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Go To This Shop

Go To This Shop

Antipodream

Today’s super shop is one I wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for my interview with the lovely Lucy last week (if you missed that, btw, check it out here). Something I have noticed since I’ve been researching children’s interiors is that the Australians have so many more original and quirky products for kids on offer than we do here – I think it’s something that’s interestingly a bit lacking in UK designers. So if there are any out there reading this, I reckon there’s a real niche to be filled!

Antipodream, as the name might suggest, specialises in products from Australian and New Zealand. And their collection is full of quirky, colourful designs that are a world away from the Scandi minimalism we see more often.

In their own words: ‘The Antipodream collection focuses on bright colours, bold designs and print layering.  Every item has been carefully selected with an eye for quality, durability and sustainability – allowing you to create colourful, relaxed spaces for your children that suit their tastes as much as yours.’

Sounds good to me. Let’s take a look at some of their star products…

First up is the amazing collection by Electric Confetti. Neon signs have been a ‘thing’ in mainstream interiors for over a year now, but there’s no sign of the trend waning. And these kid-friendly versions are absolutely amazing – I love them and want them all. I think they work just as well in teenager’s rooms as they do in little kids’ rooms too. Or a playroom. If you’re lucky enough to have a playroom in your house, they’re just perfect.

There are eight different designs to choose from, but my favourite is the lollipop above – I love the colours and the ombre effect. Although the unicorn is pretty nifty too.

On to even more kitsch delights – this rainbow mirror is made from shatterproof plexi glass and has more than a nod to the 70s and 80s.

Next up in my top picks is this unusual wall shelf – I love the vibrant colour and the perforated metal – it’s magnetised too, so you can stick things to it easily.

There’s also a range of limited edition prints on offer, and I’m rather taken with this bird by Pete Cromer, and his lovely feathered headdress.

Last but not least, this is my fave from their fab pillowcase range. Dinosaurs in every colour. Love it.

Phew! I think this might be my most colourful blog post to date. Hope you love these picks as much as I do – let me know what you think by leaving a comment below, or chatting to me on Facebook or Instagram!

Go To This Shop

Panda and Ping

Another amazing independent designer-maker for you guys today! I was very excited to come across Panda & Ping – not least because their name and logo is just the best. Who can fail to love something panda-related? Not me.

This fantastic British brand makes the most beautiful sleepwear and bedding all from 100% cotton jersey. The designs are colourful, playful and gender-neutral. They’ve received a fair bit of attention for their sleepwear (the rompers are adorable!) but that’s not really my remit, so today instead I thought I’d focus on their amazing bedding. I basically want it all.

I think it’s the colours I love the most – a really clever mix, with plenty of mustard thrown in there (my absolute fave colour for children’s rooms) and gorgeous reversible designs so you can mix it up.

The full-size single bedding is really lovely…

But best of all is the cot bedding… just changing a cot sheet to something more fun than the standard white can have a real impact on the whole look of the room. And there are matching blankets available too.

Even more excitingly, they’re having a sale, starting tomorrow (26 May) at 12 noon, with up to 50% off. So get over to the Panda & Ping website before it all disappears!

Go To This Shop

Paperboy

Paperboy wallpaper has been on my radar for a long time now – ever since I worked at Decorex and the brand exhibited there. The name stuck in my mind first, then the designs, which I think you’ll agree are quite wonderful and not easily forgotten…

D’ya-Think-E-Saurus

A little bit about the brand – it was set up by mum Victoria, who was looking for wallpaper for her twin boys’ room, and couldn’t find anything that she liked. Her list of criteria was quite specific: ‘boy’s wallpaper and fabric that felt hand-made, but wasn’t folksy or whimsical or twee. Something more pleasing than tacky, standard licensed wares. But affordable, too. Something classic, even iconic, but with an edge. Bang-up-to-date modern, but with room for nostalgia. Enough fun for the little kids yet cool enough for the bigger ones. And lovely enough to fit in with a beautiful, grown-up decoration scheme.’

