Just shy of 10 years ago there was a major shift in my personal design style. After beginning design school and absorbing knowledge of design theory like a sponge, I had a gravitational pull toward modern design, especially design that spoke of a child’s delight. My design school projects always leaned toward fanciful and whimsy, my biggest dream was to design interiors for Disney. As I developed my senior thesis on symbolism and a child’s built environment I was inspired by Post Modernism, Maria Montessori and the grand idea that arose to create Kindergarden for children. I would have benefited significantly to have seen the MOMA’s latest exhibition: Century of the Child, as scraping together resources for my thesis research was tough. But my intelllectual design voice was understood and my senior project that bloomed from it was a gorgeous, modern Preschool of Art. It was 2005 and the boom of modern children’s product had not yet taken off. But with sources like Design Within Reach’s children’s store JAX, The MOMA store, Kido, Modernseed and Vitra my modern preschool was well furnished and flowed with symbolic references that would appeal to the child in all of us. Little did the jury panel know, I was really just nesting for my next child.
Part 1 – Bedroom
My daughter Macy, now 10 years old, is an old soul. Her style has always been more traditional. She might have been a Victorian they way she likes to collect tchotchkes. So when my design style changed to modern I used the birth of my second child Hudson, now 2.5, as a reason to buy all the reissued mid-century childrens’ furniture and toys that I really wanted for myself. Giraud, Eames, Panton, Nelson and new comers Stark, Ouef, & Dwell Studio are high on my radar for Modern children’s design. All of their products work in harmony in a home like mine where I collect mid century and modern furniture and color is always welcome. Where form is the priority and the history behind a piece always the price tag. Items like the Panton Jr chairs and Eames Elephant will never be packed up and stored away when my children are older. They are pieces of art to me.
I’d like to share how my toddler design collection is coming along. I have already shared Hudson’s Nursery HERE. Its a big hit on Pinterest and one of my most popular posts. He and Macy share a room in our Brooklyn apartment, these pictures are only of his spaces.
Hudson’s side of the bedroom is in transition right now, its sort of an in-between phase for him. While he’s done with a “nursery look”, the main components of his room aren’t ready to be replaced yet. His Ouef Sparrow crib will soon convert to a toddler bed and he will continue with grey, green and aqua colors but I have changed out some smaller details to update his Nursery into Toddler room. Later on I have I have ideas for a navy and orange room with bunk beds for his young boy bedroom.
Hudson’s Oliver the Owl nursery was inspired by the Dwell Studio Owl bedding. So now that his bumper and matching quilt are phased out I could work in the sheeting from the Dwell Studio collection. We’ve also begun picking up softgoods, like the navy Star Wars pillow by Pottery Barn Kids, that we know will transition to his young boy bedroom.
We adore maps, especially the NYC MTA maps, making them art for the room was an easy addition. I just completed this awesome DIY wallcovering on the closet doors in the childrens’ room. Look for a post on that soon.
We love books! We started collection our favorite childhood classics even before we had children. The wide window sills in the bedroom make for an easy book shelf and I used an Ikea Lack wall shelf that we no longer used as a color pop and platform to display the books. The canvas art is my creation along with the Arctic Friends painting. The Blue Brooklyn Brownstones illustration is from Claudia Pearson.
Im not done yet! Check back in later for the second part of Hudson’s toddler spaces: the play area.