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orange & gray update: a new kid’s room from target

24 Oct

Chloe & Conner Rocketship Chair

Now that the baby is a boy and the toddler bed is soon to be outgrown, I’ve been thinking about “The Next Big Project” to distract myself with.  While checking out the Target website, I noticed that they’ve recently launched a few new design/furniture collections.  Some seem cribbed from CB2, others look more Pottery Barn Kids with a bit of Dwell Studio thrown in.  Some might say  the cupboard looks a bit ransacked.  But no mind to the source of inspiration, someone in Minneapolis seems to be doing right by the “design for all” philosophy.

So here was my challenge to myself: Design a room in the same colorway as Fionn’s room right now, just with new furniture, rugs, and window treatments, and do it all online from Target. (By the way, for all you grammarians out there,  here’s what I learned while checking the title to this post: “Grey is a colour, but gray is a color.” )

I started with the awesome Calhoun metal headboard and TV/storage unit.  I then complemented with warm gray (nearing brown) accents, introducing a few patterns for interest.

Koons-SuckUK mashup lamp

I’m kicking myself for not buying this lamp (above) when it was available.  Now it says “not available” online or in stores.  But it’s genius, isn’t it?  A Jeff Koons balloon dog combined with the Teddy Bear lamp from SuckUK, but decidedly less creepy.  Hope they bring it back.

So here’s the assortment.  Click the image to enlarge.

Target room, 8 pieces

1. Calhoun Media Stand $169.99.  Meant for a TV, but can be used with storage bins for clothes/toys/junk.

2. Chloe & Conner Rocketship Chair $99.99.  The most ‘kiddie’ item in this room, but so cute.

3. Target Home Basketweave Window Panel $24.99.  I much prefer grommet-top curtains to any other kind.  These may need backing with room-darkening curtains, but would still be a bargain.

4. Calhoun Headboard (twin) $109.99.  It comes in black too, for the more risk-averse.

5. Dog balloon lamp (unavailable?!) $34.99.

6. Upholstered Storage Bench in Gray $249.99.  Expensive but super cool.  It comes in multiple fabrics… for a brighter look, there’s the Panama Wave Storage Bench , $279.

7. Threshold Basic Border Rug $179.99.  Reasonable enough to loosen the Play-doh restrictions.

8. Room 365 Dot Comforter Set (Twin) $69.99.  Love.  Want this for our own bed.

If you’ve discovered anything surprising or cool at Target, drop me a line- I’d like to know.

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!

fisher and ryker’s room

6 Sep

… And we’re back.

Of course, I’ve decided to start writing again, after a protracted absence, at the start of the Labor Day weekend, a time known as an escape from thinking, work, and, most of all, computers.   So we’ll see how inspired I become to write again before late next week.  Let’s just say it’s a slow process, getting back into the blogging gig.

sugar rush

These past few weeks have been jam-packed…my niece received her Hebrew name, my grandma and aunts visited from Florida, my search for full-time work resumed in earnest, my husband received some fabulous work assignments, and my house was host to friends from abroad and around the block.  But most momentously, my son Fionn turned 1.  Happy birthday my sweet boy.

Here’s a post I’ve had on the back burner, and I’m so pleased to finally share it with you(thanks Braden and Justine, for your patience).    A few weeks back, I sent a request out to my local neighborhood parents’ newsgroup, requesting photos of beautifully-designed kids rooms.   In return, I received a set of beautifully-shot images of the sweetest space, which is shared by two boys named Fisher (2+ years old) and Ryder (4 months).   And through my correspondence, I met the photographer – an incredible woman named Justine Cooper, who specializes in portraits of babies and children.  Long story short, as a result of that post, Fionn has had his first official studio session (a birthday present for my husband) and I’ve got some fabulous inspiration to share with you.

All thanks in advance to Fisher and Ryker’s mom Braden for answering all my questions in great detail about the room – there’s so much great stuff in here it’s hard to decide what to focus on!

Fish-eye view of the room

So let’s start with the basics… You’ll probably recognize the crib as a Stokke, the bed is an IKEA Lycksele sofabed (which folds up into a chair/cot), large rug is from Not Neutral, and the storage unit/bins are Expedit, also from IKEA (See Esther’s roundup of Expedits in nurseries here).  But what makes this room special are the personal, handmade touches Braden added to make the room fun, quirky, colorful, and uniquely Fisher & Ryker’s.

