With the recent summer weather, I have been itching to travel. Combine that with all things furniture related here at Storkcraft, and it had me dreaming about map themed nurseries and kids room.
Go big or go home, right? These three rooms dedicate a full wall to feature a world map, but each achieves a distinctive look with their map’s unique style, from calm and sophisticated to colourful and fun. Scrolling between all the images, I can’t determine which room I want to obsess the most over. Right when I have determined that I could totally be the fun, hipster mom that would go for the kitchy and colourful, the Martha Stuart in me wants the Hamptons-style retreat.
Not limited to only kids rooms; here are two different styles of nurseries that incorporate the art of travel. I think my little Jet Setter would appreciate sleeping in either of these nurseries! Image 1 & 2.
This is my first time spending Mother’s Day as a mom. During the one last year I celebrated with my own mother, who had flown in from out of town, and my husband’s family over a sushi dinner at our place. I was already in labour that early Sunday morning, and got through the Mother’s Day dinner by stepping away from the table every once in a while to weather the increasing contractions. It’s hard to believe that it has been a whole year already and I now have a little girl of my own!
In honour of the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend and Throwback Thursdays, here’s a picture of me and my mom. Fast forward a few decades later and you have the second shot with my mom as grandma and holding my LO. Looking at these two images, I am reminded of the kind of selfless love that my own mother had for her children. Her patience, can-do attitude, and ability to listen and empathize have set the bar high for my own journey through motherhood.
^Yes, note that 80′s decor!
^Grandma and her first grand baby
Wishing all the women out there who have opened up their hearts and home to love and raise children, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Your role as your children’s mentor, caretaker, advocate, comforter and so much more is celebrated!
While searching for images of bunk beds the other day, I came across several room shots with creatively used drapery and knew I had to share them here. Some rooms use smartly installed fabric panels as partitioners to include privacy, while others use them purely for adding that touch of whimsey. Whichever it is, drapery is a relatively easy way of changing up the feel of a place and/or adding extra “rooms” to a home without too much time or financial commitment. I am loving how this idea can work with children’s spaces.
^What a way to make a standard twin bed so grand! Image source from Apartment Therapy.
^A cozy readying nook/den that can double as a guest room. Image source here.
^A fancier version, but easily doable DIY project using an extra fabric boarder panel along the top to hide the curtain rods/tracks. Image source here.
A Stork Craft bunk bed giveaway is happening over at IHeart-Motherhood (Check out how you can win your choice of a Stork Craft Longhorn or Caribou bunk bed here!). We are inspired by the many ways that a bunk bed can be integrated into the home for a more efficient room layout and decor.
^The biggest myth about bunk beds is that they make a room look juvenile or like having “gone to camp”. But as you can see from the image above, with the right bedding and colour pallet, it doesn’t have to hinder more “grownup” decor ideas. A bunk bed set can make for a sophisticated and space efficient guestroom. Children’s rooms can also be decorated in a way that can allow the kids to grow into them for many years to come. (Image source)
^White furniture keeps a tight space bright and airy, while the bedding gives the room the perfect pops of colour (Image source 1, source 2) Check out Stork Craft’s Longhorn and Caribou twin over twin bunk beds in white to create a similar look.
^Grey is the new neutral and these two rooms above are awesome examples of classic meets modern style! Get your grey themed room with Stork Craft’s newly launched Caribou twin over twin bunk bed in grey.
Over a Sunday brunch with a group of friends, someone said to me, “I have never been able to ask this because people can take it the wrong way, but what do stay at home moms do all day?”. Being 11 months pregnant at that time, I would have no idea what keeps a parent at home and possibly busy the entire day, but I promised this friend that I when I do find out, I’ll let him know. Now I’m letting you know, Brian.
It’s. Non. Stop.
Babies just seem to up the ante when it comes to tackling laundry and the number of times that you can wipe a surface. What was simply a weekly chore of throwing clothes into a wash and letting it spin away has now become an unending stream of stain removal (Who knew that yam puree and yes, poop, can stain like that!). Add in scraping up throw up, disinfecting bottles, and the daily mopping now that we have a crawler. For a while I wondered if I had been hired at a home cleaning agency and just didn’t know it.