And so, she designed her own. And I think she did a pretty good job of filling her own brief!

Now, I understand what Victoria meant when she said she wanted to design for boys specifically, however, I think the designs are pretty unisex, and I don’t see why a little girl wouldn’t like them for their room too.

The Final Frontier

Animal Magic

Which Came First

I love the graphic illustrations, and the fact that when you look closely, each design has its own little quirk – such as the mechanical skeletons inside the animals, and the little boys running with dinosaurs. Some of the darker colourways are so sophisticated I think they’d work really well in a home office. I also love the names! So catchy and memorable.

There’s fabric available too, as well as cushions and lampshades, and if you can’t find a shade you like in the collection, Paperboy will also print bespoke wallpaper and fabric in requested colourways for you too. See the full range at the Paperboy website.

Furniture Go To This Shop

Mokee

This post is well overdue. The inspiration behind this blog was my daughter’s wonderful cot from Mokee. I only found out about the brand after looking on Instagram and seeing it in someone’s nursery, and I couldn’t believe what amazing value it was for a simple yet stylish piece of furniture. If you’re not familiar, here’s a bit more about it…

Its restrained design is not going to be for everyone – I know there are plenty of people who prefer something a bit sturdier, with more ornamentation. But it’s just right for those who love a bit of Scandi simplicity, as well as those struggling to fit a full-size cot into their nursery. It’s compact but not small, and Daphne is very at home in it.

You can also convert it into a cot bed, and it comes in lots of very tasteful shades – although we went for the white and beech version above. The cot is also eco-friendly and made from sustainable wood, and there are a range of accessories available to go with it (I so wish I’d bought their top-cot changer when Daph was younger). But the cot is not the only thing this wondrous brand offers…

I am also slightly in love with their Wool Nest and think if there were ever to be another baby on the horizon (jury’s very much out on that for now) it’d definitely be on my wishlist. The design is stunning and I love the punchy different coloured handles. And of course, I’ve already talked about Mokee’s fab Tipiz, and Daph herself is the proud owner of one, currently the cosy home of her many teddies and Baby Annabel.

Mokee have also recently launched a standalone changing table, which is just as compact as the cot. They do a variety of textiles too, from baby sleeping bags to cot bumpers and blankets, and even an adorably simple cot mobile.

The short version of this post is, if you’re expecting a baby and are on a bit of a budget, you owe yourself a trip to the Mokee website. I’m very excited to see what they come up with next.

Go To This Shop Interview

Scandibørn

So excited to share this post with you – the first go to your room interview! One of the main reasons for setting up this blog was to highlight interiors brands run by parents. It seems obvious to me that no one quite understands a parent’s needs as much as another parent, and so it’s no surprise that lots of the design brands I’ve come across are run by families (not just mums!).

So, first up in a series of interviews with these inspiring folk (I’m not calling them mumpreneurs, am firmly on the fence about that label…) is the lovely Grace Tindall from Scandibørn. Grace lives in Sheffield with husband James and toddler son Harry, and she launched Scandibørn late last year, which is SO hard to believe, because they are just getting it right on so many fronts – from the products they stock, to the branding and ethos behind the company… inspiring indeed!

Wood cot by Oliver Furniture

 

Hello Grace! We love Scandibørn – how did the idea for it come about? 

It was definitely a combination of factors that came together at the right time to give us the final push to just get on and do it.

Maternity leave gave me some much needed headspace to think about my career, the life we wanted to build post kids and it also allowed me to formulate the business plan that I had thought so much about when I was pregnant. Simultaneously my husband, James got made redundant and we decided (against the advice of pretty much everyone!) to invest the very small pay out, take a leap of faith and go for it.

