Mari, the friendly, charming and talented toy designer behind Small for Big, is just whose perspective you need if you’re obsessed with choosing only the best toys for your kids. She has selected this list of newly discovered playthings to keep your kids busy and happy this summer! Thanks Mari!
8 Toys I’m Obsessed About
Thanks Esther for having me over! Esther is one of my oldest blogging buddies – we’ve even met in person, which can be rare in the blogging world. I’m always jealous of her Florida weather, and I tease her about my Minnesota snow. Her Instagram photos prove she practices what she preaches here on this delicious blog. In other words, I’m jealous of her well-decorated home! Let’s continue that well-designed goodness with some great toy design finds.
These toys are my current absolute favorites. A couple of them for more obvious reasons than others, I suppose. All of them are relatively new to me – within the last 6 months – and all of them feature either a truly classic play value, or a new innovation that has my designer gears spinning. I tried to include a range of ages, as well as some rainy day toys too. But honestly, I just had to share my faves with all of you. I hope you enjoy them too!
- Wood Balancing Toy, Keepsake Toys
- Totem Nature Building Set, Alex and Alexa
- Story Box Circus, Janod
- Slingshot and SeedBomb Kit, Poketo
- Sailing Ship Kite, Haptic Labs
- Suzu Lever Bike Bell, Crane
- Ybike Glider Scooter, Diapers.com
- Rambla Tumble Toys, Hoppop
Xo – Mari
Some affiliate links included.
Lauren, from the truly lovely blog A Lovely Lark, has a delicious summery nursery design for you this July 4th. I hope your holiday is half as sweet as this gorgeous space. Thanks Lauren! And Happy 4th of July!
Yummy Summer Nursery
Hi, Lauren from A Lovely Lark here, pinch hitting for Esther while she and her family are on their summer vacation! Other than, of course, the obvious fireworks and red/white/blue, July makes me think of hot, glorious summer days filled with pools, lemonade, and popsicles. So when I came across this popsicle print on Etsy, I knew it would be the perfect jumping-off point for a summer nursery:
I also created a little boy version over on my blog – stop over and take a peek. Thanks for having me Esther! xo, Lauren
Some affiliate links included.
Brooke from one of my favorite blogs, Kid Crave, has come up with this brilliant roundup of baby items that are made in the USA to celebrate the anniversary of the nation’s independence this week (which I am doing in Colorado as we speak). Thanks for taking the reins for today Brooke!
Made in the U.S. of A
Since those of us in the good ole’ U.S. of A are celebrating our nation’s birthday AND I’m anticipating the upcoming birth of my second child, it was only fitting that I covered a few fantastic products for babies that are made right here in the States. In this collection of homegrown goods, you’re sure to find something special for a modern day Betsy, Georgia, Liberty, or Sam. Happy 237th Birthday, America!
1- Sock Monkey Blanket- $40
2- Made in Your City Onesie- $22
3- Twist Teether- $11
4- Wee Rock Rocking Toys- $300
5- Building Bridges- $46
6- Personalized Birth Story Keepsake Blanket- $130
7- Urban Baby Bonnets- $36
shopping guide: blue guest nursery furniture red white
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Shari, from the must-read blog Spearmint Baby, took care of the red, white and blue for me this week while we’re celebrating summer and Independence Day in Colorado with family this year. Nursery inspiration is just the tip of the iceberg on Spearmint Baby. There’s so much more to read and explore on her amazing site. Thanks Shari!
Red, White and Blue in Your Nursery
Hi Buy Modern Baby readers! It’s Shari from Spearmint Baby & I’m super excited to be guest posting today while Esther enjoys some quality family time on her vacation.
Since it is the week of the 4th, I’m sharing a fun dose of RED, WHITE, & BLUE today! Wouldn’t red, white, & blue be a fun/unusual decor theme for a gender neutral nursery? I don’t think I’ve ever seen a nursery decorated in these colors before, have you? If you prefer just a small dose, there are so many cute red and blue accessories/accent pieces that would be fun to mix into a white nursery.
My great love for the blog with two cats is no secret. Lauren’s posts have been featured at least three times in my “links to love” and I’m grateful today to share her talents and creativity with you. You’ve probably already seen her daughter Violet’s nursery as it was featured everywhere under the sun (and deservedly so!). I’m excited to have Lauren filling in for me today. Hopefully my family vacation isn’t as much of a circus as this fun mood board! Just add your favorite crib, dresser and rocker and you’re good to go.
