How to Decorate the Perfect Nursery on a Budget

A pale blue and grey nursery.

When picturing the perfect space for your lovely little one, a nursery must be both functional, aesthetically pleasing and, of course, not too expensive. Decorating a nursery on a budget can sometimes seem like an impossible task, particularly at the start when deciding which items take precedence over others. To help with this problem, we’ve put together five of our much-loved nursery ideas on a budget to help those creative ideas flow, to get you started on your journey to shape your dream nursery on that all-important budget.

5 Ideas for Decorating a Nursery on a Budget

1. Choose a Colour Theme

Picking a nursery theme is a lot easier said than done, especially when you’re trying to navigate how to decorate the perfect nursery on a budget. Luckily enough, there are hundreds of amazing inspirational interior design ideas on social media, especially on Pinterest or Instagram. If there are specific social media accounts that have given you inspiration for your nursery theme, there’s no harm in reaching out and asking where they got specific items from. Establishing a theme or even just a colour palette can help develop your ideas for the décor in the nursery.

A great tip to start with for decorating a nursery on a budget is to think of it as a blank canvas. Painting a nursery wall can be a daunting and expensive decision to make. Having a white theme across your nursery walls and furniture is a timeless and unisex classic that won’t age as your child grows up.

Not only will keeping to white make your nursery seem brighter and larger, but it also takes away those worries about having to paint and then re-paint in a few years. It’s easy enough to add splashes of colours through coloured drawer knobs or why not opt for wall stickers? As a multi-coloured or monochrome touch, polka dot wall stickers are a popular choice, especially to keep the budget low.

If a white theme with hints of colour isn’t for you, why not think about themes that you can remember from your childhood? Or for a more modern touch, think about what you enjoy doing as a family. For instance, if you’re a keen traveller and adventurer you could use that as a theme and incorporate the many places you’ve visited into the design; maps, planes, amazing photographs – the ideas are endless for this kind of theme!

White storage unit with brown rattan cubes.

2. Furniture Choice

When it comes to decorating a nursery on a budget, new furniture will always eat into your budget. There’s a lot of furniture to think about depending on the size and shape of your nursery from a cot, changing table, wardrobes, storage and possibly a nursing chair. You need to decide which of these pieces are essential, like would a portable changing mat be better to save on price and space?

To keep it budget and environmentally friendly, why not search for second-hand furniture? There will be many local buy and sell groups, or dedicated parent groups on social media, like Facebook, where more often than not the prices of the furniture are reduced significantly. Parents understand other parents want to design their nursery on a budget, so searching for second-hand options is our biggest budget tip. When buying a cot second hand, we would recommend checking that it complies with the UK cot safety measures.

Don’t worry if the second-hand furniture doesn’t live up to your ideal image for your nursery. Upcycling furniture is a big trend and easy to achieve. A simple way to make mismatching furniture look like a set is to use the same colour theme and paint type. To soften a nursery that features dark, wooden furniture, try adding fluffy, decorative cushions or a soft small nursery rug. And, to make your nursery furniture look more expensive, use gloss paint and crystal drawer knobs, but remember to think of the fingerprints in the future!

Baby clothes on wooden hangers.

3. Storage is Key

Babies need a surprising number of things – clothes, nappies, toys, essential travel equipment, books and the list goes on. However, they’re not going to stay a baby forever and to save money long term it’s best to get storage pieces that can be easily used for something else in the future. Start with looking at items you already own to see if they can be used in your nursery. For instance, you may have baskets or open storage boxes around your home that are a versatile storage solution to be used in your nursery and can be used for almost anything!

Wardrobes can often be bulky, heavy and take up a lot of floor space. One of our favourite nursery ideas on a budget is to use an extendable clothes rail instead. They’re a great option to be able to hang and display your baby’s clothes. Not only does this make room for more playing space, but it will save you time when getting them ready.

Wall shelves are another great storage option and a discreet way to hide clutter. These can be extra handy if placed above a changing station so that you can have easy access to all your changing equipment. As your little one gets older, the shelves can easily be used to display decorative features, books or collectables, making them a versatile feature.

A white shelf with teddy bears and books on it.

4. Wall Art

More often than not, buying wall art can be quite expensive. But don’t worry, wall art is one of the most easily achievable items to DIY and decorate on a budget! This is your chance to get creative! You’ve seen some wall art that you love, but the price tag is far too much. So, what have you got around the house that you could use to achieve the same effect? A bit of DIY is therapeutic and you don’t have to be the most talented artist in the world to make your own custom piece of art. Wall art is a great way to add fun details to your baby’s nursery. Once you’ve painted, drawn or sewn whatever design you wish, there are many budget-friendly frames available.

You could also find stock images online and print these out yourself in either colour or black and white and frame them. Not only is this budget-friendly, but there will be hundreds of nursery appropriate pictures available for free of animals, farms, flowers and hot air balloons to name a few possibilities.

Another wall art option is to print out photos in colour or black and white that you’ve taken yourself and frame them. You could place these frames in a certain pattern to spell out a word or create a picture wall. You can print these photos or stock images in any size that you wish. This is one of the best nursery ideas on a budget because of how sentimental every picture will be!

Think about if you would want all of these images in the same sized frames or have a few larger ones to stand out?  Also, don’t forget wall stickers are a great way to add some colour onto your wall and will be cheaper than buying paint!   

A cream fluffy rug with babies feet on it.

5. Rugs

Choosing a rug for a child’s bedroom is a big decision to make, especially your baby’s nursery. Of course, when it comes to your baby, comfort is key. Remember, when it comes to decorating your baby’s space, it needs to be personalised and have elements of you, the parents, reflected in the decoration.

When searching for the perfect small nursery rug, material is key. A sheepskin rug is a great choice for the nursery, as its fibres are naturally resistant to most types of dirt. A shaggy rug is also a good option, particularly on a hardwood floor, as the rug will be cushioned for baby to sit and roll around on. However, make sure the shaggy rug has a short pile to keep your baby safe.

When it comes to choosing a rug for your nursery, stain resistance is essential and there are several ways to baby proof a rug. One of which is considering a washable rug, which will take away any worries about any spillages and stains as you have the peace of mind to machine wash it. When it’s tummy time, we would recommend putting a blanket over the washable rug for extra softness.  

Rugs are available in many different, styles, textures, lengths, colours and patterns. Think about which rug style will be able to tie in your nursery theme the best and whether you want a rug to cover the centre of the floor or to be placed underneath furniture. If you’ve chosen to have a white or lighter theme in your nursery, then a bright rug is a great option to add in more colour. Even if you haven’t got much space to work with, a small nursery rug can still be an effective decorative decision, depending on the size and shape of the room you have to work with.

We hope you have found these nursery ideas on a budget useful to design your perfect nursery. Whether you’re at the stage to move your baby into their own room or are planning in advance, decorating a nursery on a budget is easily achievable in these five simple steps. Rug Traders have a wide selection of rugs in different styles, sizes, types and colours to suit your child’s bedroom as they grow older.

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