Ballerina Nursery Inspiration September 18 2013, 0 Comments
If you have a very girly daughter like I do, you'd know that there's no escaping fascination with ballerinas and tutus. Being a young girl myself, I remember imitating pirouettes and jetés every time I saw ballet performances on television. Which may have lead my mother to believe that I had some potential for dance, since she enrolled me in a class right after one of the days she saw me secretly dancing in my bedroom.
Designing a bedroom with ballet as an inspiration was not only fun for me, but a challenge in making the room feel more modern and contemporary rather than traditional. If you are tired of seeing chevron patterns in nurseries everywhere, replace it with the new geometric pattern trend: Quatre Foil. It's the perfect blend of geometry and elegance, giving a very contemporary look to any room. The reflective surfaces of the mirrored dresser, chandelier and the crystal drop garland add a touch of magic to the room. The pink Bailey tufted crib from Posh Tots gives it an air of luxury.
Go ahead and create a dream room for your little girl, and welcome her to the world of dance!
Lighting for your nursery: An interview with architectural lighting expert Muge Birgen September 11 2013, 0 Comments
I had the great privilege to interview friend and architectural lighting expert, Muge Birgen, to get great tips on lighting the nursery or kid's rooms. This is such a wealth of information that is guaranteed to take any confusion out of how to best light your child's nursery or room.
How long have you practiced as an architectural lighting professional?
I am a lighting designer with eight years of experience. I have been working in the design and implementation of diverse interior and exterior architectural lighting projects such as corporate offices, hotels, restaurants, residential, retail stores, landscape and site lighting.
What is it about architectural lighting that especially drove you to be specialized in it?
I have always been fascinated by the magical nocturnal image of illuminated architecture.
Light is invisible until it strikes an object or surface. It is the fourth dimension of architecture and it helps make good architecture even better through the right design. Good lighting design aims to create perceptual conditions, which allow us to live and work effectively and orient ourselves safely while promoting a feeling of well-being in a particular environment.
Lighting design practice integrates the art and science, which combines the knowledge of physics, optics, ergonomics, environmental issues, vision and design. They are all essential to create great lighting solutions. Having an educational background in industrial design, I just wanted to be part of this profession.
Why is lighting important in designing a baby or a kid's room?
Every room needs special lighting...
Light makes objects visible and influences the mood of a room. By using different levels of luminance, different parts of a room can be placed in a visual hierarchy.
Babies and kids have slightly different lighting needs from adults. A child's room has multiple functions and is much more than a place to sleep: It's a playroom, a reading and homework space, a changing room and even more. Just like other rooms in your home, your child’s room needs to have layers of light to accommodate all those activities.
Are there special tips as to how one should go about selecting fixtures for the room?
Different activities need different light levels and the ideal baby nursery should include a variety of adjustable lighting. Multiple sources create a cozier effect and make it easier to adjust light levels.
Since the ability to adjust light levels is a necessity, it is highly recommended installing a dimmer switch. Dimmers work wonders and provide flexibility. They let you have bright light for changing the baby or cleaning the nursery. Also, you can turn the lights low when you want to settle your little one for sleep or encourage relaxation and rest. Low light is also needed for frequent nighttime parental visits to feed, change and soothe a restless baby.
Ambient lighting, e.g. through recessed down-lights, pendants or through wall mounted fixtures, fills the whole room and enables users to find their bearings and provides them with a feeling of safety. They are the safest to use in a child’s room, no cords or plugs to worry about but, must be securely fastened and properly shaded to protect the bulbs from breakage. Wall mounted fixtures can be directed up or down creating soft ambient light or a dramatic accent. These light fixtures offer great flexibility, especially when placed on different circuits and put on a dimmer switch offering just the right amount of light that’s essential to the room’s purpose of providing a haven for your child.
It's also a good idea to purchase a small accent lamp for a cozy, story-time glow.The most important thing to remember is that the scheme should change, as they get older. And as your child grows, the lighting needs will change too.
Let's talk about safety. What are some of the things we need to keep in mind for safe practices of lighting a child's nursery or room?
