21 Budget Nursery Decorating Tips All New Parents Need To Know

nursery with tree wallpaper and light pink art print accents

Emily Henderson

It's very easy to get wrapped up in the idea that you have to spend a fortune on décor and furniture to end up with a beautiful nursery—but let’s not forget that this room will likely be redecorated after two or three years. So while you want to achieve the snug, heavenly nursery look that makes everyone ooh and aah, there are a few tricks to keep in mind to keep your budget in check. Ahead, we’ve pulled together some of the best budget nursery decorating tips—accompanied by some of the most awe-worthy nurseries that lead by example—so you can smartly shop your way to a gorgeous room for your little one, all while staying within your budget. Keep scrolling for our favorite money-saving tips for nursery décor.

01 of 21

Don’t Splurge on a Crib

nursery with wooden crib, buffalo artwork

Cathie Hong Interiors

Designer cribs are a thing, and they will cost you. Luckily, there are tons of well-designed, affordable options out there. Before you go shedding thousands on a crib, shop around for budget alternatives, and look for three-in-one convertible options that will transform into a toddler bed when the time comes.

02 of 21

Be Minimal With Your Crib Bedding

simple nursery

Burchard Design Co.

It might be tempting to decorate your baby’s crib with a cloud-like array of pillows and plush toys, but you only need one of each. Stick to pretty patterned bedding and minimal styling to decorate on a budget. In this case, less truly is more.

03 of 21

Be Smart With Art

arrow wallpaper nursery with wooden crib annd purple rug

Ashe + Leandro

The cuteness factor is always a winner in nursery décor, and one of the best ways to bring that into your nursery is by incorporating adorable artwork. If the larger pieces are a little out of budget, you can opt for an assortment of four smaller prints. You’ll get four times the charm at a fraction of the cost.

04 of 21

IKEA-Hack Your Way to Beautiful Storage

nursery using IKEA spice racks for book storage

Design: Anne Sage/ Photography: Monica Wang Photography

Not a lot of storage space? No problem. All you need are a few IKEA shelves (or in this nursery shown here—IKEA spice racks!), and you’ve got yourself makeshift storage allowing books to be on display without taking up much room.

05 of 21

Make Use of Versatile Seating

nursery with decorated wallpaper, daybed and chair in the corner

Emily Henderson

If you have the space, you might want to add seating in your nursery, like a sofa where guests can come and swoon over your newborn baby. We suggest a daybed that can be converted into a child’s bed so you can repurpose it when your toddler has outgrown the crib.

06 of 21

Use an Existing Dresser as a Changing Table

nursery that uses dresser as changing table

Anne Sage

If you have an unused dresser lying around, use it as a double-duty changing station. You can also scour vintage stores or Etsy for budget alternatives. It's as simple as taking your dresser and outfitting it with a changing pad on top and violá! An affordable (and space-saving) changing table.

07 of 21

Add Color With Paint

nursery with black walls and pink accessories

Katie Martinez Design

Sometimes all you need to make a statement in a room is to add a bold color to the walls. The nursery shown here is daring with a black wall and crib, yet is accented with various shades of pink to create contrast. You can also opt for something a bit more subtle and paint the window and door trims contrasting colors. It's a great way to decorate a nursery on a budget.

08 of 21

Buy Vintage Pieces

nursery with vintage style chair, crib, and wallpaper

Becca Interiors

Visit your local antique and vintage stores or turn to eBay or Etsy to find vintage items, especially when it comes to pieces that you might not use once your baby is grown. An accent chair is a perfect example, but there are others: baskets, dressers, even old-school dećor can be repurposed into something unique and brand new for your little one's first room.

09 of 21

Make a Statement With Pillows

black and white minimal scandinavian nursery

Nicole Franzen

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to go wild with décor to make a stunning nursery. You just need to make sure a couple of things in the room stand out. A few patterned or colored throw pillows are a low-cost way to give the room personality, and up the cozy vibes.

10 of 21

Go Minimal

nursery with green pattern wallpaper and leaf art prints

Cathie Hong Interiors

Minimalism is just as chic in a nursery as it is in every other room in your house. Keep bed linens neutral, opt for two to four framed pieces of art, and find a piece of statement lighting. The result is simple but stunning. Minimal doesn't necessarily mean lack of color, though—this nursery from Cathie Hong Interiors implements green as its primary color, yet the space doesn't feel overwhelming or busy.

