Category: Art + Decor

Kids say the darndest things…and then you frame them.

When I first got wind of the Kickstarter for Peanut Gallery Comics, how could I not smile? The idea is so simple and smart — commissioning one of four illustrators to create an original comic strip or frame of some funny, quirky, wonderful thing your kid said that you just have to preserve forever. You know, somewhere besides Facebook. Related: 20 incredible, modern custom illustrated family portraits that make the most special gift As a testament to dad Matt Tepper’s clever idea, after just a couple of days they’ve already hit their reasonable funding goal. However there’s still time for you to get...

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One of David Bowie’s greatest hits, reissued

There’s no question that David Bowie had a huge impact on the world of music, which is partly why we can’t stop talking about him. So today we are so happy to discover that the iconic 1987 David Bowie READ poster has been reissued by the American Library Association. As part of an entire series of ALA celebrity posters started in the 80’s, David Bowie, an avid reader, was one of the first celebrities to agree to pose for the campaign. He looks pretty spry for 40 in his letterman jacket, doesn’t he? A far cry from his look in Labryinth. At 22″ x 34″,...

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20 incredible, modern custom illustrated family portraits that make the most special gift ever.

Last year, our post on amazing illustrators making modern custom family portraits was such a hit, we took another look this year. And wow, so many options! From sweet to stylized, these are the kinds of personalized holiday gifts that make a huge impact, and often for far less money than you’d expect. The one caveat: you want to get a jump on ordering now if you’re interested, which is why we’ve done our best to specify order deadlines for Christmas — but be sure to contact the artists directly just to be extra extra extra sure that they can make your...

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The perfect modern keepsake baby gift for photo-happy new parents. Hi, that’s all of us, right?

In this photo-obsessed world we’re living in, we’ve seen all kinds of ways to document and share a baby’s first year in pictures — some of which are sweet, some of which are wow, you really had time to do all that? Striking the perfect balance in the middle: The new My First Year baby photo frame from our friend, mom, and talented artist Kerri Lee-Sensiba, of Tree by Kerri Lee. Related: One-stop shopping for the cutest baby gifts from small designers. I think the lovely, fresh handpainted wooden designs (choose from a cute elephant or a more hipster camera...

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Custom Star Wars family portraits: The ultimate holiday gift from a galaxy far, far away. Or you know, Etsy.

Since Star Wars is back this year in full force (ha, get it?) we bet a whole lot of you will be thrilled to see your families done up as your favorite characters in these custom Star Wars family portraits. (Update: The shop is sadly no longer operating. For a similar option, be sure to check out the custom Star Wars family portrait from Henry James Paper Goods, another fave Etsy shop!) Illustrator and designer Thomas Brush of the Modern Brush has a really charming, modern style that I’d say makes the result more playful and fun than intensely realistic. In other...

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The Originals: KnotNot knot pillows by Umemi

I’ve seen all these DIY tutorials around the web lately for handmade knot pillows and if you have as well, these images may look familiar. Only after a whole lot of searching and secret sourcing, turns out the original photos are not from loads of brilliant crafters who all remarkably had the exact same idea (and photography styling), but from a wonderful little shop called Umemi from Icelandic product designer Ragnheidur Osp Sigurdardottir. Thus begins a new series we’re launching called The Originals, in which we attempt to track down the original makers who have invented products so wonderful, they quickly become copied and passed off...

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No Sleep Til Brooklyn: The earworm of parents everywhere

If you had told me, way back when, that one of my favorite tracks off Licensed to Ill would end up being the anthem of new parenthood — and not of rockin’ this party eight days a week — I’d never have believed you. And yet there I was years later, cradling a non-sleeping newborn oh, about a zillion times, with the lyrics to No Sleep to Til Brooklyn running through my head on a loop. Whether you’re in the 718 like me or just a Beastie Boys fan, I think you’ll smile at the No Sleep Til Brooklyn art print at Brooklyn Makers.  Created...

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Where to find the cutest French baby gifts and room decor without the $2000 plane ticket.

