Every parent wants their nursery decorating to be perfect. This is especially true with the first baby, and we tend to spend more than we should to get that perfect look. The truth is you can invest in beautiful pieces that are a good value, because they can be used even as your child gets older. You can also create some of your own pieces to help insure that your child won't outgrow nursery furnishings too quickly.
Instead of purchasing a separate changing table and then getting rid of it or trying to find ways to use it later, build an inexpensive changing station that fits on top of a dresser. You can invest more money in a quality dresser since you have eliminated an entire piece of furniture, so you'll be able to choose one that will last a long time. When baby no longer needs a changing station, you can simply remove it.
It's simple to build and only requires a few pieces of wood and a little paint. Measure the top of the dresser and cut a piece of 1" plywood or fiber board 1 ¼" larger (on all sides) than those dimensions. You will need 1" x 6" planks to frame the sides and ends. Drill pilot holes and screw the planks to the main piece, leaving about 1 ½" at the bottom and 3 ½" at the top. The overlap at the bottom will help keep the changing station in place when set on top of the dresser. There will also be an overlap at the top that will act as a guardrail for the baby. Sand until completely smooth, wipe away sanding residue and paint as desired. Make a thin cushion or pick up a changing pad to place inside.
Choose good-quality wood pieces with clean lines. They will last, and they are the easiest to revamp as your child gets bigger. With dressers, you can paint them a different color, add embellishments to the drawer fronts or easily change out the hardware for a new look. Paint other furniture to match or use contrasting colors.
Also consider purchasing wood chests instead of plastic toy boxes or bins for storage. They are well worth the investment since you will be able to use them for many years to come. They also provide extra seating in addition to storage. Just make a simple cushion for the top and center the chest beneath a window for a great window seat. If you can find an unfinished chest and paint it yourself, you can save some money.
It also makes sense to select other unfinished furniture pieces where possible. You'll not only save money, but you can paint or stain them any way you like to blend in with the décor. When you need to redecorate the nursery, repaint to change the look.
Did you know that you can often purchase reversible rugs, both accent rugs and area rugs, and reversible floor mats for about the same price as typical floor coverings? What option could be more perfect when decorating the nursery to grow with your child? When you redecorate the space, simply flip it over. This is a great item for other areas of the home as well and it allows you to instantly change the look and feel of a space.
Building a room that will grow with your child is easy, if somewhat more expensive than a traditional nursery. You will need furniture that adapts with your growing child and a neutral decor if you want your nursery to grow with your child until high school. You may find that the savings in time and money will be worth the larger initial investment.
My bedroom room used to be brick red. When I painted it this color, I thought it was bold and would stand out-and it did. I quickly found, however, that the I became nervous whenever I went into the room.