Round-up: Children’s Books

No nursery or child’s room, we feel, would be complete without a well-curated collection of books. We love the color, the sense of play, and the imagination-sparking energy books bring to a space — that’s why just about every one of our Nursery Projects puts a little one’s library prominently on display.

Today, in celebration of a few of our favorites, we’ve rounded up a list of fourteen treasured children’s titles with a little something for everyone: from babies to big kids to the grown-ups reading the bedtime stories, too. A bonus: On top of their wonderful words, these books are so beautiful you may find yourself keeping them out to be admired — or even displaying them, gallery-style, on the wall (a little trick we’ve used here and there.

1. Home, written and illustrated by Carson Ellis

Carson Ellis, a Portland artist (and “illustrator-in-residence” for rock band The Decemberists), illustrates all the many interpretations of home: from castles to log cabins, igloos to artists’ studios.

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2.Bruno Munari’s Zoo, written and illustrated by Bruno Munari

Take a trip to the zoo with legendary artist and designer Bruno Munari, whose poetic words are just as striking as his bright, buoyant illustrations.

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3. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, written by Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle

This colorful classic, published in 1967, features collage illustrations by then-unknown artist Eric Carle (who later went on to write and illustrate The Very Hungry Caterpillar).

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4. The Snowy Day, written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats

Published in 1962, this story — about a little boy’s discovery of the wonders of a wintry day — is iconic not only for its unmistakeable artwork and words, but also for being the first full-color US kids’ book to feature a black child as its central figure.

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5. Along a Long Road, written and illustrated by Frank Viva

Artist Frank Viva (whose work has been featured on the cover of The New Yorker) made his debut into the world of children’s books with this bicycle-themed bestseller. Fun fact: The entire book was illustrated using only five colors.

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6. The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts, written and illustrated by Maja Säfström

Packed with peppy illustrations by Swedish artist Maja Säfström, this little blue book offers up heaps of awe-inspiring animal facts — did you know, for instance, that seahorses hold each other’s tails as they move through the water? (We didn’t, either.)

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7. Seeing Things: A Kid’s Guide to Looking at Photographs, written by Joel Meyerowitz

For more advanced readers, this kids’ guide to photography — written by seasoned pro Joel Meyerowitz — features images by Mary Ellen Mark, William Eggleston, and more.

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8. One Thousand Things, written and illustrated by Anna Kovecses

A true treat for the eyes, this “visual encyclopedia” contains 80 pages’ worth of vividly illustrated people, places, and things.

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9. Sparkle and Spin, written by Ann Rand, illustrated by Paul Rand

A 1950s ode to the magic of words, Sparkle and Spin pairs author Ann Rand’s lively prose with the vibrant illustrations of her husband, midcentury graphic designer Paul Rand.

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10. I Want My Hat Back, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen

Follow this charming bear on a search for his missing hat, through playful illustrations from Jon Klassen (also the author of This Is Not My Hat and We Found a Hat).

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11. A Sick Day for Amos McGee, written by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

In a charming tale of friendship, a cast of caring (and exquisitely illustrated) animals tends to their cherished zookeeper as he nurses a cold.

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12. My Friends, written and illustrated by Taro Gomi

A ponytailed little girl is the star of this irresistible board book, sharing lessons she’s learned from her many friends — a jumping dog, swinging monkey, and sleepy crocodile included.

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13. Lost and Found, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Beloved author Oliver Jeffers’s dreamy watercolors and simple, stirring words tell the story of a little boy and his new friend, as they journey to the South Pole and back again.

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14. Gaston, written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Though the adorable cover art is reason enough to take Gaston home, it’s the sweet story about the bonds of family that’ll have little readers hooked.

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Gender Neutral Nursery Moodboard

With the arrival of a new month comes fresh inspiration for a clean and airy nursery steeped in post summer warmth. It’s an enlivening room that brings together a mix of vintage and modern accents, soft colors and soothing neutrals, and defined lines and rounded edges.