Safety takes center stage:
- Never place lighting fixtures directly above the crib on the ceiling or wall.
- Nightlights sound terrific in principle, but in practice they may be more trouble than they are worth. Studies done in the last several years suggest that there may be a correlation between a dim light in baby’s room and vision deficiencies in adults. Also, light at night messes with their natural rhythms and cycles and can disrupt sleep. Plus, they can become a habit that can be hard to break when older. Sleeping in the dark is the best. If you prefer to use one, keep nightlights out of your baby's direct eye level or in the hallway.
- Keep all lamps and other cords out of the reach of your baby, who will soon be a curious toddler. Don't leave any cords trailing across the room to prevent tripping hazards for adults and your moving baby.
- Cover any electric outlets with plastic fasteners as a safety precaution.
- For lamps that may be in reach to a curious toddler, you want to choose for globes that remain cool to the touch.
- Lamps should bear the UL seal indicating they have been tested and proven to be safe.
- Do not use halogen lamps in a child’s room. They get extremely hot and are far too bright for a nursery.
- The screw-in CFLs can be used to replace incandescent lamps in standard lamp sockets used for ambient lighting, which is not connected to dimmers. CFLs use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last about 7-10 times longer. You can replace 60W incandescent bulbs with 13-15W CFLs. Today's fluorescent and CFL options can produce a warmer color. If you like “warm” light, look for a color temperature of around 2700K and a high CRI 80+ (Color Rendering Index: tells you how accurately colors appear under the bulb's light).
What would be the difference in lighting for infant nursery vs an older kid’s room?
As your baby grows and activities vary, there will be some addition to the lighting design of the room.
Ambient lighting is great for overall illumination of the room, but not for reading or doing homework thus task lighting, which brightens a specific area, is important. It can be provided by recessed and track lighting, by portable floor and desk lamps.
You will need bright light for your task lighting. For reading at a desk, the lamp must be at eye level and LEDs could be an energy efficient option. For reading in a chair, the light should come over the shoulder and the bottom of the shade should be about even with the cheekbone.
Next to the bed, table lamps provide plenty of light for reading, or you can install swing-arm wall lamps to free up the space on your end tables.
If your child has a computer or television in their room, don't let them watch it in total darkness. It's better for their eyes to use low-level light, either from a dimmed light or from a table lamp with the beam directed at the ceiling.
Leave room for children's ideas and personalities to shine as they grow and avoid too much perfection. The room will look better!
Muge Birgen, LEED Green Associate | Lighting Designer
Muge Birgen was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. She has studied industrial design at Middle East Technical University Ankara, Turkey. She was interested in lighting design and decided to attend a summer workshop at Domus Academy in Milan, Italy in her third year of industrial design course. Her background includes 8 years of experience working for leading lighting manufacturers in Turkey and for notable lighting designers in the United States. As a lighting designer, she offers lighting design and application assistance to architects, interior designers, and engineers. Her responsibilities include all aspects of the design process, such as research and comparison of potential solutions, presentation and documentation including calculations, lighting layouts, specifications and design development through the project completion. Her project experience includes large and small-scale commercial projects, residences, offices, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, exterior landscapes and site lighting.
Hot Air Balloon Nursery Inspiration September 03 2013, 0 Comments
Here's a little dose of inspiration for hot air balloon lovers (or for those who, like me, just can't get enough of the gray and yellow theme)! This nursery is airy, bright with punches of bold color provided by our "Windy Day" set of 4 nursery art prints. This print set was inspired by a lovely, windy day in the city of San Francisco.
By incorporating a subtle color scheme overall of gray and yellow, the pops of color (red and blue) from the prints and pillows add interest and an element of fun. This theme is also versatile enough to add a few of your own bright colored accessories to make the room as whimsical as you'd like. The lines are kept sleek using modern furniture, and the pops of yellow bring a ray of sunshine to your little one's room. Best of all, this theme works great as a gender neutral nursery for those who are keeping the gender of the baby a surprise. Happy decorating!
