Tag: design

Our favorite handmade toy boxes: Now personalized, on sale, and supporting a really special cause

June is going to be a busy month in the studio of one of our favorite modern kids’ furniture makers, Kiersten Hathcock of Mod Mom Furniture. The Shark Tank winner, cool mom, and handmade toy box builder extraordinaire — along with her dad (love that!) — are going back to basics, and building some really beautiful custom toy boxes in the garage by hand, just like she used to back in 2007 when she founded the company. And when we first shared her toy chests with you.  If you need to get your playroom or a kid’s room more organized, this is a perfect opportunity. While all her...

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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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Olive Us are excited about the new 1st Film Festival

Have you heard? Our favorite filmmaking family of 8 just announced a film festival for children and we couldn’t be more excited! Our love of Gabrielle Blair and her beautiful family runs deep. From her amazing new Design Mom book to her delightful short film series, Olive Us, featuring all of her gorgeous six (yes, six!) children, she inspires all of our children to get up and “move or make or do,” so we’re quite obviously big fans. And now the Blair family is launching another fabulous creative endeavour called 1st Film Festival, a celebration of films made by,...

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The tote bags that could get your kids to carry their own stuff

Lately I’ve been asking my kids to be responsible for carrying their own things to practices, school, playdates—pretty much everywhere. It’s not an easy task, as some days a headband or bookmark is a burden to heavy for them to lift. (Cue violins.) But I’m thinking these adorable illustrated tote bags we found from the Etsy shop Sobiegraphie might help get them excited about carrying their stuff around so I don’t have to. We love them so much, we even included the unicorn tote among the coolest birthday gifts for tweens and big kids, in our Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide.     Kids shouldn’t get...

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A life without coffee? Unimaginable.

Suddenly I get all of Delilah’s posts about making coffee with a Chemex and how every drop of effort is worth every drop of coffee you get; at least ever since my unexpected turn (if you ask those who know me best)  from K-Cup coffee drinker to full-fledged coffee devotee. I never thought I’d say things like “wow, the crema on that espresso is really amazing.” And yes, I know it sounds kind of douchey so I don’t say it out loud when actual people are around. Because I’m also picky about good design, I have to give huge props to these...

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Bucketfeet shoes bring real artwork to kids’ feet. Eh, walls have been done.

My son has doodled on the wall, the table, and an ottoman — by accident, of course — so we continue to remind him that markers are for paper. But what happens when he enters the inevitable drawing-on-shoes phase of childhood? If your child is looking to make a statement, I’d say BucketFeet artist-designed shoes are a more fashion-forward alternative to a black marker. And relatively affordable for such an international street-art style statement. Related: My Little Pony sneakers are here, and like friendship, they are magic It’s kind of like a Minted for footwear; artists around the world from Brooklyn to Bogota, who include illustrators, graffiti artists, and tattoo...

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The 2015 Oscar nominees, now funnier than ever

This year was a pretty serious year for the Oscar nominating committee, if you consider the likes of Selma, Gone Girl, Birdman…you get the picture. Or pictures.  But of course, there are always clever artists out there willing to take the gravity down a notch–including taking Gravity down a notch. Related: The Oscar nominated posters all remade in LEGOs At Ript Apparel, you’ll find a whole selection of Oscar parody posters, admittedly some better than others. As one of the loud advocates of a recount for The LEGO Movie which should totally be included in the best animated picture, I have to give...

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A fun tissue holder to get kids smiling through the phlegm.

Kids will always have runny noses. Always. So I’m all for adding a little fun to the dreaded Parental Nose Wipe with this adorable Whale Tissue Holder we spotted at Etsy shop ShopSparklyPony. We think that kids’ tissue holders can be a little corny at times,  but this little whale is a charming work of art. Lovingly hand crafted and–get this– “individually tested for proper tissue-release,” each whale is stamped, dated, signed and numbered so you know your Moby Dick is an original. Because you know that’s just the kind of thing that kids care about when they’re home with a miserable cold....

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Bezar: The new members-only marketplace for rabid fans of modern design

Well no sooner did Fab co-founder Bradford Shelhammer move onto new ventures, he announced the launch of Bezar, a new members-only site that will feature the same gorgeous products, emerging designers, and great prices that helped put Fab on the map. He has always has amazing taste, and I’m so excited about this new site. Update April, 2017: Bezar is sadly no longer online. For great design, we highly recommend Fab, Gilt Home, RueLaLa Home, Haute Look Home and Chairish, all also accessible through our exclusive invitation codes A quick look at the teaser homepage and I see brands we already...

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13 of the coolest, prettiest, and most fun printable 2015 calendars. Lots of them free!

Like shopping for new school supplies in the fall, I absolutely love getting a beautiful new calendar each January. It’s a blank slate spread out before me for the coming year, with so much opportunity. While I’ll definitely buy a printed calendar with space to fill in family activities, I also spent time weeding through all those ho-hum printable calendar templates out there, and tracking down some of the best printable 2015 calendars. I love each of these cool calendars so much, I just may have one in my kitchen, in the office,  on my bedside table…can you tell I’m obsessed?   Sometimes I need a good pep talk to conquer...

