Friday, October 21, 2011

How to furnish a girl's bedroom on a budget

When Miss S started sleeping through the night, at around 11 weeks old, we moved her out of the bassinet in our room and into a cot in Miss L's room.

The shift went a lot more smoothly than I thought it would, and the girls seem to like sharing a bedroom. At least Miss L does. It's kind of hard to tell what Miss S is thinking, being that she's only four months old.

I've enjoyed furnishing the bedroom for two girls, although I haven't had much of a budget to do it with.

I thought it would be fun to share with you what I've done, in the hopes of encouraging you that having babies doesn't mean you have to go out and buy everything brand new to set up a nursery. Home-made and second-hand are perfectly good options too. Not only will they save you money, they also make better use of our planet's resources.

Take a look at the next photo of Miss S sleeping in her cot:
  • I bought the painting of two horses at a thrift store. 
  • We bought the New Zealand-made rimu cot off friends whose children had outgrown it. 
  • I made the quilt out of fabric samples I bought in a closing down sale. 
  • The cot head protector was given to us as part of a cot set when Miss L was born
  • A friend from church gave us the ladybird painting when Miss S was born
  • We inherited the oak chest of drawers from my husband's grandmother, when she shifted into a nursing home.
  • I bought the two white baskets sitting on top of the chest of drawers on sale from The Warehouse.

Now look at the next photo of the change table:
  • I bought the pink and purple nappy bin on the left from K-Mart when I was pregnant with Miss L. It has served us well, housing dirty cloth nappies until I'm ready to wash them.
  • We bought the New Zealand-made, white, pine change table second-hand off Trade Me. I know some people say change tables aren't necessary, but I think they save my back lots of agony and also give me a place to store all the girls' nappy gear. (Storage is a big problem in this house.)
  • I bought the four wicker baskets on sale from The Warehouse, because I wanted a way to keep my nappies tidy and easily distinguish between Miss L's nappies and Miss S's ones.
  • The stainless steel trash can was one my husband already owned when I married him.

Now look at the next three photos of Miss L on her bed:
  • I bought the blue duvet cover and pillow cases from a thrift store for a few dollars.
  • I bought the two pillows and the duck-down duvet inner on special from Briscoes - I waited until they were heavily discounted before buying.
  • The fitted green bottom sheet is an old one of my husband's.
  • I bought the top sheet on special new because I fell in love with it and thought it went well with Miss L's duvet cover and bottom sheet.
  • We bought the baby doll from the same friends we bought the cot from, when the friends were having a garage sale. The doll was naked, so we've dressed it in baby clothes that family members gave Miss S, but which were too small for her. 
  • All of the clothes Miss L is wearing in this photo are also hand-me-downs.
  • Originally we put Miss L into an old single bed we owned, but it had grown musty with disuse and I was worried about Miss L breathing in mould spores. So I turned the old bed into a garden, and bought Miss L a new single Sealy bed on special from our local Big Save furniture store. 
  • The salesperson at the store tried to up-sell me into a king single ($100 more) as well as a mattress protector (another $100 more). I turned her down on both counts. We already had all the bedding for a single, I'm certain a single bed will fit just fine for the foreseeable future (I can sleep comfortably in it), and a single takes up less room in the girls' shared bedroom. 
  • As for the mattress protector - we got suckered into buying one of those when we bought our bed and it was awful, sliding around all over the place. Now we use woollen blankets underneath the bottom sheets of all our beds and they work brilliantly. 
  • The framed series of three Winnie the Pooh images above Miss L's bed was given to us by the same friends we bought the cot and baby doll from.
  • I bought Miss L's side table from a thrift store. It's a bit chipped on top, so I've covered it with a lacy cloth I also bought from a thrift store.
  • We bought the pine chest of drawers off Trade Me. I plan to paint it white and distress it one day, when we have the money to buy paint, and when I have the courage to give furniture painting a go.
  • I bought the lamp base from a thrift store and decorated an old lamp shade I already had to match.
  • The stereo is one my husband already owned.
  • My lovely friend, Heather, gave me the CD rack.
  • I already owned the jewellery box, necklace stand and photo frame (which are all hard to see in the photo).
  • A girl from youth group made the picture on the right-hand-side and gave it to us at our wedding.
  • You can see a tiny glimpse of an oil-fin heater on the right-hand-side. I bought that second-hand from the school my Mother-in-law teaches at. It was basically brand new and had only been used as a temporary measure while renovations were being done to classrooms.
  • Miss L's soft toy collection, which was given to us over the years, lives at the end of her bed in an old wicker pram of my husband's. Apparently he used to push his cat and/or goat around in the pram when he was a boy. Cute!
Now check out a photo of our (messy) wardrobe solution for the girls:
  • The girls' bedroom doesn't have a built-in wardrobe, so we're using a kit-set metal wardrobe Paul already owned from his flatting days. 
  • Some of Miss L's books live on the bottom three shelves on the left of the wardrobe. I've placed a sheep-skin rug we already owned at the foot of the bookshelf so Miss L has somewhere snuggly to sit and read her books.
  • The fourth shelf of the wardrobe holds a plastic bin that contains play doh and some craft tools.
  • All of Miss S's cot bedding lives in the plastic bin on the bottom right-hand side of the wardrobe.
  • The girls' dresses and jackets (mostly hand-me-downs) hang up in the wardrobe.
  • The wicker basket on top of the wardrobe is one I bought at a market day. It currently houses all our wooden puzzles.
  • The plastic container on top of the wardrobe is one we bought from The Warehouse to house some of our emergency kit. When I moved our emergency kit into a tramping pack, I put the plastic container to use storing toys I've temporarily rotated out of Miss L's play area. (She'll get them back in a while, and they'll seem new again.)
So that's our girls' room, which I've furnished and decorated as cheaply as I was able. It's a room I love spending time in, and I think the girls like it too.

Linked to Patchwork Living Blogging Bee


  1. Well done. Looks just beautiful. I LOVE that you'r got so much second hand. I love second hand so much cheaper and often you can buy nicer things. Good on you.

  2. well done, I love that sheet with the plain duvet, its just gorgeous. I think that it is super easy to do really stylish when you have money but its so much more rewarding when you know you have been creative on a budget....speaking as a person who lives on a permanent budget :)

  3. How sweet! Great ideas!
    My 7 yr old son and 2 yr old daughter shared a room until last month (when he went through a bit of insomnia and started waking her). We have temporarily relocated my daughter to another (less than ideal) room. It seems to be working so far, but I'm going to have to borrow some of your decorating ideas as there is no "style" to their sleeping areas.

  4. Was Sophie sleeping through the night at 11 weeks? I'm curious how sharing a bedroom works when the little ones have different bedtimes (potentially) and when one might still be waking up for feedings. Love what you did with their room!

  5. Thanks Debbie - yes Sophie started sleeping through at 11 weeks, although we've had a few interrupted sleeps over time because of colds. Lily slept through from 7 weeks and that was her from then on, so I was a bit spoilt.

    Most of the time sharing works fine. Once Lily is asleep I can go into the room and get Sophie up without disturbing Lily. If Sophie is really unsettled, I sometimes put her in my bed to sleep during Lily's daytime nap - because I really hate it when those get cut short. Sophie often gets woken by Lily during her daytime sleeps, which is a bit of a nuisance. I play a lot of soothing music to try and drown out Lily's racket. I've noticed that Sophie sleeps really well until the CD ends. She might be hooked!

  6. Good to know some of these tips and tricks, because we'll have to do the same when baby #2 comes along. Our spare bedroom is a dedicated guest room/office.


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