If you think that waiting for that bus in the rain was long, try waiting on a fussy child go to or go back to sleep. Children do not care if you have a pot that is boiling over or a bladder that is about to burst. The time to put a baby to sleep, get them to eat or dressed is like the time spent driving through rush hour traffic to and from work: Disproportional, done several times a day, and non-negotiable.
^Finally exhausted from reading night time stories with mommy and ready to go over to her own crib.
When they’re young, the whole breastfeeding and milk bottles thing means that you’re on call 24/7 every few hours. When they’re older and taking solid foods, this brings you back to #1: More cleaning. And if you’re one of those moms that insist on making all the baby food from scratch, or you have a fussy eater that likes to look at the food more than eat it, then you can count away your time there as well.
^A slow and messy dinner: My LO having corn on the cob for the first time and loving it.
It may seem like “home free” once the kid is down for a nap or sleeping for the night stretch, but the shop sure isn’t closed. There are appointments to book, paperwork to review, bills to pay, and research on your next purchases to do. For parents who choose to work from home, count in any part-time work and/or helping out the partner with his/her business and time just flies right out the window.
Oh, and don’t forget that all of this is done while still in PJ pants and with disheveled hair. Grooming and dressing like a normal member of society has been temporarily placed at the bottom of “daily things to do”.
5) Checking Mommy Blogs/Forums-
This is when you are finally able to ask your partner or family member to watch the baby for a bit while you “go to the bathroom” or “quickly take a shower”, but you bring your phone into the bathroom with you. Here you get the extra 10 minutes to sit on the ledge of the tub either to troll the web or simply be quiet for a few moments and gather back up your sanity. On more ambitious days, you use the time to intensely read up on “sleep solutions”, “baby rashes”, or “How to potty train”. If you’re lucky, you may be able escape a couple times in a day without someone suspecting what you are really up to.
To all those SAHM and parents, have I missed anything? What keeps you busy all day at home with the kid(s)?
Fashion blogs used to be my vice, but since I have had the Little One, I am a big fan of blogs by women who are also moms. These women show that you can be mommy and also realize talents as a designer, artist, career woman, visionary, dreamer… Below are my top 3 that I am always checking up on.
1) Oh Joy!- Joy Cho’s blog is a visual delight. I suppose you can’t expect otherwise from someone who currently has her own line of kids bedding at The Land of Nod and party accessories at Target. From her latest edible indulgences to her design projects and pictures of her adorable little girl, Ruby, I can’t get enough of blog-stalking Oh Joy!
2) Design Mom- Gabrielle best describes her own blog as “…where design and motherhood intersect”. She makes motherhood (and to 6 kids!) look so good.
3) Chloe Fleury- This mom to 8 month old Lula is a paper artist. She creates the most vibrant paper portraits, landscapes and miniatures, all the while documenting her daily life with her little girl. Need we say more?
Crib? Check. The perfect paint colour? Check. Bedding sets that you have absolutely fallen in love with? Check. So what’s left for that nursery before baby arrives? Here are 7 nursery tips that often get missed but would make those sleepless nights and hectic days a whole lot smoother.
1) Light Dimmer-
It’s a relatively easy installation and/or feature to include in your lighting selection and it will allow you to navigate those late night feedings and clean up with a bit more ease. A dimmer works wonders in giving you just enough lighting to get your job done, but will not startle or stimulate baby when you need your little one to go back to sleep.
If you have the space, any type of arrangement that can allow you to lie down in the same room as baby will be a godsend for those nights when the LO is not feeling well or needs close monitoring. Your partner will also thank you for it as it will reduce disturbing his/her sleep as well. By day, it also offers an extra surface for folding away those baby clothes, displaying those adorable stuffies, and eventually turning into the “big boy/girl” bed down the road.
Image credit: Decorpad
3) Open Storage-
I loved having all the little clothes and accessories neatly stored away in the two dressers that we had set up in our nursery before baby arrived. Little did I know, however, that there would come the day when I would find myself holding a struggling baby with a huge mess down her front in one hand, and trying to wrestle a drawer open with the other. Save yourself the hassle and get some open storage to put items that are on high rotation in (nappies, blankies, a change of clothes, or diaper changing accessories). Changing tables with generous shelf space underneath (See our Aspen and Tuscany options), or large baskets to place on the top of a dresser work well for easy access when nothing else seems easy.
