With Scout's impending arrival, we have been hard at work at creating a space just for him or her. However, we're not creating a space like most might think when it comes to having a nursery. We have a budget. Not so much a monetary one, though it is nice to be frugal and work in a cost effective manner. Our budget is a spatial budget. We long ago decided that even with a growing family we will stay in our little two bedroom apartment until we leave the Gallup area. This meant that we had to figure out how to combine our gear room (yes, we had nearly a full room of gear) with a baby friendly space.
Out project began with a lot of rearranging. We moved some items from the gear room into the living room. We sold off some items that we no longer used frequently enough to merit the space (so long wine fridge). And we created. While I have been hard at work growing Scout, the mister has been hard at work manipulating materials, organizing objects, and ultimately making Scout's room what it is.
When I say we were on a spatial budget, this means we got the most out of what we already had. We have accumulated some pretty unique items over the years and we did not see the need to spend money on items that would serve the same purpose (cost effective!). I think that ultimately, the only objects that we spent money on were ... wait, nothing really. Sure, there are a few objects that helped to spruce up the space and some money was spent on paint, but mostly, we just worked with what we had and with items that we received as gifts.
For storage we are using the hope chest that I received for my high school graduation. As a bonus, the chest is really well built so it can double as a small seating area. We purchased a small patio chair cushion (nothing like a soft water resistant surface in a baby room) for added comfort and the transformation was complete. The horseshoe moose was a purchase that we made from a local artist, but with hooks, the nice piece of art also doubles as a place to hang fun things like Scout's sun hat and bathrobe! The bamboo lamp we found at Goodwill in Maine and it has been hanging out for the last several years inside of the hope chest. With it's soft light, it will be perfect for meeting night time needs. Throw in a couple of fun books and a stuffed animal and we're good to go!
The striped "wall" next to the hope chest is dividing our baby space from our gear space. When pulled aside one enters a world of bikes, skis, camping gear, and hiking essentials. When our bike racks are not on the car, they can be screwed onto the top shelf of our storage racks so that our bikes take up as little room as possible. Our gear is sorted into bins that can easily be thrown into the car for adventuring and with added hooks, the shelves also store regularly used clothing. When we lower the curtain, the space looks as baby friendly as can be. All that it took was a king size sheet (found on clearance) and a metal rod (and the creativity of the mister).
Across from the hope chest is Scout's sleeping space. We received a pack and play that will grow with Scout over the next several years. It has a removable bassinet that also flips over into an inclined seat for daytime use. It has rockers on the bottom and a vibrating seat to help calm our little one down when needed as well as a mobile and a sound machine. I'd say we're pretty well set. There is also a changing table for our convenience with handy storage next to it. It is a space saver and a money saver as we shouldn't need anything else for quite some time (though I'm sure that time will come sooner than either of us expect or want).
The art work for this space is still up in the air. Currently we have well loved maps from Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park hanging up. Which one stays will be determined once we meet our little Scout - either way, he or she will be born to a name that means peace, beauty, adventure, and love to us. Then we will have a map and a delightful piece of work made by our sister-in-law, a constant reminder that adventure awaits!
The last little space in Scout's room is mostly storage. We have a bookshelf that the mister built about a year ago that now holds a mixture of books and baby needs (like diapers and clothes). We found some great baskets at Dollar Tree (where everything is actually a dollar, not like other dollar stores) that will help us to stay organized. We covered up some of our books with fabric left over from a previous home improvement project. Our blue bookshelf was once an olive green and gold rusty planter that we salvaged from a yard sale immediately upon our return from Peace Corps (who knew we'd need it three years later?). Our artwork once again takes us to Maine, which if it has not been obvious to this point, holds a very special place in our hearts.
And there you have it - a baby space that was created for a minimal cost that utilizes the space that we have efficiently. Some may say that it looks like a room for a boy. We think it looks like a room for an adventurer. (Plus, I don't really care for pink and purple.)