Beyond the Baby Department

Don’t limit your options when shopping for nursery décor.

Planning the nursery can be a fun part of preparing for your baby’s arrival. Whether you have a huge room that has been waiting for the baby to fill it or a tiny space in the corner of your one bedroom apartment, taking the time to decorate it will make it a special home for your newborn.

Some people are automatically drawn to the matching crib sets with animals or alphabets, pink frills or blue stripes, and standard issue baby décor. If this is what you like, you’re in luck because you can find it in just about any store that sells baby gear, and at just about any price point. If you find a set you really like, get the details and shop around. You may find that different stores offer the same product for very different prices.

If you want something a little different for your nursery, don’t feel that you are stuck buying from the baby department. You can get crib sheets in solid colors or simple patterns, or have your linens custom made, then shop elsewhere for the rest. Sometimes, the stores that you shop for yourself will be the best places to find artwork, rugs, storage, or furniture to complete your nursery.

A few things to consider when making your decorating choices:

  • If you aren’t finding out the gender, then a precious pink room with fairies and castles might not be the best way to go – yet. If you want the surprise, but you also want to be able to pretty it up or make it manly, stick with neutrals for now. You can take those cream walls and green fabrics in either direction once you meet your little one if you leave yourself room to grow.
  • Stick with your style. Just because the room is for a baby doesn’t mean pastels or primary colors are required. Choose colors and furniture that appeal to you, because the baby isn’t going to have an opinion, just yet. You can worry about that when he/she wants to paint all the walls black in junior high school.
  • Find inspiration everywhere. You might not be able to afford the furniture from that pricey catalog, but you can get ideas on painting, displaying, and storing from perusing their pages. It can be a fun challenge to find a room that you love, but can’t afford, and try to replicate it on a budget. Garage sales, flea markets, and eBay can help you track down great deals. Also, try out our forums and groups to see if other moms, with older children, are willing to part with some nice, hard-to-find items.
  • Incorporate things you remember and love from your own childhood to make the room personal. Did your parents keep your childhood dresser? Repaint it and use it for a changing table. Did you love to read anything and everything Dr. Seuss wrote? Use pictures from books, paint a mural, or print custom quotations on the walls. You can also incorporate old photos into your décor. You’ll love having the baby pictures of you and your partner handy when trying to decide whether your baby has your nose or your partner’s chin.
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