4) Easy to Clean Surfaces-
That designer silk pillow set and hand tuft rug may be hot pieces for the nursery, but make sure you do not mind the occasional spill (Milk) or splatter (Throw up. Eeps!). Mommyhood and daddyhood also comes with a whole lot of cleaning up, so unless you have yourself a 24hr maid service, make it easier on yourself by selecting easy to clean surfaces:
-Rugs and pillow covers that can be tossed into the wash
-Skip the changing pad cover in the warmer months as wiping the plastic surface of any mess is easier than scrubbing out fabric.
-Select upholstered furniture such as gliders/chairs with spot-cleanable fabrics and even removable cushions that can be replaced, in case there is a stubborn stain that cannot be removed.
5) Blackout Blinds-
Unless you are that one enviable parent that has a kid that attains the golden 2.5 hour naps regardless of surroundings, the rest of us need blackout blinds. They do not solve the struggles against naps and night sleeps, but they will aid in giving your little one the sleep cues to start winding down. I have noticed that they come in handy as the days get longer and there is still light outside at 8pm.
6) Comfortable Chair-
If space allows, get one. Your legs and back will thank you during those times when your LO needs the extra cuddling. It’s also great for story time, breastfeeding, and also those late nights when baby simply will not settle without you being near. See our Tuscany and Hoop Glider & Ottoman sets.
7) Decorating Safety-
Unless you do not mind reinstalling that ceiling mobile or wall hanging in 4-6 months when baby can sit up or even stand, make sure that accessories (canopies, netting, etc.) and decorations near and over the crib are well out of range of curious hands. Too often I see decorative elements that are great features in a room but are simply hung too low. Taking safety into account from the get-go will save you from unnecessary anxiety (or redecorating) down the road.
-Use decals. Most are removable without damaging paint and they do not pose risk of falling into a crib.
-Hang up mobiles and items like bunting well out of reach.
Image credit: Apartment Therapy
UPDATE May 28, 2014:
Please continue to check the Zutano website for updated dates on the Tivoli Collection’s arrival to your preferred retailer.
Zutano’s Tivoli collection by Stork Craft is showing some major colour love, and we are excited to announce that it will be available in June 2014! Bringing together form and function, the Tivoli collection pays tribute to the clean lines and simple shapes of modern design. It will feature a convertible crib, a 2 drawer changer and a 3 drawer dresser. The colours include the sunny/natural combination as shown above (which I have absolutely fallen in love with), as well as classic colours such as espresso/white and grey/white.
Having grown up in the suburbs, I had always imagined that I would have a house on a tree-lined street to call my own by the time that I had my own family. Who would have thought that I would wake up with a baby and be living in a two bedroom suite? It’s a lifestyle choice that my husband and I have chosen in order to stay within the city. So now with the Little One added to our family, we have had to get creative with our place. While our second bedroom is our dressing room/guest room, our LO is sharing her space with us for now. Yes, it is a little cramped, but we have managed to make it work. Click here for some inspirational Nurseries in the Master Bedroom from Apartment Therapy.
Image from Apartment Therapy
Now that Spring is in session and the cold, dreary days are easing up, I can’t wait to take baby out and about town. I had previously written about indoor places to go in Vancouver, BC to shake off the winter blues. Here’s three places to take the children to welcome clear skies and warming weather.
1) Southlands Farms-
With my LO’s obsession with farm animals (She loves saying “quack quack quack” and “moo” to her stuffies and picture books), the Southlands Farms is the perfect place to introduce her to the real thing. Just large enough to keep your LO entertained and exploring, but small enough to cover the grounds and make it back home in time for the nap, this family run farm has all the essentials: A stable (They have riding lessons!), petting zoo with goats, sheep and pigs, orchard, and chicken coup. On your way home, check out the market stand for fresh, local produce and products.
Image courtesy of Southland Farms.
2) Kitsilano Beach-
Need some fresh air and gorgeous view of Vancouver? This is just the place for a relaxing stroll along the jogging path. For children who are steady on their feet, Kits beach has a great playground. Well equipped with a rubber surface for soft landings, and sprawling play decks, slides and bars, let your little one get their energy out here. My 11 month old isn’t fully walking on her own yet, so we will be sticking to the baby swings.
3) Easter Train-
This miniature train runs rain or shine and is fully covered, so no fear of getting wet with Vancouver’s often inclement weather. The two kilometer ride through the forest and tunnels will have our little one excitedly saying, “Choo choo!”.