Shop the Look: Fabulous Floral Bedroom Walls...

Children's rooms are havens for young, unbridled imaginations. Chalkboard walls, storybook murals, decorative appliqués - they are all possibilities in rooms for tots. Those elements aside, I'm loving the idea of floral walls for achieving a feeling of creativity run wild. The resulting look is every bit as freeform and fun, but much more pretty and poised. Wild, overgrown, fabulous flora adorning the vertical planes of a room have the power to turn a simple white rectangle into a wonderland for a young mind. 

How do you balance cray-cray paper on the walls to achieve a sweet and sophisticated look? One word: restraint. A calming rug, floor to ceiling panels in a solid shade found from the wallpaper, bedding that balances the look, By keeping other textiles mild you can let the fun accessories for children play center stage. Silly accents, a cool chair, a funky lamp and a chic chandelier all come together to create a room that encourages childhood fantasy and daydreaming.  

Below I've put together a few of my favorite elements for a little girl's room that is sweet without being saccharine. The truth is, while this is written from the perspective of young design, these feminine pieces are perfect no matter your age (or gender, for that matter). These elements are the epitome of timeless chic. Below you'll discover my favorite Schumacher floral wallpaper as well as a few great Serena & Lily pieces. Tip: they have a sweet 20% off friends & family savings event happening all weekend. Use code LIKEFAMILY to save now through Tuesday. Hooray!

Now... on to this chic look:

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Tot Decor: Celebrating the Mighty Twenty...

We've been experiencing quite a few visits from the tooth fairy in our house. She's leaving a trail of magical glitter on my daughter's nightstand and a very special pillow we've added just for this momentous occasion. This sweet little zebra-adorned accessory offers a little pouch for those middle of the night money-for-a-tooth exchanges to go down.

As a mommy who values the art of learning, I appreciate that my resident loose tooth princess now tells me casually that her lateral incisors are readying themselves to come out. Mighty Twenty offers handy a Tooth Tracker Journal that lets your toothless wonder document the journey of their visits from the tooth fairy (e.g. which tooth fell out when). It also educates them on what this process is all about - after all, losing your teeth can be a little scary at first. My daughter is learning quite a bit about oral health and dentistry for a freshly minted 7 year old, and I love that she's gaining confidence by understanding more about the process of getting her adult teeth. Add that to the fun of prepping her flashy pillow on those special nights when an incisor has come out and it's a magical memory maker we love having in our home. 

Visit Mighty Twenty to help your little ones celebrate this milestone in style!   

Tot Decor: Bulletproof Your Interiors...

The hallmark of my interior design philosophy hinges upon the idea that spaces for children need not look so disjointed from the rest of the home. So many nurseries and tot spaces are eyesores. Much of this, I believe, is because parents simply don't realize they have options. The truth is this: the world is your oyster when it comes to styling up a family friendly environment that is as good looking as it is durable. 

How? By choosing from today's technologically advanced fabrics and being clever about how you incorporate your glamorous (read: fragile) elements. You can read my nursery design tips here. Today's chat will focus specifically on fabrics. 

Consider, if you will, the idea of indoor outdoor fabrics inside the home. Forget what you think about textiles of the past. Today you can choose from supple velvets, incredible linens and stunning brocades that can take a beating and keep looking brand new. 

Crypton reached out to us a few weeks ago to ask if we would be willing to put a few of their amazing pillows to the test. I'm happy to say these glam black damask pillows exceeded our expectations. They are pet-friendly, kid-tough and pass this sophisticated girl's style sensibilities. 

We took them out for a lazy afternoon at the park where we flew kites, studied the clouds and otherwise enjoyed ourselves. Mr. Wonderful, our resident tabby, decided one of them made a good backrest during one of is afternoon naps. Afterwards, they were in absolutely perfect shape and ready to go back into my daughter's bedroom reading chair. To say we loved these is an understatement. Crypton fabrics are the bomb, baby! 

Like me, you might have encountered the fabric line before but had no idea they had consumer products. As it turns out, the company has generated a large collection of furniture, pet products and a wide range of family-friendly home & personal accessories. Aprons, dog beds, travel pouches, chairs... you name it, they've created it using their revolutionary fabric. And trust me when I tell you they are gorgeous as well as functional and durable.

Pop into their online shop to see these chic pillows as well as hundreds of other items perfect for a busy house bustling with life. Your children and your pets (and who am I kidding... your husband!) will thank you. 

