Anna’s Budget Nursery

*Update: thanks to Project Nursery for the shout out on this post. And welcome new readers! Feel free to stay a while. If you’d like some design advice of your own, email me at jkomenda (at) gmail (dot) com. ………. My awesome and beautiful friend, Anna, lives in Houston with her husband, a med school…

*Update: thanks to Project Nursery for the shout out on this post. And welcome new readers! Feel free to stay a while. If you’d like some design advice of your own, email me at jkomenda (at) gmail (dot) com.


My awesome and beautiful friend, Anna, lives in Houston with her husband, a med school student, and her two adorable little children, a boy and a girl. Both children are very young and share a bedroom together.

Anna recently moved into a new house, so the nursery is pretty much a blank slate. The walls were tan when they moved in, and she is ready to paint and spruce up what she has in the room already, which includes two cribs (one white and one natural finish) and a white dresser from IKEA that doubles as a changing table.

I think the one thing in the room that Anna absolutely loves is the vintage French elephant print that she bought at the Round Top antique fair. I got my color inspiration from this print. P.S. Isn’t her piggy bank collection a cute idea for a nursery?

I recently painted my living room a blue gray color from Martha Stewart’s paint line for Lowe’s. I am so happy with how soothing the color is – it’s surprisingly neutral – not too blue, not too gray. This shade is even lighter (‘Cinders’ MS 236). I think it will completely open up the room, making it feel bright and clean, while also not screaming “Boy’s Room!”

When looking for fabrics for the nursery, I knew I wouldn’t be let down at the go-to store for fun, whimsical prints, Purl Soho. That’s where I found this charming, small-scale animal print. At $18 a yard, it’s a little pricey for this project. But you’ll only need one yard, Anna, so it’s not too bad.

Also buy a yard of this Alexander Henry print.

And you’ll probably need two yards each of these polka dot prints for making simple crib skirts.

Above the dresser/changing table, I’d use these instructions for making a homasote bulletin board for displaying art and family photographs. The scale of the jumbo red ricrac is a little off in this photoshop rendering, but you get the idea.

Also, I think it would look great to add some moulding, painted a dark chocolate brown, to the existing plain white IKEA dresser. IKEA + Moulding = Fabulous.

Anna’s children love (LOVE!) books, just like their parents. I saw on Oh Dee Doh a while back that someone had used this book, 75 Years of Children’s Book Week Posters (available used on Amazon for $1.99), to fill up a lot of blank wall space in her nursery.

I would pick out a few of your favorite pages (or maybe let Grant pick out his!) and frame them in IKEA Ribba frames in a series. So cute, cheap and personalized!
I spied these small, vintage children’s chairs on Houston’s Craig’s List, and as of yesterday afternoon, they are still available. The seller is asking $30 each, but I would get her to go down a little on the price. I think they are absolutely ADORABLE and would look perfect in this nursery.

I think this IKEA floor lamp is a great buy at $24.99. I’m hoping that it’s really dark in person and not too metallic-looking. If it is, though, a quick can of chocolate brown spray paint would fix it right up. I would use my favorite gray linen Target lamp shade to top it off.
I have these jute shades, also from Target, under the drapes in my dining room and I love them. It’s hard to see in the picture, but there is a subtle woven stripe that adds some really nice texture. I would throw some more red ricrac along the top because I love ricrac in kids’ rooms.

Here’s my favorite idea of the post: the rug. Anna mentioned that she would really like to put a fun, graphic rug in the room. Since the budget for the room is very small, the idea of dropping even a few hundred for a cheap rug seemed like a bummer. I love the Madeline Reinrib-inspired awning stripe rugs that all the big stores have been putting out lately. I was hoping to score one from Pottery Barn for Anna on eBay, but then I remembered that IKEA sells striped rugs in small sizes.
I would buy four of the red rugs (at $12.99 each) and, using upholstery thread, a big needle and a thimble during just a few nap times, Anna could whip-stitch the rugs together, making a beautiful, graphic and huge (6’x10′ ) rug for about $50. Can’t beat that.

Here’s everything together:

Good luck with all your projects, Anna! I wish I were there in sunny Texas to help you put it all together!!


Join the Conversation

8 thoughts on “Anna’s Budget Nursery

  1. What a great idea to whipstitch small rugs together! Do you have a suggestion as to what will keep the rugs from slipping (that has been my biggest complaint with IKEA rugs)? I know there are a billion products out there, but I swear I can never find the right one. I’d love a recommendation!

  2. Jennica, Thank you so much. That is so much cuter than anything I could have come up with. I am going to get the chairs tomorrow and will start acquiring the other stuff. When I get it put together (after vacation) I will send you the after pictures. You are amazing! I love all of it. It looks so, so good. I will send you pictures of my other bedrooms after vacation :)

  3. Amanda – I use one of Target’s no-slip rug pads. Cheap and awesome.

    We’ve also tried rug tape. It is worthless.

  4. very cute nursery! Can’t wait to see Anna’s finished result. I love that nursery rhyme book for 2 bucks!!! and FYI Anna, a couple years ago I combined 4 rugs into one for a MUCH cheaper area rug for Asher’s room and we’re still using it here in their nursery.

  5. so funny. . .i just found your blog tonight, and now i’m trying to find pics of your own home on your blog. when i googled your blog and my bedroom or something, this post came up!

    would you believe. . .i’m sure you’ve bought them now, but big lots has those rugs now. i scored one today. . .a black and white one. . .for 7. they also had red and blue. i’m making the black and white one into a checkered flag for my son’s vintage race car room.

    the size is 3ft x 5ft, so if you haven’t got one yet, you may want to check big lots out.

    love your blog by the way! i’m wanting to find a post on your own home! you’ve got great taste!

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