I always love finding and sharing European brands for kids that we don’t see so regularly around our parts, but mostly, they’re actually in Europe. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you know, shipping. Well it turns out a French expat maman in LA was missing the beautiful things from her homeland too, and brought them here in one lovely little kids’ boutique called Tiny Frenchy. Warning: clicking over may tax your credit cards. The baby accessories, gear, and kids’ room decor only come from independent French designers, many of whom are moms themselves. In other words, think Cool French Mom...

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Adorable handmade baby crib mobiles let your baby fall asleep dreaming of Cinderella. Or ninjas.

I was never a musical crib mobile kind of parent. And now that there are so many options for piping in lovely music into a child’s room — as in, lovelier music than that tinny awfulness in most crib mobiles — I love the idea of just a simple, pretty crib mobile that you can hang above a crib or changing table to dazzle a baby and lull her to sleep the old fashioned way. I just discovered an Etsy artist called Wonderfeltland who is doing the cutest things with handmade felt baby mobiles. Check out the selection from...

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Alphabet posters for the non-couch potato generation

If you’re the type who hears news about kids needing to get outdoors more and wonder just who the heck they’re talking about, have we got an awesome pick for you. My Outdoor Alphabet is a series of beautifully designed posters, baby onesies and tees that bring to life the language of cyclists, backpackers, alpinists, skiers, and paddlers of all kinds. For example, the cyclist’s alphabet takes you from aero bars to Team Z, with J for jersey, K for kickstand, and M for Musette. There’s a small description at the bottom to fill you in on each one in...

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The best of the 2015 Martha Stewart American Made Finalists: An admittedly abbreviated list.

Once again, Martha Stewart has announced her American Made competition finalists and I always love supporting them. It’s such a great platform for smaller, indie makers to get more exposure, especially those producing wonderful products right here in the U.S. There are pages of 2015 finalists you guys!  If you need a little help knowing where to start, here just a few (very few) of the dozens and dozens finalists who stood out to me in the categories of crafts, design, food and style. I’m sure I missed plenty more that I adore. In fact, let me know in comments if you have a favorite...

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Pillows that make you want to rock. Or mosh. Or possibly moonwalk.

Sometimes you just see some random thing that you didn’t know you were looking for at all and say okay, now I want that. But in the case of the fun music genre pillow covers from Quirk & Rescue, I also get to okay, I want to carry those in our Indie Shop. So now you can want them too. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our site. I’m totally smitten with these colorful pillows that proclaim your love for pop, funk, rock, disco or punk, or possibly...

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9 beautifully designed inspirational quote art prints for when you need a pep talk. From yourself.

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I know inspiration quote art prints aren’t everybody’s jam. Kristen, for example, prefers funny inspirational quotes for her walls. Her picks are hysterical, but I admit that when I’m in the middle of a total fail day, I often need more than just a laugh. I need words that motivate, inspire, or encourage me to get through whatever’s getting me down. What can I say, sometimes just seeing a quote that strikes the right chord can have an impact on me. Luckily, motivational posters have come a long way since the days of...

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7 cool playroom ideas for kids that let you reclaim your living room

I’ve definitely been looking for cool playroom ideas lately for my own son. Because between the art supplies in the kitchen, the Play-Doh in the dining room, and the pretend workbench and kitchen in the basement, my preschooler is quickly laying claim to our entire new house. I know you can’t really contain a kid to just one room, but I feel like what he really needs is a dedicated playroom or playspace where most of his toys can live, because, let’s be honest, I want my living room back. And my dining room table. And my kitchen floor. To get the design...

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Havenly: An affordable online home design service perfect for procastinators, busy people, and stressed-out new parents

Hooray! You have a baby on the way and pretty soon your nesting instinct is going to kick into hyperdrive. If you’re like me, you excitedly clear out the spare room eager to start decorating for the new bundle and then…you hit a wall. Between lack of time and feeling stressed out by all the options out there (not to mention nightmares about Pinterest fails), I get it. Which is why I’m so happy to share my new online interior design service find, Havenly. Just for the rest of you who may be in redecorating mode. Havenly is all about helping busy — or simply overwhelmed — people decorate...

