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blues and pinks in handbags and bed linens

3 Jun

My favorite teenage Coach bag

Had a few minutes to spare this evening, and spent it checking out the new Poppy collection by Coach.   Usually, when I find myself too old for something, it makes me sad.  But I love the youthfulness and spirit of the Poppy line; in fact, it makes me happy to think of a young woman getting one of these bags for her birthday the way I received my (cherished and treasured) black half-moon-shaped-mini-belt-bag for mine.  I read somewhere that the CEO describes Poppy as “eclectic and spontaneous,” which is definitely how I’d want to describe myself at that age.

Kaleidoscope Glam Tote in Silver/Blue

Kaleidoscope Glam Tote in Silver/Pink

Poppy bags, Coach.com

How fantastic are these colors?  Incidentally, I’ve been noticing these two colors (teal/turquoise and fuschia/purple) in lots of textiles (and bedding ensembles) lately.   Maybe it’s a marketing thing, or maybe it’s just SUMMER! Yay!

Here are two of my new finds – one crib set and one duvet.  They share the same fresh colors and cool prints.

close up

Plover Organic, teal squares crib set, Pillow Mint, reduced from $335 to $234.50

Not only is the crib bedding made from 100% organic cotton, the designs are block-printed by hand.  And best of all, it’s on sale at the Pillow Mint shop.

Erika fuschia duvet cover, Pine Cone Hill, $124 for twin

A soft and sophisticated design for a big girl room, the leaf motif is eye-catching but not too busy.  As with the handbag at top, it’d look great accompanied by silvers, pinks, and lavenders.

What colors remind you of summer? Let me know.

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the new canopy beds

1 May

My childhood bed was *slightly* cooler than this

I’ve got both a cold and an awesome mom who’s playing with her grandson in the other room.  Lying under the covers earlier this morning to feel the benefit of my Vapo-Rub-smeared body,  I was reminded of the awesome canopy bed I had as a young teenager.   Although the white four-poster with white eyelet fabric didn’t last more than a few seasons (a combination of dust and the changeable tastes of a teenager), I remember it fondly.

And as with many mid-80s trends, the traditional canopy bed (seen above) seems to gone the way of the e.g. smith scrunchie sock.  Inspired by a photo in a previous post (the perfect 4-poster with tie-on-drapes), I decided to check out what’s taken its place.

1. Cabana tents

White monogrammed scallop canopy, Pottery Barn Kids, $150

Although not a full canopy per se, I love the feeling of this tent-like covering.  Plus, your children will be adequately prepared for seeing and being seen at the Westwood W Hotel swimming pool:

Poolside room service is nice.

It appears that the cabanas are mounted to the ceiling by a string, then held up with a frame (sold separately for another $30).  If you’re feeling adventurous, the canopy also comes in pink stripes (more circus than swimming pool) and khaki for a safari feel (and would have gone perfectly in my jungle themed room!)

Lots of pink (top) and safari-ready fabrics (bottom)

2.  Decorative mosquito nets

Mombasa feather net canopy, Overstock.com, $18.69

I really love the look of this feather-adorned netting, although after having once spent a week in Southern India (where mosquito nets are more functional than decorative), the whole idea of them kind of skeeves me out.  Personally, I’d half expect to find bugs staring at me when I awaken, and that’s not a recipe for sweet dreams.

3. Curtain-rod faux canopies

Liz Lange’s Westchester home, decorated by Jonathan Adler, House Beautiful

What a fantastic idea.  Jonathan Adler hung curtain rods from the ceiling, then used ordinary drapery/curtain panels to create the surrounding canopy.  I probably wouldn’t advise using this technique for young children’s rooms (you don’t want anyone hanging from ceiling-mounted curtain rods) but it’s just such a creative and fantastic idea for an older child.   The entire house is incredible – there are more photos on the House Beautiful link above.