What I especially love is the fact that the room is fully decorated (and full of primary colors) but it doesn’t feel cluttered or haphazard.   Look at the ceiling… one one side is a globe lantern brought back from a trip to London, on the other side is a blue fish windsock send from friends in Japan to celebrate “Japanese Children’s Day” (Kodomo no hi), a festival held on the 5th day of the 5th month every year to ” respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness.” 

There are three other creative touches in this room I’d like to point out – maybe they’ll inspire you for your own kids’ rooms.

Wall Candy Arts decals, customized

1. Turning dots into fish. 

Rather than just taking decal dots directly from the package and sticking them on the wall, Braden cut some of her WallCandyArts decals into fish shapes (and their requisite bubbles). 

'handmade' footprints and tourist hats

2. Turning kitsch into decor

Braden writes, “My sister-in-law bought these animal hats at a cheesy tourist place in Cancun, Mexico… Fisher LOVES them.  I thought that since they were so colorful I might as well make them ‘functional art.'”  (Isn’t it crazy how your kids always gravitate towards the things you’d be least likely to actually want around the house?)  It’s a wonderful way to get stuff like this out of the closet or off the floor, making it top-of-mind and more likely to be played with. 

3. Turning traditional ‘family art’ into wall-worthy pieces. 

Each family member created his/her own footprint painting in the brightest, most colorful color combination possible!

Fisher and friend (and Ikea rats)

What I thought was most interesting about this space is the fact that although it looks large, there’s not alot of actual deep wall space to place traditional furniture against.  This means Braden needs to maximize all her storage cubbies and closets, and it means that as the kids grow, their stuff is going to multiply and grow in towards the center of the space.   And once they get big enough for real beds and desks, Braden’s going to have to be creative about her space planning.  I have all the faith that she’ll do a great job with it…

Thanks again, Braden, for letting me feature your sons’ room, and for all your help.

Any questions about Fisher and Ryker’s room or any of the pieces in it? Please leave a note in the Comments section.   Do you have a room you’d like featured here? Let me know.

fisher and ryker's room

6 Sep

… And we’re back.

Of course, I’ve decided to start writing again, after a protracted absence, at the start of the Labor Day weekend, a time known as an escape from thinking, work, and, most of all, computers.   So we’ll see how inspired I become to write again before late next week.  Let’s just say it’s a slow process, getting back into the blogging gig.

sugar rush

These past few weeks have been jam-packed…my niece received her Hebrew name, my grandma and aunts visited from Florida, my search for full-time work resumed in earnest, my husband received some fabulous work assignments, and my house was host to friends from abroad and around the block.  But most momentously, my son Fionn turned 1.  Happy birthday my sweet boy.

Here’s a post I’ve had on the back burner, and I’m so pleased to finally share it with you(thanks Braden and Justine, for your patience).    A few weeks back, I sent a request out to my local neighborhood parents’ newsgroup, requesting photos of beautifully-designed kids rooms.   In return, I received a set of beautifully-shot images of the sweetest space, which is shared by two boys named Fisher (2+ years old) and Ryder (4 months).   And through my correspondence, I met the photographer – an incredible woman named Justine Cooper, who specializes in portraits of babies and children.  Long story short, as a result of that post, Fionn has had his first official studio session (a birthday present for my husband) and I’ve got some fabulous inspiration to share with you.

All thanks in advance to Fisher and Ryker’s mom Braden for answering all my questions in great detail about the room – there’s so much great stuff in here it’s hard to decide what to focus on!

Fish-eye view of the room

So let’s start with the basics… You’ll probably recognize the crib as a Stokke, the bed is an IKEA Lycksele sofabed (which folds up into a chair/cot), large rug is from Not Neutral, and the storage unit/bins are Expedit, also from IKEA (See Esther’s roundup of Expedits in nurseries here).  But what makes this room special are the personal, handmade touches Braden added to make the room fun, quirky, colorful, and uniquely Fisher & Ryker’s.

What I especially love is the fact that the room is fully decorated (and full of primary colors) but it doesn’t feel cluttered or haphazard.   Look at the ceiling… one one side is a globe lantern brought back from a trip to London, on the other side is a blue fish windsock send from friends in Japan to celebrate “Japanese Children’s Day” (Kodomo no hi), a festival held on the 5th day of the 5th month every year to ” respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness.” 

