Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Celebrity Nursery Design and a Baby Boutique is Born...What a Year!

As we look back upon 2011, I can't help but think about all of the exciting new things that have happened within my companies and for me personally.

We started the year with the excitement of filming our nursery design process for Lisa and Buddy Valastro of the hugely popular reality show, The Cake Boss. Not only did I have the pleasure of designing a celebrity nursery, but they loved their baby's nursery so much that they hired me to design kids' rooms for their other three children as well. It was truly a highlight of my career to enjoy working with this delightful client as well as to have an inside peek at the filming and production of a reality TV show.
Once we were finished with designing and filming for The Cake Boss, we moved on to doing some philanthropic design work for Make a Wish Foundation. We pulled together various manufacturers and designers from the children's decor industry and created a magical fairyland playroom for a sweet little girl with brain cancer. It was a humbling, rewarding and heartbreaking experience. I will never forget Avery and her family and I pray daily for a miracle for them.

Just before the 4th of July, my dear friend and fellow nursery designer, Mary Bauer of Bratt Decor and I decided to give back to our country's brave military men and women by offering a $10,000 Military Family Dream Nursery Give Away. We had some great entries and selected Carlos and Marlene Altamirano as our very deserving winners. We're still awaiting final photos back from the photographer, but we promise this beautiful nursery is worth the wait!

About mid summer I finally bit the bullet and began designing my online baby boutique, Jack and Jill Boutique. It's something that I should have done years ago, but just didn't seem to ever find the right time or have the resources to begin. I'm thrilled with how the baby boutique has grown and have some great plans for its growth and success in the coming years. I have worked with so many great kids' product designers through my interior design firm, Jack and Jill Interiors for the past twelve years, that it only made sense to begin this online kids' store to enhance my design services and round out my offerings to my clients and customers.

This summer, I began talking with friend and colleague, Aaron Christensen of Embellishments about a new business venture. It's funny how much our careers have paralleled over the years. We are both nursery and kids' room designers and we each have our own line of children's wall art. Our respect for one another in this industry led to a great friendship and we finally decided that it would be more fun to work together with another like-minded creative person than to always be going it alone. We've created a new company, The Princess and The Prop Maker. Through this new entity, we will design nurseries and kids' rooms together and create some great new products along the way. We recognize that we each have a unique set of strengths to contribute to this new venture and look forward to pulling them together to design magical kids' rooms and products that are sure to please. Be sure to follow our blog and our Facebook page where we'll share our adventures and provide tips on design and introduce you to the latest and greatest baby and kids' products on the market today.

And finally, I've been contracted by a television producer who has created and is pitching a few different reality and design shows for which I would be the host and designer. I've been contacted by five or six production companies over the past few years, but this company is really working day and night to get us a show. As much as I'd love to design kids' rooms and baby nurseries every day for television, I don't count my chickens before they hatch. I've been down this road before and realize that in order for a show to really take off, all the stars must be in perfect alignment. If I get a show, will be fun and I promise to entertain and provide great design. If I don't get a show- still great...because I love my life and am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up each day to a loving family and to have a career that I absolutely love and feel passionate about each and every day.
So...what's in store for us in 2012? I have no idea! Each day as a nursery designer, artist, boutique owner, wife and mother is a new adventure and full of surprises. All I can say is stay tuned...I promise it will be an exciting year!
Happy New Year to each of you and may you all be blessed with good health, happiness and prosperity in 2012!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Gift Giving

Stumped on what to get someone on your holiday gift list? Why not give him or her a gift certificate from Jack and Jill Interiors? Our gift certificates are available in denominations from $25 on up and come sweetly wrapped with a pretty bow. Jack and Jill Interiors gift certificates can be used towards any of our numerous nursery design packages, for a kid's room makeover or towards the purchase of any of the designer quality items found in our baby and kids boutique, Jack and Jill Boutique! We offer kids decor and baby nursery furniture including art for kids, baby cribs, baby bedding, kids' furniture, kids bedding, children's lighting, kids' rugs, diaper bags, burp cloths, baby blankets, baby bibs and more!
Today through Thursday, December 22, save 10% on gift certificates over $100 by using coupon code "certif10" at check out.
Your gift recipient will love the versatility of choices with a gift certificate from Jack and Jill Interiors!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Jack and Jill Boutique is having a sale! Take 10% off your entire purchase over $300- that includes furniture, bedding, lighting, rugs, name it!  Sale runs today through Monday! Use coupon code "cyber10" at checkout.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Princess and The Prop Maker