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We started by laying the groundwork with a Persian Malayer rug in mellow shades of red and blue, beautifully faded as if sunbleached — it’s just one of a wide range of textiles, pillows, throws, and furniture from Brittany Chinaglia’s gem-packed Vintage Rug Shop. For the walls, we chose a luminous gold-and-white wallpaper from Portland design studio makelike, screenprinted by hand on recyclable paper and lit from above with an aluminum pendant lamp from LA’s Park Studio. Meanwhile, a handcrafted maple Caravan Crib from Kalon Studios provides a soft place to land for both baby and a chipmunk softie in organic cotton fleece (dressed appropriately for the season, of course, in an indigo sunsuit).

Presiding over it all, endless possibilities of Animal Print Shop pals: Baby Elephant, Baby ZebraBaby Camel, Baby Giraffe, and Lion Cub Twins are shown here, but any of of our Baby Animals will work – so pick your favorite. All elements combined, it’s a dreamy oasis for little boys and girls — that’s just as welcoming to grown-ups, too.

SOURCES:
Crib: Kalon Studios
Wallpaper: makelike
Pendant light: Park Studio
Vintage Persian Malayer rug: The Vintage Rug Shop 
Chipmunk softie: Hazel Village
Crib Sheet: Oilo Studio

Wallpaper Pairing: Baby Camel + House of Hackney

Classic romance meets modern warmth in our latest wallpaper pairing, with the Animal Print Shop’s Baby Camel at the center of an eclectic, inviting nursery. A consistent favorite thanks to his friendly disposition and the twinkle in his eye, Baby Camel’s signature traits make him just the right match for a lighthearted room filled with fun details. Perfectly offsetting his frolicsome nature: a smoky blue and white wallpaper from British brand House of Hackney, chosen for its unpretentious sophistication and plucked-from-the-garden freshness.

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Husband and wife Javvy M. Royle and Frieda Gormley are the creative minds behind House of Hackney, a company that launched in 2011 at (you guessed it) a house in Hackney. Today, it’s a luxury lifestyle brand with top-quality products ranging from wallpaper to window treatments, furniture to fashion to fine china. In part a response to the popularity of bare bones minimalism, House of Hackney has “captured the zeitgeist and imagination of a new generation,” making stand-out prints and compelling color their calling card. They’ve also placed importance on merging modern sensibilities with a deep respect for tradition and local craft, manufacturing the majority of their pieces in the UK. And while it’s near impossible to pick a favorite print from their impressive lineup — which includes rich florals, bold stripes, and spectacular Art Deco animals — we saw London Rose and were sold on the spot.

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Here in our newest nursery, London Rose’s hand-painted design sets a serene, dreamlike stage not just for Baby Camel, but for a fresh assortment of furnishings and decorative finds, as well. To complement the paper’s unmistakable quality, each piece was selected with an eye toward style and thoughtful craftsmanship. We started with a timeless wooden changing table from The Land of Nod, picked for its clean lines and polished, unisex appeal. For the pad in its matching topper, we chose a 100% cotton cover from Petal and Branch, a mother-daughter team based in Amherst, New Hampshire. A handcrafted, Fair Trade Certified wool rug, made by Indian artisans for West Elm, added hits of softness, color, and a hodgepodge of unexpected shapes; meanwhile, a wire-framed wastebasket, handmade in Schoolhouse Electric’s Portland factory, gave even an oft-forgotten piece an integral place in the room. (Looking for the perfect trash receptacle for your own nursery? You’re in luck: That search officially ends here.) Finally, to finish, we spruced up the changing table with the perfect crowning touch: a colorful animal toy set from Kid O, with nine mix-and-match pieces for constructing fanciful creatures straight from the pages of storybooks.

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Shop London Rose (and much more) on the House of Hackney website. For even more print and paper inspiration, browse our Wallpaper Pairings archive.

Round-up: The Best Crib Sheets

We love any excuse to add a little extra color to our nursery designs. And while larger details like floor-to-ceiling paint, jewel-toned furniture, and show-stopping wallpaper are always fun, it’s often the finishing touches that tie the space together. Case in point: crib sheets, which come in countless prints and patterns, and can be switched out regularly according to season, style, or mood. Below: 15 options we love, from geometric shapes to origami animals, pink flowers to kaleidoscopic polka dots.

