May 31, 2012

Nursery: Save vs. Splurge

Babies are expensive. On top of decorating their new rooms, they also need an obscene amount of stuff. We put a lot of time and effort into making sure that we put together the nursery on a budget and didn’t get too carried away. As special as this nursery is to us, I know that kids grow up fast and our little boy will want a big boy room filled with anything but a woodland theme all too soon. We were of course lucky enough to save in a few key areas that allowed us to splurge in others, so I thought I would share a summary on how we created a custom-designed nursery without the custom-designed price with some creativity and elbow grease. So here’s the rundown of the save vs. splurge.

Crib: Save. Big time. We didn’t have to spend a penny on the crib, the mattress, mattress pad or even sheet savers thanks to generous friends. The crib was in excellent condition and didn’t need any work either. However if we weren’t so lucky I would have looked into secondhand options or Ikea.

Dresser: Save. All we had to do is buy sandpaper and stain to make this dresser like new thanks to leftover hardware and the same generous friends. Even if we weren’t lucky enough to get one for free, I would definitely have bought one used. New dressers are expensive, even from Ikea, while you can find amazing deals at secondhand stores and craigslist. The dresser also doubles as a changing table, so it can grow with our kids without excess furniture.

Rocking Chair: Save. This one was a challenge for us to find and our choice isn’t right for everyone. I love our vintage rocker and it’s perfect for our nursery. Rocking chairs are expensive, so finding one used and refinishing it saved us a bundle. But I could easily justify splurging on a new comfortable glider if we had the space.

Storage Ottoman: Save. Thank you Target for your Restyle collection.

Bookcase: Save & Splurge. While we saved a ton of money building the custom bookcase ourselves, it still would have been cheaper to buy a white Billy Bookcase from Ikea and call it a day. However we wanted to maximize every inch of space and the custom bookcase provides exactly what we need. Plus it looks a lot nicer and increases the usability of this room.

Crib Bedding (when finished): Splurge. The artisan fabric for the crib bedding was definitely a splurge. However making the set is definitely a lot cheaper than many of the designer bedding sets out there and anything custom. We mitigated the costs further by buying plain white basic crib sheets. And I think crib bedding is a high-impact area where it’s worth spending a little more to find the right design... I’m really excited to see this part of the project finished this summer.

Curtain/Shade: Save. We could have bought fancy fabric and all the supplies to make our own, but it was significantly cheaper to just buy one from JCPenney. So we did.

Wallpaper: Splurge. Cole & Son wallpaper is definitely expensive. But the print is high-impact and carries the theme well . We minimized the expense by choosing a small wall in a small room so we only needed one roll.

Birds on Branches Mobiles: Save. The sticks were free from mother nature and I made the birds myself out of leftover bedding and scrap fabric. All we had to buy was stuffing and eyelet hooks to hang them - very budget friendly.

Gallery Wall: Splurge & Save. Buying 16 prints? Definitely a splurge. Finding most of them for $8, $5 and $3.50 each? I consider that a savings, though with more time I could have had prints for free by browsing cute catalogs, using vintage printable, or making my own. We also saved money by buying our picture frames from inexpensive sources like Target’s Restyle collection and Michael’s (though needing fewer frames than 16 would have saved us even more).

Pocket Shelves: Save. Building these ourselves out of scrap lumber and leftover paint put these in the free category. Definitely worth the time to make them.

Stag Hook: Splurge. For a hook this was expensive, but sometimes I just can’t resist beautiful things from Anthropologie.

Nightlight: Splurge. For the price of the custom fused glass woodland creature nightlight, we could have bought 10 basic white nightlights from Target. But they would not have been nearly as cute!

Other Accessories: Both. Many of our nifty woodland creatures were gifts, which of course saved us money, but it would have added up fast if we had bought them for ourselves. I’d like to think the rest is a cost savings however - fun toys and books work double duty on both the bookshelves and in the pocket shelves. We found great things at Ikea at significant savings and we filled in the bookshelves with with woodland themed items from around our home our outside. The picture frames we already had and the wallpaper pieces were scraps. I made the crocheted baby blankets myself so the colors work in the room.

So that’s the big breakdown of where we saved and where we splurged in a few key areas to create this room. Secondhand furniture was definitely our biggest savings, along with making several things ourselves. We also kept the overall theme gender neutral for a potential future sibling down the road so we can get as much mileage as possible out of this theme. All this room would need is a few splashes of pink and a couple of feminine touches and it would also work great for a girl. The room’s versatility and timelessness will be the biggest savings in the long term.

1 comment:

  1. You did a fabulous job. Always loved that wallpaper but it looks especially cool in here.