Tiny Budget in a Tiny Room for a Tiny Princess

  • Tiny Pink and Gray Nursery1/19
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  • Sweater in Shadowbox3/19
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  • MG_343617/19
  • Handmade Crib Bows8/19
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  • DIY Pink Shag Rug11/19
  • IMG_251512/19
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  • Nursery Frame Collage14/19
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  • Beatles Lyrics Sign for the Nursery17/19
  • Apothecary Jar for Hair Accessories18/19
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Description

When we found out we were pregnant with our THIRD child, we were surprised, but, even more surprised to find out she was a girl!  We have two boys, and I've never really been into pinks and frills, so my original idea was to go with oranges and hot pinks. I wasn't planning to put much effort into her room because I knew we didn't have the budget or the space for it.

But, our baby was born 14 weeks early in December (she was due in April) and she weighed less than 1.5 lbs.  It was a tough time for all of us.   And, when I met her two days after she was born, I knew she was our princess.  And, all I kept thinking my little princess had to fight to come home, and when she did, I wanted to have to have something beautiful (and girly) ready for her.  And, despite our very small budget and small space, I was determined to give her the room she deserved.

Design Inspiration

My inspiration first and foremost was my little girl.  I felt like I didn't know her as well when I was pregnant with her, so I chose the colors based on my own preferences.  But, when I met this tiny little fighter...this dainty little girl...I knew the room had to reflect that. I knew that it was going to be a long time since we would get to bring her home so I spent a lot of time planning and working on her room when I wasn't at the hospital visiting her.  It definitely made me feel just a little less helpless.

There's a room on Project Nursery that I just fell in love with when I decided to switch gears to "girly" (Ava's pink and gray nursery).  I knew I wanted the colors to be pink and gray so when I did a search, Ava's awesome nursery came up.  I admired the clean lines and soft colors and I wanted to come close to that.  So, my ideas started there and then I added a little more "frill" to the room where I saw fit.

Decorating Style

I like things clean and simple.  I'm not huge on murals or heavy patterns. I like to change things up once in awhile, so I usually like to keep decorations simple and wall colors more neutral.

Project Details

Almost all the furnishings were purchased using gift cards we saved from Christmas and when Bean was born.

The dresser and wardrobe are from Ikea.  Because of our small home, we needed them both because her brothers needed to keep their clothes in her closet (sadly...and it drives me crazy because they have to stomp in through her room every day to get something).  We changed the knobs on the Ikea Hemnes Dresser and Wardrobe with glass crystal ones we found on Amazon.

The changing table is also Ikea.

The crib is a mini-crib by DaVinci we also got from Amazon.  This was a difficult decision for me.  We had such a small space, but, we really needed the wardrobe.  I went back and forth on the idea of a mini-crib (and researched and researched!) and finally decided to get it.  When she gets older, the crib can convert to a twin and not a full sized bed (since we definitely don't have any room for that!).  ALSO, since she was a preemie, we figured, she will probably be able to fit in it longer.  I actually really love it and she sleeps well in it.

DIY: The chair I use for breastfeeding is from Ikea.  The pillow came with it, so I decorated it by sewing rosettes on them.  The step stool I got from Target.  I used it to aid in breastfeeding and then she can use it as a step-stool when she's older (hopefully it stays white!)

Paint: Behr's Classic Silver.

Chandelier: One thing was certain when I decided my sweet girl needed a special room and that was that I needed to have a chandelier.  Also keeping budget it  mind, we got ours at Overstock.com and couldn't be happier with it.

The crib bows were made by my friend at Curly Q Design.  I knew I wanted crib bows (that can be easily removed) since we weren't going to be using bumpers.  I wasn't happy with the ones I saw online, so, I sent Michelle (From Curly Q Designs) some material I found at Joann's and she figured out how to make them for me.  They're sewed securely and can be removed easily.  And, she monogrammed it.  I love the way it makes the crib look.

The pink elephant is also from Curly Q Designs.  It has Sabinè's name and Homecoming Date (note-NOT birthdate) because after 100 days of NICU time, it was really the sweetest day of our lives.

DIY: Most of the picture frames are also from Ikea OR they are old frames we had in our garage.  I  painted some pink and gray.  The big "S" was a wooden initial I bought from Etsy.   I just painted it and mounted it inside the empty frame.

