Category: Art + Decor

Monsters: way better on the wall than under the bed

The coast is clear. We checked under the bed, in the closet, and behind the curtains. The only monsters we found are these utterly adorable ones framed on the wall. And they look friendly. Well, except maybe for the chupacabra. If you have kids who dig monsters or adventures, here’s a cheap and stylish way to decorate their walls (or entice them to write those overdue thank-you notes). This four-pack of Monster Postcards from Quill and Fox on Etsy are only $7 for the set and carry a lot of design punch. You get Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster,...

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Mr. Sharky says lights out: switchplate covers with big personality

Light switches are boring. Mostly. But thanks to our clever friends at Graphic Spaces, we’ve now got these fun switchplate covers in shapes like owls, octopi, and a rocket ship. So it’s a little more fun to turn off the lights for bed. “Mr. Shark says it’s bedtime…or else!” also has a nice ring to it. You know how much we love it when a company we’re keen on surprises us with something new. Right now we’re digging the way Graphic Spaces’ knack for unique designs and heirloom quality wood translates into switchplate covers.  Each switchplate cover is handmade of...

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Great ideas for kids’ rooms from a professional architect for children’s spaces

We were so happy to see the winner of Remodelista’s Best Professional Children’s Space in their Considered Design Awards. Especially because it gives us so many ideas for our own kids’ spaces. Click over to Remodelista and see the wonderful work of Wettling Architects, a NYC firm which created a not-very-city-like beach house on Shelter Island. While I will probably be affording my own fancy beach house…uh, never, and nautical may not be your own kids’ room theme, I still love that there are so many ideas you can apply in your own home to maximize space. •Minimal color...

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Help Ink: fabulous art for fabulous causes. And you get to pick both.

When I found Help Ink I was happy. Tees, prints, stationery and notebooks all designed by artists, all affordable, and all to help one of several great causes.   So many of the prints feature positive quotes and imagery perfect for children’s rooms. And I love that the designs are modern, not cheesy–the artists are really well curated.   The special part is that when you add an item to your cart, you also get to select a charity of your choice, because for each $5 you spend, $1 will go to either The Children’s Hunger Fund, Med Wish,...

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ABC posters, modern Bauhaus style

I’ve always liked the idea of an alphabet or first initial print for a baby’s room, but a lot of them are so easily outgrown. Not so with these gorgeous modern letter prints on sale at Fab this week, but found at the artist’s shop when the flash sale is over. LA designer Ryan Beshara of ModernPOP takes inspiration from mid-century design and modern Bauhaus. But your children don’t need to know that; just that the colors are fun and hey! That’s an E for Ella! You can get a few and spell out your kid’s name, a single...

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Fab vintage-style posters to feed your travel fantasies

Israel, London, Venice, Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Trinidad, Hawaii–I absolutely loved traveling in my younger years. Though I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything, let’s face it: world travel is not simple (or cheap) when parenthood enters the picture. These days, it seems the farthest I get away is the annual family trek to the Jersey Shore. Happily I’ve found a wonderful way to satisfy my culture-hungry eyes.  The gorgeous retro-vibe prints in the World Travel poster collection from the Anderson Design Group is where it’s at (and where I wish I could be). Their vintage-style travel posters have a fab...

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Star Wars prints with an excellent Asian twist

If you love both Star Wars and the beautiful design elements of China, we’ve got excellent news for you. And a discount code, too.   {A discount code for Cool Mom Picks readers awaits after the jump!} We fell for the cool movie prints in the MonsterGallery shop on Etsy last year, and now we’re smitten with these Star Wars posters inspired by Chinese mythology and folklore. Each poster is 12 x 16 and arrives rolled up in a tube, which can then be used as a makeshift light saber. Or nangun. They also have Darth Maul, Yoda, and...