We love the whole ethos that surrounds Scandinavian living and interiors, it places value on buying products that will last years and fulfil different needs as our lives change. We’d spent a long time getting our home just perfect and having children seemed to open the door into a whole range of eyesores that I didn’t want lying round our living room (don’t get me wrong Harry still has a whole lot of plastic toys, they are just stowed away in stylish storage bags!).

We felt there was a gap in the market for people like us who wanted to be able to create beautiful, playful and stylish spaces for their children that fitted with their contemporary homes.

Wood bunk bed by Oliver Furniture

 

Can you tell us a little bit about what you did before? 

Previously I was a management consultant for a big US-based IT firm. Obviously this is a totally unrelated industry so I suppose it took me a bit longer to work out the dos and don’ts of retail. In the same vein that’s given us advantages too – I had to go with my instinct and I used the skills I’d already gained – project management, contract management, delivery to tight timelines and importantly never accepting ‘no’ as the final answer!

What have you enjoyed the most since starting the company?

It has to be choosing the products and styling the site. There is nothing better for me than discovering a new brand or wonderful new collection that ticks all our boxes.

Elephant table by Elements Optimal

 

How do you choose which pieces to stock? 

The first thing I wrote in my notebook when I started to build the idea of Scandibørn was ‘who are we?’ I often go back to that page and take a look at those key words when I’m undecided about a product or brand. Everything we sell has to knit together with that clean, Scandi aesthetic that we adore.

We’ve had a clear focus and ethos from the beginning, we think very carefully about every product we bring into our store – we always ask two questions 1) would we buy it? 2) does it fit the Scandi brief? If either of those are ‘no’ it’s not coming in. We want people to feel inspired when shopping with us and that starts with knowing who we are and staying true to that.

What’s the most challenging aspect of combining motherhood with work, and how do you overcome it?

It’s definitely a tough one, but I haven’t spoken to any parent that finds it easy. James generally does the nursery pick up so I can work a bit longer then I take time with Harry until bed time. Post 7.30pm I unwind either with a run (if I’m feeling energetic) or with a glass of red wine…

We have a no work rule post 8.30pm that we really try to stick to, we also make sure we always take one day off at the weekend and do something altogether as a family.

Kids’ room by OYOY

 

What are your favourite pieces?

That’s a hard one! I do have particular soft spots for several of our Danish brands, Cam Cam Copenhagen was the first brand we signed up – their style is classic Scandinavian with a Japanese influence which makes them and their prints stand out from the crowd. Liewood Design is another favourite, they are a relatively new brand who are all about simplicity with a playful twist – they are launching a wooden Playgym this spring which is nothing short of amazing and something we’ve been crying out for in the UK for a while.

Can you describe your own home?

We live in a 1930s semi and we’ve spent years doing it up… we’ve almost finished! It’s definitely a mix of styles –of course we have a lot of Scandi elements – light wood, clean lines, string shelving, pastel tones. That’s combined with a love of retro furniture and pops of colour in the right places – we recently bought a Ligne Roset Togo Sofa in bright orange which looks perfect in our bay windowed lounge.

F Designer Kids Loft bed by Rafa Kids

 

What’s your hope for the company’s future? 

Sometimes I would adore to have our own storefront, the creative in me would love to have the chance to style a physical store.

However what I love about online is that there are no limitations, so I’ve been able to create our perfect aesthetic, ensuring our site reflects our brand to the tee and shows off our beautiful products in the best possible way. Customers also get to see our products in different settings and I think can better imagine them within their own homes.

Currently, the SS17 range is our immediate focus but we also have some very exciting developments we’re working on now and although we can’t share too much yet it’s going to really help Scandibørn to continue to grow!

When you’re not running the business, how do you like to spend your time?

I’m in a house full of boys so generally first point of call is to get outside and blow off steam/energy! We’re lucky enough to live a stone’s throw from some gorgeous woods and a couple of miles from the beautiful Peak District so we have plenty of lovely walks at our disposal as well as some nice pubs for Sunday lunch!

A big thank you to Grace for her time – check out Scandibørn here>