You want it to be perfect for little Maxwell but you also don't want to create a space that Maxie is gonna grow out of in one year. And! Unless you've recently come into a trust fund, you'd like to keep the nursery budget to "not outrageous." It's always a good idea to keep the nursery budget to "not outrageous" simply because babies are expensive and guess what (!) the expenses don't stop coming once the nursery is complete. For reals.
In the spring of last year, when I was FRETTING over the nursery, my husband finally swooped in to save the day. I admittedly was having panic attacks over something that was, for him, so simple! Look honey! Blue! and Boy! and Easy! And I was all: Stress! and Perfect! and Decisions! and GAAAAH!
But Swooping Husband knew what he was doing. He planned nearly the whole thing. I have no problem telling you guys that I was a horrible nursery design helper and he was the Nursery Design Deity.
Now, we recently have NOT come into a trust fund. In fact, since we are really working off of one income over here we decided that the nursery had to be as frugal as possible. The hard part came when we also decided we weren't willing to sacrifice design for the sake of cheap or easy. We never set a definite budget but I think we both knew in our heads that $900 would probably be as much as we wanted to spend.
That being said, we already had the crib and the crib mattress-a major investment. So don't look at our $900 budget and be all "LIARS!" because, well...we already had one of the biggest expenses covered.
As far as design and inspiration goes, I knew that I wanted the theme to be celestial. I had the world's most enormous Pinterest board dedicated to all my celestial nursery desires. When that board became too overwhelming and the husband swooped, he made an executive decision for the sake of manliness. Celestial quickly became Outer Space. The Outer Space nursery was also required to abide by a mid century modern aura because our house trends that way anyhow and we wanted everything
to F L O W.
Behold! The Mid-Century Modern Outer Space Nursery
A view from the doorway. The room isn't very large, perhaps 9x10, so we knew we didn't want any clutter.
You can just see a sliver of this clock in the first picture. We had seen several of these starburst clocks that we loved but that BY THEMSELVES could have put us over budget, so Josh made this one out of pure awesomeness. I mean, I knew he was handy but come on!
We scored the dresser and mirror combo for a wicked steal after several failed attempts to snag one on Craigslist. A furniture dealer took pity on me after the one he had posted sold a matter of minutes before I had called-which was just a matter of minutes after he posted the listing. He asked if I was averse to going into a not so hot part of town for a steal. I was not. He said he would snag this up in a hot minute but he didn't have room for it in his booth at the moment, but that it needed to go to a good home. So that afternoon, I took my pregnant self along with my pregnant neighbor and her Xterra and we went and claimed this simple beauty. I owe that furniture dealer big time.
The crowning glory of the room is this rocket ship marquee light. Remember when I said my husband was handy? Yeah well, Ladies, BE JEALOUS. I know it didn't turn out quite to his expectations but the light looks fabulous and it was definitely a labor of love. Our son won't be allowed to get rid of this rocket, ever.
I have my husband's years of theatre crew training to thank for this beauty. He knew all the tricks of the trade and we both learned a lot along the way, so if we decide to make another (the eldest is now a smidge jealous) we will be much more prepared. Word to the wise: just use regular paint. Spray paint is not your friend with a project like this, no matter what your brain may tell you.
After all my fretting and panicking, the nursery turned out pretty wonderful if I do say so myself. And I can say so because I did very little work in it!
Here is a breakdown of the items in the room. Feel free to ask questions and what not. I've posted links to things that I could remember where to find them off the top of my head. Other things were purchased at major chains and can either easily be found or the item is long gone.
Crib/Mattress-already owned (I had my eye on one that would have run us 250 just for the crib-and that's prettttty darn cheap as cribs go. The crib that is shown was $700 and the mattress was $150. Bebees are hexpensive.)
Crib sheets - $4.00 (I made these myself with elastic that I already had and a sheet set from TJ Maxx)
Rocking Chair- $150.00 (an Eames knockoff, this was our major splurge)
Pillow- $16.00 (from Target, their college collection)
Silver "Satellites" mobile - $12.00 (my DIY project-we already had the silver balls from a different project)
Rocket & Clock (wood, paint, hardware, lighting, etc) $90.00 (Josh's DIY projects)
Frames - $40.00 (this was a super steal. There are two more framed pieces that aren't shown, so I got five nice frames from Michael's during a big sale that I also had a coupon for. I think we figured out that without the sale/coupon they would have cost us over $150.00)
Artwork- $11.00 (What?! You say? yes. Eleven dollars. I downloaded the planet prints (there are two more not shown) from a Kickstarter project for ten dollars. The artist is Stephen Di Donato. I printed those on my home computer. Then I downloaded a free image from NASA of the moon and printed it at Staples. Boom. Done.)
Lamp - $15.00 (Fillsta Lamp, Ikea)
Dresser & Mirror - $90.00 (See. Told you it was a steal. I couldn't believe my eyes)
Little Rocket (on dresser) - $2.00 (Michaels, with a coupon)
Robot - $20.00 (I can't remember how much this actually was, but I feel like $20 is on the high end of what we paid for it. He came from a little vintage shop nearby)
Paint & supplies - $150.00 (this was our other big splurge. We got nice paint which resulted in only having to do one coat of the grey and two of the blue. We owe the chevron inspiration to this couple.)
Items not shown:
changing pad and cover (these items were both gifts, but would cost you respectively $22.00 and $16.00)
So the moment of truth is upon us. I hadn't even added this up until this evening and I was SHOCKED at how we did. Our grand total came to $659.00! We were way way way under budget, but we did a lot of the work ourselves (and had friends help us paint!) and tried to be very cautious about how we spent money. Obviously, we were gifted several items (like a wipes warmer, which also isn't pictured) and we already had the crib and mattress. But I think it goes to show that a really inexpensive nursery can be done and it can still adhere to some kind of design standard (although, lets be honest, I want to move that picture of the moon so bad it hurts!).
We worked hard to not spend money and therefore ended up spending a lot of time and effort to make the things we couldn't afford to buy. In the end, that ended up being a really good strategy because our son was born four weeks premature and kids, THOSE bills were not cheap, even with good insurance! But you know what, I think he completes the room just perfectly.