Last month I wrote about the Japanese Paumes books. These books are so inspiring — every page is full of great ideas. I decided to start a series where I pick an image or room in one of the books and do a project or design a space based on the inspiration.
The inspiration for this month is the awe inspiring home of stylist Susanna Vento featured in Finland children’s spaces. I love the peachy/pink color scattered in parts of her daughter’s room so much I decided to paint something in my house that color.
I found this great set of wooden mushrooms (I collect mushrooms), primed them, and then mixed two paint colors together; acrylic white and craftsmart’s Neon Orange. This was such an easy and fun project. I hope you enjoy!
I really love finding great furniture for kids, just like the charming furniture made by xo-in my room. And I also love finding out that the people behind the brand are from Barcelona – Spain. This is a three brother adventure: one is a photographer, the one in the middle is in charge of publicity and logistics and the youngest brother is a craftsman. With this unique combination they decided to get together and build up xo-in my room.
They design, produce and sell all the furniture which is made with recycled wood and sometimes they add a vintage touch which makes them unique. Beautiful handmade, very clever and really creative.
How cool are these? I am proud to say that my friend Patrick designed these hanging pot plants to allow anyone to have plants in their home no matter how small that house is. Growing up in New Zealand we never knew the concept of limited space but after moving to London it became apparent that not everyone is so lucky. Patrick designed these while studying ceramic design at Central St. Martin’s and living on the 12th floor of a tower block.
There are so many great reasons to have plants in your home including purifying the air you breathe. I really want some for my kitchen so I can hang my herbs! Check out the Boskke story here.
I have always loved the idea of having a swing or hanging chair inside the home and have wanted to install one in my own home (I just have to convince my husband that it’s a good idea). I think my kids would love reading and giving each other rides in it, and I would love how fun and relaxed it looks in my home.
Serena and Lily have designed a lovely hanging chair inspired by this chair. The rattan hanging chair would add a little 70’s Scandinavian style to your home and could go in any room; the living room, a child’s bedroom, or even your bedroom.
Here’s some tips on how I’d style the chair:
First I’d lay a sheepskin on the base of the chair and have it drape over the bottom slightly, like the picture above. Second, I’d add a comfy, round seat cushion made with the star fabric, and last I’d add some extra pillows for back support and color.
I recently spotted this beautiful image on the Bleubird blog and fell instantly in love with that Bobo Choses tapestry rug hanging on the wall. I love the colours and the texture that the tapestry brings to the wall, and love the idea of hanging it behind a baby’s cot. In fact, I ordered one for our new babe… and think I might swipe the idea and do the same thing. (I’m already dreaming up the baby’s bed/nursery!)
The rugs are on sale now… so if you’re tempted by these beauties, scoop them up quickly.
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Ploc Magazine
Summer means drinking a lot of water. I read somewhere that a grown-up should drink at least 1.5 litres of fluids a day. I tried it once and it did make me feel great, but it actually took a huge amount of effort and I have not done it since! One of my pet peeves are all the plastic bottles we use. Partly because they must be the worst thing for the environment and also because I can’t help thinking of all the plastic nastiness that must be seeping into the water itself (BTW I might be completely paranoid, as I don’t have any scientific evidence to prove said plastic nastiness).
Anyway, this brings me to my newest item I cannot live without: my Sigg bottle, a light-weight metal bottle that I fill up wherever I go. I have the 60 ml version, the kids each have the smaller version. Taking our bottles with us has so much become part of our routine now, that we rarely need to buy bottles while we are out and about. Hopefully this is a little helpful for the environment, to our health and also to my wallet!
I’m loving the new collection of limited edition art prints at Minted. Such a sweet and fresh and happy collection. And I love that you can order each print in so many different sizes… from small (5″ x 7″) to enormous (44″ x 60″). There are also prints you can customise by adding your child’s initials, names or birth dates. And a whole non-kiddie selection too! I like this pretty Highway Wildflowers print, and I would love to stare at this Rooftops of Paris print all day and pretend it was really the view out my window!
I recently picked up some enamel pieces — I love enamel! I like the clean look of it and the timelessness of the pieces. Enamel is in fact metal with a thin layer of paint and glass over it. It is perfect for children, as it won’t scatter in pieces when it falls, but pieces of the glass and paint may chip off (showing the black metal underneath). When that happens don’t worry — the metal will naturally oxidise and is still safe to use. Enamel is also oven proof — I love the enamel oven dishes!
Here are where I found the above pieces:
Cachette is a new Anglo-French lifestyle concept store that has recently launched, and it is selling a gorgeous selection of homewares and children’s products. I love the artisan quality of it all, the simplicity which has a directness and honesty to it that reminds me of other times, without it being antique or scruffy at all — it’s a super fresh collection! All the finds are totally up my alley, and I’m pretty sure will be up yours as well…
This weekend we had such a treat: one day without rain and even (yes!) a few rays of sunshine!! Hurray for May! Seriously, the weather has been so lousy here in Amsterdam, we’re in much need of sun. Anyway, we decided it was time to spend a day in our little garden to plant all the seedlings we’d grown in the windowsill of the kid’s room the last weeks: tomato, pumpkin, courgette, sunflowers, nasturtiums, sweet pea… They had by now grown into little puppy plants so it was time for them to hit the rough Amsterdam climate outside.
Carrots, radishes, salad and rocket are best sewn in the full ground (outside). If you don’t have a garden or balcony, you can also easily grow these vegetables on your window sill. Just one word of advice (we keep doing this wrong!) — don’t sew the seeds too close together, or the carrots, radishes etc don’t have room to grow! Plain salad and rocket are also super easy to grow (even in the windowsill), and you can keep cutting their leaves for a long time.
