I really love the little saying:
USE IT UP, WEAR IT OUT, MAKE IT DO, OR DO WITHOUT…
It can be really hard to not get sucked in to the vortex of new, pretty and sparkly when it comes to all things baby. Especially first time around. But I’m really trying to adopt that mantra not only where it comes to Sweet Pea, but also my wider life in general.
I am the first one to love a good shop, but I’m also attempting to be a lot more mindful of whether I actually need something before I buy it. Easier said than done, but that’s that.
In saying all of this, we are extremely fortunate to have a lot of friends who have recently had babies and are willing to lend or donate us stuff. We visited some very good Melbourne friends on Thursday night and they sent us home with a huge range of things – from singlets, to boxes of unopened breast pads, a playmat and even a breast pump. I am very grateful for their generosity.
Ok, so this may make me unpopular around the traps, but I have to admit to having a good chuckle at some of the pregnancy and baby magazines that are out there – especially towards the back where they tend to focus on kids parties, baby showers and of course, nursery design. Do you know that there are people out there who actually consult interior designers to kit out the baby nursery? I don’t know whether to take those articles seriously or not. I have a lot of friends with kids and never have I heard of a nursery requiring a consultant. It kind of lacks the magic of choosing things that are meaningful and personal if it’s all organised for you by some crisp and efficient interiors person who wants to TEAM WITH THE THEME (sorry, Kath & Kim reference there).
I’m all for having nice surrounds and a warm, comforting and safe environment for one’s child, but to me this just seems to be symptomatic of the excess that is heaped upon newborns/children not to mention the expectations that often weigh down on the shoulders of future parents (er, let’s face it – I mean, “mums” not “parents”. I highly doubt many daddy’s-to-be get caught up in the hoopla of nursery furniture and colour schemes).
Some of the inexpensive ideas I’m using/contemplating to decorate Sweet Pea’s nursery (once her father actually clears out the room) are below.
We have re-invigorated a basket that my great-grandmother hand-wove for me back in 1980 (she knew I was coming in early 1981 but sadly passed away before I was born) – a quick coat of white paint turned it into a very cute storage vessel for baby creams/wipes etc for the change table/mat area:
We are going to buy a new cover for an Ikea Poang armchair (in the charmingly named “tuna” print – blerghhhh!!). It’s currently in the basic cream but has seen better days:
I plan on stealing a couple of the cards that mum and dad received when I was born and framing them as a bit of a nostalgic but kitschy approach to nursery design and/or buying inexpensive picture books from op shops or raiding my own stash and framing the illustrations in cheap white frames (I absolutely adored Babar the Elephant, all of the Busytown Richard Scarry books and Peter Rabbit books as a kid, but I think we will stick with Beatrix Potter for Sweet Pea’s city nursery – i.e. mum and dad’s house as mum has already got some framed prints there):
Purchasing little items that have a big impact and are either on sale (see the bird decals) or can be utilised for a number of years in a number of ways (see mexican bird garland which can be configured as a mobile or bunting). Both of these items were relatively inexpensive:
And of course utilising mum’s handiwork to make cot sheets and blankets – she has sourced a gorgeous bird design that she will cut out and applique on to the edge of the sheets (she’s currently finalising a gorgeous quilt).
These are just a few ideas/concepts to get me started and also to personalise Sweet Pea’s room. I like a sense of history, continuity and a little bit of “make it do”…