The curtains took three different stores and three different returns to find the one I liked and it ended up being IKEA again.  They're textured like embroidery and I love them.

DIY: In the shadowbox, there's a little sweater that someone crocheted for our little girl while she was in the NICU.  The woman who made it doesn't even know us or our family and we were surprised to get it.  We received several gestures like this when our little girl was born and when people heard our story.  It was overwhelming and touching.  I wanted to frame the sweater as a constant reminder of how much love and prayers Bean received when she was born.  There were so many people that were rooting for her and we will always be appreciative.  The shadowbox I also found in our garage and I re-painted it from silver to white, and covered up the white background with pink fabric.

DIY: I also MADE the shag rug.  All the shag rugs I wanted in that large size were too expensive so I made one using this tutorial from My Love of Style (only I used a crochet hook).  It took me three weeks and all mostly while pumping milk for my baby in the NICU (Hands-free pump bras are awesome!)

DIY: The empty-frame collage (again from Ikea) has one frame filled in the middle that says "Bean, est. 2013". Print was created by me: cb Shilkret Designs

Near the doorway is a pink sign given to us by friends that has Beatles lyrics on it.  Bean was born to an operating room filled with Beatles music (after my awesome OB asked what music I would like to hear during surgery) so, this is a tribute to moment she was born.

Bedding:  Finally, the bedding is from Carousel Designs. They were the only ones who had the cutest mini-crib designs!

Favorite Items

It's really tough to choose one since there are a few "meaningful" things in there for me.  But, if I had to choose one, I think it would be the sweater in the shadowbox.  It just means a lot to all of us and it looks incredibly sweet in the room.

Advice

My advice is that there really are ways to put together your dream room even on a small budget.  Don't underestimate Ikea :)  Our furniture is solid wood and sturdy (and pretty, in my opinion.)  It might take a lot of searching and a lot of DIY, but, in the end it's worth it! Finally, choose things that really mean something to you.  I was not able to show them all here, but there are so many little things in this room that make me smile.  It makes me really enjoy sitting in this room and taking it in.  I hope my little girl will enjoy it as much as I do when she's older.

77 Comments

  1. 1

    It doesn’t look like it’s done with a tiny at all. It rocked the classy and glam look.

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    Hi Charity! My daughter’s nursery was your inspiration nursery :) You did a fantastic job! I’ve never seen the idea for “crib bows” before but I really love it, since we never ended up actually using our bumper. So happy to see what you’ve done here and touched by your story. Best wishes to you and Sabine.

  4. 4

    Thank you so much, Megan! I didn’t want it to be too over-the-top, and loved the balance in your room, so I referenced your Ava’s room quite often! Since we had the gray walls I wanted the pink curtains like yours and then when I put them in they looked cheap and too pink. I realized my balance was off since I had the pink rug, so I regrouped and decided to start looking for white curtains. Haha. Thanks for inspiring me with your awesome room!

  5. 5

    When my 8 1/2 year old daughter saw it, she said she wanted the same exact room (except with blue accents instead of pink)! Blue is her favorite color at the moment. The room is stunning! And very welcoming. Bean is one lucky girl in many, many ways!

  6. 6

    Bean is absolutely beautiful. Love your nursery. Doesn’t even look like a small room or budget. Did the chandelier come with the white part on the ceiling? Finding out my baby’s gender in about a week. If it’s a girl, she needs this chandelier!

  7. 7

    Thank you! Oh, the medallion for the chandelier is another cheapo shortcut I took! Lol. I may change it in the future, but, it’s holding up pretty well. It looks plaster but it’s actually melamine I think. It cost $12.00 on Amazon.com! Haha! As for the chandelier I’ll have to search for the link because overstock has so many choices, but, if you do a search for: “Venetian Crystal Chandelier” it should come up. It’s $133 and I had a coupon code so it was even a little less. Google overstock coupon codes and I’m sure there will be something new at the time you might purchase. Good luck and congrats on your little one!!

  8. 8

    Found it! Just wasn’t sure if the other part came with it. I don’t even know what to call it! Just chandelier medallion? Haha. Pretty sure I’ve seen them at Lowe’s before as well…

  9. 9

    Haha. Totally understand. I didn’t know what it was called, either, at first. I think I searched for “Chandelier decorative plaster”. Lol

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    Thank you! I used Behr’s classic silver. Since the room us so small, I felt like any darker and it would make the room look even smaller. :)

  12. 13

    Sabine’s nursery is gorgeous! You did a wonderful job. As the mom of a baby born ten weeks early, I LOVE your elephant with her coming home date on it. The day our son was born was the scariest day of our lives. The day he came home from the NICU was the happiest one! Sabine looks healthy and beautiful. Great job!

