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children’s outdoor playhouses

30 March, 2014 in kids design, seasonal

children's playhouse & tree house ideasIt really feels like spring here in London today, the perfect time for a round up of outdoor playhouse and treehouse ideas.

I really like a traditional cottage style playhouse with a thatched or tiled roof, but if you prefer go for something more modern. What about a gypsy or circus style trailer playhouse? (In Holland we call these “pipowagen”, Pipo being the name of a clown.) Another idea is to use a small vintage caravan and decorate this to your heart’s content with curtains, planters full of flowers, pretty wallpaper and paint. The ultimate hide-out play house is a treehouse. The one above is from a Dutch company I admire because they do sweet interiors as well. Here in the UK try the Blue Forest company for example. Happy playtime!

co-co the caravan ladybird books

(top image: room to bloom  1. bespoke treehouse design  2. thatched cottage playhouse  3. mini pipowagen  4. tiled children’s cottage  5. poppy wallpaper air balloon - painting by joshua shaw - bottom image co-co the caravan)


sture & folke baby blankets

sture & folk baby blanket orpineI have fallen in love with these beautiful baby blankets by Sture & Folke. Made by Karin Stenmarck, a Swedish born designer who now lives in Switzerland, the comforters are the result of her wanting to give her own two sons, Sture and Folke, the warmest and softest blankets to cuddle up in. She couldn’t find what she wanted, so she decided to make them herself. Thank goodness!

The blankets are handmade with an exquisite attention to detail – I could eat them, they’re that gorgeous, and that’s no exaggeration. In fact, the blanket above formed the design inspiration for a little girl’s nursery I am currently working on, so stay tuned!

dinosaur wallpaper by sian zeng

26 February, 2014 in children's decor, kids design

Sian Zeng Dinosaur WallpaperSian Zeng’s new Dinosaur wallpaper ticks the right boxes for a child-friendly-but-not-childish accent wall in your dino-crazy toddler’s bedroom. Take a look at the picture above – don’t you love it with that green skirting?

As with Sian’s previous designs, it’s available as regular or magnetic wallpaper. The latter comes with a cast of dino and flycopter magnets that can be moved wherever you like. The wallpaper is available in the following colourways: green yellow (above), grey and green pink.

(images: sian zeng)

les gambettes kids furniture

9 July, 2012 in kids design, things i love


les gambettes little suzie kids chairs

How adorable are these vintage inspired kids chairs from French design label Les Gambettes? Founded in 2011 by two school friends with a background in fashion, Les Gambettes aim to translate catwalk trends to retro furniture for kids and grown-ups alike.

les gambettes kids furniture

Their first collection includes the Suzie chair and Little Suzie kids chairs, Regine school desks and Marcel side tables. Colour blocking, flowers, Vichy checks, cement tile and baroque patterns were printed on formica furniture with a distinct fifties feel.

All furniture is made in Europe and the timber used is FSC certified (meaning it comes from sustainably managed forests).

les gambettes kids chair suzie

Les Gambettes kids chairs are available in the UK from Eenymeeny Kids.

(images: les gambettes)


child’s own softies

31 May, 2012 in kids design

childs's own studio softies my dog nina

I seem to have soft toys on the brain at the moment… This curious creature is the creation of Wendy Tsao of Child’s Own Studio in Vancouver. Wendy niftily converts children’s drawings into softies. She’s had a wave of publicity recently, so there might be a waiting list!

(image: child’s own studio)

xo-in my room

cirkus baby bed xo-in my room

I recently found out about xo-in my room, a new webshop and blog focused on kids furniture based in Spain. The company was set-up by Carina and her husband and is a real family venture. The webshop is due to open soon, but in the mean time I simply had to share this cirkus cot with you, which I absolutely adore.

(image: xo-in my room)

chick-a-dee smoke detector

23 May, 2012 in kids design


Designed by Dutch artist Louise van der Veld, the Chic-a-Dee smoke detector has finally arrived in the UK. I’ve long wondered why there are so few interesting and good looking smoke detectors on the market, but with this quicky bird shaped smoke alarm things are starting to change. It was originally intended for children’s spaces, but its playful design would look great in any room.

The Chic-a-Dee smoke alarm takes its name and appearance from the American Black-Capped Chickadee, a bird famed for its noisy warning call. Apart from the white bird on a white branch shown here, it’s also available in pink, blue, and white on a black branch. I prefer the all white version as the pink and blue are a bit too traditional for my taste, and I don’t really see the need to make it stand out against what is usually a white ceiling. It complies with all required safety standards and is available here.

(images: chic-a-dee)

lulu cradle

16 April, 2012 in baby room, kids design, news


I’m in love with these photos of the Lulu Cradle and Mokuba rocking horse from Danish design company Brdr. Krüger. Don’t you just love the colours?


In 1963, the Lulu Cradle was designed by prominent Danish designer Nanna Ditzel, and became a highly collectible example of modern Danish craftsmanship. All of Ditzel’s grandchildren slept in a Lulu Cradle, passing one cradle back and forth between family members over the years.

As part of the celebration of the 125th anniversary of Brdr. Krüger, the Lulu Cradle will be reproduced in a limited numbered edition of 200 pieces, in close cooperation with Nanna’s first daughter, Dennie. 

mokuba-rocking-horse- O&M-design-kruger

Mokuba is the Japanese word for “rocking horse”, and the Japanese/Danish design duo O&M Design created this wooden playmate. In honor of their 125th anniversary, Brdr. Krüger will be producing Mokuba for the first time, also in a limited numbered edition of 200.

For enquiries contact Brdr Kruger directly. Thank you Toni at Skandivis for tipping me off!

Have a lovely week everyone!

x Ursula

things i love: hartendief children’s lights

20 March, 2012 in kids design, things i love

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! 

 (images: hartendief)

rob ryan ruler for measuring the growth of human beings

20 February, 2012 in kids design

Giant wall rulers are becoming a bit of a trend in children’s interiors – and now that I’ve seen Rob Ryan’s Ruler for measuring the growth of human beings, I’m going to have to jump right on that bandwagon. It’s a beaut!

rob ryan ruler for measuring human gowth at scp

Rob designed the ruler for contemporary furniture shop and supplier of other design loveliness SCP. It features his characteristic paper cut design together with a poem, screen printed by hand on birch plywood. If you move house you can take the ruler with you, rather than having to leave your recordings behind on a doorpost or wall. So if you look after this lovely piece of design, you can hand it down to your kids when they start having their own family. Pretty cool, right?

I love the poem’s sentiment too – here it is (taken from Rob’s blog):

“The village grew into a town and the town grew into a whole city. The tree grew up to the sky and the river grew as it flowed down towards the sea and the flowers they grew until they covered the whole field and from inside the depths of our hearts you grew as well. Every single day a tiny unnoticeable bit more and more of you, and all of the long days and all of the short days will add up to yet more of you until there is no more growing to be grown and the last mark on this ruler will have been made.

But yet still inside you there will never be a shortage to the amount of love your heart can grow and day by day and year by yet you can grow in your heart still more care and more sympathy and more trust and more kindness until it finally blossoms and its flowers cover the entire world.”

(images: SCP)

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