4. DIY board-mounted canopy curtains

Girl’s Room, About.com Interior Decorating

Are you handy with a sewing machine and staple gun? If so, the folks at About.com suggest the following: “You can make this dramatic canopy by stapling fabric to a board mounted on the ceiling. The tie back curtain panels can be lined with plain white lining or you might choose a coordinating print that peeks out for contrast.”  What’s great about this version is that you can coordinate your sheets/bedding with your canopy and create a true centerpiece to any bedroom. 

Lastly, after nearly finishing this post, I found an article on Apartment Therapy (of course) with some additional options.  They are almost all four-poster frame beds; one commenter suggested that the mere suggestion of a canopy is enough.  But I’d still prefer the curtains.

jungle room inspired design

5 Apr

I had a dream last night that I was at Graceland.   Maybe I was listening to too much Vampire Weekend, which reminded my brain of Paul Simon.  Who knows.

Elvis’s famed Jungle Room

Regardless, if you’ve never been to Memphis, I’d highly recommend a visit.  The Mansion, well, that’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  (Unless you’re a die-hard fan, once will be more than enough).  The Jungle Room is one of the most (in)famous rooms in the house – I haven’t been there in almost twenty years and I can still remember the indoor waterfall and shag carpeting (on both floor and ceiling, I think).  The story is that Elvis decorated this room in one day against the wishes of his father, Vernon, who Hated it.  But as with everything in the house, the room still has its OTT charm.

I was thinking how great an inspiration/jumping-off point the jungle room would make.  Of course, the trick is to maintain that precious balance between homage and kitsch while staying on the good side of taste.  And, of course, time heals many design wounds, such as the ones caused by shag carpeting.  We’re at the point where I’d actually consider it, whereas my mom would make a puke face at the mere suggestion.

So here goes.  The first thing I found was this awesome vintage-looking safari print bedding from the Company Store Kids.  (It reminds me of the Star Wars sheets my brother had as a kid, except with animals).   I built the room around the green rug and yellow accents (very 70s), including faux animal print textiles and lots of wicker and wood.

Clockwise from bottom left:

Giraffe print kid’s rocking chair, Toddle Rock, $54.95
Benjamin Moore color swatches
Half Moon snake charmer basket (aka hamper), Target, $65.99
Big Game Safari comforter cover, Company Kids, $69.00
Zebra mini-print photos by Amelia Kay Photography, Etsy, $12
Vintage amber glass pendant lamp by Fishbone Deco, Etsy, $98
Large cardboard rhino, PopDeluxe, $48
Surya green shag rug (3’6″x5’6″) Rugs USA, $285
Live edge coffee table by Lorimer Workshop, $775
Wood grain vinyl blinds, Target, $10-$18

Then all you need are some fun stuffed animals, a Land Rover play truck and some plastic snakes, and you’re all set for safari.

black & white bedding, frilly to mod

23 Mar

As promised, a selection of black and white crib bedding.

A quick note: it’s becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to sell bedding ‘pieces’ separately, as opposed to the typical three-piece crib set.  This makes sense to me, especially as many cribs today don’t work well with bumpers (regardless of what side you take on the ever-present bumper debate). 

First, the frilly:

Black toile crib bedding, Your Little Sweet Pea

If you’re going traditional, toile is definitely my favorite way to go.  There’s something very modern about this very old-fashioned textile, especially when done in high-contrast black and white.  This particular set is a steal at $169.99 for 9 pieces.  Although I wouldn’t normally advise using all nine at once (can you say toile overload?) it’s nice to have the comforter, bumper, sheet and crib skirt PLUS a diaper stacker, toy bag, decorative pillow and window valances.

Damask collection, Enchanted Nursery Designs
Do you love patterns? Then the Damask collection is for you.  And you get a four-piece crib set for only $124.95.  
Moving on. . . 

