When it comes to home design, we’re the first to admit our budget doesn’t always match our dreams. And with a new baby on the way, it’s hard to compromise – you want everything to be perfectly adorable, perfectly safe, and perfectly in style!

A quick trip to any baby registry website will quickly clue you in that cute can add up fast, but don’t worry – we’ve collected some tried-and-true tips from experienced parents to help you splurge where it matters and save when you can!

SPLURGE on baby-safe furniture that’s built to last.

When it comes to baby furniture, you get what you pay for. Invest your dollars wisely in quality-built pieces that transition to grow with baby and become treasured family hand-me-downs. Since you’re going to be making an investment, choose pieces that serve more than one purpose. A convertible crib can take baby from birth through childhood – no need to shop for a toddler bed when the time comes! A sturdy dresser can serve as both storage and changing table (bonus if it’s equipped with soft-close drawers that protect tiny fingers and precious nap times).

SAVE on soft accessories, like bedding, pillows, and stuffed toys.

Those baby bedding sets come with a hefty price tag, and here’s the catch: they aren’t always safe. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that newborns sleep on their back in cribs with no soft bedding – just a firm, well-fitting mattress with a top sheet. The good news is you can skip the quilts, pillows, and blankets, and save by purchasing a few cute, fitted sheets that match your nursery style.

SPLURGE on a chair that’s comfortable for the second-most-important person in nursery design – YOU!

You’re going to be spending almost as much time in your new nursery as your baby is, and since they’ll likely be curled up in your arms, you’re the one most in need of a comfortable place to sit. Your nursery chair will be where you feed baby, where you spend many late-night hours comforting them, where you read stories and most likely take the occasional sleep-while-they’re-sleeping nap. Don’t settle for something uncomfortable or squeaky – what seems like a minor inconvenience now will become a major irritation at 2am when baby is crying and all you desperately need is a cozy place to land.

SAVE on toys and décor pieces that are likely to change as baby grows.

Here’s what we know for sure – you’re about to meet an entirely new person who you, so far, know absolutely nothing about. Baby’s likes and dislikes are bound to change as they grow, so save by choosing décor items that make a big impact while staying easy to update. Want your nursery walls to tell an adorable (and temporary) story? Try:

Wall Decals: Easy to use and easy to find these days, wall decals are an affordable way to add major design depth to your nursery. We love these sweet sloths for a nature-inspired nursery, these playful lemons for a citrusy spring vibe, or this beautiful arch for a major floral moment.

Digital Printables: Have a reliable home printer? Etsy is full of beautiful, frameable art you can purchase for a fraction of the price if you’re willing to print it yourself. Try these lovable modern sketches, this rainbow affirmation, or this out-of-this-world set of neutral space prints.

Washi Tape and Sharpie Pens: Want to work a little super simple DIY magic? You’d be amazed what you can do with removable tape and permanent marker! Find some incredible washi tape inspiration on this blog, and get your Sharpie ready to try one of these irresistible ideas!

SPLURGE on that one special item you truly love.

That lush rug, those leather accents, that beautiful chandelier – sometimes, you find a single décor item that just screams “I’m special!” And when you do, we say it’s time to splurge! That one special piece you love, whether it’s an antique rocking horse you found on your babymoon, that closet system that takes your baby clothing storage from mess to magic, or that high tech baby monitor you know will give you much needed peace of mind. Knowing you invested in your space, and yourself, with one precious item can lift your mood and help make sure your nursery is a place you and baby truly love to be 

SAVE space by saying goodbye to the closet door.

One of our favorite tricks for maximizing a small space! Send that closet door into storage until your little one is older. Baby clothes are adorable to look at and removing a closet door (or doors) can buy you valuable real estate for a crib, changing station, play space, or book nook. But don’t take our word for it! Find some closet style inspiration here.

What are your best budget-friendly nursery ideas? We’d love to see your DIY projects, as well as your splurge-worthy purchases – just tag us @dadadababy or use the #dadadamoment to share your favorite ideas with us!