Designer Picks: Affordable Nursery Furniture

It's finally time.

All of those adorable prints and stuffed animals you've been cooing over for months will finally have a home in your nursery. But it's not all art and animals—you're going to need the basics, too, and the basics can get expensive.

You could easily spend $500 (or even $1,000) on a crib alone. So instead of tanking your budget on a place for Baby to rest his head, we asked interior designer and home stager Katja "Kay" Richards of Stage-Right Interiors to give us her top picks for affordable, attractive, mix-and-match nursery furniture.

The challenge: We asked that she find us the basics—a crib, storage/changing table and one "personal" item to add a bit of personality to the room options.
The price tag: The total for all of it had to ring up to $400 or under.

We originally asked Richards to include a rocker or glider, as well, but the designer emphasized that rockers are not only a personal decision that should be based solely on comfort, but also that they're "a dime a dozen on Craigslist" and can be recovered, painted or slipcovered to suit your preferences. If Craigslist isn't cutting it for you, she also recommends Freecycle or consignment stores.

Richards' picks are in the table below, and you can click on any of the products to be redirected to the site where they are sold.

"These products were chosen based on value, style, flexibility and customer reviews," says Richards. "And they can blend with almost any style. I strongly believe in blending styles to add interest, and to make the most of what's available."

Bonus: All of the cribs convert, either into toddler beds, full-size headboards or even, in the case of room 3, into complete full-size beds!

Room 1 Room 2 Room 3
Crib Sundvik Crib
Price: $119
Store: IKEA
Why she loves it: "This crib comes in brown and black, which are easy colors to work with, and it converts into a toddler bed!"
DaVinci Crib
Price: $200
Store: JCPenney
Why she loves it: "It converts from a crib to a toddler daybed to a full-size headboard, and is classically styled to work with most other furniture."
Parker Crib
Price: $250
Store: Babies "R" Us
Why she loves it: "This crib becomes a toddler bed or a daybed, and with wooden bed rails, it converts into a full-size bed. It also received wonderful customer reviews."
Changing/Storage Hemnes Chest
Price: $149
Store: IKEA
Why she loves it: "At 38", it's at the perfect height to work ergonomically. Just be sure to add low railings to keep baby safe."
Alexander Designs Table
Price: $120
Store: JCPenney
Why she loves it: "This comes in an espresso finish which can go with anything, and can later be used elsewhere."
Graco Lauren Dressing Table
Price: $100
Store: Babies "R" Us
Why she loves it: "Not only is this classic, it's on wheels and can multi-task in a different room later."
For Personality Veggies
Price: $8
Store: IKEA
Why she loves it: "Soft, tactile. Gets your kids loving veggies early!"
Alphabet Decals
Price: $20
Store: Target
Why she loves it: "I would paint a section of wall in chalkboard paint and place these decals above it. Kids can practice letters without realizing they're learning."
Frog Drawer
Price: $10
Store: Target
Why she loves it: "Seriously, how cute is this collapsible, fabric container? Teach your daughters not to be afraid of frogs!"
Total Cost $276 $340 $360