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1Floral Crib Sheet, $52

This floral sheet was handmade by Meredith Wright, an Austin, Texas mom with a serious talent for sewing. Not only that: The quality and functionality of her expansive line, Babiease, is informed by a near-decade of experience as a baby nurse and newborn consultant.

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2. Origami Zoo Crib Sheet, $26.25

Handmade from organic cotton, this sheet — from Nama Cotton of Haifa, Israel — features a charming selection of origami animals, from flamingoes to giraffes to fluffy-tailed foxes.

 

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3. Safari Fitted Crib Sheet, $37.99

DwellStudio’s 100% cotton percale sheet is a vision in soft yellow and gray — the perfect complement to a room filled with attention-grabbing accents.

 

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4. Pink Flower Crib Sheet, $40

This 100% cotton sheet comes from Toronto-based Auggie, a brand founded in 2011 by sisters Gen and Christina Burgess on the premise that a child’s life should be “filled with coziness, comfort, and color.”

 

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5. Gold Dots Crib Sheet, $14.99

For the bright new addition in your life, we love the Gold Dot Fitted Crib Sheet from Cloud Island™. It’s brushed 100% cotton and metallic gold dots add a sophistacated pop to any nursery.

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 6. Pebble Fern Fitted Crib Sheet, $45

Also from Auggie, this bedding comes speckled with an array of tiny dots. We’re fans of the yellow-green “Fern” color—but for those hoping for something a bit more subdued, there’s gray and a duo of stunning blues, too.

 

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7. Seaweed Denim Crib Sheet, $36

Brooklyn brand Lewis is a collaboration between friends Liz and Lizzy, who bring varied talents — in illustration and interior architecture, respectively — to the table. We can’t get enough of their organic cotton crib sheets, screen printed by hand in unique patterns that are sweet but never saccharine (sage green stingrays, bright blue onions, ballerina-pink palms, and more).

 

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8. Triangle Print Crib Sheet, $21.99

This triangle-print sheet from Sweet Jojo Designs features a clean, sophisticated pattern that makes coordinating with neighboring decor a snap.

 

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9. Black Forest Crib Sheet, $65-85

Elizabeth Ivie is the “owner, designer, curator, and seamstress” at Iviebaby, a shop specializing in gender-neutral nursery decor. This handmade sheet, available in your choice of two baby-friendly materials, features a forest full of happy trees.

 

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10. Dot Crib Sheet, $55

Fresh, modern, and California-designed, this chic cotton sheet embodies minimalist style without skewing severe.

 

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11. Woodland Deer Crib Sheet, $48

Go for gold! This triangle-print sheet from Caden Lane lends luminous sparkle to bedtime.

 

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12. Half Moon Crib Sheet, $24

This sheet’s smattering of purple half moons (courtesy of Kansas City’s Ampersand Design Studio) encourages soothing slumber.

 

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13. Fox Crib Sheet, $24

You’d be hard-pressed not to love this flock of busy foxes — but rest assured, the Land of Nod print is available in toddler and children’s sizes, too.

 

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14. Boheme Crib Sheet, $33.99

This vintage-inspired pattern from DwellStudio features French peacocks, towering flowers, and a hodgepodge of pacifying colors.

 

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15. Zebra Crib Sheet, $38

A herd of coral-colored zebras congregates against a wash of serene baby blue on this cotton-sateen DwellStudio sheet. For animal lovers, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Wallpaper Pairings: Flamingo + Speckle

What better way to mark the beginning of spring than with an all new wallpaper pairing? Here, a few familiar Animal Print Shop faces—Flamingo, most notably, plus eight lovable Little Darlings—show their colors against an eye-catching patterned paper called Speckle, from New York City company Chasing Paper. Its striking simplicity and playful, perfectly-imperfect dots are just the right match for Flamingo, whose most irresistible features— round eyes, tall legs, and two-tone-pink plumage—truly pop in the pairing.