There are three other creative touches in this room I’d like to point out – maybe they’ll inspire you for your own kids’ rooms.

Wall Candy Arts decals, customized

1. Turning dots into fish. 

Rather than just taking decal dots directly from the package and sticking them on the wall, Braden cut some of her WallCandyArts decals into fish shapes (and their requisite bubbles). 

'handmade' footprints and tourist hats

2. Turning kitsch into decor

Braden writes, “My sister-in-law bought these animal hats at a cheesy tourist place in Cancun, Mexico… Fisher LOVES them.  I thought that since they were so colorful I might as well make them ‘functional art.'”  (Isn’t it crazy how your kids always gravitate towards the things you’d be least likely to actually want around the house?)  It’s a wonderful way to get stuff like this out of the closet or off the floor, making it top-of-mind and more likely to be played with. 

3. Turning traditional ‘family art’ into wall-worthy pieces. 

Each family member created his/her own footprint painting in the brightest, most colorful color combination possible!

Fisher and friend (and Ikea rats)

What I thought was most interesting about this space is the fact that although it looks large, there’s not alot of actual deep wall space to place traditional furniture against.  This means Braden needs to maximize all her storage cubbies and closets, and it means that as the kids grow, their stuff is going to multiply and grow in towards the center of the space.   And once they get big enough for real beds and desks, Braden’s going to have to be creative about her space planning.  I have all the faith that she’ll do a great job with it…

Thanks again, Braden, for letting me feature your sons’ room, and for all your help.

Any questions about Fisher and Ryker’s room or any of the pieces in it? Please leave a note in the Comments section.   Do you have a room you’d like featured here? Let me know.

in praise of the ‘mismatched’ room

25 May

Favor from Tallie’s Vintage Birthday Party by TomKat Studio

There seems to be a recent trend in which children’s birthday parties have started looking like weddings.  Blame it on crafters showing off on the Internet, moms getting tired of the invisibility of scrapbooking, or a simple desire to outdo all the other kids on the block.  But it’s now starting to creep into room design, and it’s stressing me out.  (Mentioned the phenomenon to my husband, who expressed his own disdain as, “My kid’s getting a pinata. That’s it.”)

Think of this post as a unicorn chaser for this overly coordinated, hot-glue-gun-and-grosgrain-ribbon-trimmed, letterpressed and Pantone-chip-matched craziness.   And a chance to feel OK about the state of our kids’ rooms 99.999 percent of the time.

Are those Legos on the floor?

A neighbor of ours, some guy called Gabriel Byrne, is looking to sell his townhouse here in Brooklyn.   The townhouse is selling for a few million dollars (I’m not sure of the exact amount right now, but you can read all about it here, on Brownstoner, our local real estate blog.  The comments section is especially snarky.)  So they’ve set up a website to profile the property.

What do I LOVE about the house?  Not the period copper detail, or the parlor room, washer/dryer, or fantastic location. No, what I love is the fact that they took photos of their kids room WITH CRAP ALL OVER THE FLOOR.

I love that someone decided he/she wanted green floors and blue walls and that’s what they got.  I love that there’s a life sized decal of Cristiano Ronaldo on the wall, and that it hasn’t been removed for the showing.  I love that there are two bunk beds, even though I have no reason to believe Gabriel and his wife actually have four children.

And I absolutely, thoroughly, love the presence of that great furniture democratizer- an IKEA Expedit bookcase.  I have to say that this is my favorite piece of furniture right now.  One-cube-by-four, you have a tower or a bench.  Two-cubes-by-four (as shown), you have a kids’ height storage center.  Five-by-five, and you’ve got a room divider or great storage piece.   I can’t wait for the opportunity to get one.

So fear not, friends.  Think of it as a “Stars, they’re just like us!” feature – maybe it’ll inspire you to skip the straightening up for the day, because after all, the maid will be in tomorrow. . .

in praise of the 'mismatched' room

25 May

Favor from Tallie’s Vintage Birthday Party by TomKat Studio

There seems to be a recent trend in which children’s birthday parties have started looking like weddings.  Blame it on crafters showing off on the Internet, moms getting tired of the invisibility of scrapbooking, or a simple desire to outdo all the other kids on the block.  But it’s now starting to creep into room design, and it’s stressing me out.  (Mentioned the phenomenon to my husband, who expressed his own disdain as, “My kid’s getting a pinata. That’s it.”)