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Muppets go modern with the coolest prints for your nursery

Of all my parenting achievements, I’m particularly proud that I’ve passed on a love for The Muppets to my own three kids. And now that they carry their own torch for Kermit, Beaker, and Fozzie Bear, I think they’ll love decorating their rooms with some very cool, very style-forward prints of the gang. Designed by London’s The Retro Inc, our iconic Muppets friends have gone through a mod makeover of sorts, and I just love the results. Grab a trio of your favorite characters for only $10, and the 5×7″ prints will be shipped to you. Or, if you can’t...

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Whimsical animal prints served à la française

Our Bastille Day celebration continues with these stunning French animal prints that are perfect for a kids’ room, although I think I’d like them anywhere in my home. The Blackboard Animal French Prints at Etsy’s Eviva Prints are so striking, with that inky chalkboard-black background contrasting with the clever animal forms made from ephemera suggesting the description. So for example, Le lapin qui ecrit (the rabbit who writes–my own favorite) is made of old French postcards; The cat who sings is made of sheet music; The elephant who bakes has been cut from an old recipe; The horse who...

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Future’s so bright, I need posh origami shades

There comes a time in every parent’s life when the cat knocks over the cheapo 10-year-old lamp in the nursery and it’s time to make a tough decision. You want something sophisticated, but still soft. You could pick something like the last lamp, or you could see a shade this gorgeous and splurge on a very bright future. This stunner collection of Moth origami lampshades from Studio Snowpuppe is handmade in the Netherlands. They’re attracting us like, well, moths to light. Available in a range of solids, color blocks, and delicate gradations, each piece is hand-folded from special Butterfly...

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Instant heirlooms: custom ceramic plates fired with handwritten family recipes

If your family is anything like mine, all their famous recipes are tucked away in over-stuffed folders and recipe boxes…and only the chef knows for sure where they are. How wonderful would it be to start serving some of Grandma’s famous oatmeal squares atop a handmade pottery plate, with the recipe for those very squares right underneath in her sweet handwriting? The custom recipe plates and serving ware, from Prairie Hills Pottery are pure awesome. Truly, the gifting possibilities are endless. Scan a copy of Dad’s secret lasagna recipe, and the artisans at Prairie Hill will fire it onto...

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It’s fun, it’s a wonderful toy.

I am absolutely fascinated with these posters, which bring classic toys to life in new…or old ways really, by use of vintage patent drawings. The Slinky Poster from art collective Oliver Gal might be my favorite, with it’s 40’s-era textbook style industrial drawings. It seems like a parody at first, only it’s not at all. There’s also a LEGO toy figure from 1979, the original LEGO brick from 1961, a Mr. Potato Head, and then another series of faux blueprints inspired by architectural drawings. But grab them quick–they’re on sale at Fab only another day or two.   They’re...

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Making your walls a little more literary

I love prints that play with typography. Clever, modern design has a way of turning what could be a cheesy inspirational quote into a piece of art I could live with.   That’s why I love the work by New York graphic artist Evan Roberts on Etsy. These cool literary quote posters inspired by the likes of T.S. Eliot (no, not from Cats), JD Salinger, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemmingway, Kurt Vonnegut. It’s refreshing to see he hasn’t generally picked the most ubiquitous of quotes. Each one is printed beautifully on heavy, archival paper. Look closely and you’ll find lots...

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Independence Day indeed: the best indie shopping in celebration of the original 13

Of course today isn’t just about barbecues, sparklers, and if you’re lucky, a big fireworks display that kicks off a four-day weekend. It’s about those awesome forefathers (and foremothers, ahem) of ours who transformed the original 13 colonies into the beginnings of our beloved US of A. In their honor–and in honor of independence–we present 13 outstanding indie, new-to-us Etsy shops that we’re happy to support, one from each of the original 13. –Liz [After the jump, check out 13 can’t-miss Etsy artists from up and down the East Coast] New Jersey: BubbledogThis shop is like kawaii central, with...