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Founded by printing industry veteran Elizabeth Rees, Chasing Paper has made a name for itself with affordable, removable wallpaper that blends striking design with fail-proof functionality. Those on the hunt for the perfect paper can choose from a wide range of colors (from sweet pastels to radiant brights) and patterns (including geometrics, florals, and lively animal prints)—or, browse a selection of collaborative designs. Best of all, when you’re ready for a change of scenery, you can peel your chosen paper off in a pinch and replace it with something new, making it a no-brainer for “serial movers, stylish mamas, renters, DIYers, and, of course, commitment-phobes.” “Our hope was to introduce a fun way to create a curated and personal moment in people’s homes without putting any holes in the walls,” says Elizabeth.

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Stylish and fresh, Speckle caught our eye right away. Composed of freehand dots and available in eight punchy colors, it’s a playful pick for a child’s room or baby’s nursery, but still chic enough to show off in a living room, bathroom, dining room, or foyer. With Flamingo, it provided the perfect backdrop for a vintage rug, sturdy stool, and wooden credenza, all flea market or antique store finds. Meanwhile, vibrant greenery and a hanging light fixture from Ikea complete the picture, further setting the stage for our pink winged star to shine. And showing off it’s verstaility, Speckle is a perfect backdrop for a grouping of Little Darlings – we just love how it makes all their adorable faces pop.

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For more of our favorite wallpaper picks and additional interior inspiration, browse more of our Wallpaper Pairings.

Round-up: Nursery Trash Cans

They say details make the difference—and when it comes to nursery design, we couldn’t agree more. From light bulbs to lamp shades, book ends to bed sheets, it’s often the smallest pieces that make really make a room pop. Each time we embark on a new project, we spend hours comparing mobiles, throws, wallpaper, woven baskets, and more—so why not devote some space on our beloved blog, we thought recently, to a room’s most basic necessity (albeit one that’s too often overlooked)?

Here, we’ve rounded up a selection of stylish nursery wastebaskets that represents a range of styles, prices, and performance features, and that elevates the trash can past its purely functional role. Forgo the forgettable, and you’re sure to find that a well-chosen and well-made alternative can add a hit of color, texture, and even humor to any room. Still need convincing? We’ve listed our 11 picks of the litter (pun intended) below.

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1. Round Step Trash Can, $19.99

There’s no denying the simplicity of this clean-looking can. Its stainless steel exterior is impressively fingerprint-resistant; housed beneath its lid is a plastic bucket that keeps trash bags concealed.

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2. Wire Framed Trash Bin, $149

Handmade in Oregon, Schoolhouse Electric’s eye-catching can merges pretty (its wire frame comes in red, pale green, or a golden yellow) with practical (its metal bin is sleek and sturdy). Take note, design aficionados: its construction takes cues from mid-century master Richard Galef.

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3. Handwoven Waste Basket, $70

Woven by hand using a natural fiber called fique, this stunning basket is the result of a collaboration between LA-based online shop Someware and artisans in Santander, Colombia. It’s multifunctional, too: As the folks at Someware point out, you can use it to corral toys, textiles, or “anything else your creative mind can imagine.”

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4. White Trash Can, $24.98

An effortless addition to any room, this charming square bin owes its streamlined look to snow-white propylene and a simple wooden handle that makes everyday transport easy. Plus, like many of the options on this list, it comes in a variety of can’t-go-wrong colors.

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5. Copper Trash Can, $14.99

Spills, messes, and dings are no match for this gleaming can, which showcases all the attractive qualities of copper, without any of the inconveniences (think: rusting and denting).

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6. Swing Top Trash Can, $35

Umbra’s dependable “Venti” model is as good-looking as it is effective: Its brushed metallic lid and neck ring are shamelessly chic; its sizable can holds 16½ gallons.

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Available in small, medium, or large, these beautiful baskets are made to last, featuring durable water hyacinth woven over an iron frame.

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8. Powder Coated Trash Can, $48

On the hunt for cute and compact? This powder-coated trash can does just the trick.

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9. Multicolored Wastebasket, $14.99

We love that this playful, patterned wastebasket is simple enough not to steal the show—but its colors bring a hearty dose of charm and seaside whimsy to the table all the same.

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10. Wire Basket, $85

The brainchild of Danish designer Trine Andersen of ferm LIVING, this iron basket comes in three sizes and a host of colors. We’re partial to the elegant, understated, and not-overly-girly rose.