Think of this post as a unicorn chaser for this overly coordinated, hot-glue-gun-and-grosgrain-ribbon-trimmed, letterpressed and Pantone-chip-matched craziness.   And a chance to feel OK about the state of our kids’ rooms 99.999 percent of the time.

Are those Legos on the floor?

A neighbor of ours, some guy called Gabriel Byrne, is looking to sell his townhouse here in Brooklyn.   The townhouse is selling for a few million dollars (I’m not sure of the exact amount right now, but you can read all about it here, on Brownstoner, our local real estate blog.  The comments section is especially snarky.)  So they’ve set up a website to profile the property.

What do I LOVE about the house?  Not the period copper detail, or the parlor room, washer/dryer, or fantastic location. No, what I love is the fact that they took photos of their kids room WITH CRAP ALL OVER THE FLOOR.

I love that someone decided he/she wanted green floors and blue walls and that’s what they got.  I love that there’s a life sized decal of Cristiano Ronaldo on the wall, and that it hasn’t been removed for the showing.  I love that there are two bunk beds, even though I have no reason to believe Gabriel and his wife actually have four children.

And I absolutely, thoroughly, love the presence of that great furniture democratizer- an IKEA Expedit bookcase.  I have to say that this is my favorite piece of furniture right now.  One-cube-by-four, you have a tower or a bench.  Two-cubes-by-four (as shown), you have a kids’ height storage center.  Five-by-five, and you’ve got a room divider or great storage piece.   I can’t wait for the opportunity to get one.

So fear not, friends.  Think of it as a “Stars, they’re just like us!” feature – maybe it’ll inspire you to skip the straightening up for the day, because after all, the maid will be in tomorrow. . .

navy and gold, cub scouts, and vintage-look dresses

27 Apr

Have you ever noticed something, then couldn’t *stop* noticing it for about a week afterwards?
Perhaps it started on the day trip we made to East Hampton, with its endless strip of Ralph Lauren retail opportunities.

Or maybe it was inspired by the tales regaled by my husband of his time as a Cub, which were, in turn, inspired by my longing for Girl Scout cookies.

Vintage Cub Scout ephemera, TIAS.com

Or perhaps the mere fact of being in Greenport, having eaten my weight in steamers by the seaside, then returning to Brooklyn to find custom-designed totes by Wm. J. Mills for our local (Brooklyn) designer shop, Epaulet:

 Steamer Canvas Bag, Epaulet, $175

Regardless, I’ve been noticing a trend, and I’m sure you’ve noticed it too…

Shopbop email ad, 4/26/10

Nautical-themed or not, navy, gold & white feel really fresh right now, both in fashion and interiors.   I’m so in love with the idea of painting stripes on a wall somewhere – whether single-color (alternating gloss and matte, ala HGTV makeover shows), lines of equal weights, or to just add some visual contrast to a room.

Below, some variations on this color combo that I’ve spotted lately.  Enjoy.

Eclipse skirt, Brooklyn Industries, $68 (I’ve already bought it)

Awesome vintage-style twinset from Little Malaika, approx $30 USD

Monogram Jack & Lulu wall art, $50 (includes frame)

Fantastic striped room (Traditional Home  via Nursery Notations)- thanks Andrika!

Another nautical-inspired room (source unknown)

BHG website with tutorial on stripe-painting here.

A vertical take on the navy/white combo via Flickr

I think these rooms could be both masculine or feminine; it’s really about the accent colors and the accessories that makes it gender-specific. 

And, lastly, proof of the zeitgeist-worthiness of navy and gold… Brian Williams.  This is my best website find in a while, better than Sexy Executives.

This past Friday, here’s what Brian wore:

Brian works the Navy-and-Gold Palette like nobody’s business. Tonight’s striped version of it is a bit more elegant, however, because the blue leans violet and the gold is a pale and subtle shade. This tie is a drinks-after-work date, the jacket unbuttoned as he leans across the table to share a smile and a joke. Her glass of oaked Chardonnay sparkles in the light, and with a subtle and quick gesture, she silences her cellphone and smiles back.

UPDATE: Here are some more vertical stripes and great inspiration from The Peak of Chic blog.