but in the end, I selected the following. 

Fabler pattern from IKEA

This is a pattern from IKEA.  The theme is called Fabler and it consists mainly of whimsical animals riding in different types of fantasy transportation.  Hence, the elephant in a teacup and the giraffe in a strawberry.  I was drawn to the colors and the whimsical qualities of the characters.  The Fabler theme also comes with a children’s book that teaches home is where you are loved . . . fitting for a new baby.  Of course, the bedding, sheets, stuffed animals, storage boxs, etc are all available through IKEA, but so far, I have only decided to utilize the curtains.  More ideas and DIY projects to follow to help incorporate the theme. 

Below are the paint samples that I have been considering.  We are installing a chair rail (which I will write a how to about later), so I needed a color for the top and a color for the bottom.  I finally selected the butter and turquoise combination feeling that it was the most gender neutral and worked best with the light in the room.  

Possible color selections for nursery.

When considering paint choices, hang up the options plus any type of inspiration bedding or fabric in the actual room.  Look at them for a few days and even ask family and friends to point out their favorites.  Never choose a color that will overpower the room or the theme . . . always choose one that is versatile and enhances your theme. 

One of my favorite tools at the local DIY store is the pamplet containing every paint chip known to man!!!  I love to pic these up and take them home, because most of the time, they have colors that I never noticed at the store. 

Paint chip sampler.

For the nursery and pretty much every other room in our home, we utilize Freshaire Choice paint carried at Home Depot (http://freshairechoice.com/).  It is VOC free in the paint and in the colorant.  It has no paint odor and much better to breath.  The typical paint takes up to a year for the VOCs to disperse.  The paint costs about $30 per gallon which is about $8 more than most, but we think the benefits are far more important than the savings. 

So, I am off and painting (mostly working late at night, yikes!) . . . on coat number 2 of the butter color and all seems to be going well!  Will post the pics of the completed painting this weekend. 

Keep on the lookout for the next part of Nursery on A Budget Series:  Chair Rail. 

Love lots, 

Amanda- High Fire Mommy