You can see our current line of products by visiting: Sherri Blum Instant Murals.
Monday, September 29, 2008
You can see our current line of products by visiting: Sherri Blum Instant Murals.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Pat Martinek: Martinek Bebe (Pat is part of Mama Mia and exhibited behind us. Great lady and breathtaking products!)
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
"I love your blog!! Thanks for all the awesome tips. Please help me. I have three kids (boy 14, girl 7, boy5). The boys are all BOY and my daughter is a little princess. We are trying to decorate a playroom that they can all be happy with. I am going to get a muralist to paint the walls. I don't care for modern design and HATE things that are too cartoonish. Do you have any suggestions? I am at a loss. "
Several factors need to be considered when designing a playspace for any child, (such as storage, storage and more storage)...but when you have boys and girls sharing the same space, as well as significant age gaps between children - well, you do have quite a dilemma!
If at all possible, consider giving your teenager a "cool" space of his own. Whether it be a corner of the larger play room sectioned off, or a seperate room, he will want a place to hang out with his other teen friends without having to trip over half-clothed Barbies! I have a 15 year old son and our "cave" as we fondly refer to it, is set up mainly for him...cool brown leather sofa, aqua walls and a large screen tv, XBox and fooseball table. Teens love to watch movies, sports and play video games together and need a space somewhat removed from the family for those important hanging out sessions.
If you are not able to give him his own room, simply arrange the playroom in such a way in that he has his own area that is sectioned off by the sofa, bookcases or a folding screen. This area can obviously be used by the younger children for movie watching as well, but will be much appreciated as a teen hang out for your older son.
If sectioning of the room is not possible, then it's important to try to create a space that will encourage the imagination of the younger two children, while not being too "babyish" for your older son. In order to do this, and given the fact that your boys are "all boy" and your daughter is a "little princess", the best mural I can propose is a more realistic looking beach scene.
I'm talking closer to a trompe l' oeil look rather than a nursery mural. In this mural, you can cover it all...cool beach for the older son, adventure for the younger son, and with a large sandcastle painted into the scene, your princess should be satisfied! Add a little pink to the sky to bring in some feminine color that won't offend your sons. Paint in a sand pail here and there, star fish and shells scattered on the beach, etc...
Consider mounting a surfboard on the wall or propping one in the corner to keep it "cool" for your 14 year old. With sandy colored carpeting, the sand mural will appear to have continued across your floor. If your ceiling is paintable, continue the pale blue sky onto the ceiling. The trick is to keep this mural as realistic as possible. Shop around for an experienced muralist. This one is worth spending a little extra money on to get it right, as this type of mural can stay throughout the ages. Even after your children are grown, you can make a cool beach side recreation room for adult gatherings. Add a tiki bar and some fake palm trees and your friends will kick off their shoes and hang out for some margaritas!
Another mural option would be to paint a stone wall effect. Have some ivy vines tendriling down the walls to soften them. With stone walls, your younger two will be able to use their imaginations to make this the space of their dreams. Your son will become a brave knight fighting off the dragons and your daughter will be the queen of her castle! This type of mural won't be cartoonish or too babyish that your 14 year old won't enjoy it as well.
In order to keep this from becoming too lengthy, I've only really discussed mural suggestions, but furniture and STORAGE are very important, as well as the accessories that pull it all together. I can't get into too much of these other than to say that I highly recommend a built-in wall unit for housing the TV, game stations, CD's, DVD's and toys. If this is not feasable, merchants such as Pottery Barn Kids have many wall unit options that work very well.
Thanks again for your comment, Hailey! I hope I've been helpful!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
You can visit our retailers on this page: http://www.sherriblumdesigns.com/pop%20ups/OurRetailers.htm
to take advantage of this great sale!
3'x2' child wall hanging canvases were $160, now are only $99!
Get them while they last!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Summer is in full swing in the Blum household...it seems we're running to swim team practices, lacrosse practices, meets, tournaments, birthday parties and playdates constantly! I am so grateful to have my boys home more and to have quality time with them. However, with that comes the challenge of keeping my business running while doing it! I have to admit, it's only the second week of summer vacation and I'm exhausted! I find myself doing the billing and filling orders at midnight. I literally need a vacation from my vacation!
I'm looking forward to a much needed family vacation we have planned in July. No phones, no faxes, no internet and no TV! It will be culture shock...but will be relaxing! So I found it appropriate to share this little article with you. I wrote this last year for another publication and thought I'd post it here to help get all of you through your summer vacation craziness! Enjoy!
