Modern Gender Neutral Nursery - On a Budget

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

We decided to keep the gender of our baby a surprise so needed a nursery that would work for either a little boy or a girl who would be coming home. When I started looking for ideas online, I quickly realised that decorating a baby’s nursery could become a very costly project so I set out to create a space that would be cute, practical and most importantly wouldn’t break the bank.
I am not a huge fan of “baby” prints or typical “baby” colours so instead I aimed to create a space that was centred around being neutral, light and calming. Here is how I created this space on a budget. And it’s turned out to be a space I love spending time in.

Ideally, I would’ve loved to put down wooden floors in this room but decided to leave the original jute carpeting. I love the warm tone and texture it brings to the room so for now it works. The walls were painted white as it made this room feel bigger than it is while also brightening up the space.

You really don’t have to spend a fortune on nursery furniture and d├ęcor. You just have to get creative and shop around. Don’t be afraid to buy second hand or upscale pieces you already have in your home. I found this rocking moose on eBay for example when I was in London for 99p, the cane chair is from the 1900s and I picked it up at a second hand store on our road trip to Cape Town and the changing table was an old dressing table we painted in sage green. I bought the gold knobs years earlier at an antique market and finally put them to use on this changing table. I did splurge on the brass hand curtain hooks though. I couldn’t resist these from Anthropologie.  

I didn’t want a rocking chair as I wanted something more stable and comfier where I could curl up and feed in the middle of the night or read bed time stories, so we borrowed this from my mother in law. I love mixing old and new pieces in a room. Even the mirror was an old bathroom mirror I had reframed with this simple gold frame. I also decorated the shelves above the changing table with a sketch my best friend gave us as a wedding present and a used biscuit tin from another sweet friend which I loved the colour and detail of. You could even frame family pictures, images from magazines or sentimental post cards to add to shelves or the wall of your nursery. This is a great way to add artwork and personalise a space without investing in wallpaper or expensive prints. I always have a few staples on this shelf and then use this as a space for baby products I am using and want to be in easy reach.

My best friend bought the baby cot for our baby shower which was the most incredible gift. If you are on a budget, there are some beautiful cots and moses baskets on places like Gumtree or Market Place on Facebook. You just have to keep looking. I also ended up only paying R30 for this mosquito net as I used the R100 Babies R Us voucher that comes in the Discovery gift box (read this blog post if you haven't already about all the maternity benefits you get with Discovery medical aid)

We gave the cupboards a fresh coat of paint instead of installing new cupboards which bought them back to life. It’s amazing what paint can do! To organise the baby clothes inside the cupboard I bought these perspex containers from Mr Price Home as baby clothes are so small and I wanted to keep arranged by sizes. This also makes them easily accessible as I can pull them all out and put them on the changing table. I would love to buy a labeling machine but for now I used masking tap and a permanent marker to create makeshift labels. I also found slightly smaller perspex trays from @Home which I used for socks, bibs, hats and other bits and bobs. If you are looking for perspex storage try Mr Price Home, @Home and Just Plastics as they often have stock in store that isn't online. 

When I was little I loved reading, I always chose having a bed time story over watching TV so I wanted to create a little reading nook that our little one could spend hours sitting in. We purposely made the shelves low so when we had a toddler they were able to pick out their own book.  If you are in the US or UK, Amazon sell books for a fraction of the price that are used but in excellent condition. Or alternatively ask for a used or new book for your baby shower and guests can write a message in this instead of in cards which are so often just thrown away.

Other products featured. *Those that are not linked were bought in store and are not online:
  • Block out curtains - Mr Price Home
  • Bookshelves - Kids Living
  • Changing mat - Bumbo
  • Cot - Kids Living
  • Cot matress - Kids Living
  • Display shelves - Custom made pine shelves as we needed a certain length but available from Builders Warehourse, Mr Price Home, Game and a number of other affordable stores
  • Dog light - @Home
  • Moon night light - Takealot
  • Mosquito net - Babies R Us
  • Palm tree print - Desenio
  • Toy Basket - H&M Home
  • Wooden pull along dog - John Lewis
  • Vase - H&M Home

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