Securing your home for baby, keeping thief’s out and my super-secret decorating savings tips
The first thing I am going to admit to you is that my husband and I are not very patient people when it comes to a project. As soon as we know something has to get done we try to get it done as of yesterday. Waiting 10 months for a baby to arrive is not easy for either one of us, more him, yet I am the pregnant one so it really should be the other way around!
Once we knew what gender our baby was going to be (at 13 weeks…more proof that we are not patient) we started to think about how to get our house baby ready. The fact that there is never enough rooms in a house, decorating, security and safety, and my favorite topic “how to not break the bank!” There are definitely hundreds of other things we’ve thought about but I’ll spare you!
PICK THE LOCATION, DECLUTTER & PREPARATION
My house is a two story 1947 ranch with two bedrooms on the main floor and two upstairs. Each room was accounted for so we made the overflow room on the main floor, the baby’s room. This meant moving the desk, my husband’s dresser, the craft desk, and the treadmill out of the room!
- It is ideal to have the baby’s room next to your master bedroom. I don’t want to sleep walk up to another floor in the middle of the night.
- Choosing Colors: we went with baby neutral (Silvery Moon) for a couple reasons. Every decision we make is based on the return of investment or the ease ability for preparing to sell our house later down the line. This might sound crazy to some but I’m in the real estate industry, I’m always thinking of a sound investment.
- Chipping Paint: If you live in an old apartment or home (built pre-1978), there’s likely lead paint on walls and window frames. Lead exposure can be from chipping paint and dust formed when paint starts to erode. There are several options when it comes to testing for lead. Hiring a certified inspector from the EPA or your state health department. This method can range from $100 – $200. A less expensive method is a paint chip test. You can find these online from $10 – $50.
My husband spent a weekend painting and adding new crown molding. I stayed away from the indoor paint work. I painted the molding and went shopping for curtains.
PREP FOR VISITORS
Whether you relocated and don’t have family and friends nearby or live in the same town you grew up in, it is worth spending the time to figure out where your overnight guests will stay.
- Purchase an extra set of sheets, towels and also stock up on toothpaste and toilet paper so you are not racing around last minute.
- Keep the guest room de-cluttered and decorate sparingly. (This is an easy one for us since it is the last room in the house to be decorated). When staying in someone else’s house, comfort and space are more soothing than a cluttered room of unfamiliar things.
- White Noise: A fan is great for the white noise or you can purchase a white noise machine. (My baby will be sleeping peacefully and quietly after birth- fingers crossed!)
CHOOSE FURNITURE AND REGISTER
Baby furniture ranges from cheap to very expensive, real wood to fake wood, standard, convertible, portable, travel, multi-purpose, eco and round. We chose to go with a 4-in -1 convertible crib option which is designed to grow with your baby throughout the years. Once your baby outgrows the crib, you put the toddler guard rail up. You can add the conversion kit to the frame to be used as a toddler bed and full sized bed. All these pieces are sold separately and it is highly advised you buy all the pieces at one time just in case they discontinue the other pieces years later. Fortunately this is a cost effective long term bedding solution and unfortunately they are generally more expensive than other baby cribs.
Something to keep in mind: baby’s don’t judge and have no clue if they are sleeping in a hand me down crib or a brand new crib!
SECURITY & SAFETY
The weekend after we painted the baby’s room someone “tried” breaking into our house. They didn’t get very far and we think we arrived home right as they were starting OR they noticed the almost empty room and figured there was nothing to take!
Our house has sensors and sensor lights inside and out, the windows are all sealed shut (being an older house) and unfortunately it was the night before hurricane Irene so we parked our car out on the street just in case our out of town guests arrived while we were out. Being that we renovated the nursery and living room the weeks prior, all of our sensor lights were unplugged.
Our house is now more like Fort Knox and smart home automated. Below are some smart home safety measures.
- Ring doorbell that is a camera and tracks all movements. It features an intercom as well (com).
- Outside light sensors for all sides of the house. Especially dark areas where windows are closer to the ground. (Home Depot).
- We use the Wink Hub system which connects all smart automation on one app on your phone.
- Thermostats, smart light bulbs (programmable lighting), sensor light dimmers (when you walk into your kitchen the light turns on), smoke and Co alarms (when the battery is dying your app will alert you), cameras, alarms and security systems, window sensors, door locks, irrigation controllers and the list goes on and on!
- The great thing about this method of security is that your phone will alert you of any notification you set. With one click of a button you can check your cameras; you can spy on your pets or your kids!
SUPER SECRET DECORATING TIPS
Last but not least, I love sharing ways to save money. I am a bit obsessive with saving money, however, I do love spending money and buying quality items. Our nursery room inspiration came from Baby’s R Us while we registered. We picked a safari themed bedding set because my husband I met outside the Central Park Zoo.
SUPER SECRET TIP #1:
Revamping furniture: Below is a nightstand I re-painted. Easy three step instructions: Wipe down, sand and paint. My favorite decorating idea is to buy new hardware for furniture. I found the below hand painted animal dresser knobs on Etsy. I’ve also purchased knobs at Homegoods and Amazon (see the pink ones on the nighstand).
SUPER SECRET TIP #2: Wall Art
Restoration Hardware is my favorite place to walk around and get my 10,000 steps in and also to get great decorating ideas! On my last trip, I fell in love with these baby animal pictures below (and here). However before I even looked at the price tag ($219.00 per frame) I found baby animal pictures on Pinterest. Which led me to the prints online (here) for $25.00. I purchased the images to download and then had them sent to Walgreens for one hour printing! I found white matted frames from Michaels craft store (here). (P.S. remember to google “Michaels Coupons” before purchasing). The hardest part was hanging the six photos, luckily my hubby is a pro! Total for whole project was $130.00 and a Restoration Hardware purchase would have been $1,314 +tax. That is $1,184 saved!!
SUPER SECRET TIP #3: WikiBuy and Promo Codes
WikiBuy is an online shop assistant that automatically finds you discounts right before checking out. I don’t remember how I found it. I do know that I was duped into thinking Amazon is the cheapest option. Not so fast… Wikibuy evaluates other sellers in real time for better deals, coupons and discounts across a variety of retail websites. You will need to download the browser add-on (Chrome only) (here).
Below is an almost finished nursery. We still have a few more things to buy, however it feels good to be 95% done and still have four months to wait for baby!