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11. Swing Bin, approx. $70

Designed by Shingeichiro Takeuchi and made in Japan, this minimalist trash can—whose graceful swing lid is conveniently removable—is artful, efficient, and appealingly uncomplicated.

Products We Love: Monroe Workshop Toys

If you read our blog, you know we love working with Matt Monroe of Monroe Workshop. Over that last several years, we’ve used his handmade furniture in many of our projects – a beautiful log bench in our Wolf Pup Room for Siblings, a custom live edge kids’ desk for our Cabin Inspired Kid’s Room featuring Baby Horse and Baby Horse Little Darling, an original, custom floating shelf/changing table for our Baby Wallaby Nursery, and our favorite Credenza sits below our majestic 30”x40”American Buffalo limited edition print in our Dining Room Makeover.

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To say we have a working relationship with Monroe Workshop is accurate, but it doesn’t nearly describe how fond we are of Matt and his crew. Seriously, you couldn’t find a nicer guy who happens to be insanely skilled! 

So, we’re thrilled to pull the spotlight away from his furniture for a moment to feature Monroe Workshop’s new series of Toys – a charming coterie of critters. The genesis of Monroe Workshop’s first two toys–his robot horse and robot monkey–was a clever way to minimize waste. Matt says: 

“As a fan of wood, I hated to throw our scrap away–all the toys are made of furniture grade hardwood. So, I started making the toys to give as gifts to family and friends.”

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Matt featured the robot monkey on instagram and the demand was immediate. He and his crew have been working like busy elves this year and have unveiled a charming new collection of animals to add their menagerie. Here are our favorites!

Cecily the Pig is giving our Piglet a run for her money. We love Cecily’s mismatched ears which Matt sources from a local shoe manufacturer’s scraps of Italian leather.

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Matt gave Avinash the Elephant a huge dose of personality. Not dissimilar to our Baby Elephant.

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You can almost hear Jean Pierre the Longhorn Bull bellowing. His stare is just as intense as our Long Horn Steer Close-Up.

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Ravi the Rhinoceros may be small, but he’s every bit the brute our Baby Rhino is.

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We think Gemma Lou the Giraffe would get along with our Baby Giraffe just fine.

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The toys are named after family members. Well, all except for Gary the Robot Monkey. Matt says, “I just like the name Gary.”

All of the toys are made of domestic hardwoods in Monroe Workshop’s Los Angeles shop. They’re available at monroeworkshoptoys.com.

Matt says to keep an eye out for a barn and possibly a jungle-scape tree house for more play opportunities. We can’t wait!

Wallpaper Pairings: Baby Deer + Hygge & West

For our latest wallpaper pairing, we returned to one of our favorites: Baby Deer. She was one of our first Animal Print Shop prints and even though she has lots of company now, our love for her hasn’t diminished. We’ve been chomping at the bit to use a Hygge & West wallpaper (BTW, Hygge is pronounced: Hoo-Ga) and knew we’d found the perfect compliment in their soft blue Petal Pusher pattern. Even better, Petal Pusher is a design by the uber talented Joy Cho of Oh Joy Studios.

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Hygge & West was founded by childhood friends Christiana Coop and Aimee Lagos – loving the vibe of Danish design, they created their wallcovering company around it – Hygge is a Danish concept loosely translating to life’s small pleasures, be they cozy homes in winter or bedtime stories with your kids. The “West” in Hygge & West is western as in the United States. We love that their wallpapers are all hand silk screened AND Hygge & West works with so many talented designers. Oh Joy finds herself in amazing company next to Julia Rothman, Rifle Paper Co., Heath Ceramics, Justina Blakeney, and many others. 

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Petal Pusher pairs beautifully with Oeuf’s clean-lined, modern Rhea Crib. We especially appreciate the slight Danish taper of the legs. The sweet polka-dot crib sheet is from Etsy seller Holkuda who hand prints on the softest fabric ensuring restful sleep for the little slumberer. And our favorite detail is the pop of fuchsia from a custom Kantha baby blanket made by our good friend Heidi Merrick (we’re trying to convince her to make them for sale!). And if blue isn’t the direction your design is headed, Petal Pusher also comes in a range of other gorgeous colors, from gold to blush to black.

