How to Decorate a Nursery on a Budget

In the run up to your due date, there’ll likely be many to-do’s to tick off your checklist, and arguably one of the most important jobs is to ensure that your little one’s nursery is decorated before their arrival. Picking colours, ordering furniture and breaking out the paint brushes - it’s all part of the journey, and one Direct4Baby can help you with.

In this post, we’ll be doing our best to impart our nursery design wisdom by answering frequently asked questions, detailing everything you’ll need when it comes to essential nursery furniture and sharing our best tips and tricks for designing a beautiful, safe and comfortable nursery on a budget.

Tips, tricks and frequently asked questions

  • When should you start decorating the nursery?

When you decide to decorate your nursery is entirely up to you and your schedule, but our advice is to get as much done as possible by the time you hit 36 weeks. By this point, you should only be a few weeks away from finally getting to meet your baby and, by getting everything ready in time, you’ll be providing yourself with a little extra leeway, just in case they surprise you by coming a little earlier than anticipated.

In order to work to this time frame, we recommend setting incremental goals to meet throughout your pregnancy. For example, you should set your budget and settle on a nursery theme by around 20 weeks, order your furniture over the following weeks (just to make sure you have everything ready to be built), paint or wallpaper the space while you’re waiting for everything to arrive and start building shortly after that! The goal is to make sure you’re still comfortable enough to design your baby’s nursery while pregnant - because of course you’ll likely want to be involved in the process.

  • How do you decorate a gender neutral nursery?

When choosing a design scheme to work with, many parents will opt for gender-specific colours such as blue and pink but, for those that have decided they don’t want to know the baby’s birth gender, or would like to raise their baby outside of gender norms, a gender neutral nursery can be a really fun nursery concept. To start, we suggest picking your favourite colour scheme (just as you would for any other room), preferably with fun, bright colours that will help stimulate your baby’s senses. Popular ‘gender neutral’ colour schemes tend to opt for yellow, green and orange colourways, but don’t be afraid to go off book - simply choose what you love!

  • Set a budget!

One of the first things you should do long before you start painting and decorating, is to set a strict budget that allows for all of your necessities and, if you can, some little extras to truly make the room special. Whilst we know a baby is always going to be an additional expense, it also pays to be mindful of saving money wherever you can! If this isn’t your first baby, reuse your old nursery furniture, for example but, it’s also important to remember that, if you can’t compromise, don’t. There are some things you need in a nursery so think ahead, prioritise your purchases, and make sure you get the essentials in first. Here at Direct4Baby, we have a price-match promise in place, as well as offering regular clearance deals and free delivery across all orders to remain as affordable as we possibly can be.

  • Make clever investments!

The brands that design the essential furniture for your baby’s nursery know what they’re doing, and, if you’re thrifty, you’ll be able to find clever, adaptable furniture that will grow with your baby! Not only will this mean you can save money as your newborn grows into a toddler by not needing to purchase a whole new set of furniture, but if the quality is high, you can either keep it safely stored away for any future babies or sell it on once your child is grown. Take the SnuzKot Skandi cot for example, as this stylish, Scandi-inspired cot bed is designed to convert into a toddler bed as your little one grows.

  • Don’t decorate alone!

This is an important experience that is meant to be shared. If you’re preparing to welcome your baby with your partner, work together and soak up all the love and excitement, if not, surround yourself with your support network. Parents, other children, siblings - get your loved ones involved and work together to create a truly personal, beautiful nursery for your little one.

  • Make it fun!

Painting, decorating and building furniture may be boring tasks on some occasions, odd jobs to get out of the way - but not this time. Do whatever you need to make the day special, play music, dance, discuss baby names, and remember the moment.

Nursery essentials checklist

Make sure you have everything you need for your baby’s nursery with our essential checklist of baby furniture! From sleeping necessities to storage to safety, you’ll have a fully equipped nursery in no time at all.

Sleeping

As much as we may want to spend all our time with them, newborns can spend anywhere between 8 to 18 hours sleeping each day so you’ll need a nursery prepared to meet those sleeping needs.

Firstly, you’ll need a cot or crib for your nursery.

This is the most important piece of furniture you will buy for your baby, so if your budget allows, spending a little extra on a really good crib is a wise decision. There are a lot of options out there, so take the time to look around and settle on your favourite. While there are plenty of excellent options, we recommend the SnuzKot Skandi 2 Piece Nursery Furniture Set. Suitable from birth to 18 months, and convertible into a toddler bed up until 4 years, this is a crib that will adapt as your baby grows and will likely last for years to come - you can even buy the additional junior bed extension kit once they grow out of the toddler bed, extending the lifespan of the crib by another 6 years!