  13. 14

    Thank you, Shannon! It’s definitely a feeling only another NICU mom would understand! ;) Wishing you and your little miracle the very best!

  14. 15

    Hi! I was just wondering how the rug feels? Is it really soft? I’m about to attack this project and am worried about how comfortable it will be and if the cloth will wear out quickly?

  15. 16

    So far it’s doing really great! And it does feel really nice and soft (But, that will depend on what kind of material you buy, I’m assuming). My boys actually like hanging out on it regularly. ALSO, in the tutorial she ties the pieces in a knot. BUT, if you fold the piece in half and loop it, instead (like latch hooking) I think it would make for an even softer step. I didn’t do that, because I discovered that way too late. :)

  16. 17

    What’s the size of the S initial please.. I’m decorating
    A baby girl nursery.. I love your idea as we also got a tiny room
    But we bought such a big set of furniture .. Hardly any space to move around

  17. 18

    I absolutely love this room and plain to use as my inspiration. Though the walks are a light blue gray. I saw similar bedding on the site referenced, but am do not see the grey and pink bed skirt as one. Is that one piece?

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    Hi, and thank you!! Yes, , the skirt is one piece. The mini – crib version of the design didn’t come with the pink panel on the bottom and when I realized it, I just asked them to switch out the bumper and do a pink panel in the bottom instead. You can ask them to do a custom one and they’ll do it for you.

  20. 21

    Thank you! Just one more question about the lighting. I love how light and bright the room is but did you ever run into issues with the curtains not letting too much light in for your beautiful baby to sleep?

  21. 22

    I was concerned about that, too. The curtains darken the room when it’s closed, but, still not completely dark and still pretty bright. We were planning to get blackout backing to go behind it, but, towards the last two weeks of Bean’s stay in the NICU, they were keeping lights on during the day and turning them off at night so that she can get used to day and night (there were no windows in her NICU room). So, we decided to just try it without them since they seem to think it’s important. She slept in a bassinet in our room for the first month and a half then when we started putting her in her room she didn’t seem to be affected by the light at all. She even naps in her crib with no issues. But, if it is a concern for you, there are places that sell the blackout curtains. I think Ikea might’ve even had them, too.

  22. 23

    you’re daughters room is just perfect! i love the chandelier, you said you purchased it on amazon whats the name of it and what size is the medallion?

  23. 24

    Hi! Beautiful room! It’s become my inspiration for my daughter’s nursery. I was wondering how you were able to get the crib bows to stay up. I tried attaching them with ribbon but they seem to keep sliding down.

  24. 25

    Hi, the medallion is actually an inexpensive one from Amazon. When I’m not on my phone, I’ll check my orders. I believe it was 14 inches. To be honest it’s the one thing I may change in the future. It is made to look like plaster, but it’s a melamine I think. The chandelier is from overstock.com. Google for coupons in overstock.com. there’s always something! And, thank you!!!

  25. 26

    Hi, there! Thank you! My friend sewed elastic into the straps on the back so they stay up perfectly. They’re fastened with velcro so you can make them nice and tight. My little girl has started to roll over and grab things so they don’t stay on when she’s in it. But, i always put them back on when guests come over. ;)

  26. 27

    Hi,

    I love it!! How do you think a nursery would look with Tiffany blue accent vs the gray that you chose??

  27. 28

    Love this nursery. Can you tell me what size matress you used or are they all standard? And how many you used? First time mom and I have no clue, thanks.

  28. 29

    Hi! Sorry, I for some reason don’t get notifications on these comments so I’m sorry for the delay – I like that idea! Sounds beautiful! The thing that I love about using all the white furniture, too, is that when she gets older, if she wants to change any of the colors, it should be really easy to do so.

