Wednesday
Oct022013

It's Show Time!

Well, autumn is finally in full swing. The kids are back in school (first full week this week - yay!), a lot of new projects are up and running, and I'm back to blogging regularly - or as regularly as possible. As you know, a lot of my summer was spent working on The Nursery for the Cedar Knolls Design Show House in Laurel Hollow, NY. Last week, I received these gorgeous photos by Raquel Langworthy of Raquel Bianca Creative and I could not wait to share them!

The inspiration for this room was the classic children's book by Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are. This was one of my favorite stories growing up. I couldn't get enough of Sendak's fantastical sketches then and I can't now! As soon as I saw this Fornasetti wallpaper from Cole and Son, I was instantly transported - and I knew that visitors to the show house would be too. To make a big impact, I papered all four walls with the Chiavi Segrete print and used an antique mirror pattern, also from Cole and Son, for the ceiling. Since the room was fairly small, the result was an all-encompassing feeling of coziness, meant to transport the viewer into a fantasy land. 

More practically speaking, however, another goal of this room was to illustrate to people that you can design a gender-neutral nursery that is neither boring nor blah. Yep, this is not a blah room. Just ask this guy.

He lives under the swing and was there to greet the guests when they walked in. Nice touch, I thought. 

Another attraction of the room was the porch swing hanging from the ceiling. Many of my clients these days are opting to forgo a glider or rocker, in favor of a daybed in the nursery. This shows that you can have both! (It really is quite comfortable.)

Another traditional piece of nursery furniture that I find my clients opting out of - with my support - is a changing table. Don't get me wrong, we have not perfected babies to the point that they no longer need diapers (I'm working on it), it's just that a changing table is a somewhat expensive piece of furniture with a limited lifespan. Even the "convertible changing tables" - dressers with a changing table topper - do not fare well with time. (The topper tends to scratch the top of the dresser underneath.) I encourage clients to look for a dresser that they love and then we use a little magic (I'll share my trick for this in another post) to turn it into a safe changing table for baby. Here, I used a small chest of drawers from Brownstone furniture as the changing table.

and from the aligator's point of view...

You can never have too much storage in a nursery. Babies just have a lot of stuff. While people usually gravitate toward floor bins and bookcases, they don't often think of taking advantage of other vertical surfaces in the room - like doors. Here, I installed three hooks on the back of the door and hung embroidered boat totes that I ordered from Land's End. It's easy - Baby wants to play with something? Take down the bag. Baby is done playing with something? Load up the bag and hang it up. Simple as that. 

The other storage item that I used in the room were these custom acrylic towers. Because the room was so small and had so much going on already, I wanted the necessary nursery items - books!! - to seem to float in mid-air. Mission accomplished. Or so says the giraffe...

Speaking of nursery essentials. You can't have a nursery without a crib! (I guess you technically could, but I wouldn't recommend it.) For a special touch and one that would pick up on the garden motif, I used the Martine crib from RH Baby & Child. The bedding is custom from Doodlefish Kids.

Finally, no Play Chic room would be complete without tons of fanciful details. From a handmade mobile (by moi) to a rollerskating giraffe, this room is chock full of wonderful and wacky moments. 

That's all for now! As always, thanks for playing!

x

Lisa

Wednesday
Aug282013

Please join us!

What better way to celebrate the last weekend of summer than with a Designer Show House? (Not quite what you were thinking, I know.) After you've taken a swim, nabbed some rays, and gobbled that last hot dog, please join us at the Designers at Cedar Knolls in Laurel Hollow, NY. Play Chic has designed a rockin' (if I do say so myself) nursery - with a few surprises, of course. If you can't make it this weekend, the show house will run through mid-October. (Oh, yes, start making your Columbus Day plans now, my friends...)

 

 

Tuesday
Aug132013

Play Chic Interiors featured on Well Rounded NY!

I'm so grateful to the girls at Well Rounded NY for featuring Play Chic Interiors in their latest blog post. You can read it here. The post features some ways in which we decorated Seri Kertzner's Greenwich Village apartment with her growing family in mind. 

Here are some of the ways that I shared with Seri, the Well Rounded girls, and now, with you!

- In decorating a family apartment, storage is key. The more the better! In Seri's place, we found extra storage in a media console with closed drawers, a dining table with drawers at each setting (amazing!!), two storage ottomans that do double duty as chic extra seating, a console with - you guessed it! - more drawers, and a cocktail ottoman with a shelf underneath for additional storage. Not to mention that we packed the bookcases with as many storage bins as possible (most from Ikea). Here's another related tip for storage bins: the bins themselves don't have to be pricey, but if you can coordinate all of your storage throughout your space, it will look that much more pulled together. So instead of buying a bin here and a bin there, try stocking up on, say 10 of the same bins at a lower price point. That way, you always have them when you need them. And let's be real, in the city, you always need them!

- Avoid those ugly (and furniture-ruining) corner protectors by making sure that every piece of furniture has rounded corners. In Seri's apartment, we went with a media console with rounded edges, an upholstered cocktail ottoman with rounded edges (double bang for your buck there with the upholstery factor), and round side tables. Of course there are some pieces where a rounded edge is not possible, but at least having this factor in mind when choosing furniture will help your home feel like yours - at least for a little while longer. 

- Invest in simple upgrades, like changing out those boob-fixtures that you find in the entrance to every apartment and ordering some cool switchplates to replace the ones that are already there. It only takes two screws! It's nice to change out the doorknobs too, if you can.

- Finally, do your homework. Some fabrics that you wouldn't think are kid friendly actually are and some that you think are resilient are not good for families. Case in point, Seri was hestitant about putting a white cowhide in her living room, but it's actually really a breeze to get spills out of cowhide. It's hair!! However, where you have to be careful is with natural fibers. Be sure to read the cleaning codes on fabrics before purchasing. (I'll write another blog post on this another time.) 

So here are a few tips for keeping your apartment safe, clean, and even a little sophisticated all with a toddler or two underfoot! Check out the post on Well Rounded for some more nuggets. 

Thursday
Aug082013

Play Chic Interiors featured on Houzz!

Well, this was a nice email to wake up to this morning - Play Chic has been featured in an editor's ideabook on Houzz. Take a few minutes to check out 9 Decorating Projects for Lazy Summer Days. 

As always, a big thanks to Raquel Bianca Creative for the gorgeous pics!

Wednesday
Jul312013

Some nursery fun!

It's hard to believe that it's almost August! Where has the summer gone? Well, I've resolved to make work/play balance my priority for August. So while I'm busy with nurseries, apartments, showcases, and trade shows, I will be making a concerted effort to be outside tending to our vegetable garden and playing with the kids at the pool everyday. Yep. Every. Day. I know that shouldn't sound like such a tall order - especially from someone who runs a business centered around kids! - but knowing when to stop working has never been my strong suit. Well, here's to a new leaf! (No more talk of fall, I promise.)

One of the projects that has been keeping me busy this summer is a nursery for a client who lives in Brooklyn. When the project is finished, I'll go through all the details, but, for now, let's focus on the space itself. The nursery is going to be for the family's second daughter, who is due in the fall. The room is long and narrow - about 6 feet wide - and kind of oddly shaped. But not to fear! To accommodate these, um, "challenges" we're working with some of my favorite vendors to create a space that will be bright, clean, and brimming with color!

I don't want to give too much of it away just yet, so here are two of the client's initial concept boards. We tweaked them both to come up with the perfect mix for this very lucky little girl. Our final creation is staying secret with me - for now. But I can't wait to share it all with you soon! 

Eclectic Artistry

Bright Bohemian