Heather's room

A Beautiful, Budget Nursery

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New blogger on the Kiddicare block, Gayle writes the excellent Make Thrift Love Life blog. Pregnant with her second child, here Gayle puts together a beautiful nursery… on a budget.

One of the most exciting things to do when waiting for a new arrival is to get the nursery ready. Creating a welcoming little sanctuary gives you something positive to focus on in those weeks leading up to the birth, and adds to the wonderful anticipation. It’s easy to get carried away at this time, and spend far more money than you intended on frivolous purchases. Having a baby is an expensive time, especially if your income drops during maternity leave, so it’s wise to make thrifty choices even at this stage. Here is my guide on how you can enjoy nesting, and create a beautiful nursery on a budget.

Think practically

The biggest expense when kitting out a nursery tends to be the furniture. Full sets of furniture can easily set you back thousands of pounds, but deciding what key pieces of furniture you really need, and choosing wisely, can save you a small fortune. In my opinion, the absolute essentials are a bed, storage/ changer and a comfortable chair.

The first thing to consider is what you already have. Instead of throwing away your existing furniture to make way for your baby’s, why not consider upcycling or revamping something you already own? This could be as simple as painting an old wardrobe to match new items, or you could even try a more advanced project like reupholstering a chair.

Choosing a bed: Choosing somewhere snug for your baby to sleep can be overwhelming, as there are lots of different types of bed on the market. My best tip is to opt for a cot bed for your nursery, instead of a crib or cot. Cot beds are suitable from birth, and once converted into a bed, they can last your child until they are around 4 years old. I think simple is the way to go- as long as it is well-made and sturdy, you can add luxury to even the most basic model with your choice of bedding. Kiddicare have a fabulous range of own-label cot beds on offer, with prices starting at a very thrifty £79. I love their simple white Chloe cot bed design, priced at a very reasonable £119.

Chloe cot bed

Chloe cot bed

Storage/ Changer: Good storage can make a big difference to how spacious your nursery feels. Putting up a few shelves to house books and toys is an inexpensive way of storing items while adding to the room’s display. For those adorable little outfits, the Kiddicare Isabelle and Chloe wardrobes are both simply white, and costing from only £170, they are very sensibly priced too.

Lots of furniture sets include a separate changing table, but this can take up valuable space and cost extra money. One option is choosing a dresser with space on top for a changing mat. The matching dresser to the Kiddicare Chloe cot bed is only £130, and has this facility. This way, you get lots of storage space and a changing table in one!

Chloe dresser

Chloe dresser

If your budget is tighter, Kiddicare have a cot-top changer at only £24.99, which fits over the top of your cot bed when required.

Get creative!

A room’s décor is where your personality and uniqueness really shines through. A theme can really pull a room together, making it look more “designer” without costing more money! Your theme could be as simple as a colour scheme, or you could base the décor round a key purchase such as bedding. Kiddicare’s Funky Friends range is sweet, quirky, and unisex. It features characters such as elephants, crocodiles and owls, as well as recurring stripe and dot patterns, so you could easily add your own items such as toys, books and accessories to tie in with the theme.

Funky Friends collection

Funky Friends collection

Adorn your baby’s walls with handmade works of art and finishing touches. Even if you do not consider yourself particularly crafty, there are some easy DIY pieces anyone can make! Why not frame a piece of fabric, a wallpaper sample or wrapping paper to tie in with your theme? This costs much less than buying pictures from high street shops, and is far more personal too. The apple picture below is made from the pages of an old, tatty book.

Apple picture

Upcycle an old book to create pretty prints

cherry paper picture

Or use wrapping paper…

stripe fabric picture

Or even fabric…

You can make budget bunting for next to nothing too – I made this bunting from free wallpaper samples and garden twine.

Bunting

Budget bunting made from free wallpaper samples

These cute, handmade owl cushions would complement the Funky Friends range perfectly, and are simple to make from cheaper fabric scraps. They look great against my second-hand armchair and cosy throw (see main picture – my daughter Heather’s nursery!) Use your imagination to transform boring pieces you already have the toadstool on the left was made by upcycling a plain plastic footstool; I added a circle of foam covered in red fabric, and white appliqued spots.

With a little creativity and thrifty thinking, it is definitely possible to design a stunning nursery for your new arrival, while looking after your finances too!

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