For more information on the items, follow us on Pinterest!
Are you "Back-to-School" ready yet? August 16 2013, 0 Comments
That time of the year is upon us- the summer's coming to an end, and so are the days of leisurely waking up, since you didn't have to make a lunch bag. End of summer camps and memorable road trips and back to the daily grind of schools, homework and car pools. Has the chaos of shopping for back to school gotten you down yet? Don't sweat...a few of our favorite things you can shop for from the comfort of your home, and some favorite tips and recipes to make it a lot easier for you in the coming days are on our Pinterest Boards.
Are you following us on Twitter yet?!
Here's our link: twitter.com/monkiebirdie
So grateful! July 25 2013, 0 Comments
Thanks to our customers, our sale on One Kings Lane went fab. We sold out of or blue/tangerine and our Khaki/tangerine "Stacked Birds" growth charts in the first two days. A big thank you to One Kings Lane for the opportunity and a great partnership. We look forward to many more sale events! Keep watching this space as we announce new products to our line for getting you all set for "Back to School". Cheers.
Wonder Wall Sales event on One Kings Lane July 22 2013, 0 Comments
A big thank you to all our customers for showing us love on the first day of our sale on One Kings Lane. Our Blue/Tangerine wall decal growth charts are all sold out!! Grab other's before they are gone at this incredible price. Follow us on Pinterest where we are pinning new items from the sale everyday.
Monkie Birdie and One Kings Lane July 20 2013, 0 Comments
Here's some exciting news! Monkie Birdie has partnered with One King's Lane for the "Wonder Wall" sales event starting July 22nd 11am EST. Look for super discounts on your favorite Monkie Birdie wall decor items. And yes, our "Stacked Birds" growth chart is on sale too.
If you haven't heard about One Kings Lane yet, you are missing on some great deals on home decor, vintage and one-of-a-kind items on the hottest home decor flash sale website there is. All it takes is to sign up to get great deals delivered write to your inbox.
Don't miss this great opportunity to decorate your baby's nursery or kid's rooms with affordable and modern (not to mention adorable) works of art. Watch this space as we post updates from the event.
Mermaid Nursery June 07 2013, 0 Comments
Summer's finally here! The temperatures are soaring. So we've decided to cool it down with a splash of our inspiration for this week. A Splashin' Mermaid Nursery.
A soft turquoise and pink nursery that's perfect for a summer born baby girl. So if you've not started decorating your nursery yet for your new baby, here's your shopping list. These are some great finds, that perfectly complement our Mermaid Print Set. I especially am in love with the sea foam rug from COCOCOZY. It's a little like soft ripples of cool water under your feet. The turquoise bead and wood chandelier from Layla Grace is a unique twist on a traditional chandelier and brings a modern whimsical element to the nursery. Enjoy decorating and Happy Summer!
For more information on these products visit our Pinterest Page.
Wild and Wonderful Woodland Nursery Inspiration May 01 2013, 0 Comments
Pardon our absence on the social scene for the last couple weeks. Things have been hectic due to new and exciting products that are in development. Can't wait to introduce you to them. Meanwhile, here's the nursery theme of the week: a Wild and Wonderful Woodland Nursery using our Woodland Nursery Art print set as the inspiration.
The great thing about this theme is that it can work as a neutral nursery for a boy or a girl especially for those of you, who have decided not to find out the gender of your baby. The textures are rustic, the color palette is neutral with punches of bold orange and the shapes are modern. The little campfire light adds a touch of adventure, like camping outdoors. Suffice to say, that as your child grows, they won't outgrow this room decor- in fact throw in a little tent at age 3 or 4 and see their eyes light up as you camp indoors!
For more information on the products go to our Pinterest page.
Great Nursery Art Giveaway! April 12 2013, 0 Comments
For all you Monkie Birdie lovers out there, here's a great chance for you to win a $25 gift certificate to our Etsy Shop! Enter to win now through April 18th on Babylist Blog. Two lucky winners will get gift certificates to spruce up their nursery with our adorable prints or growth charts!
