Archive for March, 2012
Whilst browsing the blog of Sisters Guild, a gorgeous online boutique chock-full of children’s decor, gifts, toys, and clothing with a vintage slant, I spotted a great little tutorial for a weekend project that I wanted to share with you. These animal storage jars would make fun storage for a playroom or your child’s bedroom, don’t you think? Come to think of it, I could do with some on my desk too.
Happy weekend and happy making!
(images: sisters guild)
When I spotted that Donna Wilson (of the quirky knitted toys and homewares) has teamed up with ‘once bitten, truly smitten’ chocolatiers Rococo to create these hand-painted chocolate eggs, I knew that my Easter egg hunt was over. Her signature creatures feature alongside more typical Easter bunnies, chicks and lambs and all come beautifully packaged in Rococo boxes.
My favourite is the ‘Food Chain’ Russian doll style egg above. With typical Donna Wilson humour, there are 3 Rococo ganaches inside the carrot, which is inside the rabbit, which is inside the fox.
The Owl and the Pussycat feature on Wilson’s round cushions, sailing away in their beautiful boat.
Let me know which design is your favourite!
(images: donna wilson)
Any parents-to-be with Swiss roots out there? I have the perfect focal point for your baby’s room…
Madame Chalet aka Genevieve Closuit is an east London designer hailing from Switzerland, who is the creator of a range of nostalgically themed gifts, stationary and home accessories inspired by the landscapes and kitch vintage culture of her childhood. The Mon Beau Pays wallpaper panel above is one of her designs and would look stunning in a contemporary, simple white nursery – behind the cot, in an alcove, anywhere!
For all expats who are not from Switzerland, you could of course have a panel produced with a scene from your own native country by one of the many online digital wallpaper suppliers (try muralswallpaper.co.uk). Images can be bought from stock photo libraries such as iStock or Shutterstock.
Happy Monday everyone!
(images: madame chalet)
This gorgeous bedroom belongs to Anya who is three and a half years old. She lives with her family in Surrey in the UK. Anya’s room was decorated by her mum Veronika who is an artist and designer at Sarah & Bendrix (she designed the stars picture). Let’s find out a bit more about Anya, shall we?
♥ What is your favourite food? Chocolate
♥ What do you love doing? Painting, reading and ballet
♥ What is your favourite colour? Purple
♥ What is your favourite animal? Cat
♥ Your favourite book? Anything to do with ballerinas
♥ What do you want to be when you grow up? Fairy
♥ What is your favourite thing in your room? My toy Rabitty
♥ What do you love doing most in your room? Reading
Thank you Anya, it was lovely to meet you!
Designers Hartendief in Holland have added a series of wall lights to their collection of whimsical children’s lights. They come with a little music box inside to play soothing music before going to sleep. My favourite has to be the Lief Toverbos (Sweet Magic Forest) light. I think I could have spent hours dreaming up stories about the animals when I was little - and the nice thing is, designer Hylkia, founder of Hartendief, introduces the light that way:
“Our Sweet Magic Forest is getting ready for the night. Deer, Rabbit and Hedgehog are talking amongst themselves about all the nice things they’ve done that day, but Owl thinks it’s time to go to sleep now… Can you all be quiet please! The little moles underground think Rabbit’s big ears are rather funny – they’re the largest ears ever!”
The magic forest theme also features in Hartendief’s Illuzzz range of pendant lights, which I adore. These lights are white on the outside (perfect!), but come to life when switched on at night.
Similar and even more stylish are Hartendief’s Toverlampen (magic lights). Uni-colour on the outside by day, these lights show their ‘secret’ silhouettes when switched on.
The Toverlampen were inspired by shadow puppetry also known as “ombres chinoises” (Chinese shadows), introduced to western Europe by returning travellers in the mid 18th century. Using silhouettes cast by figures cut from paper or leather, the ombres chinoises usually featured short, amusing tales which people came to see before television took over. Hartendief’s gorgeous and imaginative lights feature scenes and figures that inspire children to dream up their own stories.
If you would like to see how the Toverlampen were conceived, have a look at Hylkia’s guest blog post over at Bloesemkids, with behind-the-scene shots to explain the process used by Dutch paper cutting artist Geertje Aalders to create the illustrations for the lamps. There are five different ‘themes’ in the range and different colours are available to suit you child’s room colour scheme. Perfect!