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The walls are alive with the sound of music

This collection of prints in bright colors will make you as happy as a nun on an Austrian hillside. But if you’re not a Sound of Music fan (cretin!) there’s so many other wonderful prints in this super Etsy shop we found. These lively, vibrant prints from Ali G Douglass, an Asheville-based artist, are based on her gouache paintings and printed in archival inks for art that lasts a lifetime. And what’s great is that they’re perfect for that very thing, going beautifully from a nursery to that between-little-kid-and-tween time. Frankly, if my kids were sick of them, I...

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The scoop on cute custom embroidered hoops for kids’ rooms

Lately, we’ve been loving this trend of personalized embroidery hoops for babies. And now, we love this troop of adorable animals that will be a major hit for unique kids’ room decor. These Personalized Embroidery Hoops from Otak on Etsy are a fun way to add a pop of color to a kid’s room. Each hoop is a little over five inches wide and can be personalized with a hand-embroidered name, and your choice of four animals on various background fabrics. The hoops can go super girly, traditionally boyish, or as gender-neutral as you wish. And we love how...

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Flying high

Personalized nursery art is one of our favorite baby shower gift ideas, especially when it’s as sweet and affordable as this custom print.   I love this simple little personalized airplane art print which can feature a letter or name on the side–though I love the single initial. It’s a great option when you want something that will look great in a newborn nursery, but won’t be so easily outgrown. –Liz Find the personalized airplane print for kids and lots more very cool art online at Let’s All Make Believe....

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Artwork you want to touch. And we wouldn’t blame you.

A while back, I was introduced to the beautiful felted wool art from artist Maryanne Quinn, which was mainly made to order. But now there’s a sale on her work and if you’ve got a nursery to furnish or a kid’s room with a wall calling for some color, it’s worth a look. Hop over to One King’s Lane and you’ll find the felted wool artwork of Maryanne Quinn. Considering her one-of-a-kind pieces can retail for upwards of $700, the 50% off sale is quite the steal. Some of the more nautical themes like starfish and seahorses are really...

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Literature in bloom

I’m not usually one for fake flowers around the house–I much prefer the real thing. But when they’re as cool and crafty as these, I could easily make an exception. Julie Romero’s Handmade Paper Flowers are all made to order with 50 blooms crafted from recycled books. I happen to like the ones from classics like Pride and Prejudice and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; but you can also find popular favorites like The Notebook or Twilight. (Although shouldn’t those be dead flowers? Anyway.) It’s a cool gift for a writerly type, a literary lover, or just someone who appreciates...

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Affordable art makes a very cool mom gift. Maybe even for yourself.

When we were young and carefree (i.e., had no children), my husband and I decided that nothing would grace our walls but original artwork. Flash forward ten years. Yes, there’s original art hanging, but most of it was created by our kids. It’s not that we gave up entirely on our art-collecting dream; it just took a backseat once the babies came along. And that’s where a very nifty site saves the day. Tappan Collective is a terrific site designed to encourage young student-types to decorate with something other than cheap framed Monet posters. But, psst, guess what? I think it’s...

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The perfect personalized Mother’s Day gift for faraway moms (and grandmoms)

With both of my kids’ grandmothers living far away, we don’t get to celebrate Mother’s Day with them in person. But this lovely gift turns the distance between us into something beautiful. [Don’t miss details of this super limited time sale after the jump–hurry!] Our friends at City Prints are offering a special personalized Mother’s Day print at an amazing price. Now through April 26, you can order one of their lovely city prints, with a heart for where grandmom lives and then hearts for where all the grandkids live plus the sweet saying, all for $99. That includes...

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Clocks with hands. Remember those?

As much as I rely on the digital clocks on my appliances and on my smart phone to keep me on schedule, there’s just something about pretty analog clock to make a room seem more homey. I’ve been a long time fan of decoylab, whose beautiful, handcrafted clocks are as much works of art as they are timepieces, this amazing vintage style camera clock. Made from bamboo, this silent clock (that means no ticking!) features a clever leather strap to use as a hanger. What a perfect addition to your home office or a cool accent on a wall...

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A personalized gift for Mother’s Day from the whole family. Even the ones with the funny names.