Decorate With Vacation Souvenirs
Along with the end of the school year and the lazy days of summer, comes the much anticipated fun family activities and vacations. While on these outings, we often purchase many little souvenirs in the hopes that they will be a constant reminder of what a great time we had on those unforgettable vacations. In reality, those souvenirs often end up tossed in a closet or drawer and eventually thrown away. Rather than randomly purchasing some useless trinkets while on your vacations, with a little planning you can bring home souvenirs that will truly be treasured.
By choosing your treasures wisely, you can not only use the souvenirs to decorate your child’s room, but you will also be providing your child with a much needed summer craft project and educational activity as well.
No matter where you plan to venture, sit down with your child before each vacation to discuss where you are going, the types of activities you might be participating in, the environment and local cultural flavor of the area you will be visiting. A little research on the location should be very educational for your child and will help him or her to set some fun goals for his/her trip activities and should help to build the enthusiasm and anticipation for the vacation. To further this enthusiasm, select a craft project from some of those listed below so that you might plan a bit of a scavenger hunt for while on your vacation. Then when the vacation is over and your project is completed, you will have a souvenir that will stand the test of time and be a constant reminder of the location you visited, family vacation memories, and the quality time spent together creating this lasting treasure. What more could one ask for?!
Going to the beach? I don’t know a family who doesn’t spend much of their beach time collecting shells, sand dollars, pebbles, and drift wood. Use those natural treasures in any of the following ways:
1.Arrange the shells, sand dollars, driftwood and pebbles around a postcard depicting the vacation location and mount them in a framed shadowbox to hang on your child’s bedroom wall. This can be the beginning of an ongoing gallery of vacation memories over the years.
2. This same shadowbox can also be converted into a fun tabletop for a bedside table.
3. Those same beach items can be used, along with some collected sand, to fill a decorative clear jar which can merely be capped off or turned into a unique lamp base.
4. Make a beach treasure wreath by gluing the items on a large cardboard circle or foam wreath form, or use craft wire to attach the items to a grapevine wreath.
5. For an older child, you can make tea candles of the small clam like seashells. Remove the candle and wick from tea candles and place them into your shells and melt them so that they fill the shell evenly. Arrange these on a plate to make a candle garden for your dresser top.
6. Use clam shells as a change holder or for scented potpourri.
7. Create a seashell mobile to hang from the ceiling in your child’s room.
If you have several vacations and various locations planned for your summer, the following ideas will be useful in creating a nice décor item that will tie all of those vacations together or might even help to create a summer vacation theme for your child’s room.
1. Use the photos taken while on your trips or postcards gathered from each location to create a desktop collage by arranging them under a glass desktop protector.
2. Use those photos or postcards to create a mobile or framed wall collage. You might even consider filling out the postcards first with your memories of the vacation.
3. Make a goal of collecting leaves from local vegetation at each vacation spot. Press the leaves and frame each one in matching frames to represent the various vacation locations visited throughout the summer or over the years. You can also label the framed leaves by using a paint pen on the frame’s glass.
4. Collect a pin or charm from each vacation spot to arrange on a bulletin board or in a shadow box to be hung in your room or attach these to decorative ribbons which can be hung on a wall or suspended from the ceiling.
5. Collect stones, shells, twigs, sand, etc. from each location. Once you are home, purchase matching decorative jars to represent each location. Fill the jars and use a paint marker to label the location and date on each jar. Glue a few of the pebbles or shells to the jar lid to add some flair and arrange these jars on a long shelf or table top. This can be an ongoing tradition over the years.
6. Use postcards or photos to decoupage a table top, trinket box, wood lamp base, flower pots or photo frame. Just about anything can be decoupaged!
7. Sketch out and paint a map representing your travels onto a blank canvas floor cloth. Don’t feel that your map needs to be accurate, the whimsical feel of a hand drawn map will add to the charm of the rug. Decoupage photos of your family onto the map representing each location’s best memory. Add several layers of polyurethane to protect the floor cloth. Once dried, this can make a nice bedside rug in your child’s room or made into a wall hanging, and will bring a smile to his face each morning when he wakes!
8. Collect hats from each vacation and display them on a high shelf in his room.
9. Collect t-shirts or pennants from each location. Use these to create a window treatment or duvet cover for your child’s room.
