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My Less-Than-$1000 Nursery

The room where my baby grew up. Special, but not pricey.

My husband was in graduate school and our funds were really tight when our first kid was born, two-and-a-half years ago. We wanted to make his room special without out spending too much, and gave ourselves a budget of $1,000 to put something together—which is the cost for a crib, alone, these days.

Spend less, and you might like it more. With some careful shopping and a little vision, not to mention compromise, we did it. And so can you! Here’s how:

via Ali Loves Curtis

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  • Storage Console: $69 1 of 12
    Storage Console: $69
    This is an IKEA Expedit Bookcase, turned on its side. At only $69, it stores baby blankets, onesies, diapers and other items within arm's reach on the top row. The bottom row hides our regular office storage, since we lived in a small apartment and had to have somewhere to put everything.

    Find this bookcase here.
  • Changing Station: Pad, $30; Pad cover, $18 2 of 12
    Changing Station: Pad, $30; Pad cover, $18
    The standard-sized changing mat fits perfectly on the Expedit. We topped it with an ultra-plush cover in white.

    Find a similar changing pad here, and a similar pad cover here.
  • Baskets for Storage 3 of 12
    Baskets for Storage
    We scored these baskets, intended for bathroom use, at a Crate & Barrel outlet for less than $10 apiece. I often find my favorite and most useful items in unexpected places.
  • Rocking Chair 4 of 12
    Rocking Chair
    This rocking chair was part of Amy Coe's collection at Babies 'R Us. I was hesitant to buy one so bulky (though this is one of the more streamlined versions) but every day I am happy I have something comfortable to read and cuddle in. We waited for a 20% off coupon (they come in the mail all the time once you register) and got the chair and ottoman for $320.
  • Graphic Pillow 5 of 12
    Graphic Pillow
    This little accent pillow was part of Dwell's nursery collection, at $34.

    You can see new styles from Dwell at similar prices here.
  • Classic Crib 6 of 12
    Classic Crib
    I'm a sucker for an old-timey-in-appearance crib. This classic Jenny Lind is made by Da Vinci. I think it looks a lot better once the black wheels are removed. We paid about $170 for the crib, and have hardly a complaint. We also purchased a mattress for about $90.

    Find this Da Vinci crib on Amazon here.
  • Crib Bedding 7 of 12
    Crib Bedding
    When sold as a set, nursery bedding can get expensive. I also couldn't find one that I liked each and every part of. I didn't want to invest in a crib bumper since I wasn't sure I was comfortable using one, so we got this one from Koala Baby for $17. (I have to say, my experience with it has been nothing to shout about.) My husband made the sheets out of a queen set we bought for about $20. I scored the ricrac crib skirt on clearance at Pottery Barn for about $50.

    Find a crib bumper like this here.

    There are plenty of dotty sheets at Target here.

    There are cute Serena & Lily crib skirts on sale right now, right here.
  • Colorful Pillow 8 of 12
    Colorful Pillow
    I bought this screen-printed pillow from one of my favorite local artists for $30.

    There are so many cute ones available on Etsy for reasonable prices. I especially like colorful designs by Leah Duncan, these days.
  • Poster 9 of 12
    Poster
    Movie posters, vintage in particular, are inexpensive and make a big statement. "Le Ballon Rouge" was always a favorite of mine, so it's meaningful to us.

    There are a lot of movie posters for sale as little as $13 on this site.

    I also found a $20 IKEA frame here.
  • Little Rug 10 of 12
    Little Rug
    This little rug came in handy for two reasons: First, it gave the floor some color. Second, I hoped it shielded some of the creaking, rocking noise for our downstairs neighbors.

    This one is only $10 here.
  • Laundry Pail 11 of 12
    Laundry Pail
    I liked this cute little "garbage" better for storing cute, little laundry.

    It comes in several fun colors, for just $15, at IKEA here.
  • The Whole Picture 12 of 12
    The Whole Picture
    Ta da! All done, and pretty well within budget. I have loved creating memories in this little room.

Stock up with newborn essentials from these 50 Best Etsy Baby Shops!

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