Monday, September 28, 2009


One of my favorite resources for more contemporary and unique invitations and stationery is Minted. The company is unique because they carry independent stationery brands, known for their artistry, detailed printing, and superb papers.

Minted has a wonderful selection of baby announcements, shower and birthday invites, and personal stationery. You even have the option of printing return address labels on the envelopes to match the design inside and can have thank you notes printed too! Some of my favorite baby and child themed designs are featured below:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Decorating with Maps

Over the past few weeks I have run into quite a few photos of rooms decorated with maps. (The image above is from Deco Peques). Some of the rooms are modern interpretations while others are more traditional. Either way, this is an easy way to inspire your child to learn about the world and can also help teach them how to read a map. I hope the images inspire you to bring maps into your life.

Image from the Pottery Barn Kids' Rooms Book of a traditional room

image from Houzz of a modern teen's bedroom

I like it how this map is just used in a corner

The complete Environmental Graphics World Wall Mural used in the images above
(13 feet wide and 8 feet 8 inches tall)

A temporary world map decal from Ferm Living.

Our World stretched canvas artwork by Oopsy Daisy, one of our best sellers at Sprout.

An image from Elle Decor Magazine. They used antique maps for this guest bedroom.

via Pottery Barn catalog

A photo from a friend's bar in their home in Manchester, MA. They used old charts as wall paper, I might actually do this in my hallway downstairs...hmmm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kips Bay Showhouse Living Room Inspiration

The room above was featured on the cover of House Beautiful back in August. The Kips Bay Showhouse living room was designed by Bunny Williams. When published, the colors and decor of the room created quite the stir in the design world. Some people loved it, some people hated it. My first impression was that the room was a little bold and unusual but the unique color combinations and sophisticated eclectic vibe grew on me.

The piece which is the most unusual is the red Egg Chair originally designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1958 (a mid century modern design classic). Surprisingly the chair is very comfortable and allows for the person sitting in the chair to easily turn and have some privacy when desired. Any child would love having a chair like this in their room: whimsical, iconic, and private.

I thought it would be interesting to re-create some elements of this room as a nursery. Please find my interpretations below:

Regency Crib & Changer by MasonGray

Luca Glider by Monte

Artwork by Suzanne Blanck from Oopsy Daisy

Arctic Blue Paint by Benjamin Moore

Monday, September 21, 2009

Phoebe's Turkish Aviary Nursery

Phoebe’s Turkish Aviary

Location: Atlanta

What was the inspiration for your room?

I officially deemed our nursery the Turkish Aviary after being inspired by the Souk Chic rug tiles from and the Bird Reference curtain panels from Anthropologie. The rug being the "Turkish" and the curtains being the "Aviary"...We knew we wanted a bird theme to carry through the design. Some favorite finds for the nursery include a beautiful painted wooden bird mobile from an online nature store, the Counting Birds wall cards by eeBoo, branch and bird wall decals from Ikea and a sound machine that plays soft bird calls and nature sounds! It's way more pleasant and soothing than plain old white noise!

What was the first piece that you purchased for the room?

The crib and changing table were the first purchase from a local store. We choose the very traditional Jenny Lind turned spindle crib and changing table in dark cherry. I already had an antique mirrored dresser, club chair and wooden rocking chair that I knew I wanted to use in the nursery, so we selected the crib and changing table to coordinate with the feel of these pieces. The rug was the next purchase, then the curtains. The fun really started when I selected fabrics for the custom bedding. I found all of the fabrics at one of Atlanta's prize fabric showrooms, Lewis and Sheron, and had the bedding made in their workshop. I ordered an extra Bird Reference curtain from Anthropologie and had them cut it up to incorporate it on one side of the crib bumper. Then, after selecting fabrics, I had the large antique club chair and a precious little footstool reupholstered in fabrics used within the bedding so that the entire room coordinated. I chose the pale aqua paint color after finalizing all the other selections for the room. It was the best contrast to the rug, curtains and fabrics, and was gender neutral. We did not find out the sex of the baby until the day she was born, so all along, I was making selections that I felt would work for boy or girl.

What is your favorite aspect of the room?

My favorite aspect of the room is the vintage look and feel. I wanted to design a room that felt like an off-shoot of the rest of our home. We live in a beautiful historic condo built in 1922, but we are dealing with close quarters. I didn't want the nursery to scream baby right into the living room! We have a very eclectic home, and I wanted a cohesive look throughout our small space.

Now that your room is complete, what would you change or do

differently if you could?

Now that the room is finished, the only thing I would change is my Diaper Genie 2! I wish I had bought one with a foot pedal. Seriously, there is nothing I would change in the nursery, I just love it. It is such a cheerful place to be.

Brands/Websites used... - Souk Chic Rug Kit - Bird Reference Curtain panels in Brick Red, embroidered lampshade - fabrics and workshop - wall decals - Counting Birds wall cards - Hummingbird Balancing Mobile


(Phoebe’s Mom)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ida Pearle Artwork

Ida Pearle is a New York City artist whose custom prints capture the joy, color, and curiosity of childhood. Each collage is cut and glued by hand using specialty papers from around the world. Her prints and alphabet cards are available on her website, Ida Pearle. I love the unique colors and prints that she uses in each piece. The prints can be displayed as wall art in a modern or more traditional setting depending on how you frame and display them.