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Finally, if you follow our blog, you know that we love ourselves a vintage nod. In this pairing, we used two: the brick pattern vintage Moroccan rug and a large white Gainey pot from the 60’s. We’d never seen a rug with such a vibrant, rich blue color, let alone in a brick pattern (if you’re in Los Angles, you can pick this rug up at Hannoun Rugs in Culver City). The Gainey pot is from Sharon’s own collection. Sadly, Gainey stopped making their signature ceramic pots in 2013, so if you spot one at a thrift store, don’t hesitate to buy it!

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The finishing touch is a delicate mobile from Brooklyn’s Fort Makers. The designer, Noah Spencer, says he takes inspiration from human fascination with the universe. We love its delicate lines and gentle movement, and we think it is the perfect compliment to the pairing of Baby Deer and Petal Pusher. We also think Petal Pusher pairs beautifully with Baby Camel! 

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To see Petal Pusher and the full range of Hygge and West’s wallpaper collections, visit them online here – and find more from our Wallpaper Pairings series, here.

Baby Zebra + A Pretty in Pink Nursery

To introduce the newest addition to our menagerie of baby animals, Baby Zebra, we sought to design a feminine nursery of soft pink, natural materials, and wood tones. For Baby Zebra’s nursery (the eigth in our Nursery Project series) Sharon drew inspiration straight from Baby Zebra –“She’s so sweet and if you look at her stripes where the white and black meet, she almost looks pink!” Says Sharon of her newest muse.

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The Animal Print Shop by Sharon Montrose

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Designing the room in layers as she always does Sharon continues:  “I knew I wanted a wallpaper to compliment Baby Zebra without competing with her stripes or soft feel. The perfect wallpaper would be a tonal pink with a subtle pattern so it wouldn’t distract the eye from Baby Zebra.” Kremelife had the perfect palette and a pattern that fit the bill in their Diamondettes line.

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And, for a touch of sophistication, Sharon adorned the dresser with a vintage brass tea light globe. “The globe light is on a dimmer and fills the room with a soft glow.” Perfect for taking advantage of the curated library and reading a bedtime story in the coral colored Togo chair by Ligne Roset. The sisal rug “really ties the room together,” kids Sharon ala The Big Lebowski. The space called for a round rug and she found the perfect one at West Elm.

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With a nod to Safari themes, Baby Bengal Tiger, Lion Cub, Baby Monkey, and Baby Elephant hang above an Oeuf Rhea crib. “I’m kind of obsessed with macrame right now.” Sharon confesses. “I discovered Sara of The Forest Fern, who makes the most beautiful pieces, including the lantern style we selected for this space.”

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The crib sheet is handmade by Petal and Branch. “It was a perfect match to the wallpaper without being too ‘matchy-matchy’, but still similar – I really love the soft feel and color.” Of the blanket, softies and trash can, Sharon explains, “The last details for me are not afterthoughts, but the final layer.” We love the blanket’s little pop of bright pink, and the two rascals in the crib: you can almost hear them scheming!

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SOURCES

Crib: Ouef
Animal Wall Art (Baby Zebra in 24″ x 30″ and Baby Bengal Tiger No. 1, Baby Monkey, Baby Elephant and Lion Cub in 10″ x 13): The Animal Print Shop
Brass Lamp: Vintage
Macrame Mobile: The Forest Fern
Rug: West Elm
Dresser and Changing Tray: Land of Nod
Changing Pad Cover: 2nd Stitch to the Right
Blanket: Mini Camp
Crib Sheet: Petal and Branch
Softie Animals: Blabla Kids
Chair: Togo chair by Ligne Roset
Wallpaper: Kremelife
Roman Shade: The Shade Store
Designer: Sharon Montrose

We’re working on more Nursery Projects, so be sure to stay tuned. Follow us on instagram for sneak peek’s (@theanimalprintshop) #theanimalprintshopnurseryproject

(Photos ©The Animal Print Shop)