With a little planning, you can ensure that your vacation souvenir purchases will be useful, appreciated and will last for more than just a few days. And when summer vacation is over, your child can relive those fond vacation memories easily by taking a few moments to admire her beautiful vacation masterpiece!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
In the past, children’s rooms were done on a shoestring and as an afterthought. Whatever hand-me-downs were available sufficed and in fact, the child’s bedroom was most often the last room of the home to be decorated or painted, if ever. But the trends have changed in recent years. Now, more than ever, parents are creating exceptional spaces within their homes, including the baby’s nursery. Design shows are on every television network…there are even networks dedicated entirely to interior design. Today terms such as feng shui are household words and we are all seeing and realizing the effects that our surroundings have on our attitudes and well-being. Families are spending more time at home and therefore are focusing on making their home a more comfortable and relaxing environment. Parents are spending more money than ever to create a wonderful oasis for their families. Enjoy the process of preparing this nursery for your baby. Try something different and unexpected. Many books and articles have been written suggesting the practical ways in which to decorate your baby’s nursery, but I’m going to appeal to your more adventurous side. Everyone is expecting to see a pink ribboned nursery for a girl or a blue teddy bear room for a boy. Do something unexpected and create a nursery that will really show others and your baby just how excited you are about the impending birth of your child. By following a few simple guidelines and suggestions you can create a unique and very chic nursery for your baby that will have others talking!
Decorate to please yourself. Think about it…the baby has no opinion on the room’s colors or designs and won’t even begin to care about the chosen theme or color scheme until he or she is at least three years old and in most cases even later. By this time, your little independent thinker will have his own ideas as to what he wants for his bedroom and he will deserve to have the space reflect his personality and interests. At this point you will be making some changes anyway. The nursery décor is always designed to please the parents. Here is your one opportunity to have complete authority on your child’s environment. Take advantage of this while you can! Try something out of the ordinary. I’m letting you “off the hook” from feeling committed to a teddy bear theme or nursery rhymes. Who says your nursery has to be baby blue or pink? But whatever you decide, keep versatility in mind. This room will need to meet the needs of a rapidly changing and growing child with ever changing needs, interests and attitudes.
Choose versatile furniture. The convertible cribs of today will last a lifetime for your child, converting from crib to a full sized bed. Conventional changing tables are a thing of the past. Today, many dressers have a changing table built right in that can later be removed. An armoire is another versatile option for a changing station. A contoured pad can be placed inside the doors. When no longer necessary, the pad can be removed and the armoire can hold a television, computer, or hanging clothes. Don’t purchase your typical primary colored plastic toy box. This will only suit for a few years. Instead, consider a wooden trunk that can later be used for sweater storage or a memory chest for a teenage girl. Or convert a bookcase into toy storage by filling the shelves with fabric lined baskets to hold baby toys for now and then you have a bookcase to hold your growing child’s book collection later.
Avoid traditional nursery themes and wall colors. Rather than a yellow ducky or storybook character theme, design a nursery in styles that you might have reflected throughout the rest of your home. Consider a French countryside theme with vivid colors, toile fabric and a Louis XVI chair instead of a traditional rocking chair along with an antique armoire used as a changing station. Try an “old world” Italian look with warm golden color-washed walls, a black iron crib, and warm terra cotta accents or a Victorian room done in all white furniture with floral fabrics and lace with ornately carved mirrors and accents. An asian-inspired room with silk fabric treatments in deep colors and sleek dark wood toned furnishings and light colored walls would provide the bold contrast of colors that appeal to young infants and parents alike. Add bamboo shades and a few well chosen accessories and you have a serene and very sophisticated room. Many parents are opting for the vintage style in the nursery. These fabrics remind them of simpler times and their own childhood. Soft, muted cotton print fabrics paired with vintage furniture will create a time tested and inviting atmosphere for all. Forget baby blue and pink for your color scheme! Citrus colors are hot this year. Consider turquoise paired with orange for a boy or girl. Use these color combinations on walls, furniture and fabrics to create a unique look.
Don’t hesitate to mix and match fabric patterns and textures to create your own special look. A baby might not be able to see colors and patterns as well at first, but a baby’s sense of touch is up to adult levels from birth. Babies enjoy a variety of textures such as silk and velvet or chenille. Use these throughout the nursery for their tactile and visual appeal.
Steer clear of elaborate murals with nursery rhyme or storybook characters. These are too quickly outgrown by a child. Some murals however can grow with your child and can be a good investment as well as look great with today’s styles. An outdoor scene with a countryside and blue skies, grass and trees can easily work with changing themes. Such a mural can take a girl through such themes as princess and castles, horses, butterflies, floral, cottage garden, etc. just by changing a few accessories. And a boy can transition through themes such as farm animals, transportation, knights and castles, fishing, camping, etc. simply by changing wall hangings, fabrics and accessories. A great alternative to expensive murals is a large scale wall hanging. Sherri Blum Designs offers 2x3 foot reproduction wall art that make a great substitute for a permanent mural, can be personalized and even taken with you to a new home or saved for future generations to enjoy!