Opposite Swirls, Koolroomz

I really love the boldness of the contrasting fabrics in this Koolroomz design.  What I’m finding, though, is that modernity of design corresponds with price for bedding.  The more modern you go, the more it seems to cost.  This one costs about $200 for just the crib sheet and bed skirt. 

And this is why I absolutely ADORE a company called Javis Davis. 

Turquoise Damask collection, Javis Davis, designed by me!
I’ll write a longer feature about Javis Davis later.  But if you’re in the market for crib bedding, and you’re in any way artistically inclined, I suggest you bookmark their site NOW.  In short, JD is like having your own custom tailor or seamstress.  You select the type of bedding you want (crib skirt style, bumper style) and then choose a fabric ‘collection’ you like.  There’s an interactive feature which lets you design your own ensemble, from bumper ties to decorative trim, and it all costs around $250. 
Personally, I prefer adding a contrast/accent color to the simple black and white palette.  It lends character to the decor while also making the rest of your room much easier to decorate.  And this leads me to the final two bedding options, both at the modern end of the spectrum and both crazy-expensive.  They’re both available at CSN shops (an online mega-retailer).  I’ve bought quite a few things from CSN and only have good things to say about them. 

Close-up, Baby Star blue flutter crib bedding, All Modern
The four-piece set costs $380.  That’s a lot of money.

Mod Squad Crib Bedding Set by Bebe Chic, Baby Cribs Plus
My favorite.  The most expensive.  The bad news?  $455 for the three-piece set.  The good news?  You can buy the sheet for $25 and the fabric by the yard (at $29 a yard).  Get the sheet, have the crib skirt made.  That’s really all you need. 

bringing the circus home

12 Mar

 Old carnival water fountain, Olde Good Things

There’s a huge architectural salvage shop in the Flatiron/Chelsea area of Manhattan called Olde Good Things.  The prices are mostly nutty, so I haven’t really shopped there.  But for a few weeks during the spring and summer, their inventory spills out onto the street, revealing some quite amazing finds.  I used to pass by the store on my way to work and find myself fantasizing about this huge pair of lion statues.  On closer inspection, I noticed a spigot inside the wide-opened mouth (right by the fang), then discovered another pipe down by the base, near the tail.

My Encyclopedia Brown-style curiosity piqued, I constructed a little story in my mind about the backstory of these adorable circus runaways.  I’m assuming they used to grace the entrance to a carnival, as water fountains.  How cool would that be as a child to stick your head in a lion’s mouth for a drink of water?!

In all this time, I haven’t yet mustered the nerve to approach an OGT employee to ask about the origins of these fountains. It doesn’t really matter.  And to most people, I’m sure they look like bashed-up pieces of old metal.   But, man, if we had a backyard, restoring these lions would definitely be my summer project.

All of this got me to thinking about carnivals, circuses, and play time.   As readers of RFYO know by now, I’m very much NOT a fan of the theme room.  Added to the fact that I’m personally NOT a fan of circuses overall, clowns in particular, and caged animals of any kind, this could be a tricky one.  But I’ve been so inspired by some circus-related items I’ve discovered online that I just had to share.

Old Pottery Barn Kids catalog image

Remember this post about painting on the ceiling? If you’re going whole-hog on this circus thing, and you’re incredibly patient, the big-top stripes would definitely be the way to go.  Unfortunately, PBK has discontinued their circus bedding, which is incredibly sweet and well-designed.  But I actually prefer a design from Boodalee Kids.

Boodalee Circus Tree Twin Bedding set, Zac and Zoe, $95 (on sale)

This is not going to last.  At Zac and Zoe, a fantastic online retailer, you can get the entire sheet set for $95 (down from $190) or just the duvet set for $55.

 Circus Seal color palette, colourlovers.com

As this color palette suggests, blue, red, orange, gray and beige look great together.  Blue and red seems to be a popular color combination in kids rooms nowadays, probably because it’s clean, bright, and unisex – great for shared rooms and small spaces.  It’s also easy to match and decorate around.

