Most mothers go through a phase during their pregnancy where they feel the need to engage in “nesting”, for lack of a better term. And this generally includes preparing the nursery for the baby’s impending arrival. But if you’re not exactly the crafty type and you’ve never had a flair for interior decorating, you might not have the first idea about how to begin creating the beautiful and calming space that will serve as your nursery. And it can be especially difficult if you’ve decided to be surprised when it comes to your baby’s gender. However, you don’t necessarily need a degree in interior design in order to create the tranquil space where you will feed, change, and rock your newborn to sleep. Here are just a few tips to help you get your decorating plans on track.

The best place to start when it comes to designing a nursery is by getting some inspiration, and there are so many resources available to you these days. Whereas your own mother may have had to rely on magazines and displays at baby furniture stores to get creative ideas for nursery decor, you can now use a wealth of websites to get instant information at your fingertips, including photos of finished, designer rooms and pages upon pages of products and DIY tutorials. And thanks to social media site Pinterest, you can create a collection of pictures that helps you to save the items you like and narrow down your favorites in order to create a cohesive theme including color scheme, style, and even links to specific items you might like to order.

Of course, gathering photos and implementing your plan are two different things. So your next order of business is to begin with foundational concerns, including walls and flooring. It’s not a bad idea to install carpeting in the room since this will help to cut down on the creaks, footsteps, and echo that can occur with wooden flooring. From there you’ll need to select a calming paint color. Generally speaking, pastel tones tend to be the most soothing, and cool colors like lavender, sea foam green, and robin’s egg blue are likely to offer some of the best options for your Zen-like nursery. In addition, you might want to consider the windows in the room. Upgrading to double-paned options will help to regulate the temperature in the room and cut down on outside noise.

Now it’s time for some fun as you begin to flesh out the room with furnishings, accessories, and other essential items. The easiest way to go about selecting furniture is to get a matched set that includes a crib, a changing table, and a dresser. But if you feel confident in putting together a more eclectic look, you might save yourself some money by visiting a reclaimed furniture outlet or hitting up Craigslist and local yard sales in search of steals. With a little TLC you can turn these repurposed items into unique and stylish additions to your nursery. The same goes for accessories like lighting fixtures, mirrors, and even old frames that can be spruced up to feature photos of your newborn.

Of course, there are certain items you’ll want to buy new, like bedding, clothes, nursing pillows, bottles, and so on. But there are plenty of discount sites to help you cut costs, and memberships with brands like Gerber, Huggies, and so on can net you discounts and coupons via email. Decorating your nursery may not be easy, especially when you’re trying to create a space that is both beautiful and calming. But unless you’re willing to hire an interior decorator to do the job for you, it falls to you to put together the pieces. Luckily, you’re not alone. And with a little legwork you can create a cohesive plan and put together all of the elements you need for the perfect nursery.

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