Preschool Book Nook Inspiration

Post by The Land of Nod and Brightly

At Nod we believe that the best gifts are those that run on pure imagination, no batteries required. And, what better gift to give your kids, than a love of reading. That’s why we’ve partnered with Brightly to put together some book nook and library inspiration for your little one. Throughout the month of March be on the lookout for tips from Nod how to create the perfect reading nook, along with tips from Brightly on how to build a library to inspire your kiddos. Not only that, we have a fantastic giveaway, but you’ll have to read to the bottom of the post for details. This is all about reading, after all.

Book Nook Design Tips from Nod:
No matter the age of your child, all book nooks need to have three attributes in their design. They need to be inviting, comfortable and quiet. You want the space to feel inviting, so your kids want to spend time there. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore, and an inviting space can make it appealing. Comfortable, so once they’re in there, they don’t want to leave. And, quiet, so they can lose themselves in their books without the distraction of the tv or other siblings.

Book Nook Inspiration - PreschoolRainbow Tiger Wall Decal / Aqua Origami Wall Shelf / R is for Rug / Orange Stripe Teepee with Floor Cushion / Yellow Half Tone Cube Basket / Magnificent Metal LetterLocal Branch Library Cart

For this book nook, here are some of the key design elements:

  • The overall color scheme is based on gray as the foundation color with pops of orange, aqua and yellow to create a playful, gender-neutral space. This color scheme will work well when the nook lives in a shared space, as grey will compliment most any décor you have in your home.
  • The R is for Rug is soft and plush providing a comfortable foundation for the space. And, bonus, it’s also educational, showing the whole alphabet with a corresponding illustration for each.
  • We added the teepee to this design as an alternative to an architectural nook. Sure, book nooks are great in that space under your stairs, or in a dormered corner, but not all homes come equipped with that sort of architecture. So, a teepee or playhome is a great alternative to create a hideout for your kids. Don’t forget to add a floor cushion to make the space extra plush.
  • The Local Branch Library cart is perfect for book storage and is easily accessible to the little ones. You want to be sure they can access the books on their own, and that they’re in plain view.

Book Recommendations from Brightly:

Snuggling up in a cozy spot to read with your little one is of the most enjoyable parts of parenthood. The best books for the pre-K set feature gorgeous artwork, text that’s fun to read aloud, and plenty of delightful moments throughout.

Children's Book Inspiration - PreschoolOur picks:

  • Tawny Scrawny Lion – You may remember this beautifully illustrated classic from your own childhood. This Little Golden Book tells the story of a family of rabbits who convince a hungry lion to eat carrot stew … so he won’t eat them!
  • The Storm Whale – Written and illustrated by the talented Benji Davies, this gentle tale about a lonely boy called Noi who befriends a whale, and in the process forges a closer relationship with his father, will touch parents and kids alike.
  • Giraffes Can’t Dance – With rhyming text that makes it a pleasure to read aloud, this heartwarming and beautifully illustrated story will inspire every child with dreams of greatness.
  • I Want My Hat Back – This is the simple (but very clever) tale of a bear who has lost his hat. The book’s slyly subversive ending is beloved by readers and has even spawned its own Internet meme.
  • The Incredible Book Eating Boy – The multi-talented Oliver Jeffers has created a story that book lovers of all ages will appreciate. Young Henry loves books – or rather, he loves to eat books, so much so that it becomes a bit of a problem.
  • Pete the Cat – Pete the Cat is one cool customer. Although his white shoes get stained with all the colors of the rainbow, Pete remembers it’s all about the journey — a good metaphor for parenting.

Looking for more great books to enjoy with your little one? Check out 9 Clever Picture Books for Kids on Brightly.

Want the perfect kids’ reading nook? Enter to win $1,500 from The Land of Nod and $1,000 worth of books from Brightly. Ends 3/30.

Brightly is a new resource to help moms and dads raise lifelong readers. Brightly features book recommendations for every age and stage, reading tips and insights, seasonal inspirations, author essays, contests, gift guides, and more.

A Cozy Morning with a New Pal

Post by Michelle of Avery & Augustine

image001The moment Avery met Fern, it was love at first sight.  We spent the morning “welcoming” Fern to our home and getting her settled in: decorating her doll teepee (just her size!) with a garland, reading her a book and making a pretend latte for her.

A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 2Avery got to have her own caramel latte, which was super easy and fast to make!  (By the way, there’s no coffee or caffeine in this drink, so it’s a perfect treat for kids.)  Here’s how we made it.  We warmed up approximately 3/4 cup of milk (which you can do over low heat on the stove or in the microwave).  Next, we mixed in 1 tablespoon of caramel (we used Fat Toad Farm’s goat’s milk caramel) and used a milk frother to make the top layer of the drink foamy.  If you don’t have an electric milk frother, this post on The Kitchn tells you how to froth your milk.  Lastly, we topped off the latte with a sprinkle of grated unsweetened chocolate.

