Cole’s Big Boy Room Makeover

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A few months back, while visiting our Oakbrook store, I met a customer named Roslyn. She’d come into the store to ask me some advice on mixing wood finishes in her son’s bedroom. After we got to talking, I offered to design a room for her youngest son, Cole, who’d be transitioning into a big boy bed soon.

Roslyn already had some of the core pieces for the room, but wasn’t sure how to pull it all together. She knew she wanted a subtle nautical theme. She also wanted pieces that could grow with her son, something we hear often from our customers. And, something we think about carefully in the design of each of our products. Here’s the Pinterest board I put together for the room, http://pinterest.com/bynodforyou/cole-s-big-boy-room/

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I added in the nautical touches, stuck with a limited color palette that was present in the rest of her home, and pushed it just a little modern by adding in the metallic rock lamp.

Roslyn was over the moon about the design, but after more chatting, I just wanted to do something more. So, I offered to visit her home and put it all together for her. Last Friday afternoon, along with our Managing Director Michelle, we went to Roslyn’s house and staged our own room makeover “show” replete with big reveal and all! And, we had a blast. Here’s what we did.

The room was a pretty blank slate to start. It’s a small space, so we tried the bed in several positions. We opted for this to maximize open floor space. At just 18 month old, Cole will want a lot of open space to play. Also, by pushing the bed against the wall, that’s one less direction the little guy might roll out of bed!

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Once we determined a floor plan, we got busy unboxing, assembling and ironing all the products for the room. 

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Then we got to setting up the space. Since the room wasn’t huge, we needed things to do double-duty. We positioned the 6-cube bookcase next to the bed to act as both nightstand and toy storage.

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We planned out a gallery wall using Nod pieces and items that Roslyn already had in her home. We did a little rummaging in the other rooms of the house. Here’s a little tip, shop in your own house first. That wall art you’re no longer loving in your family room, may be perfect for your kid’s space. 

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Then we hung, re-hung and re-hung the Nautical Flag banners. That’s the thing about putting together rooms, no matter how much you plan, sometimes you just need to try something to see if it works. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t work. 

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Then, I gave everyone a little lesson on how to stuff a duvet cover. Here’s the trick.

  1. Turn the duvet cover inside out.
  2. Put your arms inside and grab onto the top corners.
  3. Pick up the duvet insert, also at the corners.
  4. And, flip! Voila! Now your duvet is stuffed and you don’t need a nap from wrestling with your bedding!

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Then, we were ready for the big reveal.

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Here’s how it turned out.

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If you need any design advice or would like us to work on a custom mood board for you, just drop me a note danielle.kurtz@Landofnod.com. We’d be happy to help.

 By Danielle Kurtz

Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet, but all her supplies have a layer of dust on them about 5-years-thick, wonder if it's just a coincidence that her oldest kiddo is 5 years old?

Unconventional and Uncanny Plush Assortment

After I got married, my husband revealed a very big secret.  It wasn't until a few weeks after our wedding that he introduced me to Blackie, a small stuffed dog that he received as a baby gift, and kept throughout his life.  Blackie, at one time, must have been a beautiful Scottie, but when I met him 30 years later, he was tattered.  His eyes had been replaced with buttons, his poor tail had been sewn and re-sewn, his fur was pilled and ragged, but he was still a big part of my husband's life; a connection to his childhood.  Although I was a bit jealous, I had to ask myself; what is it about a stuffed animal that makes it worth keeping around forever?

It's the emotional connection you feel instantly when you first set eyes on these creatures. Our plush collection does just that.  It is unconventional, unexpected, and uncanny.

Mr. and Mrs. Fox, Bunny, Kitty.  Brilliant creation of Mimi Kirchner.  These critters are 100% wool felt and each come wearing their own outfits.  Their expressions (or lack of expression) are priceless. I recently visited the factory where these creatures are made with love and attention to detail.  Every critter is hand embroidered, hand stuffed, and hand sewn.  Every eye is placed perfectly with needle and thread (by an actual person). The amount of work that goes into these toys is incredible, and it is apparent.

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Oliver the Elephant– dreamed up by Hillary Lang, this fuzzy elephant has a personality all his own.  His creativity is apparent, as he wears his beret, off to the side, of course.  (He must be French). His giant ears are lined with a whimsical cotton pattern- he is a keeper.

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Cotton Monster Hedgehog and Raccoon Mom, Dad and Youngins—who knew you could love such creatures?  Jennifer Strunge invented these crazy, whacky, lovable fleece animals.  They are soft and silly, and you will not find them anywhere but at The Land of Nod.