Earlier this week I mentioned I have a bit of a soft spot for floral wallpaper - putting it down to family trips to France when I was little. Well, I just came across a treasured photograph of me as a baby in my room. Looks like my mum liked flowers too! So maybe my love affair with flowers started a lot earlier than I thought. As I’m hopelessly nostalgic about my childhood, I love looking back through old family albums. I was reminded of the emotional connection to family photos, and the memories that they represent, when I went to have a look at my friend Anna Nowinska-Boardman’s new website recently.
Anna is a bumps & babies photographer and she’s pioneering birth reportage photography in the UK. One of her first blog posts was about her favourite childhood photograph. Take a minute to visit Anna’s blog to read her story, and tell me if that doesn’t bring tears to your eyes.
On a completely different note, tell me also if you’ve spotted and recognised the crazy cute fox Anna is holding in her favourite childhood photo – did anyone else have this fox when they were little? Do you think it was Anna’s or a photographer’s prop?
So I’ve been wondering – do you have any photographs of your old room as a child? I’d really love to see them and hear the stories that are connected to them, and perhaps share some here on the blog. Wouldn’t it be great to reminisce together? Drop me a line if you would like to share yours here and I’ll get right on it.
(image: room to bloom)
It feels like spring and I have flowers on my mind! One of my soft spots is floral wallpaper, which reminds me of childhood trips to France (well, that’s my excuse anyway). I think it’s perfect for children’s rooms, but country florals are very girlie, very sweet and very easy to overdose on.
The key to success is to stay with one surface like the examples below and create contrast. Stick with one wall of (vintage inspired) floral wallpaper and keep everything else relatively plain and simple, and you won’t go far wrong. Or turn it around and use floral bedding in an otherwise neutral, modern room to add instant whimsy.
(room to bloom collage – top: photo by jeltje janmaat for vt wonen, cath kidston chintz wallpaper, madame doute, bunny angel liberty flowers, liberty print suitcase - bottom: baby lapin lamp, darling clementine rabbit card, ercol children’s chair, sundvik bed ikea, lloop lamp, fox print - wallpaper left to right: colemans petite fleur, cath kidston winchester posy, room seven winter poppies)
“What’s this about?” I hear you wonder. Fret not, I Am Not An Animal is not a rant about my recent experience on the London Underground, it is the title of a totally awesome poem that my little niece Madeleine wrote for a national youth poetry competition in the category “Being human”. And she won, though she is just five years old.
The little poem that she made (and that her mum typed up) put a huge smile on my face – it’s such a fun, free spirited response to a serious topic, I wanted to share it with anyone who has 2 minutes to spare. Here goes:
The woodland trend for kids rooms has been going strong for a while and I still can’t get enough. Imagine my joy when I laid eyes on these animal wall stickers from Dutch company KEK Amsterdam. I think I squealed. These cute Forest Friends are photo realistic, which makes a nice contrast and stops rooms from becoming overly sweet. Spot the raccoon below!
All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog and tell me why you would like to adopt this little fellow. I’ll pick a winner in two weeks’ time (competition closes 19 March midnight) and announce the winner on this blog and by email. Good luck!
In case you haven’t heard about Hus & Hem before, do go and check it out. Owners Louise and Jill have put together a seriously drool-worthy collection of Scandinavian design, including some of my very favourites for children’s rooms, such as Rie Elise Larsen’s paper lampshades, Ingela Arrhenius’ gorgeous prints, and Betty Svensson’s retro floral fabric. Enjoy!
PS: If you’d like to place a link to this competition on your blog, you’re very welcome, and liking Room to Bloom on Facebook is always much appreciated : )
(images: kek amsterdam, collage from kek amsterdam branch sticker and chipmunk plus bread and jam dress)
I popped into Little Liberty yesterday, the brand new children’s department at Liberty’s. The emphasis is on children’s wear with lots of covetable labels such as Iloveorgeous and Paul Smith, and a smaller selection of toys and decorative pieces for children’s rooms. Here is an impression of my visit and a selection of my favourite buys.
Look out for these lovely pieces:
1. miho birdhouse 2. anne-claire petit mushroom pouffe 3. miho deer trophy 4. froy & dind tin 5. white rabbit lamp 6. anne-claire petit notebook pouffe 7. kids on roof casa cabana
(images: room to bloom, product images from respective brands)