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Meet your new house guests: Martha Stewart, Jon Waters, and Iris Apfel.

What’s making me happy right now? Totally randomly, I’d say really good tart lemonade, extra daylight while we still have it, an available outdoor table at my favorite local Italian place, the 80’s station on Sirius/XM, the latest episode of SPAWNED, and now, The Legendary Tastemakers series of plush pillows from designer Brian Nesse. You have to check out these adorable, and pretty accurate depictions of some of your favorite pop culture icons, from Minnesota’s Loch Ness MPLS on Etsy. There’s definitely the perfect one for anyone ultra cool on any gift list you may have right now: Jon Waters for a film buff. Jackie O, Iris Apfel, Karl Lagerfeld or...

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The ABCs of Game of Thrones: A is for Arya

Hi, my name is Liz and I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones. So I’m cheering that the show has earned 24 well-deserved Emmy nominations — though oddly, no nods for comedy after that really bizarre Sandsnake fight scene in Dorne. In any case, while our children may be too young to watch the show (I told mine that 30 was an appropriate age), they’re not too young to know that W is for Winterfell. Or White Walker. Or, WHAT THE $&*!-ING  $&^%! which is pretty much what I screamed as the closing credits rolled after every episode this past season. Okay, maybe kids are a little young for that...

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In a black in white state of mind.

For some summer means pastels or bright sunny yellows and neon pinks. And it does for us too. Sometimes. But right now we’ve been drawn to lots of beautiful black and white home decor from some amazing indie makers and we wanted to share you some of the newest additions to the Cool Mom Picks Indie Shop. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our...

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A night light that says it all

The second I saw this Love You night light on Etsy, I thought it was the most perfect thing for about a zillion parents. For every child who wakes up in the middle of the night, trying to will themselves back to sleep, could anything be more comforting than both the soft glow of a night light, plus a little reminder that they are loved? Even if we’re not right there in bed with them? Even if we don’t want them to come into our room every hour on the hour and cuddle right up to us which is cute...

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Chairish: Shop the country’s coolest vintage shops, all from your couch

I love going to my local flea market or browsing the rows of antique stores downtown to score some cool vintage finds for my house. There’s just something special about furniture that has history. Or, just having furniture that doesn’t come in a flat-packed box, to be honest. But honestly, how often do any of us get to spend our weekends at swap meets after having kids? Well now you can find very cool vintage finds at Chairish, an online marketplace where you can shop all kinds of vintage furniture, decor, and even jewelry and accessories from individual sellers and boutiques across the country. It’s been around...

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Ever wished you could build a life-sized LEGO world? Meet EverBlock.

If you have a kid (or kid at heart) who’s wild for LEGO, you have to check out EverBlock. As in, right now. Because if you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to be a Minifig in one of those cool creations, this is pretty much your chance. EveryBlock offers a series of modular, giant bricks that you can turn into all kinds of cool furniture. Think coffee table bases, room dividers, kids’ desks, you name it. The site is packed with ideas, some more sophisticated than you might think.     Essentially you’ve got a full sized...

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Wonderful custom artwork for babies, kids, and kids at heart.

I still think that a great piece of personalized art can be one of the best baby shower gifts, provided you know the parents’ taste. And uh, the kid’s name. Of course. But I think this new discovery should fit the bill for lots of families and lots of styles. The new Jr. Alexander collection from Alexander & Co adds even more fantastic vintage advertising inspired custom wall art for kids and it’s hard to pick a favorite. Artist Alexander Doll has created options that are lovely for babies and young kids, and some that are even cool for older kids — or hey, dads....

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Minecraft skin, actual size! (But not actual skin. That would be weird.)

If you read Cool Mom Tech, you may be aware of my daughters’ obsession with Minecraft. We even created Minecraft games we can play when the screens are off. So I can only imagine how thrilled they’d be to decorate their room with the custom Minecraft skin wall art from Etsy’s Lemur apps. Related: The best Minecraft birthday party ideas for kids   Of course kids love to own anything that looks like them, but in this 8-bit world, it’s about anything that looks like the custom skin of their character that they’ve so carefully chosen. This company has gone so far...