It is with great excitement that I announce a brand new collaboration with my unbelievably creative and witty colleague, Aaron Christensen of Embellishments Studio. Aaron is not only a talented kid space designer who creates elaborate and theatrical props and furniture, but his best selling art can be found in hundreds of boutiques and retail giants like Target, Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn.  Through this endeavor, The Princess and The Prop Maker, we will merge talents and varied approaches to design and create an exciting array of children’s spaces and develop new products for the juvenile marketplace.
Individually, we have both carved our niche in the children’s industry, with myself being the classically trained interior decorator who has designed a few celebrity nurseries as well as my own line of children's wall art that has its timeless and endearing qualities making them high performing staples in boutiques nationwide. Aaron, a more unconventional designer and artist, in the juvenile field, has brought his design-build capabilities to the room design arena, creating some of the most fantastic and customized spaces. His line of wall art and products, addressing the more masculine spirit have captured him a spot as one of the industry’s leading artists.
Collectively, we are bringing to life our new personas as “The Princess and The Prop Maker” to harness our diverse strengths and have fun with our differences. We plan on bringing, to our clients and the industry, double the ideas, double the performance and, hopefully, double the entertainment value.
Although we have collaborated on projects remotely, we are seeking our first “together” on-site project and would appreciate your spreading the word. We are looking for projects such as Nurseries, Kid’s Rooms, Teen/Tween Spaces or Tenant improvements for child based businesses such as pediatric offices, salons and boutiques. 
Be sure to visit and follow our blog, The Princess and The Prop Maker and please "LIKE" our Facebook Page

Friday, November 11, 2011

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To....

You know....Grandpa was right. They just don't make 'em like they used to! I won't date myself, but I will tell you that I've been on this earth long enough to know that sometimes the "old reliable" really is the ONLY reliable.
This morning I decided to bake an angel food cake. Now, if you know me, you know that I hate cooking, but I don't mind baking. After all, baking usually involves the comfort foods like breads and desserts...the items that receive all of the oohs and aahs.  Who doesn't love dessert?!  Another fact you will know about me if you've followed my blog for a while, is that I've recently remarried. If you know anything about second marriages, you'll note that when you blend your households, you'll find there are some things that neither of you have and still need, and yet you'll inevitably end up with double of some appliances and utensils. (We still don't have a complete set of matching would laugh at our collection of cups and glasses...but we did end up with two mixers, two coffee pots, two toasters and two refrigerators).
So when I set out to bake my cake this morning, I grabbed the mixer that I deemed the most reliable...Eric's. His is only about 5 years old, shiny silver and white and looks as if it's got a turbo boosted engine within. Mine, on the other hand, is a hand-me-down mixer from my ex-husband's grandmother and is a circa 1950 General Electric. That's right, that dinosaur is 61 years old! It's plug isn't even polarized.
As I started mixing my cake, the new mixer petered out on me three times. So I grabbed the beat up old mixer that had been used by three generations (four if you count my kids who use it now, too) and that baby mixed up my cake batter like nobody's business!
Prior to writing this post, I wanted to be sure I had correctly dated Grandma's mixer and did a quick search online. To my delight, I came across one for sale....and they're asking $40 for it! It seems I'm not the only person who has a deep respect for this appliance! ( Check it out here and scarf it up if you're in need of a good mixer!) For these past few years since my divorce, I've been feeling just a bit resentful - upset that my ex got the grandfather clock, Italian leather sofa and other valuable decorative goodies- while I opted more for the practical things like mixers and lawn mowers. But in hindsight, I'm thinking I might have actually made out pretty well in the deal, after all!
So Grandpa, it seems you were right. They don't make 'em like they used to. Lesson learned? If you're unfortunate enough to have to endure a divorce, make sure to select the oldest, most sorry looking appliances when you're dividing up your goodies. Yes, initially your ex will think his theory that you're crazy is validated- but in the end, you'll have ol' reliable and you'll have the last laugh. You'd better believe I'm sending a link to this little revelation to my ex, today! ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Corduroy Appreciation Day! 11/11/11