For a limited amount of time her custom 22" x 22" unframed alphabet prints are available on sale for $160 each on the mini social and proceeds from each sale will be donated to Art For Life. Art for Life creates programs for kids who are undergoing physical, emotional or mental crisis to use art as a way of helping them work through and with their illness. This is a great opportunity to purchase some artwork for your children's room on sale and help a good cause at the same time. I recommend checking it out before this deal goes away!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Rational Diaper Bags

If I were in the market for a new or my first diaper bag I would be purchasing the Not Rational diaper bag. Their bags are made of real italian cowhide leather, handmade in the USA. The diaper bags honestly look and feel like normal handbags and I WANT ONE!

Since they are a little pricey (they run just under $600), not many retailers carry them in stock, but they can be purchased at Kitson on-line, and at Barneys, Scoop, and a few other retailers around the country. Their most popular style is the Hansel (pictured above and below).

At 12.5 tall x 5.5 wide x 16 long, the size is very manageable and easy to carry over your shoulder or as a messenger.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have always loved this photo in the Posh Tots catalog and thought that these stencils would be adorable in a beach-themed room, bathroom, or playroom as shown below. The starfish stencil and additional stencils are available on Posh Tots.

The table and chairs shown in the Posh Tots photo above are by Art for Kids who actually recently just opened up their first flagship store in Los Angeles in Beverly Hills on Wilshire. The line is very expensive because all of their pieces are custom hand-painted to order but the quality of their paint-work is beautiful. If you live in the Los Angeles area it is a store worth stopping into.

But back to stenciling...

I have always loved the idea of a painted monogram over a crib or dresser in a nursery or children's room. And in these tough economic times, everyone can't afford to hire a muralist. If you like the idea and are a do-it-yourself type of person I have two source options below:

The photo above is from Posh Tots, by the same manufacturer, Sunny's Paints. (The changer is actually also from Art for Kids)

Another cute look for monograms, and especially fun with twins, is shown below over cribs. They are custom designed by The Pink Azalea. These are a little less expensive at $90 a pop instead of $155 .

And in case you were wondering, the bedding is from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ahoy It's A Boy

I've gotta say this is one of the cutest shower ideas that I have seen in a while! The inspiration board above was designed by Erika Ward from Blue Label Bungalow. Just look at the adorable cupcakes with alternating shark fins in water and sand with the umbrellas! Some with white icing and little boats on top in orange would be adorable too! For the table setting, I would put the fish netting over marine blue and kelly green table cloths and tie white napkins with mini grosgrain belts similar to the ones shown above. Additional cute centerpieces would be ships or green and blue beach toys resting in sand.

Some good websites for purchasing personalized melamine plates for the honoree similar to the ones above are La Plates & My Clean Plate Club. These make great gifts for any occasion.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mally Bibs

You might think I am crazy but I absolutely LOVE using leather bibs to keep my son clean while feeding him his first foods. My favorite brand is Mally Bibs. We carried the Mally Bibs at Sprout and I definitely stocked up! They are durable, washable, reversible, adjustable, comfortable, and adorable!

My son has two that we use everyday now that he is eating rice cereal and baby food. They are soft and flexible and wipe off extremely easily. Another fun feature is that they are magnetic so you can just attach them to the outside of your fridge or oven for easy access. I would not recommend them for use when just giving your child the bottle as they do not absorb the liquid, but food sticks right to them making them easily rinsable with a wash cloth or sponge. This cuts down on laundry and makes them very easy to travel with. With the adjustable magnetic closure, they fit babies and toddlers.

They make great gifts and I recommend getting two for yourself also!

You can now even get the bibs personalized with a name!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Madison's Dream-Like Nursery

The following are photos from a nursery that Heather designed with us at Sprout. The furniture is from Newport Cottages and the Wren bedding is made by Serena & Lily. I love her personal touches with the mirror that she chose to put over the changer and the crisp white and green slip-covered glider with matching monogrammed pillow. The color on the walls is Benjamin Moore First Snowfall.

The nursery truly looks peaceful and serene. Enjoy the photos below:

What was the inspiration for your room?
My favorite colors are blue and green. I knew that I would use them whether I had a boy or girl. When I saw the Wren pattern by Serena and Lily, I knew that I found what I was looking for. I also love birds and nests, so it was a natural fit.

What was the first piece that you purchased for the room?
The crib set described above was my first purchase.

What is your favorite aspect of the room?
Madison’s room is dream-like. Whenever we play in her room, I am instantly relaxed. The soft blue walls and the full-length, white linen curtains make me feel like we are in the sky.

Now that your room is complete, what would you change or do differently if you could?
The first thing I did was reangle the bed for more play space. The photos attached do not show this change because it is not as cute. I realized that the nursery also needed to be a playroom – at some point I had to sacrifice a little style for practicality.

Heather Hays
Madison’s Mom and Soon-to-be McKenzie’s Mom too!