Monday, September 29, 2008

Instant Murals Licenses Sherri Blum Designs!

We have some exciting news to share with you...Instant Murals has licensed several designs from Sherri Blum Designs to create vibrant and beautifully detailed "peel and stick" artwork for children's rooms!
At the 2007 ABC Kids Expo, I was approached by Jeff and Kirsten Dalton, owners of Instant Murals Designs. They enthusiastically explained their great products to me which included "rub-on" and "peel and stick" artwork and told me that they wanted me to design some products specifically for them. Since they live only about 1 hour from my home, we were able to meet in person a few times throughout the course of the past year and plan the first of our product designs. They were completed just in time to be introduced at the 2008 ABC Kids Expo!
These products are repositionable vinyl and can be used on their own as wall art, arranged as a border, used to decorate lampshades, headboards, name it! These would also make great accessory packs to coordinate with my collection of artwork, clocks and rugs.

You can see our current line of products by visiting: Sherri Blum Instant Murals.
We'll be continuing to grow this collection with some exciting new products and themes over the course of the next few months. I'm very excited about this new venture and can't wait to share the next series of designs with you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mama Mia!

Well, I'm back from a whirlwind experience at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas. What a week! I'm going to try to fill you in on all the highlights, but it will need to be broken down into a few different posts. was that kind of week!

We arrived safely in Vegas on Saturday morning and immediately went to the Convention Center to begin set up. It took us 11 hours to assemble our booth walls and hang all of the wall art, clocks, bedding and rugs that we brought with us. In the event that you've never participated in this show, you need to know that the powers-that-be do not turn on the air conditioning in the Convention Center during set up hours. They save that for the actual show hours. Therefore we were doing some hard labor in 103 degree heat...and did I mention it took 11 hours?!!! Fortunately, we were sharing a large "peninsula" booth with some other great ladies who kept us laughing and happy through the process.

Meet the ladies of Mama Mia Showroom!

And what a fantastic, dynamic group of ladies they are! Last year a few of these great women decided to open a new showroom in Atlanta. In those few short months they've created a great stop for buyers and have created quite a buzz with the great products they offer as well as the infamous "Mamatinis" they provide during the shows! I joined this showroom in January right around the time we all decided that we should consider exhibiting at the ABC Kids Expo as a group. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about sharing a space with 6 other strong-minded women for 5 long days. I had only corresponded by phone or email and was hoping that everyone would get along well throughout the show. Well my worries were soon put to rest. These women are smart, supportive, kind, funny and just all around wonderful. I'm honored to know such a great group of women entrepreneurs. When we weren't fighting off the buyers (ha! ha!) we were sharing ideas and experiences, brainstorming the next great product ideas for each other, and helping each other to grow in any way we could. By the time the show ended, I was happy to be heading home to see my children, but at the same time a bit sad that I'd be leaving my new friends. While I'd love to fill you in on all of the wonderful qualities of each of these individual women, I don't have all day! So I'm going to list them here and hope that you'll visit their individual sites to learn a bit about them yourself.

Suzanne Longacre: Suzibella

Casey Baca: Four Peas

Diane Sam: Moboleez

Heather Nolte: Glamajama

Isabelle McPartlin: Iszi Studios

Shelly Meintzer: Lil Ladybugs

Wendy Armbruster Bell: Pump Ease (Diane's friend and honorary "Mama" for the week!)

Pat Martinek: Martinek Bebe (Pat is part of Mama Mia and exhibited behind us. Great lady and breathtaking products!)

So thank you, ladies (and all of your supportive husbands and boyfriends) for a wonderful week in Vegas. It was so much better for me this year because of the great support system you all provided. Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta soon!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

ABC Kids Expo...Vegas, Here We Come!

The countdown has begun. Only 8 days left before we're headed to Las Vegas for the largest tradeshow for anyone involved in the children's industry, the ABC Kids Expo. It's a great way for children's vendors and manufacturers to meet with the independent retailers, mass merchants, online retailers and interior designers as well.

I attended this show last year as a "new exhibitor" and it was quite an eye-opening experience! I have been in business for quite a while, but had never wanted to tackle the task of preparing for such an event, not to mention the huge budget that has to be set aside for 8 days in Vegas. I learned so much through that first time experience that I'm taking with me this year. My booth will be bigger and better and I now know what to bring and what not to bring. I'm excited about the opportunities that could come about. Even being a first timer last year, I was still able too catch the eye of the Sears who knows which buyers I might meet this year!

