Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Nursery art

After several different visions of a photo wall in the nursery, this is where we landed. We think it's just right! We love the rustic element the horse print adds (and the subject matter is fun for kids- who doesn't love horsies? :) The white on white metal frames we had purchased on sale at Pottery Barn ages ago for practically nothing. We filled them with old photos of our little guy's grandparents when they were kids. It's a great way to honor them while keeping the room playful and kid-friendly.

We knew we wanted something different for the changing table... and really liked the idea of somehow bringing in metal. We found what we were after in the form of this vintage industrial cart with a tray-style top at our favorite antiques gallery - which happened to just fit a smaller sized changing pad (major score). We added the middle shelf (after tracking down some old-style rounded-head screws to match the rest of the piece), some storage baskets, and voila! We love incorporating metals into our design and the baskets warm things up and tie in with the horse print beautifully.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pretty storage

I get really excited about all things organization. Especially when they're beautiful. Like these new items from Pottery Barn. Sure you can get a shoe rack at IKEA for les than fifteen dollars, but just look at this gorgeous one! In our case, it makes no sense to splurge, since it'd be concealed in our hallway closet. But still. It would make me so much happier knowing it's lovely and pretty behind that door. Is this wierd? I think I have a thing about quality. I like the idea of investing in something that's timeless and well-made, taking care of it, and having it around for the long term. Highly functional things like this make the concept even more appealing. The open shelf and wall-mount bins are lovely, too. Great for a mudroom, which we happen to have... :)

Now, about the wooden storage case on casters... When I first saw this, my jaw dropped open. More than a month ago I was trying to envision the perfect small-scale book case for a little corner of the nursery  and decided something in a weathered wood would be perfect - both to add a little texture and softness and to tie in with the wooden-framed mirror we have above the armoire. I scoured the internet and Etsy thinking surely someone would have a little reclaimed wood shop with a simple two-shelf bookcase made of old fence boards or wooden crates - but nothing quite matched what I was picturing (or really came close for that matter). So, I tabled my search. Then low and behold a few days ago I come across this guy. Exactly what I had cooked up in my head, minus the casters and the mesh back, but I like those just the same.

I want to scoop all of them up!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Laundry, revisited

So you may recall my laundry hamper angst awhile back. I did eventually give in and buy the Pottery Barn ones and have been SO happy with them (they promptly sold out). However, I allowed myself into Container Store the other day (with a specific list in hand ... baby came along for the trip so no time to just peruse...) and saw this hamper. They call it the Industrial Mesh Hamper. I think it's really fantastic and definitely would have considered this had it been in the mix at the time. I do love a fully-vented hamper though the trade off of course is that you have to look at the mess of dirty laundry within. I think they'd be better with an optional liner bag. In any event, for those of you who missed out on the PB ones, these are pretty great, too (and larger than I expected in person).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Modern Cottage + Valentine's Day = Love

I loved Valentine's Day when I was little .... folding brightly colored paper in half to cut out homemade hearts, delighting in white paper doilies, and of course infusing a little glue and glitter - all part of those glorious Valentine's craft sessions in grade school :) While varying shades of pink can be sweet and nostalgic, for our Modern Cottage I wanted to do something in line with our aesthetic, which means creating a new twist on the traditional Valentine's colors. I also just wanted a few hints of the holiday, so a very minimalistic approach was used. We found the end results to be fresh and modern.
I discovered these perfectly-imperfect 1" felted wool hearts from this sweet shop on Etsy. Oh, pitter patter. They come as a family in a cute little cardboard box. I couldn't resist ordering a set for my mom, too. They are great resting in a pretty bowl or strewn about a counter top or other surface. I put them on our dining table next to the asparagus fern.

Next, I thought it would be fun to hang a simple paper heart from some jute cording. I just printed out a heart shape and used it as a guide to cut it out of heavy-weight white paper (then punched it with my fancy 1/8" hole punch) and knotted the cording in the back. (Best tip ever: secure with a thumbtack into the top of the door). It's a subtle ode to the holiday and totally reminiscent of my childhood crafting days :) Now close your eyes and pretend the door is white, too - Ahh, much better (in due time!).
I also set these modern polished heart-shaped rocks atop the vintage deed box on our entry bench for a little welcoming Valentine's cheer to all who enter.

As with most Modern Cottage design elements, less is more. These sweet yet simple touches remind me of Valentine's days as a kid, just more modern and (a bit) more grown up!