Creating a modern nursery on a budget

Take a scroll through your Instagram feed and chances are you’ll be bombarded with images posted by other new mums keen to share snaps of their little one’s nursery.

And if you’re anything like me, you’ll be following a whole bunch of interior stylists and those mums with an affinity for decorating, sighing heavily with each divine piece of furniture, décor or accessory.

Let’s face it, setting up your baby’s nursery is a lot of fun.

It’s also become a booming business for interior designers, with many specialising in designing spaces specifically for tiny tots.

As a result, many mums (myself included) find themselves longing to set up a modern room with a designer feel, but without the exorbitant price tag.

So, is it possible to set up a great modern and practical nursery on a budget?  According to Melissa Lee, Creative Director and Stylist of Young Folk, it sure is.

Melissa says by following these key tips, you can achieve the nursery you’ve always wanted, without breaking the bank.

1. Plan the room out. Know what you want to achieve before buying everything. This means you only buy what you need and allows you to work out what to save on and what to splurge on.

2. Make your money go further. Definitely consider at least one versatile piece of furniture for the room. Children grow incredibly fast and you will be buying a lot more than just room décor and furniture in the next few years, so spend on quality items that will last you more than a few years.

3. Use child’s toys as decor. The one thing all children have a lot of is toys. Use some of your child’s more decorative toys as décor for their room. This can help with clutter and also give the room a feeling of child-like playfulness if the room is feeling too styled or too stark.

Work with your design and not against it. Choose a few of your child’s favourite toys to display on shelving or in shadow boxes, or find a decorative toy to hang on the wall. This works especially well with lovely wooden toys.

4. Don’t follow character trends or fads that your child will quickly outgrow. These end up costing you a fortune as your child grows up and decides they don’t like that character anymore. You will be buying more character loot every few months plus those items can be expensive and really add up. Future-Proof their space and make sure it can grow with them.

Invest in lovely pieces that will become family heirlooms and give the room an individual feel. It is important to include your children in their room design and it can be hard when they love “that new thing”, so suggest that they keep their favorite characters to toys rather than décor.

5. Be brave and try something new. Children’s rooms don’t need to be all-neutral nor gender specific. Think outside the stereotype colours and designs and come up with a design that is your own. Just be clever about how you use the colour and what colours you use.

Paint is a great way to freshen up a room and is cost effective but you are not limited to one colour. Have fun with patterns on one wall in complementary shades. When it comes to adding colour for walls you also can’t go past wall decals, which can be easily changed and are a cheap way to add colour and design to the walls. They are great for people who are renting or not wanting to commit to paint.

6. Invest in natural. Natural fabrics and materials such as organic cotton bedding and rugs help to counteract the amount of plastic in your child’s room. I also love to incorporate timber into room designs even if the design calls for all colour or a sleek monochrome.

If, like me, you can’t resist the latest trends, keep a close watch on Pinterest and Instagram then scour your local department store or budget shop for replica items.

You’d be surprised at how often you can find a similar on-trend product for a fraction of the cost.  

And you won’t feel guilty when the next trend comes long!

If you are after the latest looks, Melissa gives us the low-down on what’s hot at the moment for nursery design.

Baby girl: A bohemian style and colour palette is big for girl’s nurseries. Think gorgeous neutral colours with the softest shades of pinks, peach and apricot. Textured natural fibres, soft woods and unique pieces also work well with theme.

Baby boy: A monochrome palette is still a favourite for boy’s bedrooms and lends itself to many themes. The superhero theme is still going strong mixed with the bold black and white. You can also inject some pops of colour into the room which works perfectly with the theme.

Unisex: A natural woodland theme and colour palette is great for neutral and unisex nurseries. Adding in pieces of raw wood as clothes rails or decorative hangings, mixed with natural fibre rugs gives the room a unique feel and sets the theme.


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