Even though we have been living in our current house for over three years, Ava still had a temporary lamp up in her room… until this weekend! We finally installed the adorable ‘miracle lamp‘ from Dutch design company Hartendief. Hylkia, the sweet and super creative owner behind Hartendief, introduced the ‘miracle lamps’ a little while ago, and I love how clever they are.
When switched off, the lamp is plain white with just a few simple balloons on the outside. Only a faint outline indicates what will happen once you switch the light on — a whole parade of darling animals appears, each holding one of the balloons!
I love the simplicity of the concept and the attention to detail with which it is carried out. The drawings of the animals are truly adorable, and the light gives a darling atmosphere in the room — switched on or off. So sweet! I bet every child would love to have this lamp in his or her room… Ava surely does!
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!
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
Whenever we go on a beach holiday, I like to pack turkish towels instead of normal beach towels because they take up less space in your suitcase, they’re less heavy when wet after a long day at the beach, they dry more quickly… and they’re super cute!
Yesterday I was in the Conran Shop with my mom and we stumbled on these large linen bath towels by FB Collection from Frescobol Carioca, and I couldn’t resist picking up the cute pink and white striped one. I love how multipurpose they are — they can be used as a scarf, a shawl, a sarong, a blanket or a beach towel. The perfect thing to have at the beach! (Can you tell I am desperate for a sunny, beach holiday? Desperate!!!).
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!
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!
This post is actually written for some of my favourite ladies, Courtney and Esther, who have a favourite shop here in Paris. They literally go there every time they come. In fact, I sometimes suspect that they might be visiting me just as an excuse to visit Merci, the fantastic concept shop which happens to be very close to my flat.
And now they might never come visit again, as Merci has (finally) started an international online shop, full of amazing linens, the Merci clothes line, wall paper, these cool picnic napkins and many other bits and pieces.
Merci was started by the same people who founded Bonpoint many moons ago. It actually functions as a very stylish charity shop: all the proceeds of the shop are invested in educational projects in Madagascar (but certainly does not look like any charity shop I have ever seen before). Hopefully the online Merci is not the end to a wonderful friendship
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.
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!!
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!).
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.
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!)
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??
This is a project I remember from when I was a child. Every winter my mum would buy a big bag of peanuts, and we would sit down and string them together in long garlands, to decorate the trees and feed the hungry birds. This week, the birds must be especially hungry (it’s freezing cold here in Amsterdam), so I put the kids to work. And they loved the exercise! We used plain red baker’s twine (like this), and a big ballpoint needle. Kids happy, birds happy, mama happy — a good hour spent!