When I was expecting my son, you might say that I was eager to design his nursery.

You know, like “I’m so pumped to design a new room that I am spending every waking moment on Pinterest and Pottery Barn Kids” eager.

However, long before the little guy’s arrival, my husband got to work recalculating our monthly expenses in anticipation of my maternity leave, and then the addition of a second daycare payment. In the course of these budgeting discussions, we both agreed that we’d need to curb our spending on non-essentials over the next few months.

“So that means you probably don’t need to buy a ton of stuff for his nursery,” my husband concluded.

Well, you can probably guess how that news went over.

After rolling my eyes and grumbling to myself for a few days, I came to the conclusion that, unfortunately, he was right.

I hate when that happens.

I know our situation isn’t unique when it comes to preparing for baby’s arrival. As one of my former coworkers used to say, “The baby isn’t born with a winning lottery ticket in hand.” So as fun as it may be to splurge on over-the-top items for the bambino, it’s often not realistic as we’re all trying to curb our expenses to accommodate an additional family member.

But hey, I’ve always liked a challenge, and so I was determined to create a gorgeous nursery for the little dude on a budget. And I did exactly that.

Here are a few ways I was able to get great items that fit within my budget:

  • I made a plan, including a spreadsheet that detailed every item I wanted for the nursery (this helped curb my impulse buying tendencies)
  • I scored his dresser — typically a $200+ buy — for $60 on Craigslist
  • We reused the crib and glider we had purchased a few years prior when our daughter arrived
  • I saved up for some of the items that I knew would likely never go on sale, like his personalized artwork (one of my favorite items in the room!)
  • I used gift cards and coupons and watched for sales on certain items that I knew I wanted
  • We put the remaining decorative items on our little guy’s Christmas list (I mean, when you’re six weeks old, it’s perfectly acceptable for your parents to say you need a whale-shaped shelf from Santa, right?!)

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: The creative and cost-effective way I designed our little guy’s stylish and modern nautical nursery.

But enough about that. Let’s get to the best part: The photos!

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something I’ve shared below, I may receive a small commission but it won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks for your support! To read my full disclosure policy, please click here.

Navy and ivory rug // Dresser // Dresser hardware // Crib sheet

Navy lamp // Under the sea printed changing pad cover (ours is no longer available but this is similar)

Oar wall hook // Whale-shaped shelf // Porthole mirror (ours is no longer available but this is similar)

Multicolored oars wall art // Fish “be unique” wall art // “May your voyage be full of love and wonder” wall art

Dresser // Dresser hardware // Navy lamp // Under the sea printed changing pad cover (ours is no longer available but this is similar)

Oar wall hook // Whale-shaped shelf // Porthole mirror (ours is no longer available but this is similar)

Whale-shaped shelf

{Most shelf accessories shown here were purchased at Michael’s and are not available online}

Crib sheet // Woven basket // Navy blue chair

Green book shelves {painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antibes Green}

Multicolored oars wall art // Fish “be unique” wall art // “May your voyage be full of love and wonder” wall art

Crib sheet // Woven basket // Navy blue chair

Green book shelves {painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antibes Green}

Madras print blackout curtains

Madras print blackout curtains // Metal and rope side table (no longer available, but here’s another that would be perfect)

Wooden boat (the blue is sold out but here’s the red version) // Blue book // Yellow book (my fave!) // Navy and white striped throw pillow

One of the things I like best about the little guy’s nursery is that it’s not overly baby-ish, which means many of the items will grow with him. It’s always nice to reuse things as your children get older!

P.S. I also shared pics of the nursery over at Project Nursery. If you haven’t checked out that site, I know you’ll love it! You can see M’s nursery feature right over here.

Love this modern nautical nursery design! Such a great space for a little guy.

Love this nautical nursery! Great idea for a boy's nursery.

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