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inspiration board: girly girl meets mod mom

8 Feb

So you’ve got a modern home.  And you’ve got a little girl who’s grown out of her crib, conversion kit to toddler bed, and those cute monkey wall graphics you bought while in the ‘nesting’ phase of your pregnancy.   What’s more, she’s decided she loves pink.  LOVES pink.  Oh, and Mom, she’s also really loves princesses.  And tutus.  And anything shiny, glittery, or reflective.

At RFYO, we’re here for you.  So let’s take a deep breath.  And let’s start with a wonderful compromise. . . a vintage bed frame.

I discovered this  reupholstered set of french ‘shabby chic’ bed frames at an Etsy shop called Antique2Chic, based out of Birmingham, Michigan.   The beds are $600 each – I agree, a bit steep – but consider them the centerpiece of the room.  The fabric is a beautiful blush-toned linen, perfect for you to play with your pinks and also to be a bit brave with the rest of your decor.  And the nice thing is that once you have the bed in place, you’re now free to use super-new and modern pieces to offset the vintage feel of the piece.

So, Mod Mom, what’s next?

How about going black and white and really BOLD with your graphics?  I think butterflies would be a pretty good bet too.  Here’s my suggestions, including a mix of Kartell, George Nelson, IKEA with some Target thrown in for good measure.  Click here (girly chic) to enlarge the PDF.

1.  French hand-painted mahogany twin beds with linen upholstery, $600, Antique2Chic, Etsy

2. Flannel brocade hook rug, $473 (large size), Layla Grace

3. Set of beautiful 5×5 photo prints, $8.50 each, Lola’s Room, Etsy

4. Circus stripe black and white curtain panels (shown – $180 each at Rosenberry Rooms), similar fabric available for $6.98/yard on Amazon

5. George nelson Ball Clock, $385, Velocity Art & Design (an excellent shop)

6. “Princess” paint color swatch, Benjamin Moore

7. Xhilaration Pixelated Butterfly bed in a bag, $64.99, Target

8.  Edland dresser, $299, IKEA 299

9. Crystorama (!!!) Angelina blush mini chandelier, $229.91, Lamps Plus (A great find, and small enough to look cute)

10.  Kartell Optic storage cube in clear, $283, Design Public


colorful mid-century modern nursery inspiration

20 Oct

Leaves and Vines bedding, BirdsHaveFlowers, Etsy

I just had to create an inspiration board based on an amazing discovery I’ve made this week.

Whether you’re in the market for baby stuff or kid’s decor, you must check out this AMAZINGLY adorable bedding available in the BirdsHaveFlowers shop on Etsy.  When not playing in her band or hanging out with her two toddlers, Rebecca, the proprietor of BHF, custom-sews sheets, bumpers, and crib skirts with the fabric of your choice.  I’ve found her personal aesthetic (and her own fabric selections and suggestions) to be really beautiful and in line with what I’d want for myself.    You can buy a set of two sheets, one bumper, and one skirt for around $250-$275 (it depends on the fabric… see here) which, to me, is a great price for a unique and defining piece of decor. (I’m sure she can do the same thing for toddler beds.)

A while back, I created this inspiration board (above)  featuring an eclectic/mid-century style design, and it got a great response.  So I thought I’d do a similar thing again.   But this time, I truly believe that every piece I’ve included can work on its own.  Truth is, most of us aren’t starting from scratch, but we all could do with a beautiful new clock or wall treatment to spruce things up.  All the items featured below are mid-century inspired, from actual vintage to having vintage-like accents.

mcm mood board (click for PDF version)

1.  Walls.  How full-on do you want to go with the color thing?  If you said to yourself, yes! more color!, I’d recommend something like this Banana Yellow shade from Benjamin Moore.  Personally, I think I’d either do a very light grey or an eggshell white on the walls.  You’ll avoid any fear of overdoing it and it’ll help the colors elsewhere in the room pop more brightly.

 2. Crib.  This is my most favorite piece of nursery furniture in a long time, courtesy of my buddy Esther over at Buy Modern Baby (thanks, lady!).  She discovered this gorgeous item at the Dwell booth (yes, the bedding people) when she visited the ABC Kids Expo this year in Vegas.  See her link here for more details.  I only wish they had it when I was building Fionn’s nursery…

3. Chalkboard tiles. A new discovery of mine but available for a while now from Pottery Barn (the regular one, not the kids’ one).  The tiles are 20″x14″ and $34 each.  But they’re having a special promotion online – now you can get four at once for $15, for about $20 in savings.  I would do one of two things with them – either place them high-up (above a dresser, for example) as ‘decor,’ or mount them width-wise across one of your walls at toddler-height for an inspiring play space.