Boodalee’s matching circus pillows illustrate the point.  Also available at Zac and Zoe, I want them for myself.

Elephant rocking chair, Overstock.com, $67

Any circus-loving fan needs an elephant.  Available on Overstock.com, this rocker (shown above) is the nicest one I’ve found at this price point. 

L: Restoration Hardware (sold out), R: Bazoongi Kids, CSN Stores, $94

Given the reception the PBK rocketship tent received in an earlier post, I set out to find a big top tent.  My favorite by far is the one from Restoration Hardware, but unfortunately, it’s not being sold any more.  If you were interested, I’d scour Ebay for a week or so and one might pop up.  The Bazoongi one is cute, but a bit, um, bold for my taste. Regardless, I’m sure kids would love it.

Doorway Circus Puppet Theater, Restoration Hardware, $35

Alternatively, Restoration Hardware is now selling a circus-themed puppet theater – which may actually be just as fun, and more interactive.  As with the Boodalee bedding, it’s also on sale (from $89) so it may sell out soon.  What’s great about this piece is that the curtain hangs from a tension rod, so it’s easy to move and take down when playtime’s done.

Circus Penguin Print by Watotodesign, Etsy, $27

I just had to end the post with this picture.  Not sure how often you find penguins at the circus, but in the name of artistic license, this print gets a pass.  Watotodesign’s shop is full of whimsical animal prints, featuring penguins, elephants and monkeys.

As always, let me know if you’ve got any circus-related suggestions of your own.  I’d love to hear, and if you’re interested, I’ll follow up with another post sometime soon.

robot decor

23 Feb


X-ray Otto (Bunk Bots), Amazon, $14

My friend Farrah loves robots. She really loves robots. And if you do too, you might want to visit her blog devoted to all things tin and animatronic, aptly called Things That Remind Me of Robots. I was browsing the other day and discovered Bunk Bots, which she (rightly) describes as the Ugly Dolls of robot toys.

Me, I’m not a huge fan of all things robot, but I can be won over. . . especially when a retro illustration is featured in a beautiful color palette.


Aimee Wilder Robot Wallpaper, $156/roll

Ding. I absolutely ADORE Aimee Wilder’s wallpaper patterns; they’re sophisticated yet playful in patterns that suit both younger and (much) older kids. I know the price is high, but as mentioned in an earlier post, I think the robots would be perfect for one accent wall. The colorways are fantastic as well. Pick out one of the robot colors and use it as your highlight color for the rest of the room.


In fact, you’ll see this pattern around town very shortly. According to Aimee’s blog, Robots and another pattern called Analog will be featured on plastic bandages, for sale at Urban Outfitters.

Robot decals by Designfruit, Etsy, $19 for three

Also available in multiple colors, Jason Gaylor’s robot decals are clever and simple. Interestingly, they also feature a ‘robot with a heart’ design as in the above wallpaper. As I’ll explore in a future post, I have a slight issue with decals, because they’re so tricky to do right. When the wall space is too big, they tend to ‘float’ and seem without purpose. With decals like these, I’d get two or three sets instead of one, so you have a robot theme instead of three dudes who seem to have gotten lost on their way out of the room.

Robo duvet by fred the dog, 58 euros

Fred the dog is a Parisian-based company, founded by a mom (as many of these companies are) who was dissatisfied with the current offerings for kids’ bed linens. The company’s website features ten designs, all of which are fun and colorful.

Robot bedding, Land of Nod, $49 twin duvet

Lastly, I’d be remiss not to mention the ubiquitous Land of Nod and their own robot bedding. (If there’s a trend out there, LON is sure to have an offering that fits the bill). In this instance, however, I’m not as impressed as I usually am. I think the design is perfectly adequate, but maybe not something I’d design a room around. However, if you want to refresh a room without spending a ton of money or effort, a new duvet is the way to go.

Discovered any other fabulous robot-themed home furnishings lately? Let me know.