  29. 30

    Thank you! So sorry about the delay in response. I didn’t realize there were comments on this page that I hadn’t responded to! The crib is a DaVinci mini crib so, we bought their standard Mini-Crib mattress. We went for the 50 coil 5 inch thick mattress and we love it. As far as the mini-crib, we’re still very comfortable about our decision going that route. She is coming up on 10 months and there’s still PLENTY of room for her to move around (but, again, she’s a mini baby). The mini-crib mattresses do come is a smaller 3 inch thick and when you go to get the bedding for it, you’ll see that there will be the choice for how thick your mattress is, but, I like the 5 inch. It feels very firm and well made.

  30. 31

    Can you tell me where you got the crib skirt from? If it’s from fabric that you (or someone) made, does the pattern have a name? It’s so pretty and I love it!

  31. 32

    Hi! The crib skirt is from Carousel Designs. They have it just like that in the regular crib size. I had to get them to alter it slightly for the mini-crib ;)

  32. 34

    Hi, what’s the size of the wooden initial ? And what colour did you use? I absolutely love it

  33. 35

    Hi! I am ordering everything to make the pink shag rug. I also have 2 boys and a little girl on the way!!!!! (yay!) Did you use the same 100% cotton interlock as the tutorial or a cotton/poly blend for the interlock fabric? The blend is much cheaper but I am worried that it wont hold up or feel the same. Also, did you use one color pink…its hard to tell from the picture.

  34. 36
  35. 37

    Hi! It’s 12″ and fit perfectly into the ikea frame. I don’t recall the color, but it was spray paint we got from home Depot and they didn’t have any choices, just that one.

  36. 38

    Yes, I used the interlock, I was worried about the same thing! But, I also used Joanns coupons tor get what I needed. Those 40% off coupons really helped with the cost! It’s holding up just beautifully even though my sons love laying all over it. Lol. It’s just one color.

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  41. 47

    I love this room!!! It is the inspiration for our baby’s nursery :)
    I am wondering what the height of then oval is of the frame with the S in it? Thanks!

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    I absolutely LOVE the shag rug and really want to try and make one myself.
    My only concern is how hard is it to clean? lol Does a vacuum work well without destroying the material?

  45. 51

    How did you make the rug? The tutorial is not working and would love to make this rug for my baby girl! Thanks

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  48. 58

    Your baby’s nursery is beautiful. I will recommend that you don’t use the bumper pad. I am involved in a Safe Sleep program and know personally how many infants suffocate due to bumper pads, blankets, pillows and stuffed toys in the crib.

  49. 59

    Hi, I seen the website your crib bedding was on, but I see yours is custom. I love how yours has the damask design but it is minimal. How or what did you exactly ask for?

  50. 60

    So she was born on April 6th…wow I was also born on April 6th 14 weeks early and weighed 1 lb I stayed in the hospital for 3 months before I got to come home…my mom didn’t get to see me for a week…that is so incredible how us girls can be such fighters…Keep fighting little Bean!!!

  51. 61

    I love your story and this beautiful room. Where did you get the curtains from?

  52. 62

    First off, I LOVE this nursery. We’re using it as inspiration for our baby girl’s nursery now! I ordered the chandelier but I’m having a hard time finding specifics to know what size medallion to order. I see the center hole comes in a variety of sizes. Do you still have the link for the one you used or know what size the center hole was? Thanks so much!

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    What are the dimensions of the rug? I want to order one just like it! It is a perfect fit!

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  56. 66

    Do you know the name of the big wardrobe/closet from ikea so i can find it online easier or a direct link please! Been searching for this exact one & it wont come up!

  57. 67

    This nursery is beautiful and an inspiration for mine. I am having a very rough time finding a white glider for $200 or less. The cheapest one I found in $270 and nothing else seems to come close. I looked for the chair you purchased from ikea, but didn’t see a glider… it looked like just a regular arm chair. Was it a glider?

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  60. 71

    Hi. I love this nursey! its so cute and wonderful. I would like to buy also the curtains. Are they available in Ikea yet?

  61. 73

    Thank you for posting this I went back and fourth on what grey to choose I ended up getting a few samples along with this one and loved this one the best!

  62. 74

    Hi,
    When the mattress is in the top position, there is obviously a lot of space but i love the way you have the gray damask part and then the pink bed skirt. What is the gray damask a part of? Is it a bed skirt or a sheet? I want to duplicate this look for my little girl’s room :)
    Thanks!

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  64. 77

    Hello,
    I love the decorations. Where did you find the white frame where the initial is?
    Thanks

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