4. Vintage educational posters. Aren’t they great? From the wonderful folks at Grain Edit, available at Etsy for $37.50 each. 

5. Woven Poang chair.  IKEA’s really upped the game lately with their Poang series.  If you’re not totally into the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on a glider, this kind of chair would not only save you some change, the new webbing design would suit a retr0-modern-styled room beautifully.  I personally think the rich forest green is gorgeous and a great complement to the background field on the bedding.  Find it here for $99.

6. Wood-slat blinds with custom tapes.   Now, this may be a personal quirk of mine, in the same so-old-school-its-new-again vein, such as the red-painted studies and ornate chandeliers of Brooklyn Heights brownstones.  But I can’t help but think it’d be super cool to outfit a kid’s room with these sturdy wooden slatted window coverings, accessorized and personalized with fabric ‘tape’ in a coordinating color as the bedding.   There are tons of places where you can find these blinds; I checked out the “Window Blinds Mall” for a price quote.  This particular company offers tapes in great colors like a flamingo pink, a canary yellow, and “Alice Blue.”  And for a typical 32″x60″ window, you’d pay around $100, then add a few more bucks for the tape.

7. George Nelson “Fernando the Fish” clock.  Just adorable, in perfect colors for both boys and girls.  $150 at Hive Modern.

8. Kartell FL/Y lamp.  Available in so many fantastically bright colors, you can’t go wrong. (Of course, if you want white or black, they’ve got that too.) The greatest selection I found was at Velocity Art & Design, where you can find them for $293 each.

Got any favorites of your own that you think would fit well in this room? Rugs? Dressers? Artwork? Let me know!

across-the-pond inspiration

5 Aug

Celeste's room, courtesy

Checking out the nursery archives on Ohdeedoh the other day, I was struck by the awesome quirkiness of the child’s room shown above.   Celeste and her mum Katy live in a self-described “wonky 16th Century cottage in the English countryside,” and, despite the miles between us, seem to face the same issues as us apartment dwellers in the NYC area (non-level walls, crooked floors, and overall small spaces).

Reading on, I was initially impressed by the combination of materials, styles, and periods (e.g. Ghost chair paired with Eames rocker), but what really got me were those mad curtains.   Can you see them?

Gatsby collection, courtesy Another Shade of Grey

GP&J Baker deer close-up

Above, two close-ups of the fabric she used for curtains, by a company called GP&J Baker fabrics.  The GP&J Baker line is huge in the UK, but primarily sold through wholesalers (to the trade) in the US.  And what I learned from this blog is that the wonderful “Gatsby” line of fabrics (including “deer” in two colorways) was introduced in 2007 and may no longer be available.

But it got me thinking: what other amazing fabrics, bedding or wallpaper do those pesky Brits have up their sleeve? (Full disclosure: hubby’s British, I’m allowed to say that.)  So here are my three favorite recent finds, all from the UK but available in the United States and possibly worldwide.

Birtwell's "Beasties"

1. Celia Birtwell: Beasties

Also known as Ossie Clark’s better half, Birtwell’s textile designs are synonymous with London of the 60’s and 70’s.  Perhaps you know her patterns from a recent partnership with Express stores (I have one of her blouses) or her designs for Topshop in the UK.  I recently discovered her wallpaper pattern called “Beasties” and think it’d be perfect for a kid’s room.  Described as “a toile type print with animals, birds and plants that is almost Elizabethan in look,” it retails for 55 (pounds) a roll.

Cath Kidston "Cowboy" bedding

2. Cath Kidston: Cowboys

Although primarily known in the US for her oilcloth fabrics and flowered patterns, I found this vintage-looking cowboy print really fantastic.  Part of the Cath Kids line, the duvet is reversible; the other side features red and white polka-dots, which modernizes and cuts the potential kitsch-factor of the wild-west theme.  I believe there’s a CK store in SoHo New York, but I couldn’t find a listing online.  Will do searching if anyone’s interested (fyi: it costs less than 40 pounds in the UK).