Don’t neglect the ceiling. A baby spends most of his or her time on his back looking at the ceiling. Make it colorful and interesting. A more realistic looking sky mural will last many years and will be calming for a child. The sky scene can reflect night or day or can fade from one into the other across the ceiling. At the very least paint the ceiling some color other than white. Your child will thank you eventually!
Lighting should be taken seriously. Consider a whimsical chandelier rather than a flush mount light for ambience. More lighting companies are catering to children’s design and are creating hot air balloon shaped lights or chandeliers with whimsical colors and characters and fabric colored shades to coordinate with bedding and window treatments. When placed on a dimmer switch this fun light can be very useful for checking on a sleeping baby. A small table with a painted table lamp and hand painted shade can be placed next to the rocking chair for reading and later used as a nightstand lamp for an older child. And accent lighting can be directed toward a favorite picture on the wall or light up a precious collection. Rope lighting can be tucked into crown mouldings or a tray ceiling for an unexpected delight.
Avoid clutter. Babies and adults alike are happiest with limited amounts of stimulation for sleeping so make storage a priority. Maximize closet space by using it in unexpected ways. A baby doesn’t need the hanging space, so purchase a good closet system with hanging bins. Keep dressers or toy bins inside a closet. Consider removing heavy closet doors and hanging fabric panels instead to allow your toddler to easily access toys or books inside. Paint the interior of your closet in a bold accent color to give it more attention. As your child ages, a closet can be transformed from storage to reading nook or puppet theatre to a computer or homework work station simply by removing doors and altering the space within.
Window treatments should be functional and beautiful. A great way to accomplish both is to use a roman shade or a balloon shade. The roman shade made in a fabric that coordinates with your bedding, when lined properly blocks sunlight while extended and is an attractive decorative treatment when lifted. With any window treatment, avoid looped cords that can become tangled around a toddler. A fun and whimsical window treatment option is to use a curved rod and create an awning type look with your window treatment. Or custom a crown shaped wooden valance painted in antique silver or gold leaf to top off a pair of luxurious curtain panels that puddle on the floor.
Accessories will make or break the overall design so put some effort into it. These are the most versatile and often least expensive element of the room’s design. Choose artwork that personally touches you. It doesn’t need to be childish, just interesting and well placed. Babies love contrast. Make it colorful and bright. Why not have a Van Gogh or Monet in your nursery? Babies love to look at faces so consider framing an enlarged black and white photo of mom and dad or siblings. To make these even more interesting, use some heirloom or vintage fabrics from your own childhood as matting for these photos. Or take illustrations from favorite childhood stories and frame them for a vintage look. Use your childhood train or doll collection as a display on shelving. This can be later built upon by your own child or replaced as time goes on with your child’s own collection of choice. Monograms are very hip today. A monogram can be painted on the wall rather than a mural (the child’s initials won’t be changing any time soon!) or on the headboard of a crib. A toss pillow with an embroidered initial placed on the rocking chair would certainly be a hit. And don’t forget an area rug. A well chosen and well placed kids' rug makes an inviting spot for story time or playtime and helps to bring some color to the otherwise plain floor space.
Most importantly, have fun. Bring out your inner child and reflect memories of your own childhood or decorate in a style that appeals to you today. Parents spend nearly as much time in the nursery as their babies and should feel good about this room. By dedicating the time and energy into decorating a unique and stylish nursery for you and your child, you are showing your new baby and others that you believe they are important and you want a warm and comfortable, happy environment for you to share with your precious little one.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Since beginning my venture into the world of children's design back in 2000, I've had dozens of people outside of my immediate service area (Baltimore, MD) ask me for decorating advice. I try my best to help them, despite the distance between us.
By creating this blog, I hope to be better able to assist people everywhere who wish to create the perfect environment for their child. After all, our children deserve to have an enchanting, safe, warm and whimsical environment that reflects their individual dreams and personalities.
So let's start with sharing some of your favorite ideas for decorating children's spaces and feel free to write in with questions you might have for me about your decorating dilemmas. I'll do my best to assist you, but please be patient as I learn the ropes of this blogging thing!
Sherri Blum, CID