We all dream of the perfect nursery for our little one, but in these difficult economic times we need to find ways to be fiscally smart as well. Finding ways to make your nursery unique, personal, stylish and easy to navigate without spending a fortune does not have to be a difficult task. Here are some helpful tips to consider during your planning.

Invest in what matters
Try to be smart about where you put your money. The furniture is the largest and most important purchase of the room, and if you shop smart, it will also have the most longevity. Buy pieces that will outlast the baby phase and can be used in a toddler’s room. Cribs that convert to beds, or changers that turn into functional pieces of furniture are some purchases that will help expand the life of your initial purchase. Buy quality items instead of the cheapest items so you are not buying twice because pieces have not held up. Also work with furniture manufacturers who are involved in certification programs (like the JPMA) so all safety requirements are ensured. You don’t want to skimp on safety in the nursery.

Do it yourself…when you can
Although being eight months pregnant is not always conducive to home improvement projects like painting or staining floors, you would be surprised how many family members would be thrilled at the opportunity to leave a personal fingerprint on the creation of the nursery. Enlist those that can help with the handy work so that extra costs of hiring a painter or contractor can be eliminated.

Get creative
If you have an artistic bone in your body, now is the time to use it. Take your creativity to the walls. Painting simple murals with shapes or even special quotations is a great way to personalize a room with your own special touch, and helps to save on artwork for the walls, or even wallpaper. If you have a relative who is good with the brush, enlist their help and commission them for a special painting, drawing or photograph. Find an inexpensive frame to give it a professional look. Creating a collage of special pictures of the family is a great way to add some color to the places in the room that need spicing up.

Make the old, new again

When thinking about the nursery, look outside the four walls of the room. Explore your house in every direction for pieces that could work in a nursery in a different capacity. For my daughter’s nursery, I took a wrought iron table I had used in a sun room and put it next to her glider to bring in a different texture. Find pieces that can be recovered in fresh new fabrics (old chairs or benches) to inspire an eclectic feel in the nursery. My favorite old finds are ones from mommy and daddy’s childhood. Vintage doll houses or an old set of oars can be classic touches that money cannot buy. Go through the attic at grandma and grandpa’s and you will be surprised at the hidden treasures that await. Keep those old cribs buried, for safety reasons it is not recommended to use cribs that do not meet today’s safety standards.

Keep it organized
Some of the most impressive nurseries are that way because of good organization and efficient design. Everything has a place, which makes operating in the room a snap. Find ways to organize your nursery so it makes sense to you, without spending a fortune on fancy closet systems. Make sure you have storage space for items like wipes, lotions, thermometers, diapers, etc. So many necessary items reside in the nursery that it can get messy and chaotic, which always overshadows even the best-decorated spaces. Straw baskets or decorative tins are great ways to hide the not so attractive baby necessities, while keeping your space clean and organized.

Second time spice up
If you are having a second or third child and are not thrilled about reusing the same nursery items for your new baby try and find ways to get excited about old purchases. Move things around, reframe pictures, buy a slipcover for a chair or repaint the walls. Don’t waste items that still have life in them but try and find second uses that you didn’t think of before.

Sell to buy
Are you eyeing that perfect bedding set or crib but the budget won’t have it? Find the extra bucks for the splurge by hosting a garage sale or posting things you no longer need or want on eBay. Motivate to make room for baby’s stuff while raising the funds for the special items you would feel guilty about otherwise purchasing.

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About Michelle

Michelle is the owner of Bellini Stamford and the bean's closet, an online baby gift boutique. She is also a contributor to http://www.projectnursery.com. She resides in Bergen County NJ with her husband Craig, 2 children, Stella & Nate and Soft Coated Wheaton Ellie.
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