Tot Decor: Regal Favorites from 9 by Novogratz

We recently discovered the newest collection of home goods by Bob & Cortney Novogratz. Known for their transformative renovations and artsy vintage-modern interiors, this talented couple already has established lines at Macy's and CB2.

9 by Novogratz is the dynamic duo's latest foray into the product design market, this time available exclusively through Wal-Mart. This collection is so visually exuberant that it easily translates to teens, tweens and young adults - but we could see daring "kids at heart" of all ages loving many of these pieces. Bold colors, artistic flair and graphic appeal make the entire collection a home run for anyone looking to outfit their digs in style at attainable price points. 

What I have always admired about Bob & Cortney is their family-friendly aesthetic and integrated lifestyle. From the very first episode of 9 by Design (how I miss that show!) it was clear that there were no clear lines of demarkation between work life and home life. This beautifully blended approach to life is expressed in everything they create, and this line of bed and bath goods celebrates the "embrace life" youthfulness they radiate. 

Since I'm mom to two very young girls, we viewed this through the lens of my oldest's eyes. She was given free rein to choose her favorites. Mere seconds later, my princess in training has mapped out a solid path to "cool bedroom" perfection. Here are Samantha's picks:

Striped Chair // Upholstered Headboard // Tufted Ottoman // Bath Set // Queen & King Pillows

While we opted to style this through very young pink-loving eyes, 9 by Novogratz strikes us as the perfect blend of cool for expressive teens and college aged young adults. Sofa sleepers and arm chairs offer plenty of laid back styling options for beyond the bedroom. The kaleidoscope of colors makes it a great fit for those of who crave bold color & strong geometry. 

On a personal note, I'll be interviewing Bob & Cortney for an upcoming post. I cannot wait to dig in and ask about their work-life balance (is there any such thing?) and learn more about the world through their brightly shining eyes. This is just one of many interviews you can expect to see here on the new blog. Enjoy! 

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Tot Decor: Little Girl Goes Glam...

One day she's playing in the sand, the next she's wowing you with her knowledge of ball gowns and all things royal. My oldest (at the ripe young age of 6, mind you) is well on her way to becoming a bona fide glamour girl. Cream and gold reign supreme as her favorite colors, but let's not forget pink for all its incredible beauty. A soft, upholstered headboard with brass nails, ample pillows for added cushioning and a flat out fabulous dresser are great for now and great for later.

I'm not a fan of "kid" furniture and these choices will solidly confirm that preference. As in the rest of the home, invest in quality pieces that will stand the test of time and (hopefully) be to her liking as she grows. If not? They are lovely enough to make any guest bedroom a chic retreat for out of town visitors. 

 Pondicherry Headboard // Audrey Chest // Emma Pillows 

Tot Decor: Young Collectors

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There's no doubt that classical music played to the womb elicits a response from a growing baby. Likewise, children at any age are fascinated by art. Show any baby a colorful painting and you'll see their visceral response to the creation. So for me, adding art and creative pieces to a nursery or child's room is a necessary luxury.

Today on Framed & Matted they are showcasing LA artist Marisa Anne Cummins. Her quirky framed prints are signed and matted and definitely would add a playful element to a young child's room. Personally, the lion is my favorite! He's a cutie.

See them all here. Each piece is signed by the artist herself and is available for $135 each. Love all three? $350 gets you the whole set to start your little tot's first gallery installation. It's never too young to begin sparking that creativity! :)

Tot Decor: Designing the Perfect Nursery...

Over the years I’ve tailored my design business to focus on the one room which often poses the greatest design challenges to families: the nursery. Unlike any other space in the home, this particular area often leaves otherwise opinionated mothers and fathers directionless. The root cause, I believe, is that they are designing for an infant. 


While it is true that this space will be the child’s bedroom, it’s important for new parents to realize that the nursery is the workspace of the caretaker. That darling little bundle won’t even be exploring the room soon, so it’s important to design with the mother or chief caretaker’s comfort and needs in mind. 

The floorplan
Let’s start with the floorplan. Ideally, the crib is on the far wall, the one you see as you walk into the room. As a design element, I love using the crib and a stunning wallpaper to make that room the focal point. Any art or shelving hung over crib must be very securely attached to wall. Be sure it is placed high enough to avoid curious fingers or prying hands. Safety first. Design second. 

Place seating by the window to allow natural light while reading and cuddling. I also love adding a bookcase to either a corner or a wall large enough to accommodate large furniture. Placing this near the seating area makes logical sense if the room allows for it. 

