Nursery Style Ideas That Don't Cost a Fortune
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First, think about color, which has gotten more sophisticated in recent years. Pink and blue have been replaced by silvery greens, pale yellows, grayish lavenders and even straight gray tones.
"It used to be more cutesy or gender specific," says Esther Sadowsky, owner of Manhattan's Charm & Whimsy. "Now parents want things to go with the rest of the apartment."
Los Angeles designer Sarah Barnard says parents are more fashionable than ever before.
"They're probably not going to be satisfied with a cartoon theme," she says.
One way to jazz up the walls without making a long-term commitment is to use stick-on art such as Wall Pops. Designers, including Sadowsky, love this type of wall art because it can add instant interest and color to a wall and then be peeled right off in a couple of years when you or your child gets tired of it.
Check out craft stores like Michaels and even Home Depot for supplies. Wall Pops come in funky, vintage prints and bright colors that can be combined in many nursery-friendly ways.
When it comes to furniture, think long-term. As hard as it is to imagine, your baby will be out of diapers and moving from a crib to a bed before you know it.
"My opinion is that it's very expensive if you have to buy two rooms of furniture for the same child," says Northbrook, Ill.-based designer Jeff Smoler. "I try to do to it so all the furniture has a dual function."
He recommends a chest of drawers with a detachable changing table and a crib that converts to a youth bed.
Barnard says many parents now want their nursery to be environmentally friendly, too. She recommends second hand furniture, low VOC paints, natural bedding supplies (such as organic cotton sheets and blankets) and even natural latex crib mattresses for nurseries because she believes natural products are healthier for babies. She doesn't want anything that gives off that "new car smell" in a baby's room.
If you insist on buying new furniture, Barnard suggests spending a little extra and buying something well-made that can be passed down to a future generation.
Related: Making your child's room unique