When we found out we were pregnant, one of the first thoughts to go through my head was: “Where are we going to live?!”
For the past year, we had been toying with the idea of putting our place on the market since we knew we were ready to start a family. As many of you know, times are tough out there right now in real estate – so we kept putting it off. Once we got the official news that our family of two would now become three, we started to actively look into selling it. After a few months of back and forth with a couple realtors, we decided that the timing wasn’t right. We were heading into late fall/early winter, which essentially meant the real estate market would slow considerably in the chilly Chicago climate. We made the decision to wait until after the baby was born to put it up for sale.
Once that decision was made, I grew obsessed with getting our place ready to accommodate a baby – and all the many things that come along with a newborn!
First, I got rid of all the clutter. Living in a small space, tiny piles of “stuff” seem to accumulate in random places, ie behind the couch, in corners, tucked away on the floor of closets, etc. I was determined to remove all of our excess belongings and either throw it away or find a place for it in storage. I cleaned out every closet, cabinet and corner of our place and found a home for everything.
Next up, I wanted to redecorate our bedroom. This had been on my list since approximately two days after painting it when we first moved in. I was never in love with our paint choices (they always felt just a bit off to me) and I wanted a space that was calming and soothing, and comfortable for both us and the baby.
Our bedroom in its BEFORE state:
My bedroom redesign to-do list:
- Paint! Find a soft-neutral gray with taupe undertones
- Paint floor-length mirror a soft gold
- New bedding
- New bedside lamps
- Remove desk/chair from corner
- Remove giant tube tv from dresser (such an eyesore!)
- Frame and hang new artwork/photos
- Buy baby furniture: bassinet, dresser/changing table, glider and ottoman
Almost right away, I got to work! Did I mention I needed to do all of this on a budget? That meant we were painting ourselves, DIY-ing a few projects myself and searching for bargains for anything we needed to buy new. I scoured Homegoods and TJ Maxx, visited outlets and JoAnn Fabrics to find the best deals I could.
- Paint: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Paint in Perfect Taupe
- Bedding: Sheets, Comforter and Shams – Tahari Home found at HomeGoods
- Throw Pillows: DIY – used fabric from the remnants bin at JoAnn’s
- Lamps: Homegoods
- DIY mirror redesign: Painted the trim in Martha Stewart Living Vintage Gold Specialty Paint
- Framed photos: Wedding photos printed at Walgreens, used old frames
- Art above bed: Printed black and white photos I took from various travels, frames from Michael’s
- Gold and silver dot artwork on shelf: DIY
- Baby furniture: Bassinet, dresser, changing topper, glider and ottoman - all found at Land of Nod and Land of Nod Outlet
- Shelf for baby items: Including baskets, found at Bed Bath & Beyond
We love our new space! And would you believe we were able to do this under budget? I got lucky when I went shopping for baby furniture. The Land of Nod outlet was running a sale – if you purchased three items, your entire order was an additional 30% off. I managed to score our dresser, glider and ottoman for total less than $750. Compared to the prices on their website, we basically got two pieces of furniture for free! My mom graciously gifted us the bassinet and we received the changer at our shower. With these gifts and bargain hunting, along with my DIY projects, we were able to stay under budget and still have the bedroom (and psuedo-nursery!) of our dreams.
Redesigning this space was as much about decor as it was about preparing a space that I could welcome our baby into. Without a nursery, I struggled with the idea of essentially “splitting” the space in our bedroom – maintaining a personal space for me and Mr. Markers, but also creating a special haven for our little one. With our final product, I feel I’ve achieved just that. Now, I can just sit back in the rocker, picturing our little one in my arms.
Did you have a similar experience? Was it hard to find space for the baby and all of the baby’s things?