Of course we set the children to work immediately. They love gardening! Obviously the small scale of our vegetable garden-to-be will far from feed our entire family, but it’s a real pleasure to harvest our own grows, little as it may be, and it’s educational for the children. Here are some really fun ideas for gardening with kids:
Sara received this super cute Gardening Giftbox (from French brand Moulin Roty) as a gift and it comes filled with little pots, compost, seeds, a watering can and gardening tools — all packed in an adorable little suitcase. So cool! Sara and her friend spent hours working in the garden, preparing the soil, sewing their seeds, watering the plants, etc.
I got some bags of seeds at the Balcony Gardener. These bags are really pretty and also make gorgeous gifts (I just ordered a few more of them!). They also sell beautiful quality kid’s sized gardening tools which we love.
Finally, if you live in the Netherlands or Belgium (or speak Dutch), this little Moestuinkabouterpakket is such fun and so very, very cute. It comes with seeds, bags to sew them in, labels, a little book about the garden gnomes that will help you to look after the seedlings (provided you make sure their hat and coat is hanging ready for them to wear!).
We moved into our house a little over a year ago, and the project of decorating it is still an ongoing task. Walls need artwork, sofas need cushions, we still desperately need a mirror in our bathroom (the list goes on)! I only just managed to get some very much-needed hooks up in the kids’ rooms — it’s amazing how long it can take to do something as simple as putting hooks on a wall!
Anyway, in my quest to buy new cushions for our home, I have discovered the most wonderful webshop specialising only in cushions and pillows. Yellow Velvet is a stylish and well-organised site with an even more stylish selection. They have cushions for every setting: living room, bedroom, outdoor areas, children’s rooms, etc. There are so many great options, my only problem was choosing! I ended up buying a selection of these embroidered linen cushions for the yellow sofa in our living room (see below).
ONE YEAR AGO WE WROTE ABOUT:• Happy Mother’s day!!
When we moved back to New Zealand I had grand plans of what the kids bedroom would look like. I had bought them matching beds to bring back and bought loads of dark grey gingham to make matching duvet covers. In my head it was going to look so cute! When we finally found a house to rent, the bedrooms were so small I couldn’t fit in their matching beds. Luckily, we had bought Mia’s toddler bed back with us so Kees ended up having to sleep in that. For a while he also had to use his sister’s girlie duvet covers. Last week I finally got around to making him his own duvet covers so his bed feels more like his own.
How I made them:
- I cut up an old white sheet.
- I printed Kees’ name on normal printer paper
- I traced Kees’ name with pencil onto the sheet.
- Then I hand embroidered over the pencil line.
- Finally I sewed on a matching grey gingham back.
I think his new duvet looks very smart and its always good to recycle old sheets.
It’s not often that personalised art takes the shape of a cool looking monster with a very big mouth and a bright red background! I couldn’t resist this Little Monster print from KoKo Kids: very modern and fresh and cool (and very cute too, but not obviously so). The royally sized poster is giclee printed with archival print, so it has a very artisanal, matte look to it. Our little monster Pim is over the moon with his poster!
I was feeling a bit blue the other day when I stumbled upon Sharon Montrose’s Animal Print Shop. There is nothing like portraits of bunnies, ducks, and sheep to instantly elevate your mood. I am still trying to decide which animal needs to come home with us. Maybe the two bear cubs?
I recently discovered the fantastic Australian-based shop, Inaluxe, while browsing Pinterest. I quickly ordered a couple prints (although I must admit, it was difficult to only choose a couple!), and I’m so pleased with them. What I like is that the prints can work in an adult’s space or a child’s room. I think the bright colours and birds would really appeal to children, while adults might like the more abstract pieces. (The prints I ordered are for me, not the kids!)
Inaluxe is run by Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd, two artists who met in school. Their attention to detail and quality is so immaculate — they use only the best archival fine art papers, and work with the best giclee reproduction print technology out there. And they ship all over the world — my prints arrived super quickly!
There is a little shop in Encinitas, California (where I used to live) called m.o.m that has the most adorable decor pieces, accessories and handmade clothes for children. They often use one-of-a-kind fabrics with fun prints for their items. I bought the most adorable pink striped tie for one of the favorite little boys in my life when I was last down there and he adores it. These would be darling additions to any easter outfit or to have around for a dress-up occasion. (They don’t show a big selection on their site, but they are great at taking custom orders and letting you pick out the fabrics.)
I think little Ava might have inherited my love of chairs! I got her one of these beautiful little Tica chairs from the new French Rocking Company and she can’t let go of it. She takes it to her bedroom at night, and back down to the living room in the morning. So cute! Don’t you love the look of these chairs? The retro design and cool colours (we have the red one) appeal to me big time. And the size is perfect for children, both for Ava (now 22 months) and also for her big sister Sara (a very tall 6-year-old).
The Rocking Company also has a selection of durable, cool bibs, made from thick and soft fabrics with an unmistakable retro feel to them as well. A very nice selection of first products — I wonder what else Sandra (the owner) will come up with next!
Rootsliving is a new UK-based company run by Charlotte Kjeldsen, a lovely Danish mum who stays true to her ‘roots’ by sourcing all the products from Scandinavia (mostly Denmark). She carries one of my favourite Danish brands, Rie Elise Larsen, as well as other little Scandinavian treasures. Find everything from homewares and accessories to children’s fashion and decor. I like the selection of jewellery, I love these yellow candlesticks, and you’ll probably be interested to know that all the children’s clothing is now half off!