Dragons "Soldiers"

3.  Dragons of Walton Street: Soldiers

How crazy is this fabric?  Perfect for any young Anglophile (or Beefeater fan. . . just kidding), this pattern from Dragons of Walton Street would really punch up a room.  I could see it used as curtain fabric, or perhaps just for accent pillows.  Most of the Dragons inventory is pretty traditional (see it here) but you may find something unique to your liking.

urban outfitters 50's duvet cover

26 Jul

How’s this for a gorgeous mid-century inspired bedding set?

50's birdcage duvet cover,

Urban Outfitters surprises me again. I absolutely LOVE the illustration on this duvet cover; the fabric is also available on shams and a shower curtain (which could probably be repurposed as curtains).   It’s only available online, but for $58 (twin) or $68 (full) it’s relatively low risk.

close up

The color palette is pretty fab – you can decorate with the orange-red (shown above) or that beautiful teal blue (at top).  I think it’d look great with a dark wood or maple bed frame.

full size bed by Grand Rapids, Ebay

Check out this modern sleigh bed now for sale on Ebay. It’s $575 plus the cost of freight shipping from Florida.  The birdcage bedding and this bed would make a gorgeous pair.

urban outfitters 50’s duvet cover

26 Jul

How’s this for a gorgeous mid-century inspired bedding set?

50's birdcage duvet cover,

Urban Outfitters surprises me again. I absolutely LOVE the illustration on this duvet cover; the fabric is also available on shams and a shower curtain (which could probably be repurposed as curtains).   It’s only available online, but for $58 (twin) or $68 (full) it’s relatively low risk.

close up

The color palette is pretty fab – you can decorate with the orange-red (shown above) or that beautiful teal blue (at top).  I think it’d look great with a dark wood or maple bed frame.

full size bed by Grand Rapids, Ebay

Check out this modern sleigh bed now for sale on Ebay. It’s $575 plus the cost of freight shipping from Florida.  The birdcage bedding and this bed would make a gorgeous pair.

kokka fabric, purl soho, and custom duvets

11 Jul

Sorry for the dearth of posts this past week – hubby has taken a week off for ‘holiday’ and, despite the sweltering heat here in New York, we’re trying to enjoy every minute of it.

Purl Soho, Broome Street

This is a follow-up, of sorts, to the previous ‘inspiration board’ post.  I was so impressed by the Matroyshka print fabric used in SewnNatural’s custom bumper that I was compelled to learn more about Kokka, the Japanese company that manufactures such adorable patterns.  Here’s what I learned about Kokka, courtesy Bolt Fabric Boutique (which seems like an amazing shop, btw) in Portland, OR:

Kokka is responsible for distributing fabrics from such great, contemporary designers as Etsuko Furuya, Nani Iro, and Heather Ross. You’re sure to appreciate these unique designs on lovely cloth. The designs include vintage scooters and muscle cars, soft florals and cute, little animals with a Japanese twist to them.

Mini Deer, Mini Cats

And they certainly do have a Japanese ‘kawaii’ (super-cute) twist to them.  Many Japanese designs are as easily identifiable as Scandinavian ones – there’s a certain whimsy, adorableness, and a unique use of color. To show you what I mean, I’ve selected a number of Kokka patterns available at an amazing shop in SoHo (NY) called Purl SoHo. Purl offers everything you’d need for a fabric/yarn/string-related endeavor. They also have a great sister blog called the Purl Bee, which I highly recommend for inspiration.

And they have a huge selection of Kokka fabrics.  No, they’re not cheap.  But if you’re seeking a truly unique bedding set for a young one of your own, all you need is a few yards of fabric and a sewing machine* (*more on this in a second).


This is my favorite series.  It’s called Transportation, it features cars, cable cars, and boats, and is available at $17/yard.  I especially love the color combinations and the graphic/geometric shapes.

"La Ville"

This pattern, La Ville, defines kawaii.  It’s a bit reminiscent of Marimekko but with its own unique Japanese spin.  (You can’t see it here, but there’s a little puppy peeking out of a doghouse, which is the cutest thing ever). La Ville comes in three colorways.  It’s also $17/yard.


Natural Daisy comes in the set of Mushrooms & Daisies – warning, the mushroom set is a bit psychedelic… This one is $15/yard.

There are so many other sets too:  matroyshkas/flowers (as featured yesterday)  in a variety of colorways, cats and chickens, squirrels, and for you robot lovers out there, a great pattern called Robot March at $13.50/yard.

