Conventional wisdom says it’s often harder to settle on décor for a newborn’s nursery than a main living space, and given the heightened anticipation of a brand new life, it’s not surprising. That there are millions of configurations, styles, genres, and colors makes it that much more confusing. Welcome to parenting, where making choices is an endless obligation.
Design gurus at HGTV caution against bold, bright colors for infants, if that helps. They tap into psychology to explain that basic primary tones such as black, white, and gray are instantly absorbed by wee ones. Okay, we’ll bite. Let’s explore a gray base – topped off with a bit of soft color.
Gender-neutral is a trend we can go for, so here’s a compilation we like.
Let’s start with the most noticeable feature of a nursery or any room: wall coverings. Paint is fine, but why not create a narrative with a decorative swan theme? This gender-neutral, pale green wallpaper offers a soothing arrangement of regal swans, adding the inspiration of nature and wildlife.
Heeding the tone advice from HGTV, we’ll settle on gray for basic furnishings. This crib is not only crisp and stylish, but it’s convertible. It grows with your baby’s development and becomes a toddler bed, which is a definite plus. It’s also versatile and attractive, and available in a soft shade of gray. Paired with a gray changing table, and you’re well on your way.
Those 2 a.m. wakeup calls benefit from a comfy rocking chair, and this one caught our eye. Its classic stripe pattern incorporates gray with a soft cream to coordinate with your wallpaper in a totally trendy way.
You’ll need illumination to avoid bumping into nursery staples, and this elegant light – though not technically a swan element – weaves in a similar species with its gooseneck design, as well as saves surface space with its wall mount.
Got wood floors? Kick around the idea of a cheerful rug that ties in the palette we’ve assembled so far. The spotted and striped pattern of this festive hand-made nursery rug sparks an extra level of uplifting attitude.
Accessories count! The simple artistry of this theme-building swan mobile delivers a subtle yet charming look.
Finally, a storage basket is a must-have for nurseries, and we found one perfect for the occasion. This natural rattan basket continues the legendary swan theme as it infuses casual charm perfect for the ensemble we’ve created.
A-Glamping We Will Go.
Ahhh, summer in the rugged outdoors. Communing with nature in all its primitive glory. Drifting off in an inch-thick sleeping bag over the sensual feel of rocks and crevices. Awakening to a sociable, affectionate mosquito poised to engage in a blood-swapping ritual. It’s such a glorious human experience.
For other people.
Me? I have a hard time leaving the 1200 TC sheets behind, and slumbering less than 24 inches off the floor. Give me my electric lamp, hairdryer, and a piece of wall art here and there, and I’ll go camping.
Sometimes I think the concept of “glamping” was invented for me, or at very least for people like me. It’s an ingenious way to get your fill of pristine Mother Earth while not wandering too far from the comforts of home. And increasingly, merchandisers have discovered this captive market. A thirst for not-really-camping-but-camping has led to some cool inventions, and this glamping tent is one I’ve spotted.
Look, I can’t afford this. And I don’t even know how much it costs. Let’s file it under “pipe dream” for now. But plenty of outfits produce less glamorous versions that are within reach, and they include noteworthy features such as plush floors, shelving, mobile electrical outlets, and other signs of civilization.
You don’t need to strut your Jeremiah Johnson creds to participate in an outdoor adventure. Fishing is the same fishing, whether you sleep in a worn-out bag or a swanky glamping tent. These are just a more contemporary way to mobilize the finer points of home living.
When I finally got my own bedroom at the tender age of 8, I had an immediate décor request: All Paisley, All the Time. Okay, it was a different era, and paisley was trendy. My wish was granted in the form of a paisley print daybed cover in deep purple, a sheer delight for this grade-schooler.
But rather than cowering into obsolescence, paisley resurfaces every decade or so as a hot property in home design. And, it’s back.
Today’s versions are all over the map, ranging from splashy bold palettes to demure and subtle duo-tones. What they have in common is a timeless way to capture a nostalgic ambiance, and a delightfully artistic aesthetic.
You’ll find paisley prints in linens, rugs, and wall art with relative ease. But here’s an idea that’s catching on, and making a (back)splash: How about paisley ceramic tiles?
Neither are we!
Has sending the kids back to class dampened your summer joy? Cheer up. The school calendar doesn’t jive with the seasonal calendar, and there are still a few weeks left to soak up the sun in a fashionable outdoor setting.
Even early fall offers an impressive number of warm days that beckon to the back yard for some outdoor cooking and entertaining. And here’s where it gets fun: there’s a whole lot of options for outfitting your digs.
If you thought grill design was a fixed entity, get a load of this amazing find. The Big Green Egg turns barbecuing on its head, so to speak, by refashioning an old classic. Science and culinary experience led its architects to emulate a traditional cooking process and update it with technology that ensures a quality result.
Does this compute? When a desk becomes a fashionable décor accent
With mobile phones pushing landlines aside, and the art of handwriting becoming all but antiquated, it’s time to confront this very basic fact: it’s a digital world. Consumer research entities report an exploding number of computer devices per American household, meaning we are moving quickly toward a fully electronic sphere.
How does this work in to home décor? Easily. Designers are finding new and creative ways to accommodate electrical devices and computers into the fold of basic home furnishings. The obvious first step is surfaces that make room for laptop or desktop configurations. Not exactly a new thing, yet one that improves with every redesign.
For those who cringe at the idea of an office theme permeating fashionable living spaces, don’t fret. There are plenty of desks that are designed to look more like a console table, and have stealth attributes making computing easy.
I come by my reverence for feathered friends genetically, you might say. My father has long been a caretaker of these spectacular creatures, hand-making houses and feeders for them and engineering ingenious strategies for protecting their stash from ever-present squirrels (which, by the way, he also spoils mercilessly).
As a professional house-sitter (yes, that is a thing), I regularly encounter others who dedicate time and resources to making sure birds have a safe place; a temporary respite with seed, shelter— and access to water. Birds are especially vulnerable to excessive heat and depleted resources caused by climate change and drought. Compassionate homeowners have come to their rescue by placing bird baths in strategic locations.
I’ve seen some handsome bird baths in my time. Stone, cement, earthen pottery...they blend nicely with coordinating outdoor décor. They look charming in a patio setting. But often they don’t offer what the feathered fellows need.
Here’s one that does, and has caught my eye for a number of reasons, and not the least of which is its sheer beauty...
The Cauldron Birdbath Fountain from Home Gallery Stores makes me salivate. I’m wowed by its raw, natural appeal—but beyond beauty, I’m impressed with an attention to specifics that promises to pamper winged guests with the appropriate water depth and an ever-important cascading fountain motion, which offers a visual cue to draw them in.
The biggest surprise? Though it looks like an amalgam of exotic, expensive materials, it’s composed of economical, easy-maintenance, weather-friendly resin.
If you’re as committed as my father, my clients— and even I am—to the avian set, you should take a good look at this jaw-dropping find. It’s ecologically sound, aesthetically decadent, and really a pretty decent deal. Plus, you’ll make some new best friends who are capable of self-entertaining. Win-win.