Cheeky Monkey Home

Cheeky Monkey Home has the cutest collection of pillows, floor cushions and murals, all made from 100% wool felt and available in fun, bright colours. The designer, Holly, makes each piece to order in her studio in Belmont, MA (USA) where she hand cuts the felt appliqués, hand embroiders all the details, and then machine stitches the products to ensure durability.

I was in touch with Holly earlier this summer and she kindly sent me one of her Dala Horse throw pillows as a gift for my children, complete with a hand embroidered message on the back. I squeezed it into my suitcase and lugged it back with us to London, and it’s now sitting proudly on the sofa in our playroom. We love it!

I also really like the whale design and love the look of the floor cushions – so cute! All her products are made-to-order and available from the Cheeky Monkey Home Etsy store.

x Courtney

An (attempt at an) organised entrance way

With 6 people in the house, we have to deal with a lot of coats, scarfs, hats, shoes and boots in our tiny little entrance area. It’s so difficult to keep this area in some sort of order! This is how we organise our entrance at the moment (suggestions are welcome of course!):

  • A coat rack installed on kid’s height — so they can hang their own coats.
  • A second coat rack installed above coat rack number one, with 4 baskets hanging from it. One for each child — for (sun)hats, scarfs, mittens, shinguards, helmets etc.
  • Underneath the coats — pull out shoe storage.
  • On the wall — chalkboard wall stickers with the children’s sports and music classes
  • I keep sunscreen and umbrellas next to the door as well as a mental reminder to bring them if necessary

xxx Esther

My workspace on the Babiekins blog

I’ve been away all summer… and while I am so sad that summer is slowly coming to an end, I will admit that I am a little bit ready to be back in my home, back in my office, back to a bit of organisation and routine.

Elizabeth from Babiekins Magazine recently asked me to share photos of my home office. Looking at these photos makes me actually miss it a little. : )
You can see the photos and read a little interview on the Babiekins blog here. Thanks, Elizabeth, for featuring me!

xx Courtney

Mausbird


I met illustrator MietzeB at the Kleine Fabriek recently where she introduced me to her gorgeous brand Mausbird. Mausbird is a collection of clothes for children and adults, that is characterised by the fresh and modern illustrations by MietzeB and an original, unexpected use of colour.

Meerkats, otters, flamingos, bugs and hip triangles adorn retro style sweaters, t-shirts, onesies and pillows. All the pieces are unisex and very cool I think!

xxx Esther

My (full!) house on Design Mom

If you ask me to name some people I admire most in the online world, Gabrielle Blair (Design Mom) comes to my mind instantaneously. The way Gabrielle organises her life as a business woman and a mother of six is a constant source of inspiration to me. Gabrielle not only runs one of the world’s most successful parenting blogs; she also comes up with new and innovative business ideas and makes them into a success (check out Kirtsy and AltSummit). Her courage and energy to re-locate her family to France for a few years and soak in the culture and diversity of this side of the pond is amazingly inspiring! Also — she always looks beautiful and pulled together, and is so caring and fun — what a woman!

Today, Gabrielle features my (very full) house on her blog in her ‘Living with Kids‘ series. I’m so flattered! If you would like to have a look, you can do so here.

xxx Esther

Ruby and Joy, sweet handmade homewares

Scotland-based, Nicola Goring, from Ruby and Joy recently sent me a couple of her sweet handmade cushions and I love the pretty fabrics she uses. What a lovely little Etsy shop! Her little elephant and whale cushions are cute for a baby’s nursery, and I love her pretty heart-shaped lavender cushions too.

All the products are handmade with love in her wee little studio in Scotland. I love promoting little brands like this one!

x Courtney

Yellow Velvet embroidered cushions


I have so many children’s drawings flying around my house, I think I could fill up a gallery. But there are some that are actually really good (obviously I am subjective), which I really want to keep. Some are hanging on our kitchen cupboards, but I also like the idea I stumbled upon on the super cool cushion shop Yellow Velvet. They take your kids drawing and make it into a sweet embroidered pillow.  I think a cushion like that would be so nice to have in a children’s room.

They also make cushion’s out of Instagram photos, which I also love the idea of!

- Emilie

British Garden Birds Poster


We recently hung a bird feeder in the apple tree right outside our kitchen window, and it has been so much fun to watch all the garden birds help themselves to the birdseed. There are moments where we can spot three or four different birds taking turns flying up to our bird feeder, meanwhile pigeons (and squirrels!) help themselves to the seeds which fall onto the ground. The kids love pointing out the different birds we spot in the garden, which is why I knew they would love this new British Garden Birds Poster from Finch and Robin. The poster details 10 different garden birds, and we’ve hung it right on the wall by our kitchen table so that we can reference it every time we spot them.

I also like that £2 per poster is being donated to the RSPB Scotland to help save wildlife.

x Courtney

The String Shelf

I completely adore the String Shelf. The String system was design in 1949 and over the last years has become one of the most popular pieces of classic scandinavian design. We got one for Nico’s room —  we call it “the treasure shelf”, because this is where he keeps his most valuable toys at the moment.

Robots, dinos, rockets. But the most important toys are the Star Wars ones, because they were a present from Uncle Javi. The toys belonged to him since he was little, and now they belong to Nico, 30 years later! Such a lovely present.

We are very happy with our String ! Hope you like it!

- Maria

Decorating a baby’s nursery, wallpaper on the ceiling

A few weeks ago I told you about the nursery I had the pleasure to decorate. Today I would like to share the lovely wallpaper we used — instead of putting it on the wall I put it on the ceiling! It looks different, don’t  you think?

The paper is one of my favorite nowadays. The Ferm Living, Harlequin. I am completely madly in love with it! Hope you like it!