11 of 21

Try Decorative Wallpaper

nursery with crib and forest etching wallpaper

Emily Henderson

Wallpaper is an easy way to make your nursery absolutely adorable, without needing a lot of extra décor (which equals less money spent!). If you choose a removable, peel-and-stick wallpaper, it'll be easy to redecorate the room when your child is older and has tastes of their own. With so many designs and styles to choose from, it's easy to find an option that will work for your theme.

12 of 21

Incorporate Your Home's Décor

white nursery with light purple accents, vintage dresser

Victoria Bell Design

Your nursery should feel cohesive with the rest of your home, so you don't have to develop a totally new style. If you have pieces of décor or furniture in other rooms that you aren't using or don't need, feel free to bring those into the nursery. It'll save you money and help your house flow together.

13 of 21

Add a Gorgeous Plant to Your Dećor

nursery with natural light and cream color

Amy Bartlam

When in doubt, add a plant. It's a low-cost, high-reward styling hack. It adds a calming, homey feel to the nursery, and when the room is no longer a nursery, you can use the plant elsewhere in your home.

14 of 21

Make Use of Small Spaces

nursery with crib and cacti wallpaper

Stefani Stein

Shocking, but true—your nursery doesn't need to be an actual room. If you live in a small apartment, or don't have an extra bedroom, don't stress. An alcove or spacious closet can become a budget-friendly nursery with a crib, some wallpaper, and a few toys.

15 of 21

Keep Everything Neutral

nursery with rocking chair and floating wall shelves

Amy Bartlam

Your nursery is only a nursery for so long, so don't spend a ton of money going all out with pink or blue décor items. Decorating in neutrals ensures that the room can transition as your child grows up—or if you move your child into another room and turn the nursery into an office or den, the neutral décor means you won't have to start all over buying things from scratch.

16 of 21

Utilize Built-Ins

nursery with built-in cubbies

Anne Sage

If you're trying to keep costs down, built-ins are your new best friend. You don't need to spend money on a bookshelf, toy chest, or storage space—make your built-ins work for you, using them to house toys, extra diapers, and linens.

17 of 21

Borrow a Chair

nursery with grey chair and ottoman

Rebecca Judd Loves

You're going to want a comfortable chair in your nursery for breast-feeding and watching your little one, but that doesn't mean you have to buy a new one. Take a chair from your living room or bedroom that you won't miss too much and use it in your nursery. It's used for such a short period of time that investing in a new one isn't necessary if you're trying to cut costs.

18 of 21

Use Natural Materials

nursery with natural material organization

MyDomaine / Chris Patey

Burlap baskets, rattan bins, wicker trays—natural materials not only keep costs down, but they also look seriously chic. We love these numbered burlap bins that help turn this basic organizer into an adorable, farmhouse-style piece. As an added bonus, most natural materials fit well with a neutral palette, so if you're going for a gender-neutral nursery, they're a perfect addition.

19 of 21

Go Easy on the Toys

nursery with minimalist aesthetic

Dan Rak Design

As much as you're going to want to fill the room with every adorable toy under the sun, babies just aren't going to appreciate them the way you will. Save the money (trust us—you'll need the toy budget when they're a year or two older) and stick to a couple of cute stuffed animals you love, rather than a whole menagerie.

20 of 21

Don't Be Afraid to DIY

nursery with DIY tree branch shelf


Who says everything has to be store-bought? DIY your wall décor, like with this gorgeous tree-inspired shelf. It'll save money, and give your nursery a homemade touch.

21 of 21

Add a Crib Canopy

pink nursery with sheer canopy

Forbes + Masters

Crib canopies are an easy way to add flair and a sense of luxury without shelling out a ton of cash. A set of simple, light drapes arranged perfectly around a crib is not only gorgeous to look at but relatively inexpensive to put together.

Updated by
Lacey Ramburger
lacey ramburger bio
Lacey is an editor with 4 years of experience writing about and researching home décor trends, techniques, and helpful tips.