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D is for design, in the fantastic new alphabet book by Maira Kalman: Ah Ha to Zig Zag

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City houses incredible exhibits for lovers of design, including fantastic workshops for kids to help them gain an appreciation for fine design before they even hit kindergarten. And Ah Ha to Zig Zag, the new alphabet book by Maira Kalman, one of our favorite illustrators, celebrates pieces from this collection. Who knows, maybe your children will even be inspired to start their own museum one day. This isn’t your typical “A is for Apple” book. In fact, in Ah Ha to Zig Zag, A is for cAp . . . and every...

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5 of our favorite cool tech picks you don’t want to miss this week

In case you missed them, here are 5 of our most popular cool tech picks from Cool Mom Tech this past week. Enjoy!   1. Our review of the new Minecraft books you might be seeing at your kids’ Scholastic book fairs. 2. 10 cool things Siri can do for you, including making your life a whole lot easier. 3. We rounded up 30 of the coolest iPhone 6 and 6 plus cases. And we want them all. 4. You’ve got to see the amazing digital art from these design students. 5. A hot tablet clutch purse to add...

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DIY with the Makr app: Getting crafty in an app-happy world

We love finding gorgeous designs from indie artists, but sometimes what you really need is a way to make your very own custom design–preferably without hiring an artist or earning a degree in graphic design. The new Makr app for iOS helps you do exactly that, and it’s fast, easy, and a lot of fun, even if you’re not artistically inclined. Interestingly, the same free Makr app is different whether you’re using iPad or iPhone, including how it looks and what you can do with it. I’ll cover both here, but keep that quirk in mind when you download it. (Because...

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Duvet covers from Society6: What all the cool beds will be wearing this year.

We’ve loved the cool indie designs at Society6 on everything from art prints to gadget cases for a long time. So we were pretty stoked to discover that those gorgeous designs are now king-sized. As duvet covers, that is. And yes, queen too. They have hundreds of fun designs, so we’re still narrowing down our choices. It’s not easy.     \       The covers are super soft, machine washable, and include a hidden zipper that doesn’t mar the design. My one disappointment is that they are only offered in queen and king sizes, and I don’t know many kids who sleep in beds that big–unless they’ve...

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Pretty food photographs spice up the kitchen. Literally.

I don’t have much space on my kitchen walls these days (I blame it on that folder that comes home on the last day of school filled with more art than my kids could have possibly created in only one year). But if I did, I know exactly what would be going up there. Food photographs! No, not the Instagrammed, look at my meal type of food photographs. I mean lovely (and hopefully even inspiring) food photographs. The kind that feature parsley and dill and cinnamon, oh my. Right now, there are a few charming kitchen art images available at the Temporary...

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Thought of the day: On pursuing dreams

Sometimes a quote just speaks to you, and these decidedly non-cheesy, very cool inspirational quotes (geez, that phrase really is getting a bad name) come courtesy of illustrator and hand-letterer Noel Shively. I’m trying to figure out just what project we could hire him for, since his sensibility is so fresh and optimistic but still with the slightest edge that keeps it from being flowery or trite. Maybe it’s the project of “I’d like to frame one of these and hang it somewhere.” That would work.     You can find just a few of of his designs for sale...

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Handmade toddler blankets for your future hipster who will claim to have had one before they were cool

True story: when my daughter was born in 2006, I struggled to find a stroller blanket that wasn’t either pink butterflies or blue trains. I basically taught myself to sew just so I could make a black blanket with flame-printed fleece. So I’m jealous of anyone with a hip baby today who can take advantage of these gorgeous, hip, and super soft handmade toddler blankets from Designed by Artists. If you’re on Pinterest, you probably have a board donated to pretty typography and clever quotes (we sure do), and now you can have that modern design sensibility on your baby blankets too. Whether you...

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Decorist makes stylish, affordable, online interior design available to everyone.

Repurposing our old furniture and accessories into our new house just doesn’t always work. That rug that was perfect in my old bedroom just doesn’t cut it in the new one, it turns out. And while I love interior design sites like nousDecor, sometimes I need  serious professional help. So the timing was perfect for me to discover Decorist, an online interior design service for any project in your house. I’d normally try to fix that rug situation on my own, because interior design services can be pricey. So I’m the perfect candidate for Decorist’s lower cost interior design consulting–also a great...

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10 modern growth charts to measure your kids inch by inch

I have really fond memories of my grandmother tracking the height of the grandkids on the wooden trim in her kitchen pantry, but when she sold her home, without actual growth charts, our childhood memories were left behind. So I love the new concept behind modern growth charts that are keepsakes you can move from home to home (or room to room) with you. It’s been a while since we looked for some really cool modern growth charts for our readers, so we’ve scoured the Internet for the coolest designs, from graphic to painterly, so you can spend your time monitoring...

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The chic new bags from Brit-Stitch. When you’ve outgrown the need to carry your entire life in your bag.

As many things as I miss about having little ones, I love that I can now leave the house with little more than my phone, wallet, keys, and maybe an emergency lollipop for the kids. This means I can also revert back to my smaller handbags more frequently than date nights. And the new bags from Brit-Stitch are a gorgeous new option for spring. Taking a very strong cue from the original Cambridge Satchel, and the myriad traditional British satchel bags that are so popular now, Brit-Stitch adds something new to the purse party with a selection of make-your-own...

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