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When my husband and I learned that we were expecting our first child in the Summer of 2010 we were thrilled!  We quickly learned that planning for the arrival of a baby was very similar to planning a wedding – both can be quite expensive and stressful.  It seemed to us, that once you uttered the words “pregnant” and “baby”, prices seemed  to increase by 30%!  Because we were on a budget and designers, I know how to be creative and create a fun space for less (without it looking like a reject DIY project).

Because there are few surprises left in life, we wanted the precious gift of learning the sex of our baby during delivery.  With this known, we had to select clothes, paints and toys that were neutral in their color and style.

We started with a non-toxic paint in a warm gray from Olympic Paint.  This paint delivered, the coverage was consistent and true to color and without the noxious smells.  This paint can be found at Home Depot for about $20/gallon.

We were blessed with a beautiful baby boy in August 2010.  Once he started crawling, my anxiety tripled!  The Fatboy bean bags are perfect in that a toddler can crawl on, over and around them and it is more fun (and forgiving) than sitting in a chair.


Once we painted the walls they were ready for art.  My go-to stores were IKEA and PaperSource because of the prices and variety.  At PaperSource there are hundreds of decorative papers to use as pictures, art and decorative objects.  IKEA has an assortment of modern picture frames – a favorite of mine is the Ribba Frame.

These art cards were designed for babies because during their first few weeks of life, their eyes only perceive strong contrasts.  At less than $20 a box for 6 cards, these cards make fun and functional pieces of artwork.  In my sons room, I placed each card in a white frame and hung them linearly on the wall.  A very modern look against the warm gray paint!  These cards can be found at Wee Gallery.

I started collecting books long before I was a mother…you must know, designers love their books!  To this day, Nigel’s favorite items are books, books and books!  Garage sales and gently used books (with a quick wipe does the trick) have added to his library.  For a child his age, it’s all about stimulation and exposure – I even pick up the $1 workbooks for older children in the Target  “one dollar bin” section of the store.  Target has flashcards that focus on numbers, letters, animals, shapes and colors.  When I picked them up, I thought he was too young to engage, but he was listening.  At 2 years old – he is quite brilliant and I’m not saying this because I’m his mother!