Jackie here with a second installment of The Thrifty-Stylish Nursery. Missed the first installment? Get up to speed here: The Thrifty-Stylish Nursery, Part One: Color.

(A little color commentary on my real life: I totally intended to finish these posts BEFORE the birth of my second child, known fondly around our place as the Newcomer, but I totally  didn’t. On June 12, our sweet little Margot (MAR-go) was born and is now inhabiting the nursery I had such fun putting together.)

Let me take you on a quick photo tour of the furniture I put in Margot’s room. Furniture choices were key, as the nursery is a mere 8′ x 6′. Here’s what I filled the space with:

In this corner is a changing table I bought second-hand from Oliver’s former speech therapist, with a shelf my family has been carting around for years placed above it. I wanted the changing table specifically because 1) I like to have somewhere I can stand up to change diapers and 2) a second-hand changing table was a thrifty purchase (I spent less than $50 bucks) and I know I’ll be able to sell it myself when baby Margot’s all done with it.

Opposite the changing table, on the other side of the window, is a five-drawer dresser I got from Midland Arts and Antiques. It’s a fantastic piece with a little Indiana history—it was made in Bloomington, Ind. in the ’20s—so not only is it good-looking and useful, it has a little historical panache.

A fantastic dresser can take many forms and can be found in all kinds of random places; I recommend hitting up garage sales, thrift stores, antique shops, and the ever-enthralling Craigslist. What should you be looking for? All-wood construction, no major structural damage, and the size/shape you’ve deemed appropriate for your space. What should you not care so much about? DON’T avoid a dresser just because it has urgly hardware/draw pulls/etc. Hardware is remarkably easy and inexpensive to replace, and if you’re willing to do a little looking or crafting, you can probably find something quirky and unique. I did a quick drawer pull search on Etsy and found these sweet robot drawer pulls that I might get for Oliver at a future date. If you’re a bit more adventurous, you can look past color/stain and redo the piece yourself (provided you’re not currently pregnant—fumes + baby=no es bueno) or with a kind friend/spouse/etc.

Annnnd lastly: a crib. A crib is, of course, a no-brainer (unless one is of the co-sleeping club, which I am not because I had too many panicked dreams post-Oliver’s birth of him being lost in the blankets of our bed, and I’d wake up in a sweat, clobber my husband to consciousness in my hysteria, only to discover that Oliver had been sleeping safely in his room all night….) My crib is from IKEA, and I can’t speak more highly of what they have to offer. For between $70-130, you can get a crib that is perfectly safe—because the law requires it to be—and has those great modern lines of Swedish design. (And, BTW, if you’re looking for a crib that converts to a toddler bed, IKEA’s cribs do that, too.) Mattresses range from $35-80—also incredibly reasonable.

Now, you’ve probably noticed that my furniture items don’t match. I’m not bothered by this (the only matchy-matchy that exists in my house is my husband and I have matching dressers and nightstands in our bedroom, and all of our dining room chairs are the same)—I tend to be more interested in the principle of “does it go?” rather than “does it match?” If you like everything matching, okay. Just know that there’s NO RULE that says everything has to match exactly in order to look good. I made all of my pieces make sense together by using color—you’ll notice all of the orange, green, and purple throughout the room—as well as the use of repeating shapes (circles, squares—but more on that when I discuss the room’s accessories). So, embrace the hodgepodge; choose meaningful pieces that you both need AND respond to; and don’t feel obligated to drop tons of money just to make thing match.

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