There are many sights, sounds and smells that bring back nostalgic feelings from childhood and while the triggers of childhood memories will vary for each of us, there are several that are common across the board- like the sound of Friday Night Football games, the smell of freshly baked cookies, the sight of an old metal swing set or see saw, corn dogs and cotton candy…and for many of us slipping into the softest, comfiest Corduroy pants, will even conjure up some nostalgia as well.
For many generations folks have been enjoying this low maintenance fabric. I remember wearing a red corduroy jumper dress as a child, I dressed both of my sons in corduroy pants all winter long as they were toddlers and young boys, and my youngest son's favorite stuffed animal was his Corduroy Bear from the popular children's book. We still have him sitting on a shelf today! 
Corduroy is one of those fabrics that you can dress up or dress down, depending on whether you pair it with a denim shirt and boots, or a sweater and nice shoes. Its wash and wear maintenance makes it a favorite among most.
Corduroy has found it's way into home design trends over the years as well. It's easy to maintain on chairs, bedding, and pillows.  
Some believe that the word "corduroy" comes from a French origin and is derived from "corde du roi" which would translate as cloth of the king. Others say that it's origin is English. Regardless, people have been enjoying this fabric for centuries and tomorrow, 11/11/11 has been declared Corduroy Appreciation Day. This date wasn't chosen because of any particular affinity for the number, but because when you view the date, it looks like rows of waled corduroy fabric!
I'll share a few favorite corduroy items here with you today. And you'd better believe, I'll be sporting my favorite corduroy pants or jacket tomorrow. Will you?

Girls' Red Corduroy Jumper Dress from Dillards

The Book can be found at Amazon or any local bookstore.

Typical CASUAL boy's corduroy outfit
Typical DRESSIER boy's corduroy outfit
Military inspired corduroy hat...great for men or women!

My favorite Eddie Bauer Corduroy Jacket...yes, I've got it in 3 colors! 

And this girl's bedding has sweet corduroy trim and pillows! 

You didn't think I'd forget the men, did you? Well they can't go wrong with anything from J. Crew

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


If you're pregnant, in your second or third trimester and live in the PA, NJ, NY, CT, MD area, are full of life, outgoing and desiring a high style nursery to go with your high style life, contact us!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pixie Dust Decor Fabrics for Carousel Designs- a Match Made in Heaven

I meet some extremely talented and friendly people in my line of work. Not only am I thrilled to offer their beautiful products to my clients and now through my store, but I thoroughly enjoy getting to know these designers on a more personal level as well. We share our trials and triumphs and are genuinely happy for one another's successes. Yes, this industry is full of good people and I feel blessed to work with such inspirational creatives on a daily basis.
Today I want to introduce you to one of those friends who has supported me over the years, Stacy McCallum. She is the founder and designer of a beautiful line of fabrics, Pixie Dust Decor. I'm so excited for her, as she's recently partnered up with a leader in the baby bedding, industry, Carousel Designs who will now produce bedding featuring her beautiful fabrics. I simply CAN'T WAIT to design a nursery around one of these beautiful sets. Read on for details on how this partnership came to be...

Pixie Dust Décor is a textile and children’s décor design studio dedicated to bringing style minded parents enchanting décor options for their child’s special space.
For the last four years Pixie Dust has enjoyed a tremendous response to its fresh classic textile designs and fun, functional made goods.  Beautiful boutiques and wonderful websites carry Pixie Dust textiles and product  all over the country as well as a handful international destinations.
Building on that momentum, Pixie Dust Decor's founder and designer,  Stacy McCallum decided to expand her textile offerings by reaching out to select manufacturers of fine children's goods allowing Pixie Dust to collaborate on nursery essentials such as bedding and artwork. 

Earlier this spring, a well timed conversation brought her right to the doorstep of Carousel Designs.  One week before Carousel's design team was headed to the international textile markets, Stacy was able to connect her designs with their new bedding offerings.  Today their are five different textile offerings on the Carousel website (  ready to be created into custom baby bedding, twin and cradle bedding as well as some beautifully made accessories manufactured exclusively in the USA.

