I love to decorate. I walk around my house regularly trying to come up with new ideas of how I want to change the look of our house. Sometimes it’s paint and sometimes it’s moving a picture frame. When we got pregnant, I knew this would be a fun adventure. I could begin to imagine all the work we would put into her room and couldn’t wait for the time she would spend there. I got this far, and then was stumped. I had no earthly idea HOW we were going to decorate. I knew we’d use all the basic stuff (crib, dresser, etc) but what was the STYLE going to be? I would walk around our house tying to get ideas. I would look online and stalk my facebook friends who had babies in hopes that they had an idea I could steal. I got nothing, at least nothing that would work for what I had envisioned. Then in March, we returned home from our regular mission trip to France and had purchased some art that we were going to hang in the house. As I looked around and tried to decide where it would go, I saw a framed canvas my brother had brought us back from Tanzania and knew this was the theme we’d use. We had always wanted to do a gender neutral style and the safari theme was perfect. Here’s a look into how we decorated our room for less than $400:
*Furniture: We knew that our budget would only allow us to do certain things and with our budget, getting brand new furniture just wouldn’t happen. We were very blessed to have dear friends give us their crib, dresser and changing table/chest of drawer combo. We had other friends that gave us their glider and ottoman. A year previously, I had my eye on a nightstand at Target that had been dented and marked on clearance. After watching it for two months, JR and I carried it up front and offered to a Dave Ramsey trade. We would take it off their hands, and they gave us an additional 30% off. Awesome! We were also given a bookshelf at one of our baby showers. There can never be enough baby books purchased! With all the wood furniture, my best friend, Deborah, and her husband took it, sanded it, and painted it a distressed style. Then, we took the furniture with plain knobs and bought new ones (on clearance) at Lowes. Score! The total cost for these renovations plus the one piece of furniture: $75
*Decorations: We knew this would be the biggest part of making Emma’s room have the safari look. We purchased two lamps, one plain and the other brown and orange animal print. I found a rug I fell in love with at Marshalls. It was regular price $150, marked down to $100. It had a few snags on it, so they gave me an additional 20% off. If I signed up for a credit card with them, I would get an additional 10% off. I said a big, fat NO to this offer. Thanks Dave! Something else I knew I wanted was an old wooden truck. We visited Everything Goes Furniture on State Street and found an old 1800s trunk that we bought on the spot. Deborah and Stacey also took this to give it some extra TLC. Have I mentioned they are my best friends? Not many friends would clean out an old, nasty, stinky wooden trunk for you. Not many at all. For Christmas from them, we got my dream- an antique coat rack! It has an African dress/hat for a small child. I love it! Lastly, we used wall art. We had several pictures given to us as gifts and many pieces of artwork from Africa that we had framed. Some of our canvas still needs to be framed and hung, so that price is not added into our final cost. The total cost of these additions: $200
*The Room: the biggest decision to us was what room to use. It decided a lot of our budget. If we moved Emma downstairs, we would have to put down hardwood floor which would go above our budget. If we redid our garage, that would be an even prettier price tag. Then my wonderful parents gave the room to us as a gift for
us Emma. What a blessing! We didn’t want to get everything completely free and not pitch in so JR helped dad do a lot of the basis work (tearing out stairs, ripping up carpet, etc) and we purchased several things, including all the paint, closet hanging materials, and a few other things. I’m not going to lie- my parents picked up the majority of the tab and we were so blessed by them and their generosity. If you need an home improvement work done, Dan Fleming and Michael Jenkins are the men to call. Let me know if you’d like their contact information for any projects in your home! The total cost to us here: $100
At the end of the day, we were pleased with all that we did for Emma’s room. Look at it here! I think this room looks like it’s worth more than $500, and it is. We are also able to look at this room and realize that it’s something she can grow into as she grows. It’s not a baby room or a toddler room. It’s open to many ages, which should help as Emma gets older and allow us a little more time before we have to make any new changes to it. We were very blessed with others generosity and time- too many people we can’t even name them all. People who decorated. People who painted. People who bought us decor as baby gifts. So I’ll make this a moment to say a huge THANK YOU! We definitely realized how blessed we were during this time of our lives. Emma has so many people that love her beyond words.
What tips do you have for decorating your child’s room?