Wednesday, September 18th, 2013...9:10 am
Welcome to my home! My baby-proof styling and nursery
Last month, I had the opportunity to share some scenes from my home with the wonderful Camille Styles. Photographed by Maria del Rio, we showed a few areas that are fully styled, and yet fully kid-friendly. I want my daughter to fit into my life, rather than the other way around — in the best possible way. (Keeping my sense of self was something I was afraid might not be possible after having a baby, but it is! I started Sun + Dotter to help other people go through this process more confidently than I did.)
Baby-proof styling is a concept I love — and one that I haven’t seen anyone else offer as a service! To explain just what I mean by “baby-proof styling,” I mean interior design that takes into account babies. Furniture and rugs that are durable, cleanable and comfy. Decor that’s not dangerous or breakable. No loose lamp cords. And as few plastic doodads as possible. So here’s how I’ve done it in my house.
In my Camille Styles interview, when I said “Just put the nice things up high,” Camille called me a genius. (Love it!) Like in this shot, I put a few nicer frames and art pieces on the mantel where Viv can’t reach. I burn candles up there, too. The phases of the moon print is by Frederick Akum from Little Paper Planes, and I took the photo myself of me and little Viv, with a tripod and a remote! Viv’s chambray shirt is from the Baby Gap boy’s section, and the striped leggings are from Old Navy. I found her party hat at Tantrum.
I’ve always loved vintage Danish candlesticks and have collected a handful of them, and neither they nor Viv can do much to hurt each other. And I adore the pairing of these two art pieces: An Alyson Fox print next to a Danielle Krysa (a.k.a., The Jealous Curator) original. Two amazing artists I’m lucky to call friends.
Some of my favorite pieces are in this shot. From the top down: The black-and-white family photo was a flea market find rather than my own family, but they’re all so beautiful and happy, I couldn’t not buy it. (I found this several weeks before I found out I was pregnant, starting my own happy family! A nice omen.) Beside that is a 1940s photo of the small Craftsman house Jon and I owned in Kansas City, and beside that a baby photo of Jon. I made the “coil pot” bust in a college ceramics class. On the next shelf is another Alyson Fox print (also in an Ikea frame, with plexi rather than glass, in case Viv gets hold of it). On the bottom shelf is one of my new favorites — styling shelves with pillows! These neutral-shade kilims go perfectly with my eagle cushion by Areaware, which is modeled after Victorian dolls — a toy that doesn’t look like a toy.
This is one of my favorite photos that Maria captured. Sweetness times a million. My kilim pillows are from Craigslist and eBay, and the artwork is by Tchmo. Of these two things, I love how the styles contrast and the colors match, both of which make them work so well together.
Like I mentioned on Camille Styles, this is an Ikea Karlstad couch, which I added Midcentury-style tapered legs to (mainly to disguise the Ikea-ness). I shopped so many couches, from $100 to $10,000, Craigslist to Room & Board, but the draw of the removable, washable cushion covers is what sold me. It’s really comfortable, and the color disguises my white dog’s fur without being too light to live on. The new legs really did an amazing transformation. The rug is Alyson Fox for West Elm.
This is really just a promo shot for yours truly, but this bench is another spot where everything is baby-friendly. More pillows and books, plus a wood sculpture by Workerman and an Ikea fake plant. Plants add so much texture, but this one won’t spill dirt everywhere when it gets knocked over. The wooden cars are handmade in Iowa by Bannor Toys.
Onto Viv’s nursery! I love gallery walls but haven’t done one anywhere else in the house, so Viv has a few. The artwork, clockwise from top left: A framed Hmong textile I got on eBay; a Hammerpress “Hello Baby!” card from Jon’s sister when Viv was born; a sweet card that says “ça va?” that I bought at Tantrum for my fellow-Francophile husband; a Matthew Korbel-Bowers print from Society6; a Lucius Art print from Storenvy; another Society6 print; Lisa Congdon’s neon Painted Ladies, exclusively from The Bold Italic store, and an Alyson Fox print that you might recognize from the Sun + Dotter website. On the dresser: a paper bowl made in Africa, a peacock from Twoolies, an elephant from Nook-Nook and a rabbit from Dsenyo. All these animals are from social-good companies, and their global styles and colors are perfect for the room.
The first thing I bought for this room was the Themis mobile, and from there a brightly colored, pattern-filled theme emerged, including lots of textiles from around the world. The Midcentury rocking chair is vintage from Stuff, the dresser was an amazing Craigslist find, the crib is Ikea via Craigslist and the rug is from Anthropologie.
I found this limited-edition Indian wall hanging at Ikea as well. It’s hard to capture neon colors with a camera, but the yellows and oranges in this mobile are definitely day-glow. They made creating a cohesive color palette for the room a bit of a challenge, but once I incorporated some textiles with hot pinks (as so many textiles from around the world include, like the Hmong fabric above), things clicked into place.
Viv’s moccasins are from Manimal, handmade in Brooklyn by Kristen Lombardi. Her headband is from my store, a Thief & Bandit Kids string headband made exclusively for me. The striped shirt is from Mini Boden.
The door to our backyard is in Viv’s room, so I needed a rug that could handle (or in this case, hide) the dinginess from frequent foot traffic. These wooden toys are by Janod, Plan Toys and The Original Toy Company.
I’ve been collecting patches from all the states Viv has been to. I’d like to sew them all onto a classic weekender bag, but for now they’re just decor in her room, along with some taped-up Instagrams I had printed through Picplum.
I’d like to pretend that sharing these photos from my home is no big deal, but in reality, it blows me away that people might be pouring over them on Pinterest the way I’ve done with other people’s homes. Be sure to read the Q&A that accompanied the photos on Camille Styles, because I shared more styling tips that I’ve gotten great feedback on — thank you!!
If you’d like to learn more about the baby-related personal shopping and styling I’m offering, read more and join the newsletter at Sun + Dotter.