My husband can vouch how much I am dreaming about a play kitchen for our son. Most play kitchens on the market are too girly or won’t nicely fit in our home design. Which is why I want to create my own. I found my starting point for inspiration.
Ethan’s mom Becky designed a fabulous play kitchen for his little boy. Her DIY play kitchen is full on details and realistic functionalities. A magnet keeps the oven door closed while a motion sensor light turns on when the door is opened. Awesome! Continue Reading
Tiptoe Rugs is a brand new collection of children’s rugs and custom rug possibilities from Alyssa McMurter, the woman behind AliStar. McMurter created a line of awesome 100% Merino wool felt rugs for children.
I love her Circle Time mats, which comes as circle and square mats. The Circle Time mats are obviously perfect for day cares or large playrooms. Tiptoe Rugs will be one of the 8 Modern Kid exhibits at the Interior Design Show that will be presented from January 24th to January 27th, 2013 in Toronto.
+ photo credits: Tiptoe Rugs
photography by Johan Holmquist
These toys caught my eye the moment I spotted them at MoCo Loco. I love the shapes and how you can assemble the various elements of this industrial platform. The colours even matched my son’s bedroom. I wish that I could buy these superbly modern wooden toys for my little boy.
I also wish that they were more toys like these on the market. Young kids need to be surrounded with beautifully designed, eye-pleasing products. I strongly believe that good design should be a part of their education.
They are the contribution that Norwegian design studio Permafrost for the New Nordic – Architecture and Identity exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Danemark. The exhibition explores if they is still a Nordic identity today. Learn more about this fabulous project on Permafrost blog.
Keeping a reserve of washi tapes can be a time-saver when you have to create last-minute party decorations. Washi tapes immediately transformed a basic bags or bottles into something with personality. I compiled a lit of amazing projects made by crafters and small shop owners on the blogosphere.
If you are looking for a simple project, you can’t beat the kids loot bags made by Omiyage, a Canadian store. Their kids collection is composed of a range of animal and transportation themes. Recycle their loot bag idea for any occasion. You could even use it to gift wrap a present in a hurry.
The second project is by cu·te·ta·pe (pronounce: koo-teh-tah-pee), who also sells washi tapes online and other party/craft supplies.
The creator of cu·te·ta·pe transformed the simple white lunch bag into a remarkable party favor bags with striped paper straws, washi tape and matchin twines. You can write the recipient names on the tape. I love it! cu·te·ta·pe sells all the materials online except for the bags.
I salute this first project from Japan. They used washi tapes to decorate a doll house. What a simple way to really put your stamp on the design scheme! See more stunning pictures about mt factory tour, a Japanese washi masking tape maker at Poppytalk.
You can also apply washi tapes on a foam board to create your own city block mat or on a thick drawing paper to fuel your kids imagination. Even though my son is a little bit young for those activities, I love this idea so much that I bought the transport theme tapes from Omiyage. I imagine the hours of pleasure that he will have playing together or with his buddies.
You can tailor plain bottles, jars or flower vases to your party theme or home decor by applying washi tapes around the containers. Look at how beautiful is this project by Leslie Shewring of A Creative Mint for decor8.
+ Take A Ride Washi Tape Set $15 CAD for 3 rolls at Omiyage
+ Washi masking tapes from $3.50 USD a roll to $30 for a pack at cu·te·ta·pe
+ washi doll house photo: Ros Lee of Polkaros for Poppytalk
This morning I had breakfast with Sophie Manessiez Guinet, the co-founder of minibulles.ca and Les Triplettes and the other panelists to prepare our e-Commerce and women panel at Webcom Montreal in May. On our way back, I walked home with Sophie. So we chatted on our current projects. This is where I learned about her new venture, Les Triplettes.
I wish to introduce their fabric garlands made with Liberty of London textile. Sophie is fond of these fabrics. The Liberty of London is a high quality cotton with delicate patterns. I usually buy my fabric garlands on Etsy but it is good to know that they are some produced in Quebec.
Available in 10 patterns, Les Triplettes garlands will cheer up any playroom.
+ Les Triplettes Garland $36 at Minibulles.ca
Here is a new source that I discovered on Twitter for alphabet wall art prints. This is from a Canadian Fellow. Grace Announcements offers a vast selection of design. I like the variety of style that she offers from the typical nursery illustrations up to modern geometric compositions.
As expected, her art prints will fit in the popular IKEA RIBBA. A framed personalized wall art print make an awesome baby shower gift. Simply inform you before buying about the nursery design theme and colors.
+ Personalized Wall Art Prints by Grace Announcements $12 for an 8×10, $25 for a 12×16
They may have fallen somewhat out of fashion, but dollhouses are one of those sweet vintage-y children’s toys that always look at home in a little girl’s room. Unfortunately, old-fashioned dollhouses tend to be large and, when kids outgrow them, a pain to store and even pass on to others.