Rugs
Ground the room with a large area rug. Not only is this perfect for cushioning the knees of young crawlers, its texture also offers something of sensory interest for growing minds. Remember, you and your little one will spend considerable time on the floor during tummy time and impromptu play sessions, so invest in a quality rug that feels good to the touch. 

The chaise longue
Second only in importance to the all-important crib is the chaise. That’s right, the chaise. I don’t ever suggest rockers or swivel chairs to families with young children. In addition to posing risks to curious little fingers, their movement often irritates sensitive tummies. As important? For late nights, early mornings and long afternoons nothing beats a tufted chaise for a cuddle session or a much needed nap for mum and baby. 

I logged many an hour in my daughter’s nursery. I was so terrifically grateful that I opted for a comfortable chaise that allowed me to stretch out. It became my secondary bed and the place where many special bonding moments occurred. Comfort, style and versatility are key, and a quality chaise offers endless uses. Add a throw blanket and toss pillows and you’ve created a little slice of heaven. 

Colour
Now, colour. There’s a strong tendency to be bold with colour in nurseries. I strongly disagree with this approach. While it is true that colour plays a vital role in learning and development, this is not a space for visual stimulation. What occurs in a nursery? Sleep. Hopefully lots of it. This room should be designed to soothe, comfort and delight. Playtime occurs everywhere and toys, daylight and books are always brightly coloured. Life itself offers all the visual stimulation a child needs. 

Knowing this, you must realize that the walls and fabrics of the nursery do not need to look like a box of Crayola crayons. Instead, opt for soothing, subdued colours that make you happy. This is not a space you’ll be able to paint again soon, so choose your colours wisely. Think soft whispers rather than loud shouts. Colour, after all, has the power to influence mood greatly. And your ultimate goal is to encourage sleep, tender moments and happiness for all who spend time in the room. 

Storage
Next: storage. Don’t limit yourself to nursery furnishings when outfitting a room. I tend to lean towards classic chests of drawers in lieu of changing tables. A design secret? There’s no difference in the height of a standard dresser versus a changing table. You can then top it with a changing cushion resting on a non-skid pad. No one will be the wiser and you’ll never be boxed in by single-purpose furnishings. It’s key to realize that your child won’t be in nappies forever. Investing in a quality dresser or commode offers long-term flexibility and a myriad of uses as your child grows. For glamour, I’m particularly fond of mirrored chests. When your little bundle begins to crawl she’ll love peeking at herself in a mirrored surface, looking down at her height. 

Bookcases and armoires
Bookcases or armoires are another must. An armoire can quietly house a television and double as storage for toys and keepsakes. I’m also fond of bookcases as they offer ideal spaces to display family photos and favorite toys or books. Remember here to design for yourself. So long as you keep breakables out of reach you can decorate shelves as you wish; after all, it’s the adults in the space who will appreciate them. Add meaningful photographs and mementos that bring joy to your life. 

Lighting – chandeliers
Lighting. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. My suggestion? Rock it out with a gorgeous chandelier overhead. Why? Because you can. There’s no better space for such a fanciful object than hung from above. The rainbows of colour that are cast from sunlight hitting the crystals will delight babies, toddlers and grown-ups alike. My now three year-old daughter still asks me to ‘turn the rainbows on’ anytime we are in her room. Who needs a mobile over a crib when you can have Swarovski crystals instead? 

Lighting – task lights
Next, task lighting. Remember the all-important chaise? Rest a round table beside it and place a lamp on top. Be sure to install a low-wattage bulb with just enough light for comfortable reading and quiet moments. Another favourite location for lighting is above the changing station. I love topping the chest of drawers with a mirror and flanking it with a pair of sconces. Again, low-wattage bulbs are key. No point waking yourself up any more than you need to for those late night changes. 

By following these suggestions you’ll create a functional and stylish nursery for the entire family to enjoy. This isn’t about ignoring the child’s needs. It’s about honouring the comfort and demands of the caretaker. You can indeed balance chic and function. 

Interestingly, by designing what seems like a caretaker-centric space you’ll be creating a safer, better place for a young child. Delicate objects are up high for curious eyes to admire. Soft bedding and comfortable places to rest are available to all. Plush surfaces and light reflecting mirrors offer sensory stimulation of the best kind. Most importantly, you’ll have created an inviting place for all who enter. Rather than an oddly decorated space, you’ll design a room that you and your family will love and enjoy for many years to come.

{{this post is featured on MyDeco.com... much love to them for seeking out my design tips and suggestions!}}