A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 3 A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 4A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 5A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 6A Cozy Morning with a New Pal 7Thanks to The Land of Nod for sending us the items for this post.

You can see Michelle’s work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

Removable Wallpaper – Big Impact, Small Commitment

Post by Danielle Kurtz, Creative Director at The Land of Nod

Removable Wallpaper – Big Impact, Small CommitmentWhen you have young children, things are constantly in flux. Just when you feel settled, they learn a new skill or show interest in a new activity that sends things in a whole new direction. Simply said, kids just keep changing. So it makes sense that your needs in your home will evolve right along with your growing family. This can make decorating a challenge. One minute your spare bedroom is a home office/guest room, the next it needs to become a nursery for the new baby. One minute your basement is a toddler’s playroom, the next you turn around and you need a hang out for your preteen. So just how do you deal?

Removable Wallpaper – Big Impact, Small Commitment 2I love the idea of wallpaper. I’m constantly swooning over beautiful images of rooms with gorgeous wallpaper. But, it’s a huge commitment…time, cost, aesthetic. It’s more than I’m willing to commit to with a young family. Enter removable wallpaper. Brilliant! It has all the impact of regular wallpaper, but with the commitment of a wall decal. We’ve used removable wallpaper from Spoonflower for tons of projects, there are so many incredible patterns. It’s beautifully printed, easy to apply and just as easy to remove. Win, win, win.

Here are a few patterns I’m loving, inspired by our Spring ’15 Trends.Removable Wallpaper Ideas - Spring 15 TrendsChromatic: Mix Tapes / 90s Party / Rainbow Stars

Surplus: Varies Chevrons / Holiday Pink Deer / Feather

Botanic Modern: Mint Skinny Plus / Featherland / Semi Round

Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet. Her current craft of choice is weaving tiny wall tapestries.

How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room

Post by Lidy of Hello Lidy

How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living RoomEver since we moved into our new home 6 months ago, we’ve been busy bees trying to get our house feeling more like our home. We gave our dining room and master bedroom a makeover, but I was really stumped with our living room upstairs. I wanted it to feel more Scandinavian-inspired so it would flow with the rest of our home design, but still a space that felt playful and casual. It was a lot to fit into one room – I know!

Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room - BEFOREThe living room before was a cool and gloomy space. It was very outdated! The walls were painted green and it almost closed the space up a bit. I love to have green in my home, but in a more natural form – such as plants! The curtains were heavy and beige. The fireplace was the original stone work, which we didn’t want to paint over and lose the character. I really didn’t know how to make the space feel bright and cheery with all the cooler tones, so I opted for blue accents. I was just not satisfied.

So, when it came to redesigning the space I decided to stick to a color palette that was a mix of bright, bold and playful! I chose black and white for the modern and formal look, but threw in grey and pink for that whimsical undertone! Here’s what we did:

  1. Repainted the green walls a fresh and crisp white.
  2. Built a faux mantle to break up the stone fireplace.
  3. Took down the beige drapery and added white curtains to go with the flow of the walls.
  4. Added a built-in desk to utilize the functionality of the space.
  5. Added black, white, grey and pink accents thanks to The Land of Nod’s gorgeous spring pieces!

Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room - AFTERThe space is literally night and day! Our Scandinavian-inspired living room feels so much more brighter, inviting and calming . My family and I absolutely love our new and improved living room – and yes, there are 3 boys in our home. And no, the pink doesn’t seem to bother them in the least! The bold and graphic area rug creates an intimate and inviting feel to the room. I love to layer, so I placed a small cow hide to overlap the larger rug for fun in order to create more texture and color on the floors! It makes the room feel a little more grown up too!

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The pops of pink and grey from the pillows tie in the rug and that amazing grey leather pouf! Of course, the handmade feel of that darling “Home Sweet Home” banner makes everything feel so playful. That cozy throw also helps balance the room between formal and casual. It definitely has that clean Scandinavian look I’ve been trying to accomplish. I’m truly in my happy place here and it’s about time! What do you think of our living room makeover?!

How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 3 How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 4 How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 5 How to Create a Scandinavian-Inspired Living Room 6Lidy is the face behind Hello Lidy: a blog focusing on creating and cultivating unique spaces that integrate original handmade designs and vintage pieces while keeping up on current trends and designs. Lidy and her husband have three adopted toddlers.