I haven’t shared product round-ups or design finds in what feels like years, but I had to take pause and celebrate my dear e-friend Joy‘s newest collection for Land of Nod. Inspired by her daughter Ruby’s own transition to a big girl room, it’s filled – quite literally – with sugar and spice and everything nice. Last night, I opened the most beautiful package with #4, the ice cream pillow, nestled inside, and I couldn’t help but pull together a few more sundae-inspired finds for the young and young at heart alike. (Isn’t that jump rope darling?):
I get a lot of emails asking about what I keep in our home, the types of toys and books and activities that sprinkle our days. And I will first say this: although I am a minimalist, I am also a peacemaker. If it overjoys Bee’s uncle to gift her a thirty pound stuffed Minnie Mouse to display in our living room, and if said stuffed Minnie Mouse delights Bee, then welcome to the sofa, Minnie. Please don’t leave your cheese between the couch cushions, but otherwise, make yourself at home.
Indeed, there are things you don’t choose for your kids – items that are gifted with love that, sure, aren’t your style but are made tasteful by sentiment. The handmade outfits from grandmother, the battery-operated push toys, or if your child is anything like Bee, the plastic army men she perpetually steals from the nursery at church. (This child has very sticky fingers, word to the future.)
For everything else, we get a choice. And while she’s still tiny, I choose to surround herself with a small handful of beautiful, well-designed toys that we both love to share. Here’s the list!
Bee is becoming more and more toddler-like by the second, so we’re already starting to think about big kid bedding and the like. How sweet are these design from Rafa Kids, a Netherland-based husband and wife team?
Have you guys heard of Kinder MODERN, the newest NYC-based gallery showcasing vintage children’s design from the past century? It’s this flea market-loving mama’s dream destination, filled to the brim with interesting artifacts of childhoods before us. I always find it so intriguing to see how parenthood has changed throughout the decades – how quickly the spreading of information and cultural trends can transform a collective mindset, and how really, we’re no further along than we were years ago.
I don’t recall ever having visited a circus, but I also have the spottiest memory in the world, so you never can tell with me. (Heck, I could have starred in the circus and wouldn’t remember – truly, my memory is that bad.) So when my girlfriend asked me to design a circus-inspired space for her new baby, I knew of a few things: striped big tops, magic shows and animals. And boom – a nursery was born!:
Last weekend, Bee and I enjoyed a perfect mom+daughter date. There was sunshine and swimming and lemonade, stroller naps and bananas and jazz bands. It was just… perfect. Sure, there were meltdowns from bouts of boredom (Bee) and impatience (me). But the day inspired us to get outside more often and enjoy these lazy summer days as much as we can. Because before we know it, this season will have passed us by. (And I’m not talking about summer, am I right?)
In honor of our perfect day out, here are a few blue sky-inspired finds we’re loving!:
I’ve been helping a few friends design nurseries and big kid bedrooms for the littles in their lives, and my goodness – is there anything sweeter than seeing tiny eyes light up in a space that reflects their truest passions and interests? I thought it might be fun to share a few of the designs here in case you’re looking for virtual inspiration for your own kid’s space – and please let me know if you’re stumped with a particular theme in your own home. I’m a big believer that it’s always possible to create a space your kid loves without compromising style!
Today is a big kid bedroom for my friend’s son, Beck, who is obsessed with his favorite Three Musketeers book. Sources below – enjoy!
I may be partial, but man, Midwest kids don’t get the credit they deserve, do they? Time and again, I’m amazed at the creativity that exists between the much-praised coasts, scattered among cornfields and cityscapes and cottages. We’re scrappy and resourceful, continually pushing the boundaries like the middle kid seeking a hint of the spotlight. Prime example? Milwaukee-based designer Janelle Gramling – who may not be a middle child, but most certainly is making her presence known in the Midwest and beyond.
I recently shared the creative journey of Bryony Shearmur – a musician-turned-photographer-turned-author-turned-designer (are you as exhausted by that title as I?), and she mentioned something that has reverberated in my ears ever since – the idea of a creative ecosystem. The realization that our creative lives and passions and dream jobs are the sum of little more than our past experiences or failures or experiments. That our creative life isn’t necessarily linear, but spiraling closer and closer to our core – the point where each interest overlaps and meshes together, creating the ultimate nucleus of passion. And although I haven’t yet reached my core center (although I like to think I’m rounding a close corner!), I was thrilled to read that England-based artisan Becky Kemp is happily crafting in her own passion-fueled nucleus of a kid’s shop, Sketch Inc:
Ever since I covered Lenka Clayton’s amazing Motherhood in Residency project, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how I view the relationship between work and parenting and creativity and all things good and perfect, Amen. Although I’m a big believer of compartmentalizing my work and home life (which is increasingly difficult as it’s a work-from-home life), I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t concede that Bee is endlessly inspiring to me. So it only makes sense that her play area and my office be one in the same, yes?