Stacy feels lucky to have such a fabulous partnership  with Carousel Designs! While other partnerships are in the works, Pixie Dust will continue to create enchanting new designs and limited production gift items that their customers have grown to love.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I have an affinity for traditional decor and I also love repurposing and recycling products when designing nurseries and kids' rooms as well as throughout my own home. By stylishly reusing items that many might see as old fashioned, outdated or passé, I gain a great sense of accomplishment. I believe we should all do our part to be environmentally responsible and repurposing furniture is a great way to do so.
Armoires have served many purposes throughout history. Initially these large cabinets were necessary for clothing storage. Many older homes did not have closets in bedrooms. An armoire was a great way to hang the few articles of clothing the average person possessed in the day.  But as new homes were built, closets were added and armoires became less important. As time went on, we began seeing them used to hold our televisions in the 1980's and 90's. They were a great way to hide away those large, bulky and ugly black boxes when not in use.  But as televisions became thinner, we were able to hang them neatly on our walls, making the armoire obsolete for yet another purpose.
I think armoires are one of the most versatile pieces one can use when decorating a child's room. I really love the look of a nursery armoire and often recommend these beauties to my clients.  A nursery armoire can be used as a changing station for the baby, blanket storage or for hanging delicate little dresses. As your child grows, it can become toy storage,  a computer station, a gaming station or can be used to stack favorite sweaters and sweatshirts. It's a piece of kids' furniture that can serve it's purpose for many years.
I've gathered some great images here for you. Hopefully they'll inspire you to repurpose that old armoire you might have in the basement gathering dust!
Armoire BEFORE 
Armoire AFTER. 
I love chalkboard paint. What a great idea for a kids' room or kitchen! Family messages can be jotted here, sweet nothings written, reminders to clean up your room...the possibilities are endless! (courtesy of
Nursery Armoire I used when designing the Cake Boss Nursery
Why not remove the doors and use your armoire as a shelving unit? Photo courtesy of
Don't you just love the power of PAINT?! Photo courtesy of Apartment Therapy
Computer armoire used by a pre-teen girl.
I know this is's closet doors painted to look like an armoire! How cute is this?! Image courtesy of
Believe it or not, this is only 7"'s for a doll house. What I wouldn't do for a big version of this for my studio! Image courtesy of
Want to see some great armoires for kids? Check out my selection of Newport Cottages Furniture and Bratt Decor Furniture in my Jack and Jill Boutique

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Jack and Jill Boutique!

I know, I know...I've talked about it for years. I've often been told and said that I should open up an online baby boutique to offer the many wonderful products I use in my designer nurseries and kids' rooms to my site visitors and fans of our work. After putting that daunting task off for the past decade, I've finally taken the leap!
I am the type of person who won't do something unless I can do it right and do it big. I didn't want my boutique to be just any ordinary boutique offering ordinary kids' decor and nursery furniture. I wanted my boutique to be different and stand out from the rest.
My Jack and Jill Boutique goes hand-in-hand with my nursery design company, Jack and Jill Interiors. In fact you will see links on every page of Jack and Jill Interiors taking you to "products" for sale. I am often asked where people can find the beautiful products I use in my designs so I'm starting off with loading up products from those tried and true designers and manufacturers. If I wouldn't use the product in my own home or the homes of my clients, you won't find it offered in my boutique. I've hand selected only the best designers in the children's industry to be featured on my site.
What else is unique about our kids' decor store? Well when you buy your furniture or bedding from us, you get the added benefit of free design advice from me. Yes, that's worth fact if you look at my hourly rates, it's worth ALOT! But we want our customers to be completely certain that their investment is a good one. We will help you select your baby furniture, baby bedding, kids' furniture, kids' bedding, kids wall art and accessories and will even select wall colors for you once your bedding is purchased.
We've loaded our first six vendors to the site so far (we have about 30 to go!). We currently feature: Bratt Decor, Newport Cottages, Doodlefish Kids, Olena Boyko and Caden Lane.
Visit our site if you're looking for high quality, affordable kids furniture and bedding and if you purchase furniture by December 1, you can save 5% by using coupon code "furniture5" at checkout!
Be sure to check back often to see what great new products we're loading and PLEASE spread the word to your family and friends!