Circus Nursery Mood Board
Hi, it’s Lauren here guest posting from with two cats! Everywhere I look these days I’m seeing all things circus – it’s such a popular theme for nurseries and birthday parties alike. Who doesn’t love colorful stripes, festive flags and exotic animals? If you’re looking to add a little three-ring fun to your little one’s space, here’s a roundup for you of all things circus-inspired:
Softie Doll – L’uomo Forzuto – The Circus Strongman from Contemori on etsy- $45
Curtains – Vitaminer Vimpel pair of curtains from Ikea- $25
Garland – Oeuf Flag Garland- $58
Pouf – Circus Pouf Ottoman- $192
Rug – Draper Stripe Ink/Cream Rug from DwellStudio 5’x8′- $200
Blanket – Taj Blanket from Rikshaw Design- $68
Print – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic from Bird Ave on etsy- $20
Lamp – Utopia Elephant Lamp from Jonathan Adler- $350
Lion Pillow – Little Lion – Handmade Stuffed Animal from eggagogo on etsy- $12
Bunting – Spots and Stripes Fabric Birthday Banner- from Betty and Barclay- $25
Giraffe Dots Print – Balancing Act 7″ x 9″ from VioletMay on etsy- $19.20
Alphabet Print – ABC Circus Print. A Love Letter. from 2142stuart on etsy- $12
Ferris Wheel Hoop – Classic Ferris Wheel from Layne81 on etsy- $20
Bunting Rug – Flags Dhurrie from Hable Construction
Crib- Caravan Crib from Kalon Studios- $695
Ringmaster Hoop – Cross Stitch Moustachioed Man Wall Hanging from MaMagasin on etsy- £30.00 (about $50.10)
Lion Plushie – Primitive folk-artsy stuffed Lion from rosiesrecycledcrafts on etsy- $12
Ferris Wheel from CB2- $80
Mobile – Eco Friendly Circus Wood Mobile- $73.95
And an added bonus: your little one will never run off to join the circus! Want to see more of my roundups and idea boards? Visit me over at with two cats.
I’ve been a great fan of Chic & Cheap Nursery for a long time. I love the budget perspective that Nicole uses in her blog, and it’s no wonder she has such a large fan base for her money saving ideas and lower cost design inspirations. I’m often envious of the “Featured Real Room” tours she scores, and her inspiration boards show that you don’t have to spend a lot to get a chic look. For her post today however, Nicole scrapped her usual price conscious perspective and went all out for this stylish inspiration board.
I’m Nicole from Chic & Cheap Nursery and I’m so excited to fill in for Esther today while she’s enjoying a lovely family vacation.
As you can tell from the name of my blog, I like to keep things affordable. But for this Pink & Navy Preppy Girl Nursery, I decided to do something that I’ve never EVER done before.
I chose everything for this nursery without even looking at the price. Eeek!
Some of the items are surprisingly budget-friendly. Others, not so much.
I decided on a pink, navy and white color scheme because it’s sophisticated and playful. Perfect for a little preppy girl! This room is filled with pieces that can grow with your child and/or can be moved to any other room in your home.
If I replaced the crib with a Queen size bed, I would be more than happy to call this room my own! Wouldn’t you?
Product links/info for this design board are available at ChicCheapNursery.com.
Hope to see you there!
The very lovely and talented Amanda of Coos & Ahhs is pitching in today to inspire you while I’m on vacation. She shares both decor and fashion ideas for boys and babies from her home base in Brooklyn, NY. As a mom of two boys, I appreciate this rare boy-centered, or gender-neutral perspective. If you’ve got boys or are expecting one soon, you’re going to have to start following Coos & Ahhs.
I am attracted to children’s decor and toys that celebrate the undistinguished of the animal kingdom: raccoons, rats, ostriches and, squirrels!
Unfortunately, living in new york city, I live amongst many critters, and squirrels are the only ones that don’t make my skin crawl. Here is a little round-up of my favorite city dwelling critter.
1- Nutty Squirrel Pull Toy from Kid-O
2- Mini Squirrel Plushie from KLTWorks- $19
3- Squirrel Lamp*- $154 AUD
4- Garden Tatoos from Wee Gallery- $5
5- Woodland Squirrel Forest Animal Bookend from Graphic Spaces Wood- $80
6- Modern Animal Squirrel Clock from decoylab- $68
7- Mini-McNuttie the Squirrel from blabla kids- $36
8- Areaware Pico Squirrel Pillow- $28
9- Cyril Squirrel-fox by Donna Wilson*- £48
10- “Forest Friends” Paper Animals (pdf with instructions) from Mibo- $5.60
11- Squirrel in a Squall Serigraph by Charley Harper- $350
*not available in the US
It’s an honor to have Andrika King of Andrika King Design as today’s guest blogger. Her design work is impeccable and her blog, Nursery Notations, is at the top of my must-read list for inspired nursery decorating ideas. I share her design philosophy, “…children’s rooms should be playful yet harmonize with the rest of your home.” and I encourage you visit Nursery Notations immediately and often!
Modern California Nautical
Thank you Esther for having me as a guest blogger on Buy Modern Baby! I’m a huge follower of the site and am honored to contribute.
Since I’m a designer in California, I have a lot of clients ask me for an updated non-traditional take on nautical. Our homes here are generally smaller than those of the rest of the United States (because of the cost), therefore many clients are looking to modernize and streamline their design but still have a love for nautical and beach decor.
