Saturday, August 29, 2009

Balance Bikes

I'm not sure if you have seen these bikes around your town but they are all over the Strand in Manhattan Beach. They are called run or balance bikes and are basically a pedal free bicycle. The child starts by pushing with their feet and will start cruising once they've gained some momentum and balance control.

In theory, a toddler (age 2-4) should start off trying out a tricycle so that they can get the peddaling down, once they get comfortable on the tricycle you purchase them a run/balance bike. A run/balance bike helps them gain the balance practice and confidence they need to move onto a regular bicycle. Once the child gets their first bike - no training wheels needed! The bikes come in wood or metal in standard or off road styles.

An ingenious idea and it looks like the kids love using them. I think they make a great gift for a toddler, and are great for the parents who are on child #2 or #3 and don't want to push a double wide stroller everywhere. A nice alternative to the Razor and this actually helps your child learn how to ride a bike!

The affordable metal balance bike, just under $100.

The Bob of balance bikes...just under $300.

High quality wood with steel enforced wheels
The Bugaboo of balance bikes...over $300.

Affordable wooden bike for under $100.

...don't forget to purchase a helmet too!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Former Furniture Website

I know that this does not completely pertain to children's design (although they do sometimes have children's items for sale), but I just read about this amazing website in an article from the New York Times called Former Furniture and I had to share!

The website sells slightly-worn high-end furnishing at a discount. The furnishings come from sample sales, designer warehouses, and homes in the Los Angeles area. Lindsey Dann Miller, a 29 year old designer in Los Angeles, thought of the concept and recently opened shop. She and her sister pre-inspect all the pieces before they are uploaded onto the site to maintain quality control. A genius idea and what a wonderful way to obtain stylish well-made quality objects at a discounted price.

When you have young children, lets be honest, things are bound to get banged up at your house sooner or later anyways. The company is based in Los Angeles but ships all over the country.

I'll definitely be purchasing from this site in the future!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Turquoise and Red

The bedroom below was featured on the Habitually Chic blog in an article about Diane Bergeron, an interior designer and showroom owner in Melbourne, Australia. I absolutely love the unique and adult-like color choice of light turquoise and bright red in her daughter Anna's bedroom. Such an unusual combination that also works well for a gender neutral room. Another interesting feature in this room is that the bed also serves as an enclosed couch. Kids seem to like anything that encloses their beds to make them a "special place".

On the same day House of Turquoise posted a link to the photos featured in the 2009 Georgia Idea House in Southern Living Magazine. I found it interesting that the "Georgian Idea House of the Year" featured the same color combination as seen in the teen room above. The color combination is fresh and new yet works in a traditional home aspect also. The teen room above uses more modern accessories and fabric accents as the traditional bedroom below pairs the color combination with chinoiserie accessories.

I love the silversage turquoise linen chairs with the red and white trim and accent pillow. I would actually like to see one as a glider in a nursery paired with a bedding with a similar turquoise silversage color to the eggshell blue color found in the Palm Beach Crib Bedding Collection by Sterling Anabella.

To me the skirt is a little boring, so I would have a seamstress add the same red trim found on the chairs above to the bottom hem to create a more interesting and color punched skirt. I would also order a second sheet in the silver sage color.

Design Tip:
When designing or choosing your crib bedding, you should always remember that the skirt is the item on the crib that stays on the longest. The sheets are always changed out and the bumper is generally taken out of the crib once your child tries to step on it to get out. So use your favorite color or design element on the skirt and work backwards from there.

Seriously how pretty would this bassinet look in the master bedroom above?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Moses Baskets

Traditionally moses baskets serve as an extra resting or sleeping spot for a baby. Many customers used to ask me if they really needed one. My answer was, "if you have a crib or a bassinet you don't NEED one, but everyone WANTS one." Especially if they look like my two favorites below!

But seriously I do think that they make a wonderful statement shower gift filled with goodies and can later be used as a crib for your daughter's babydoll, or as a decorative storage bin in a nursery or playroom. They also make wonderful heirloom pieces.

The White Pique Moses Basket by Wendy Anne pictured above is the traditional classic heirloom moses basket. The white pique accented with 100% white cotton is crisp, clean, and serves as the perfect portable bed to show off a newborn in. You can't help but say "awe" when you see a baby in this moses basket. The basket includes the bedding, lined hood, pillow, comforter, two fitted sheets and protective netting (to keep those pesky mosquitos out). If you like this look, check out Wendy Anne's website, she has quite the array of moses baskets in boy, girl, and gender neutral patterns.

The Sausalito Basket by Serena & Lily is an innovative remake of the traditional moses basket. The basket is made of heavy-weight cotton duck with nautical detailing, contrast trim, twill ties, and rope handles. Mattress pad, sheet, and white pique bumper are all included. This is a more modern and sporty look for those of us who do not like ruffles. It also comes in a brown trim and a pink trim. Once again Serena and Lily has managed to break the mold in traditional Nursery Design.

Turquoise & Punch

I'm not sure who came up with this color combination first but I LOVE the room designed by Kelly Wearstler for a little girl below as posted on the coco & kelly site. The playful pink punch carpet might be my favorite element in the room besides the sophisticated armoire.

For a similar look on a more affordable budget, the Eve set by Serena and Lily would be my second choice. The colors are so fresh and inviting. In reality I would stay away from a white upholstered headboard for a child's room, it looks beautiful but it is just bound to turn into a dirty mess in a few months.

Instead of the plain pink and white rug in the catalog photo above, I would choose the Romantic Lace Rosa Rug by The Rug Market for a more romantic look or the Jamaica Ticking Cotton Rag Rug by Dash & Albert if you want to add more colors into the design of the room, both pictured below.

And if by chance you were looking for a coordinating crib set, the Harper 3-Piece set also by Serena & Lily is now discontinued and is 50% off on their website. A pretty good deal if you ask me!


It's a treehouse? It's a trampoline? It's a tent? It's a swing?
No it's a Treepee!

I remembered seeing this Treepee treehouse tent on Deco Peques a few weeks ago and loved the idea this portable and multifunctional playhouse/tent.

As in the photo below it is wonderfully suited for a wooded backyard, but I would also put it on a porch or in a playroom (if supported by a strong enough beam).

The Treepee can be secured by four tethers as seen above for a more stable tent feel or can purely be suspended from a beam or branch for a more free safe surf-like sensation. It costs around $600 and comes in pink, khaki, and apple green. The Treepee measures : 4.5' x 4.5' x 7.8'

How much fun to have a sleepover in a tent suspended over the ground!