Once you've chosen your crib, you’ll need to outfit it with a comfortable and safe cot mattress. Taking the SnuzKot Skandi as an example, you’d need the matching SnuzSurface Adaptable Cot Bed Mattress (68 x 118). This mattress, beyond meeting all the safety specifications for a specialised baby mattress, has three support settings that ensure your baby has the right level of mattress firmness for each lifestage, allowing your baby the peaceful and restorative sleep they need.

The last necessity for ensuring your baby’s safe sleep is a collection of bedding. These can be purchased to match the size of your cot and mattress so, for the SnuzKot example, you’d need the Snuz 2 Pack Cot & Cot Bed Fitted Sheet.

Feeding and Changing

While a nursery’s main function may be providing a safe, comfortable space for your little one to sleep in, we also recommend utilising the space as a feeding and changing area. Of course, these are tasks that can be done anywhere, and often are when you’re taking your little ones on adventures, but having a convenient place at home will make all the difference in streamlining your daily routine.

Firstly, we recommend investing in a comfortable nursing chair such as the Tutti Bambini GC35 Glider Chair & Stool. Stylish and safe, this nursing chair is the perfect place to settle down and feed your baby, or even just take a moment to relax and snuggle up with them.

When it comes to changing, you’ll also want to have a dedicated space, both for changing the diapers themselves and for disposing of them. For this, you’ll need a changing table, changing mat and a handy nappy bin. Fortunately for those who choose to buy the SnuzKot Skandi 2 Piece Nursery Furniture Set, you’ll already have a stylish and functional changing table, to which we suggest adding the Korbell Nappy Bin Plus 26L. These essentials will shorten changing times and make cleaning up a simple process.

Lastly, and as any parent will tell you - having a little one can get messy. With seemingly no time to get them changed, fed, snuggled and cleaned up after, having a messy nursery is almost inevitable. We say ‘almost’ because the situation is not entirely hopeless, with some clever storage solutions you can minimise the damage ahead of time. We recommend utilising whatever storage solutions you already have and, if you need the additional space, consider purchasing a baby wardrobe. If you aren’t sure whether or not you’ll need one, take a look at our ‘How to Organise a Baby Wardrobe’ blog post where we answer all the most asked questions and even give some organisational tips that’ll make having a functional baby nursery simple and stress free.

Additional Nursery Necessities

While you won’t need us to tell you about the majority of the exciting additional necessities you’ll need for your little one’s nursery, such as a cute nightlight, sensory decorations and toys, there are some safety items you should definitely ensure you have.

Firstly, you’re going to need a reliable and practical baby monitor such as the Babymoov YOO-See Video Baby Monitor. The perfect way to give you peace of mind while you go about your day, the Babymoov monitor allows you to keep your eyes on your baby at all times. With an easily mounted camera, that has a 2x zoom function, excellent night vision capabilities and connects to a high quality screen, you’ll be able to leave your baby to sleep soundly, knowing you’ll be aware of their needs from anywhere in your house.

Secondly, and similarly, you’ll need to ensure that your nursery is safe and comfortable for your baby with a room thermometer. For this task, we recommend the incredibly easy to use Purflo Starlight Room Colour Changing Thermometer which, with four colour settings - blue for too cold, amber for getting too warm, red for too hot and green for just right, is the perfect way to monitor the temperature of the room at just a glance.

Lastly, while you’re improving the safety of your nursery, we also recommend taking the time to baby proof the rest of your home too. We’ve written a comprehensive guide on the subject so, if you aren’t sure which products you’ll need, you can head over to our ‘Game-changing Baby Proof Products for 2021’ blog post. Alternatively, if you feel confident you already know what you’re looking for, head straight to our baby-proofing collection for the best in home safety for babies.

Decorate your Nursery for Less at Direct4Baby

Even with all of our advice, tips, tricks and checklists, decorating the nursery your baby will grow up in is undoubtedly a little nerve wracking but, before you rush off to find everything you need and get started with the decorating, you might want to hear our most important piece of wisdom; you’re doing great!

With all your favourite baby brands to choose from, including Silver Cross, Snuz, Tutti Bambini and more, you’ll find everything you need for your baby’s nursery online at Direct4Baby.