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What do Simon the Whale, Mushroom Buddies, Tina the Bunny, Rainbow Happy Tree, Johan the Raccoon and Hug the Panda all have in common?  They are the genius of Michelle Romo.  They are mixed materials of corduroy, wool felt and cotton.  They are made by hand, and made to be handled. 

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Stupid Sock Creatures are brilliant!  They were dreamed up by artist John Murphy.  He is passionate about his socks, and found some crazy uses for them.  Fabulous colors, extraordinary expressions, bizarre and awkward—I no longer look at my sock drawer the same way.  These socks have lips!

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30 years from now, maybe you will reveal your best kept secret to a loved one, and you will fondly remember the first time you hugged, tugged and loved favorite creature.

Post by Nancy Harris, Accessories Buyer @ Nod

In 1999, I was sitting at my desk as a buyer for a gift company, and my boss brought over a Land of Nod catalog and said, "This is what I want us to be.” I immediately knew two things:  1. We could never be like them, no one could. 2-I had to be a part of The Land of Nod. The nostalgic assortment, whimsical presentation, and clever copy were positively inspired. I spent lots of time dreaming about The Land of Nod. Four years later, I was hired as the toy buyer, a dreamy job—a dreamy atmosphere, a dream come true.

Festive Candied Cranberries

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Watch out! These candied cranberries are so addicting. Not only do they taste scrumptious, they look festive and are a unique and fun addition to any holiday gathering!

Last year I made these for a snack to serve at our neighborhood Christmas cookie exchange. (Remember the homemade marshmallows?) Just about everyone who tasted the cranberries asked for the recipe. They have the perfect tart-sweet balance and a very satisfying “pop” when you bite into them.

I’m not sure where the original recipe comes from, as my recipe comes from my own Supermom’s kitchen! So, I guess I can credit her?

You will need:
:: Bag of fresh cranberries
:: 2 cups water
:: 3 cups sugar divided

To make:
Rinse and drain cranberries. Remove any stems or over-ripe berries. Make simple syrup by mixing 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar in a saucepan and cooking over medium heat until thickened and sugar is dissolved. (Do not boil. If the syrup does boil, let cool for several minutes before adding to berries to prevent popping berries.)

In a large bowl combine syrup and berries. Cover. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain cranberries and spread on a large baking sheet. Pour 1 cup sugar over berries and gently shake baking sheet until cranberries are coated with sugar. Using a spatula, transfer coated berries to a fresh baking sheet. Let sit uncovered for an hour or so until dry and crisp. Serve immediately or store covered up to 3 days.

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Reposted with permission by Aimée Lowry & Bettijo B. Hirschi from PagingSupermom.com

 

Simple Modern Wood Painting for Kids

Little pieces of art made by my children are my most coveted treasures.  Making a modern wood painting is a simple creation for kiddos 3 and up.  The mid-century modern is my favourite design movement, and I was inspired by it's dedication to natural wood and simplified two tone drawings in designing this project.

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You can find a plain, unfinished wooden painting surface at most art supply stores.  Give it a light sand with fine sandpaper to make it super smooth. 

Talk to your little artist about their vision.  We love the forest behind our house so Ry wanted to do trees for his Dad.  He also loves owls and I call him Squirrel Nutkin, so he wanted to incorporate and owl and a squirrel into his design. 

We just went for it.  I gave him a fresh Sharpie marker and he started drawing.  We took small breaks to talk about how things look and to make sure everything he added to his illustration was very intentional and thought out.  There is no erasing Sharpies easily from unprimed wood.

Once the Sharpie was well set we mixed up two washes of colour.  A muted green hue and a brown hue.

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For wee ones try not to make the paint wash too watery or offer them too much at once.  It will spread quickly on the raw wood and bleed out of the lines.  It can also smear the Sharpie.  Both things happenned to ours but we didn't mind so much, but my older sons would have been disappointed.

Look at some art by Mid-Century Modern graphics artist like Charley Harper for inspiration.  It gave Ry the idea to add some simple patterns as the final finishing touches.

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Let it dry till the paint completely absorbed and set.   Finish with a couple light coats of a clear, matte varnish to protect the painting and give it a nice patina.

Hang it and swoon for years to come, each time remembering the precious hour you spent with you little one watching them work in deep concentration.  A little piece of their imagination from that exact moment is what the painting will forever portray. 

Snap a photo of that proud little person holding up their masterpiece and paste it to the back with a little note if you like, one day you'll be glad you did.

oxo

Post by Kerry MacLeod : www.snickerdoodles.ca