We loved this easy DIY version spotted on the Dutch blog 101 Woonideeen, which uses a small Ikea Expedit unit and wallpaper to create a modern version that doesn’t sacrifice charm. Not only is the unit sized perfectly for play, you can customize the look to coordinate with the décor in your child’s room with a vibrant wallpaper, removable decals or even just a different shade of paint on the wall. Best of all, the unit easily returns to its original purpose as a bookshelf or storage unit once your wee one outgrows her dollhouse.
The full instructions are written in Dutch, but the project is so straightforward you probably won’t need them. As we posted this, I noticed that their Website doesn’t respond today. It is good that you couldn’t read the instructions anyway. Let’s hope that their site will be back soon.
+ DIY Modern Dollhouse from 101 Woonideeen
+ Ikea Expedit Unit, $39.99 USD/$49.99 CAD
If cabin fever has your kids climbing the walls, this cool DIY might be just what they need to make it through another six weeks of winter.
Nikkala at the Crafting Chicks embraced her son’s climbing instinct by building an indoor rock climbing wall for their small playroom. All it takes is a sheet of plywood, colorful climbing holds and basic tools to make this afternoon project.
Best of all, the holds can be rearranged to keep things interesting (and challenging) for kids.
Get complete instructions on the Crafting Chicks blog.
+ DIY Kids Climbing Wall Instructions
+ Climbing Holds, Atomik Climbing Holds, from $19.99 (pack of 10)
+ Via Apartment Therapy
Modern Playhouse will add this November a new model to their collection of wood playhouses. A cool feature is that the maple plywood playhouse will require no tools for assembly. Being sensible to the fact that many urban parents (like me) simply do not have the space to keep a playhouse in permanence, the emerging industrial designer Svend Nielsen designed the Puzzle House to be set up for a day of play. When kids are ready to go to bed, it can be stored under the bed or inside a closet.
Furniture and a puppet theater curtain set will be launched before the Holidays. I am looking forward to see it all.
+ Puzzle House by Modern Playhouse – Price to be released
Any parent knows that you can avoid to keep close by a couple of bins filled with your baby or toddler toys. So, it’s best to look for great looking toy bins. Three friends who lived in New York and Toronto started 3 Sprouts in 2007. They produce cute, fun and practical toy bins and storage caddies that parents and kids would love to use.
You can put on the storage caddy all the essential nursery items – from diapers to lotions, washcloths and onesies – that you need in one spot and ready to go. My son’s nursery is on the second floor. When I have a babysitter, I carry all these essentials on the main floor. Having a tote like this will eliminate some steps. Later, the storage caddy could be repurposed as a magazine holder, a craft tote or a toy tote. I just wish that we could wash them in the machine.
You have a choice of 8 animals for the storage bins and 3 animals for the caddies. You can buy those online at 3 Sprouts (they ship to Canada and the United States) or from these local retailers. These would make wonderful baby shower gifts that would be appreciated by mom and dad.
+ Organic Cotton Nursery Caddy by 3 Sprouts $23.99 USD or CAD
+ Organic Cotton Storage Bin by 3 Sprouts $39.99 USD or CAD
You do not need to have kids to appreciate the space planning of this backyard. It’s unexpected, fun and practical! One of the a founding principal of 3rd Uncle Design, the architect John Tong built a stage where his kids can sing, and watch or do clown shows. The stage platform could be repurposed for other uses.
City dwellers who become parents often deal with how to transform their home into a space that works for the entire family. The small footprint of a house in a city adds to the challenge. I know that figuring out where and how the kids will play at home could be overwhelming. This is a little bit how I feel right now. What encourage me is that I realized that you can’t anticipated what your kids will like when they get older. Putting too many constraints, limit your options and block your creativity. My advice is to keep things simple by looking for solutions suitable for a couple of years at a time.
For example, I keep a big empty space in the living room as a play area. I plan to add a play rug to delimitate the play area. It sets a boundary for your toddler, which limits the cutter to a specific zone. Plus, a carpet adds comfort if you have hardwood floor. Opting for a FLOR tile carpet provides a more grown-up look than using a play rug; especially if you plan to leave it in your living room all the time.
Yes, living in the city requires to be smarter about how you design and use your home. But the rewards of life in the city (easy access to museums, parks, festivals, restaurants, and more…) far outweigh the amount of hours lost in commuting. Until I found how to design our backyard, I will continue to surf the Web for inspiring urban family houses. A good starting point is to have a look at the pictures and learned the details of this great family house on Dwell magazine. Another well-thought urban family home is the Maison en U by architect Natalie Dionne, that is here in Montreal.
+ photos: Christopher Wahl for Dwell magazine