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The classic world map gets an arty twist

If you have a thing for maps and globes and geography in general, then you might love this as much as I do: a paintsplatter world map spotted at The Fancy. It would be so beautiful over a desk or in a kitchen, but I imagine my kids would love it in their room as well. It’s actually a repositionable sticker in three different sizes, starting at just $19 for a 15″ x 10″.  Not only are the colors vibrant and inviting, but there’s something about seeing the land masses of this planet depicted without borders that represents the interconnectivity of our world beautifully....

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From Apricity to Zephyr: Posters that teach vocabulary, one SAT word at a time

I admit I was pretty proud of my fourth-grader when she helped me finish the New York Time’s Monday crossword, but then she was employing words like llama and Naples. Then I saw British designer Mark Watson’s graphic dictionary poster series that he created for his own nine-year old and I thought, whoa. Maybe we could be working towards the Saturday puzzle after all? Related: 13 Words to add to your child’s bookshelf thanks to Lemony Snicket According to Slate, the graphic artist behind Modern Giant first created a minimalist depiction of the word contrarian after, well, his daughter was acting like one one. The...

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6 Tooth fairy gifts for kids getting ready to lose teeth faster than that little winged collector can keep up.

You know that time your kid turns 6 (or 5 or 7) and suddenly they start losing a whole slew of teeth in what feels like five minutes? That’s what’s going on in my house right now, as my daughter yanks out tooth after tooth. Seriously, this kid is proactive in the tooth removal department. So it’s only logical that I’ve been having some fun looking online for cool tooth fairy gifts for kids losing teeth. Not that she’ll get one for every tooth; I think the tooth fairy’s bounty for incisors and bicuspids cover that. But I love the delightful...

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For those planning some hipster 19th century throwback industrial chic decor touches for the kid’s room

Sometimes we just see one cool little bit of kid’s room or nursery decor that’s so clever, we can’t help but share. In this case, it’s the hand-crocheted vintage lightbulbs by Australia’s La Dee Dah Kids. I’m partial to the yellow one myself, which adds that kind of Williamsburg hipster, Edison lightbulb-peppered industrial design style to a child’s room. And you know, that’s a style you might not have considered when you were first picking out cribs.   Just choose from white or the yellow I really love, tether it to a hook from the wall you’re good to go. It’s even washable, should there be...

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Tooth fairy pillows that double as awesome kids’ room decor

A giraffe grazing near a hut. A whale swimming past an iceberg. At first glance, these nature-inspired designs just look like fun decorative pillows for a kid’s bedroom. And if that’s all these Mighty Twenty pillows were, I’d still want one for my children’s rooms. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our site. But look closer and you’ll see a tiny tooth pocket on front of each pillow that’s in some way connected with the animal. Flip it over and you’ll find a larger pocket in a contrasting...

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Cool city map posters that beat hanging atlas pages on the wall

One of the biggest (and best) trends we’ve noticed over the last few years are the fun homages to your home state or favorite city. So these modern city map posters by Sarah Lund that we’re now carrying in our own Cool Mom Picks Indie Shop are a perfectly subtle way to go graphic without overwhelming your walls. Update: Regretfully, the great.ly shop is no longer in operation. We hope you’ll find other cool stuff you love throughout our site. With a springtime color palate–don’t you love these tomato reds and melon-y oranges and sage greens?–I could see them working anywhere in a house, from your kitchen to...

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She had me at Hashbrown: No Filter

Kimmy Schmidt fans (Me! Me!) will rejoice at the discovery of embroidery hoop art featuring my own favorite quote of 2015 thus far: Hashbrown: No Filter. Hey, can’t beat an Instagram inside joke making a hot new Netflix series. Oh, and if you haven’t seen The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? You need to do that. Right after you check out this Etsy shop. Thread Honey features the kind of embroidery hoop art that go right up to the line of irreverence — and perhaps crosses it for some of you. As for me, I’m giggling at one more than the next. But it’s not...

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