I have to admit, though...I'm really concerned about the effect our current economy will have on the tradeshow. While the list of registered buyers is up from last year by over 400 attendees, I'm not sure they're all in the position to make a lot of purchases. Several of my current retailers have told me they won't be attending. But I'm trying to think positively and hope that those who have spent the money to attend, will be ready and willing to spend money on new merchandise for their stores.

I'm also looking forward to seeing some of my friends in the industry. There are so many great people I met last year that I'll enjoy catching up with this year. Another highlight is meeting retailers who, up until now, have only been a voice on the other end of the phone line or an email correspondence here and there. It's great to finally have a face to go along with the name and voice!

Once the show is over, or one day thereafter, I plan on telling you about all of the crazy, behind the scenes planning that goes on for such an event. There are so many rules and regulations that have to be paid close attention to (fire codes dealing with all of your display items, for example, has been quite an issue!). Preparation for a trade show can be a huge headache, to say the least and has sent me into a tail spin on numerous occassions. Let's hope all of the planning pays off! I'll keep you posted and in the meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed that my booth walls pass the inspection by the fire marshall...we jumped through quite a few hoops to find that flame resistent paint! (Not as easy as you'd think!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is "modern" nursery design here to stay?

I've been painting wall art for children for quite a long time. Creating murals and canvases of traditional themes have always been easy for me, and fortunately they have always been in style. If a client tells me they want a princess theme in their girl's room, I can whip up several ideas with little thought or effort. Cowboy theme or pirates for a boy's room, piece of cake!

However, there is a strong modern design trend in the home decor market that started sneaking into nursery design just a couple of years ago. Recently, however, this modern design trend has taken center stage and is all the rage in nursery design.

How does a very traditionally minded artist adapt? I've been doodling and painting a lot more than usual recently, just trying to come up with a twist on modern nursery art that hasn't already been done. I've created a few modern nursery canvases, but have certainly not taken the nursery design world by storm with them!

If you haven't noticed, there is already a lot of modern children's art on the market. Much of it, however is done with a computer graphics program where no artist's brush is needed. I don't think I'll be going back to school for a computer graphics degree anytime soon, so I'll be sticking with my paint brushes, thank you! However those perfectly straight, clean lines produced on a computer are hard to compete with when you're painting by hand!

Do I need to adapt, or is this just a passing trend? I once thought that Shabby Chic was just a passing design trend that was only going to be around for a few years, but after more than a decade, it's still holding strong.

What are your thoughts on the modern nursery trend? Should I really be that concerned and focused on trying to create a modern line of children's wall art? Can I compete with these computer graphics artists who have some very cool modern art already in the market? Or should I just stick with what I know best and have faith that there will always be a market for my traditional designs?

I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this topic. And if you do believe it's a trend that is here for the duration, PLEASE share some of your inspiring ideas with me! If you make a suggestion that is released in our next collection, you'll receive a free signed canvas!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Playroom for Boys and Girls of Various Ages

I'm very excited to have my blog's first "design dilemma" to post about! Hailey recently wrote the following comment:

"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 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 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

Don't be shy!

Okay friends....I know you're visiting regularly, (thank you!) yet you are all too shy to leave comments. In fact, I have a visitor in Arlington Heights, Illinois and some in other places who visit almost daily, and yet no introduction or hello. Don't be shy, folks...I'm easy to talk with! I would LOVE some feedback or at least to begin some rapport. I am not the type who likes to hear herself talk. It's getting lonely on this blog...let's hear from some of you!

Please think about leaving a comment sometime. Let me know what you like, don't like or what you'd like to see for my next children's wall art design. Make suggestions for other topics you'd like information about. My love and background is interior design...heck I've got two interior design companies! Pick my brain about your next design dilemma...anything at all. Leave some tips of your own...I know each of you has your own creative talents to share.

I'd love to hear from you and to make some new friends out there in cyberspace. Some of my best friends are other artists, retailers and designers whom I have met through this wonderful internet....and there is always room for another friend!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fall 2008 New Releases!

It's here...the Fall 2008 collection of Sherri Blum Designs wall art for kids! With the growing popularity of modern nursery design and modern room decor for children, we've had increasing requests for modern nursery wall art , of course. So we've created several modern canvas designs as well as some traditional designs for those who prefer to decorate their children's rooms in a more tried and true fashion.

We've also had requests for some edgier wall art for kids rooms, and so we've created some "rock star" canvases to satisfy that crowd.

And to round out the collection, we've teamed up with Kelly Kouture who creates exquisite crib bedding for the most posh nurseries. Kelly asked us to create wall art to coordinate with her newest collections: Animal Cookies, Cotton Candy and Luciano.