SewnNatural's Matroyshka quilt, Etsy, $110

* So say you want to turn all this great fabric into something amazing for your child’s room, and (like me) you’re not exactly the sewing-machine type?  Or you’re expecting/working/a parent and you just don’t have time?  Great news.

J&M Sewing Shoppe is based in the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, but does a smashing virtual business of custom-made ‘sewing and seamstress’ work.  (If you can find a place like this near home, even better.  But if you don’t want to risk it, I think J&M sounds pretty terrific – and their prices are excellent).

According to their website, “J & M Sewing” is a window treatments, bedding, custom home decor sewing & seamstress services business. We have over 20 years of sewing, seamstress, quilting, alterations, window treatments, home decorating, fabric knowledge & experience.”

What I found compelling was the offer for “labor only” services.  Provide your own fabric (plus requested notions like thread and velcro), and for less than $50 you’ve got yourself a custom-made duvet cover for a toddler bed.  Matching curtains cost less than $40 to make.   The majority of your investment comes from the fabric itself – something you’ve specially chosen as perfect for your room.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Labor only duvet cover for toddler bed= $44.99 and six yards of fabric, plus the cost of notions.

Labor only 8′ length curtains = $37 and six yards of fabric.

I can’t see a downside to doing things this way.  Of course, they also provide tons of other services, including crib bedding and additional window treatments.  Have you had any of your own bedding custom-made? I’d be curious to hear your stories.

sincere flattery and flag bunting

5 Jun

Olivia's room

Fionn's room

Browsing Ohdeedoh yesterday morning, I discovered a very interesting room tour; it’s the first one to feature exactly the same poster, crib set and arrangement of those items as in Fionn’s room.  It could be a total coincidence.  Or it could mean that someone actually liked Baby Daley’s room enough to want to have some of the same stuff.  And that’s really cool.

So in that vein, I wanted to share with you an amazing nursery decor trick that I’m just dying to ‘borrow’ myself.

Craft paper bunting, The B-line

If you haven’t heard of Amy at the B-line, please check out her blog.  It’s a beautiful and impressive website, apparently an offshoot of her Etsy business.  I believe she’s just had a baby – so the blog (and Etsy store) aren’t currently up-t0-date.  (Amy, if you read this, I’m hoping everything’s going wonderfully for you!)  I discovered Amy through her nursery photos posted on Flickr.  But they’re also featured on the blog, where you can read all about the amazing nursery she crafted and created – especially the bunting, made from scrapbook paper, contact paper and spray adhesive.

Frog made of custom-designed fabric

This woman does everything. Designs her own fabric (via Spoonflower – an amazing company that lets you do just that), makes jewelry, pillows, stuffed animals, wall decorations, among other things, and that’s when she’s not teaching during the day.   I love this frog – and check the pattern!

So onto finding cool bunting inspiration elsewhere.  I’ve uncovered three items, two from Etsy, and one from IKEA, all of which are interesting takes on the triangle flag theme.

1. Flags and garlands made of vintage children’s books

Sailor by Dick Bruna

Dr Seuss bunting, Richard Scarry garland

Bunting by LeJeune, Etsy, $8-$22

Alexandra LeJeune of Sydney, Australia, creates what she calls vintage storybook bunting.  She takes children’s books from the 60s and 70s, cuts and then sews them together with cotton tape.  I absolutely ADORE the Sailor images, and Richard Scarry is one of my favorite children’s book illustrators of all time.

2.  Bunting, illustrated

‘Bunting’ original illustration by Moonbeam Ice Cream, Etsy, $35

An original illustration by Edinburgh artist Kathryn Sutcliffe, this drawing is one of a kind — a real pen-and-colored-pencil piece of art.  And if I had somewhere to put it, it’d be mine.  If someone doesn’t buy this drawing within the next day or so, I’m afraid my PayPal trigger finger might get a bit twitchy for it.

3. Bedding textiles

Vitaminer Vimpel twin duvet and pillowcase, IKEA, $10

I couldn’t not mention this cute (and cheap) child’s duvet set, sold at IKEA.  Don’t know how well it’ll hold up after a few washes, but it’s worth a go. Start with this piece, and you’re room’s all figured out for color, too.  Basically, it’ll match any bright/primary shade – get a red rug and paint a wall sunshiny yellow, and the rest of the brightness can come from all the toys on the floor.