7 quick-start nursery ideas that won’t break the bank

All you need is a lick of paint, and a little imagination to create a warm and cosy nursery.

“We’d love to create a special nursery for our baby, but our budget is so stretched at the moment. How can we make our baby’s space feel stylish on a shoestring?”

Decorating the nursery without breaking the bank is a key concern for almost 40% of cash-strapped parents-to-be, according to AkzoNobel research.

But with a bit of careful planning, it’s still possible to create the beautiful nursery of your dreams. All you need is a lick of paint, some smart second-hand buys and a plenty of imagination.

Want to know how it’s done? Check out our seven savvy nursery ideas for gorgeous baby rooms on a budget.

1. If you only do one thing… paint the walls!

A little bit of colour can go a long way, and paint is by far the easiest, quickest and most affordable way to transform your nursery.

If you’re starting with white walls, brighten things up with a feature wall in a vibrant hue such as citrus or lime, or keep it sophisticated with versatile grey, or lilac. Anything goes. And with bold colour on the walls you won’t need as many accessories, so you’ll save some pennies too!

Which paints?

Rouge Red   Dulux 10YR 34/359
Maria   Dulux 50GG 41/379
Noble Blue   Dulux 50BB 18/216
Flashes of colour in unexpected places, like inside of cupboards or shelving, is the perfect way to give your nursery a stylish twist without the designer budget.
Blue storage cupboard

2. Attention to detail

Flashes of colour in unexpected places, like inside of cupboards or shelving, is the perfect way to give your nursery a stylish twist without the designer budget.

Choose a bright colour for an intense colour hit, and unify the look with matching accessories.

Which paints?

Bongo Jazz   Dulux 28YR 29/561
Bluebird’s Song   Dulux 93BG32/374
A fresh coat of paint in a cheerful hue like blush pink or lime green and will give old furniture a new lease of life.
Painted furniture

3. Give second-hand a fresh look

Not everything in your baby’s room needs to be brand new. Instead of buying a new cot, dresser or rocking chair, give yourself a budget and visit a flea market or local second-hand store and bag yourself a bargain.

And don’t worry if it looks a little bit shabby. A fresh coat of paint in a cheerful hue like sunny yellow, blush pink or fresh green and will give it a new lease of life.

Which paints?

Sparkler   Dulux 60YY 79/367
Bay Coral   Dulux 22YR 50/316
Arboretum   Dulux 50GY 74/273
Nothing adds personality to a space quite like a piece of art – especially when it’s an original.
Painted nursery headboard

4. Personalise the walls

Nothing adds personality to a space quite like a piece of art – especially when it’s an original!

For an easy project, why not try creating a painted headboard at the end of your baby’s crib? Tester pots are perfect for painting a small area such as this.

Which paints?

Mushroom Cap   Dulux 20YY 55/151
Summer Lily   Dulux 08YY 56/528
Sometimes a single accent – like the cloud stencil on the wall here - is all you need to create a striking space.
Nursery with cloud stencil detail

5. Focus on one fun detail

Sometimes a single accent – like the cloud stencil on the wall here - is all you need to create a striking space.

If you’re starting with white walls, however, why not burst out the brights and paint the cot or dresser in hot pink or electric blue?

Which paints?

Western Navajo   Dulux 40YY 69/112
Scour local markets for pretty ceramic knobs that don’t cost the earth and complement the colour of your walls.
Wooden drawers with blue knobs

6. Replace hardware

Whether you’ve bought a new dresser or are using a hand-me-down, replacing generic draw knobs and handles is an easy and affordable way to personalise your baby’s nursery.

Scour local markets for pretty ceramic knobs that don’t cost the earth and complement the colour of your walls.

Choose cushions and throws to complement the colour of the walls, and create a designer-style look by mixing different textures, such as chunky knits, tactile velvets and soft cottons.
Complement your scheme with accessories

7. Accessorise

A lick of paint is the easiest way to transform a dull room into a gorgeous nursery for your baby, but you’ll need a few finishing touches.

Choose cushions and throws to complement the colour of the walls, and create a designer-style look by mixing different textures, such as chunky knits, tactile velvets and soft cottons.

Which paints?

Spider’s Web   Dulux 90YY 73/040

Top tip

Decant leftover paint into small, clear jars and seal the top with clear wrap before you put the lid on. Not only will this prevent the paint from drying out, it will make it easier to see what colours you have left.

Get the look with these colours:

Rouge Red   Dulux10YR 34/359
Arboretum   Dulux 50GY 74/273
Mushroom Cap   Dulux 20YY 55/151
Summer Lily   Dulux 08YY 56/528
Western Navajo   Dulux 40YY 69/112