The photo below, a room designed by Anne Hepher featured in House & Home 2009 photographed by Michael Graydon is a prime example of the look everyone loves. Clean lines, bold colors, and lots of natural light and white surfaces.
To get a look similar to this with basic sheeting, purchase items such as pillows. This is an easy way to update your look without blowing the budget.
Below are some outdoor pillows from Thomas Paul which would add the perfect nautical punch to any boy’s or girl’s room. Outdoor fabrics are wonderful to use in children’s rooms because they ward off stains, keep their shape and are virtually indestructible after countless hours of pillow fights and being thrown on the floor.
Their new collection for 2011 (below) offers more wonderful graphics with an additional bonus, a reversible size. So you basically get two pillows for the price of one!
Almost the entire Thomas Paul collection shown above is available on-line at Velocity Art & Design. Just one on a bed or glider will do to help transform your room.
Thank you again for having me Esther and feel free to visit me at my blog Nursery Notations for more inspirational images and sources.
When you’re looking for nursery inspiration, one of the first sites you should think of (after this one of course) is Spearmint Baby. It’s a must-read for moms and expectant mothers, not just for the design inspiration, but for the birth stories, cute kid photos and party and project ideas. Shari, the supermom behind the newly updated Spearmint Baby and the rest of the Spearmint empire, was kind enough to help fill in for me today.
The Best of Grey Nurseries
Hi all! I’m Shari from Spearmintbaby.com. Esther kindly asked me to guest post today while she enjoys a week long family vacation. I’ve been blogging since 2009, and have put together quite a collection of beautiful nurseries over the years. I thought I’d share some of my favorite nurseries in my favorite color: GREY!
I love cool grey for nurseries because it goes with EVERYTHING…pink, blue, yellow, orange, green, white…
It is also great for those trying to decorate a gender neutral nursery. Once baby is born you can easily add pink or blue details to make the nursery more masculine or feminine.
What is your favorite color for nursery walls?
I’m kicking off my week’s vacation with a Real Room Tour from one of my best blogging buddies, Mari Richards of Small for Big. Her blog is full of bright, fun and modern finds for kids, and if you don’t already follow it, you should start right now. In addition to her blog, Mari is a successful, creative and talented toy designer. You’ll probably recognize some of her creations if you don’t own a few already!
Real Room Tour: Birdie’s Green Retreat
Room tours are always so fascinating – I love peeking into other people’s homes. I’m the girl that likes to drive down the prettier streets in town after dark so I can get a glimpse inside the rooms all lit up in every house I pass. I’ve seriously considered driving to certain neighborhoods and going for walks at twilight. That’s not creepy, right?
Anyway, it seems only fair that I should share a little bit of my home in return for the potential stalking I’d do if I lived near you. Luckily Esther’s Real Room series gives me the perfect solution! I actually took these pics when my daughter Birdie was 6 months younger. It’s shocking to look at them now and see how much her room has already changed – now we have a twin bed and not enough space!
There were so many cribs I loved when we first started looking almost 3 years ago, but we just couldn’t convince ourselves to spend $1000. Luckily, we found the babyletto Modo 3 in 1 crib for $350, and it’s been lovely. (If only I’d known to put teething guards on the top edges a little sooner!) The dresser is from World Market. The artwork on the walls is mostly vintage, with a print from Binth and some paper money featuring birds from Doha, Qatar (thanks Rachel!).
I fell in love with this retro Swiss Family Robinson Poster while at Disneyland before I was pregnant. It became the perfect focal point for Birdie’s room. Until the day I heard a strange noise from her room, and found it laying perfectly centered in her crib, with her sitting in the middle, bouncing up and down! Ah well. The Measure Me Stick is from Studio 1am. The stuffed elephant and stool are both old samples from my in-house days as a toy designer for Manhattan Toy.
Super easy DIY? Browse your local thrift store for children’s records, I found ours for $1 each! Then I grabbed record frames for about $10 a piece from a craft store. The stuffed animals are vintage, except for the black cat, a design of mine that’s still available from Manhattan Toy.
My favorite secret source for custom affordable rockers is Off Your Rocker. The chairs range from around $325 – $399, and are handmade in Canada. I even sent him the fabric I wanted to use for the upholstery. We still love ours (and it’s very comfy)!
The bookshelf is from Ikea, and the floor tiles are similar to Flor.com. The folded quilt is from Dwell Studio for Target. If you have a question about any of the toys in the shelves, feel free to ask!
The red-haired doll is one of the original Lilydolls that I designed, now reissued. Behind her is a side view of another one of my designs – Trilby, a Galoompagalot. The White dude is a favorite pal from Friends with you.
The floating Bird mobile can be found here (bird only, the stars and moon are an old mobile from the now defunct Pappa Geppetto’s Toys).
You’ll notice there are lots of my own toy designs in her room – the poor girl is spoiled rotten. But it’s nice to finally have a use for all the bins of toys I was saving from my years as a full-time toy designer! These days, my freelance product design work is a little less active. It may mean less toys designed, but it’s more time with my girl. That’s a very worthy trade-off.