Introducing Stacked Birds Growth Chart Fabric Wall Decal April 10 2013, 0 Comments
We are so pleased to introduce our newest product: Stacked Birds Growth Chart Fabric Wall Decal!
Eco-friendly and non-toxic, this adorable growth chart is available in 3 colors- Girl (Pink/Tangerine), Boy (Blue/Tangerine) and Neutral (Khaki/Tangerine).
Removable (without leaving a residue) and reusable upto 200 times (depending on the smoothness of the surface), these growth charts are perfect for apartments or temporary homes. You can also store the chart safely back on the backing paper it comes with, so even if your kids are gone to college, you never lose the memories!
You can mark the growth of your child with the tiny leaf markers provided (15 total) upto 5 ft in height, and even write notes on them such as your child's name and age. What's more, is that you can use a single growth chart for multiple kids, with the leaves on one side of he chart and the adjustable wings of the birds on the other side.
These growth charts also make a unique gift for baby shower, birthdays or any occasion. And since the decals are made of non-toxic fabric, they are perfect for your baby's room.
Sorry, these charts are not yet available for international shipping. But check back with us soon, we will be offering it in the near future.
These decals start shipping in 2 weeks, but you can pre-order your Growth Chart today!
Mod Safari Nursery Inspiration - Baby Girl Edition April 08 2013, 0 Comments
Hello Everyone, This week's nursery inspiration is sugar and spice and everything nice! As a mom to a 3 year old girl, I find it really hard to shop for room decor, that isn't oozing with hot pinks, purples and sage greens. At times, it's hard to come by things I'd like for my girl, but that are not necessarily girly. For instance, a pirate-themed girl's birthday decor, or space-themed nursery decor for a baby girl. (Note to self: design the mentioned themes!!). That said I do believe all things girly should be celebrated but without overdoing it.
So this week's nursery inspiration, is subtle in it's theme and color palette. Staying away from the obvious animal prints for the bedding, geometical patterns that are suggestive of the theme look classier. Touches of dark toned woods, add a hint of the outdoors while the larger decor animal pieces such as the faux deer head and the animal art prints allude to the overall theme.
Always remember to mix and match patterns in the same color, for adding visual interest but staying classy at the same time.
For more details on the products, go to our Pinterest Page.
Robot Nursery Decor Inspiration March 26 2013, 0 Comments
Here's the nursery decor inspiration for the week! I love the vibrancy of colors that a robot nursery can lend itself to. Metallic industrial accessories alongwith geometrical patterns and bold colors make this room interesting and versatile. Not to mention that the room is foolproof to grow with your child!
For more details on the products visit Monkie Birdie's page on Pinterest.
Nautical Nursery Decor Inspiration March 15 2013, 0 Comments
Here's some sweet Nautical Nursery Decor inspiration that goes perfectly with the Under The Sea nursery print set from Monkie Birdie.
This gender neutral nursery decor is clean, bold and graphic. The nautical design trend is long-lasting and will adapt to your child as he/she grows. Visit Monkie Birdie's page on Pinterest for more details on the products.
Monkie Birdie featured on allparenting.com March 13 2013, 0 Comments
Monkie Birdie just got featured today as the "Best Etsy Shop" for nursery decor on allparenting.com. Check it out!
Now in Stores March 07 2013, 0 Comments
We are thrilled to announce that Monkie Birdie prints are now available in stores at two great locations in San Francisco. Blue Carmel, a wonderful baby boutique, in the North Beach area and Autumn Express in the Mission district.
Sharone, the owner of Blue Carmel is the sweetest and warmest person you'lll meet. She also runs prenatal and mommy-and-me playgroups in the boutique. For more information on Blue Carmel, go to the In Stores section on our website.
Autumn Express is a cute little print shop and gift store run by two wonderful ladies: Valerie and Theresa. They hold seasonal workshops in their store such as the upcoming Making Decorative Sugar Eggs for Easter. For more information on Autumn Express, go to the In Stores section on our website.
