Great thread and great ideas from everyone!
I have decorated my DS' room on a bare-bones budget. Planning to do the same for DD due in May.
With DS, when we moved in to our new house, the walls were peach. We left as is. I wanted it to be a bit less PEACHY so I bought very inexpensive light blue valances for the windows. They were on sale for about $5 apiece. I already had solid colors for his crib bedding that went with pretty much everything, so that was all set.
He loved balloons when he was a year old (still does) so I found inexpensive but very nice balloon borders in muted multi-colors on ebay and we put that up. The border made a HUGE difference! I also bought cloud wallies on ebay and put those up around the room too. So there is a nice celestial theme going on.
We had some nice prints that were already framed in coordinating colors--some were gifts, some I did myself.
By focusing on a theme (balloons) and tying everything together with light blue, the room is really nice.
It will be time to move him to a real bed soon, and I suspect the bedding will be Thomas the Tank Engine...good thing he's blue!
I probably spent less than $50 on the room, maybe a total of $100 once the Thomas bedding is purchased. That's not counting the bed, of course.
For DD, her room is freshly painted a rich, russet shade of pumpkin. (This was DH's choice for his office--but now it will be her room!) Since it is fresh paint, we're not changing it. I will buy a border in a coordinating color--I'm thinking a zoo or animal theme that has some rust or pumpkin in it. She will eventually sleep in DS' crib when he is ready to vacate it and we're ready to transition her.
There is a bookcase already in there that my dad made. I have an old bureau from years back that my brother is going to refinish. We have a gift cert that we can use to buy another glider rocker, or maybe I will just use DS' rocker and buy him a beanbag chair.
Either way, I'll be spending very little money on the new room. We don't need to buy much of anything...With the border and a few animal prints on the walls, it will be done. I have plenty of sheets from DS in a variety of solids that will match nicely. (pale yellow, sage green, cream, etc.) There are cream cotton curtains in there from the previous owner that do very nicely for now.
I agree with one of the PP who said don't worry TOO much about going all out on an infant room. I figure when the kids are around 5 that is when they are really going to want a certain theme or look and we can redecorate somewhat then.
I really am a huge fan of borders b/c they can change the look of a room so much, add so much color and come in every possible theme you can think of! They are relatively inexpensive and easy to put up.
Good luck, your theme sounds adorable. P.S. I'll be that they have wallies in a fairy or flower theme--they are even less expensive than borders!
P.S. forgot to add that my dad found a very sturdy, tall old desk at a tag sale and gave it to me...that will be our changing table. I'll just attach a pad to the top. It's finish is scratched but I figure, who cares, it's a changing table! In two years it will be obsolete anyway, and we can refinish it or get rid of it.
I'm also a big fan of tag sales!!