- Maria

Beautiful illustrations by Liekeland

How beautiful are these works by Dutch illustrator Lieke van der Vorst? They have something so innocent about them, and at the same time they are so incredibly wise. They would be perfect for a nursery, a kids’ room, any room in the house, really. The third picture above is an illustration Lieke designed for a birth announcement last year. So, so sweet!
If you’re interested in Lieke’s work, you can her purchase postcards and prints via her webshop, or the bear postcards are available through BijzonderMooi as well.

xxx Esther

A tree coat rack

Today I would like to share the tree hanger I made for my son’s room. I did it myself a few years ago and I remember it was much easier than I had expected! I made it with palet wood and it looks great in Nico’s room!

We decorate it acording to the time of the year and the season! It is fun! (Inspired by the great great Camille Soulayrol.)

Hope you like it and hope you give it a go. It looks good in many parts of the house, as long as you have a free wall!! ;-)

- Maria

KEK wall stickers


Have a look at these awesome real life animal wall stickers by Amsterdam company KEK — how cool are they? I love the giant bear and the XL owl, but also adore the tiny hummingbird (which is flying around in Sara and Pim’s room) and this cute hedgehog. Wall stickers are such a quick and easy way to spice up a room, aren’t they? I also have been eyeing these fabulous tree trunks (I unfortunately don’t have any wall space left in our tiny house!).

xxx Esther

I love you more than…

We don’t have a Valentines Day tradition here in the Netherlands, and part of the idea I think is majorly over-commercialised, but the main thought — expressing and celebrating our love for our best friends and family — I think is important to emphasise. On Valentines day; every day!

These prints by This Many Design are so sweet. They are made by Kari Lazenby, who plays a game with her son every day where they say what they love the other more than — which gave her the idea for the I Love You More Than print (which you can personalise). Kari screen-prints the works by hand on beautiful French company paper, so each one is different, making them more unique than they already are.

xxx Esther

Wool Fabrique

Toward the very end of our day at Playtime, as we were frantically running out of the building to catch our taxi (late, as usual!), we stumbled upon the Wool Fabrique stand… and we literally stopped in our tracks! The taxi could wait — these gorgeous goodies were too good not to check out.

Wool Fabrique was started by artist/designer Maya Bekto, a mum of two. Her designs come to life on wool carpets, baskets, and cushions using the traditional techniques of the loom. I love the bold colours and the colour combinations she uses. Everything was really SO so cool. She doesn’t yet have an online shop, but if you’re interested in purchasing something she said she’s happy to take personal orders if you get in touch with her (contact details here). I think I might just order everything… (I wish!)

x Courtney

Beat the January (and February) blues!

Last Monday was apparently ‘Blue Monday’ — the most depressing day of the whole year! Courtney and I are always complaining about January and February months here in Northern Europe — it’s dark, cold, wet, the kids are sick and there is not a lot to look out to. Well, on Blue Monday, I put up a few pompoms in front of our living room window to brighten things up a bit, and it had an instant happyfying result. The pompoms are available from Visje bij de Thee — along with many more gorgeous products that would make my January/February blues melt in an instant. I also made this quick Lemon Poppyseed Drizzle cake, and treated myself to some some new Marimekko coffee cups. We’ve got to do what we can, don’t we?!
What’s the weather like where you are??

xxx Esther

Paper Friends from Blanca Helga

A few weeks ago I visited the combined Christmas sale of two great shops, Visje bij de Thee and MondaysMilk, where I discovered in the midst of the wonderful merchandise these ‘Paper Friends‘. They are made by Spanish artist Blanca Helga, from bits of collected cardboard and each one is completely unique and signed by the artist. Don’t you agree they make great decoration for the childrens’ room? Or any room, really!

xxx Esther

Madrid in Love

Last weekend Nico and I went to Madrid for a long weekend. It was so nice and one of the things we loved most was a pop-up store happening right now in Madrid (only december!). Madrid in Love.

A very special place, full of lovely things and lovely atmosphere. And really nice to visit with your kids!

After Madrid in Love, we went to a very nice place in Madrid. If you are looking for something sweet and tasty, Mama Framboise is the place. Amazing and super nice desserts.

If you happen to be in Madrid, I think they are a couple of lovely places to visit.

- Maria

Nobodinoz in Barcelona

Today I would like to introduce a store I just adore. Nobodinoz in Barcelona. It’s been 5 years since Nobodinoz made its grand opening. They were the first ones that introduced the kid’s design world in Spain, and we were so grateful for that.

They brought  the best design furniture, clothing, equipment… You will find brands like Oeuf NYC, ByBo Design, Kast Van Een Huiss, Talc, Bobo Choses, Veja, LuckyBoysunday… Amazing!

It is for me obligatory when I go to Barcelona, to stop in either of their two shops, and I always enjoy the time spent there. But in addition to the shops they have a webshop connected to the whole world.

- Maria

Pi’lo

I am sure that with time you will discover I have somewhat of a dual personality! As much as I love vintage and colorful design items, I also have a love for all things white and natural. So it will come to no surprise when I tell you I loved Pi’lo’s collection as soon as I saw it, about a month ago at the NYC gift fair. To top it off, Pi’lo is a Canadian company from Toronto and so I felt even more compelled to share my discovery with you. Everything is handmade with natural fibers such as cotton, linens and felt by the lovely Heather Shaw herself and practically from her home — her studio happens to be just behind her house. There are lots of great items to choose from for your home and not only for the kids — I particularly love the lined paper collection as well as all the pillows, although I think my favorite has to be the tic tac toe game. You can discover lot’s more on the website and Heather even has an Etsy shop.

-Celina

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