SFIGF and Tom Floral February 23 2013, 0 Comments
After a hectic weekend in chilly and wet Seattle, I had the honor of attending the last day of the San Francisco International Gift Fair 2013, last Tuesday. It's a wholesale trade show, that happens twice a year, not open to the general public. I wish I could take you inside to give you a sneak peek at this year's trends and new products coming to a gift shop near you. But photography is pretty much prohibited except if the exhibitors give their permission.
I was thrilled to stop by the Tom Floral (of Martinez, CA) booth. I have seen their products before in stores and absolutely love them. And they were kind enough to let me photograph their products for the sake of this blog. They specialize in items inspired by and made out of natural materials.
They have adorable things made out of straw and moss like bunnies, squirrels even roosters.
The booth featured storybook mushrooms, little country houses and little nests with eggs. And of course, there were owls for owl-lovers.
Just a placement of the moss covered mushroom or the charming little house on a bookshelf could bring the enchantment of a classic storybook alive in the nursery.
From a decorator's perspective, the addition of natural/ earthy element to a modern nursery, would impart just the right contrast and seek to soften the sleek lines of modern decor.
Visit www.tomfloral.com or visit a gift shop near you for more tom floral products.
The trade show itself was immense and featured all things from stationary, clothing to home decor and toys. All in all, it was inspiring, informative and impressive. I'm so looking forward to Monkie Birdie participating in the near future!
Blog Love February 06 2013, 0 Comments
Monkie Birdie has been getting some blog love lately. The first one was a happy customer in UK who posted pics of the her nursery decorated by Monkie Birdie prints on her blog http://ourstorkgotlost.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/baby-boys-nursery.html.
And just today, Monkie Birdie's Lion Art Print has been featured on the Babylist Blog in the "Where to find Great Nursery Art" section here http://blog.babyli.st/category/nurseries/.
The long enduring tale of Peter Rabbit. February 05 2013, 0 Comments
San Francisco is a fascinating city. Music and art fills every corner of it. If the jazz tunes of a street saxophonist fills the subway, a rap dancer shows off his moves as soon as you step on to the street.The architecture snakes over the highs and lows of the steep slopes that make San Francisco so unique. And interspersed are the lovely shop windows displaying every imaginable wares possible.
What does this have to do with the "Tale of Peter Rabbit" you ask? I mean, what place is San Francisco for a naughty little rabbit who escaped Mr. Mcgregor's vegetable garden?
Well, the tale written by Beatrix Potter, is one of the longest enduring stories that was first published in England in 1902.To celebrate it's 110th Anniversary this year, Gap has partnered with the publishers of the Beatrix Potter tales, to offer children's clothing based on the stories. On my weekly trip to San Francisco, I happened to pass by the Gap store windows to see their window displays featuring Peter Rabbit.
I think Gap did a great job by keeping it simple, graphic and adding depth through it's 3D cutout displays for their windows. I think it's fascinating, that an illustrated children's book, that has had such a long commanding presence in classic literature has now been reinvented making it so relevant.
The amalgamation of fashion and literature is, of course, extremely appealing to me. Whenever two completely different disciplines come together, feeding off each other, being inspired by each other, the result is almost always unique.
Having indulged in a variety of artistic backgrounds myself, my most creative satisfaction comes from merging two art forms- may it be dance and film, or dance and architecture and now for Monkie Birdie, graphic and interior design.
What do you think of the new Gap windows for Peter Rabbit?
Find out more about Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter here: http://www.peterrabbit.com/us/
Welcome to the Monkie Birdie™ Blog! February 01 2013, 0 Comments
Hello Friends! I'm so excited to welcome you to the Monkie Birdie™ family. Since this is the first blog post for Monkie Birdie™, let me briefly outline what you'll be seeing here from time to time. Firstly, of course, you'll get a sneak preview to all the new designs and products we are working on at Monkie Birdie™. Also inspiration in nursery decor and interesting kids products from around the globe. And of course, when there is something that doesn't quite fit into any category but adds a little sunshine to your day, look for it right here!
- Page 2 of 2