Walls: Paint, Wallpaper, Murals
Paint is one of the easiest and most inexpensive decorating tools available. If you don't like it, or your landlord has a fit, it's easy to paint over it. When choosing colors keep in mind what you might be doing with the room 3, 5 or 10 years down the line.
I won't go into a long "How To" on painting since Sherwin William's web site has great information for the Do It Yourself person. But I will say this, "If you are planning on painting during your baby room decorating project, with the intention of it lasting several years, buy good paint". And be sure to get scrubbable paint. You'll probably have to wash it a time or two!
On the other hand, if it's a quick fix or you change your mind often, cheap paint is fine for your baby room decorating project. Why buy $30.00 per gallon paint with a 10-15 year guarantee if you're planning to move or repaint in a year or two? Regardless of what you buy, do be sure to get low VOC paints, which are non-toxic and have low odor.
If you want to do a mural but are feeling artistically impaired try WallNutz Paint By Number Mural Kits -- an easy and inexpensive way to create your child's dream room or nursery. No artistic ability required! Their kits are generally less expensive than buying stencils to do a mural.
If you want to go the stencil route (which gives you many more options) check out my stenciling resources. You'll find a list of resources and projects and instructions to get you started.
You can also find murals that are applied like wallpaper from American Blinds & Wallpaper They have over a hundred to choose from.
Wallpaper and borders that are pre-pasted and strippable work great for baby room decorating. They can brighten a room or enhance the current theme. You can find some good buys at places like Lowe's, or a local wallpaper outlet.
When looking at pre-pasted wallpaper, see if it has a pattern or design that you could cut out and paste onto the wall .That is basically what Wallies are. They're pre-cut for you so they are all ready to go. This is a great option if you are low on money and high on wall area to cover for this baby nursery decorating project, or don't like the idea of trying to put up big sheets of wallpaper.
If you'd rather just open the package and stick 'em up,American Blinds & Wallpaper has a huge selection of Wallies! Check 'em out. You can also use these cut outs on cabinets and wood furniture, the risers of wooden stairs, picture frames and boxes.
Another baby room decorating idea is to use borders at the ceiling line, down several inches if you have a tall ceiling, around the windows and doors, at chair rail height, on angles (like a zig zag) or even use them to make frames on the wall, in which to hang photos or wall hangings!
Don't do all of these at once, but make your choice based on your budget, and what else you have to work with in the room. Your wallpaper or border is also a good place to get the color scheme for your room.
When choosing a wallpaper or border pattern think in the long term. Is it a basic pattern that will coordinate with various bedroom decorating themes that you might use in the room over the years? For instance you might choose a geometric or classic damask pattern in blue, red and white.
If your floor is in good shape and a color you can live with you're in luck. There are a few options that you might consider if you don't like your floor. If the floor is wood or vinyl you could paint it or use area rugs. If it's carpet and you can't afford to replace it put a baby room rug or two over it to hide it. Well maybe not hide it, but at least make it less noticeable.
Remember, the carpet may look ugly, but just keep telling yourself you know it's at least clean (you did steam clean it didn't you?). And focus on those cute area rugs you picked out!