Personalized gifts are an interesting challenge in our home. My long-suffering children have the unusual kind of first names that turn heads in the grocery store when I’m hollering for one of them to climb down from the produce bins. Which means we aren’t exactly overrun with items bearing their names. Still I love their names. Dearly. I helped choose them, after all. So I can only imagine how sentimental a gift like the personalized throw pillow from RedEnvelope would make me. Imagine: a simple cotton throw pillow emblazoned with all the reasons they love me and, as an...

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Birdhouse trailers = Home tweet home!

One of the cardinal rules around my house: birdwatching is better than television. My little chickadees love to sprinkle seed on the back porch and see who comes a-peckin’, especially when that family of wrens returns every year to nest in our grill. But if you can sparrow some change (ha), this fancy birdhouse might be the perfect home tweet home for your feathered friends. And unlike us, you can still use your grill. These adorable birdhouse trailers from birdhouse20 on Etsy are an unusual combination of fine craftsmanship, quirky style, and sneaky backyard biology lesson. Each one is...

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Peace.

Today, we celebrate these 6 artists who find inspiration from peace. Thank you. Peace on Earth card box set, Rifle Paper Co Dove ornaments, Cookie Dough Creations   Mod Dove Brooch, Anthaus   Dove pillow, Joom   Dove illustration art print, Orange Optimist   Peace, Love, Bird wall decals, Great Walls of...

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The best part of April showers: fluffy clouds

Poor April always gets a bad rap with it’s reputation for showers, but I actually love the cloud motif, which seems to be pretty popular these days. Who said clouds have to be gray and gloomy? Saving for a rainy day takes on a whole new meaning with this lovely handmade ceramic cloud bank. ($35 EUR)   This pretty personalized cloud rains love, a perfect addition to any baby’s nursery. ($25)   I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the rain than with a hot cup of coffee or tea, perhaps in this sweet cloud mug from...

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Organic sachets bring the scent of spring…well, anywhere.

I have a total thing for sachets. It’s easy to find scary-looking ones (hello, airport giftshops!), but when I find pretty ones that smell wonderful, I tend to stock up. Gardenmis on Etsy is like awesome sachet central. I really love the French country sachets which are the perfect neutral, modern look to fit in any decor–not just French country. But if you look around the shop, you’ll find a lot of options from organic rose petal sachets with Emily Dickinson quotes meant to be hung over a doorknob; gorgeous purple sachets of course, filled with a lavender blend;...

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Bookends that will make you want to file. And that’s saying something.

The second I saw this desk accessory–instant swoon. The Indice Bookends are available online from the MoMA store, which is pretty much where I’d expect to find something so functional and funky. The bright colors are calling my name, but it’s that file folder tab design that really makes it special. You can slide them around or separate them like regular old bookends, or split them up into sets of 3 and 2 if that works for you. But I think the five all lined up together just gets you the whole effect. Or hey, maybe ten together? At...

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Need an affordable, personalized baby gift? Hoop, there it is!

Custom artwork is such a sweet gift and keepsake. These pretty, hand-embroidered hoops are affordable, unique, and light enough to hang over the crib without worrying about concussing those squishy little babies. The personalized embroidery and felt hoops from Blue Without You on Etsy are an adorable and customizable pop of pretty for your wall, starting at only $20. Really! Each design is available in colors of your choice on a four- or six-inch embroidery hoop with pretty paper backing. Select from flowers, trees, arrows, pennants, and clouds raining hearts and add your favorite word–or baby’s name. Or just...

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Trip the nightlight fantastic

I have a small house. Which seems like an irrelevant thing to mention when I’m about to tell you about a beautiful nightlight. But a small house equals much shared space. And when you share space and want to light it for your kids in the middle of the night, maybe a garish superhero nightlight isn’t the way to go.   Which is why I’m mightily in love with The Night Light by Six Point Un, a super-cool Canadian design team. Its simple lines and natural wood finish would blend in with any modern design. Plus the LED light...

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