You can check it all out by clicking here:

Our retailers will have these new items on their sites soon, so be sure to visit them for purchasing.

Enjoy your's flying by quickly here!


Saturday, June 28, 2008


Just wanted to let you know that we're cleaning out the old to make room for the new! Several of our 3'x2' children's wall hanging canvases and baby nursery rugs are drastically reduced. Get your favorites now before they're gone FOREVER!

You can visit our retailers on this page:
to take advantage of this great sale!

3'x2' child wall hanging canvases were $160, now are only $99!

Children's rugs that were $180 are now only $99!
Get them while they last!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Decorate With Vacation Souvenirs

Summer is in full swing in the Blum 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

Sherri Blum's Products in People Magazine!

I've been bursting at the seams just waiting to tell you all about my exciting news!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by celebrity, Jodie Sweetin (you'll remember her as Stephanie Tanner on the hit TV show, Full House) and her husband, Cody Herpin.

People Magazine had contacted them and wanted to do a photo shoot of their new baby, Zoie's nursery. The problem was, the nursery "needed something" according to this great young couple. They had seen my nursery products and my interior design services and solicited my assistance in finishing the room. We had less than two weeks before the shoot, but we pulled it off!

The issue hits the newsstands this Friday and will feature two of my nursery wall art designs, as well as one of my rugs. I also contacted my good friend, Caren, owner of Bebe Chic who quickly embroidered and created some great toss pillows which we placed on the glider/rocker in the nursery. Jodie and Cody loved the products and are thrilled with the now complete nursery. They've even said that they'll be sure to call me to design their next baby's nursery from start to finish! It couldn't get better than that!

I don't want to spoil the fun and post any pics check back after Friday to see which products they have.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

New Look for the Site!

I wanted to share some exciting news...I've been asked by Sears to be a spokesperson for a portion of a new marketing campaign. They sent a press release to major magazine editors about nursery design over the decades and how Sears has kept up with the trends. I will be the designer that the editors contact with any questions about nursery design trends and Sears' contributions.

So...I figured that if all of these wonderful magazine editors were going to be checking out my Jack and Jill Interiors website, that I'd better clean it up a bit!

I found (actually my friend, Joni found her...thanks, Joni!) this wonderful gal named Carrie who created a beautiful header for my website. She did a great job and captured the look I wanted.

So check out Carrie's work here: and contact her for your own logo or header needs. She was great to work with...and quick!

See the all new Jack and Jill Interiors and share your thoughts!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sherri Blum Bedding!

This week, a long time dream of mine has come true. As a children's room interior designer, I love creating completely new bedding designs and decor for my clients. My heart races when I pull together fabric swatches to select custom baby bedding and when I put my paintbrush to the canvas to create the room's finishing touches. Creating something entirely unique is what I love most about my chosen career.

I've always wanted to be able to offer an entire nursery room package of my own design, through my brand, Sherri Blum Designs. Crib bedding of high quality and unique design, but at a moderate price level. I can finally say that my dream is coming true and I am so very excited and happy to share it with you!

The first in my series of baby crib bedding designs is "Bird's Nest Bedding". It includes the popular pink and brown nursery colors of today and incorporates my own bird's nest painting design as an embroidered panel in the crib bumpers, quilt and toss pillow. The set was created to coordinate with several of my best selling nursery wall art designs and is priced to sell at only $210 retail for the 4 piece crib set. A valance and toss pillow are available separately and retail at $24 each.

Take a look at the image here and visit my list of favorite retailers on my website to purchase. We're expecting our first shipment into the warehouse by June 15. Many of my retailers are so excited about this sweet and unique crib bedding that they are taking preorders, so visit them to reserve your set today. From the looks of things, the first batch will be selling quickly so don't wait for the next shipment.

Stay tuned for the next design which will likely be released in about 2 months.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tips for Decorating a Unique Nursery

A new baby is on its way and everyone whose life might be touched by this new little person is getting excited and preparing in his or her own way for the baby’s arrival. But none, of course, has as much preparation ahead of them as the expectant parents. Friends and family are asking what names you have chosen, if you desire a boy or girl, and what kind of baby nursery you have designed. Creating a warm and safe environment is one of the greatest joys and responsibilities a parent-to-be will take on in preparation for their new baby. The pressure is on…you want to show your baby and your other loved ones just how much you love this baby, how excited you are, and how well you have prepared for his or her arrival.
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

Let's decorate!

Hello friends!
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