3 magical spaces for kids to inspire your home design, too

Kids deserve good design.

3 magical spaces for kids to inspire your home design, too

From the cradle to the toddler bed to the backyard playhouse, kids deserve good design. These three projects show how fun patterns, soft textures and streamlined furniture can provide function and style while putting a smile on a child’s face — and yours.

M.A.D. Megan Arquette Design

1. Soft and serene nursery

Designer: Megan Arquette of Megan Arquette Design
Location: Venice Beach, California
Size: 300 square feet (28.9 square meters); 15 by 20 feet

Homeowners’ request: Turn a rarely used guest room into a peaceful nursery for a baby girl

Special features: Hygge & West wallpaper on ceiling; soft textures and cameo pink; angular campaign chest with brass hardware; custom brass and Lucite window treatment hardware

Why the design works: “The large, long windows were ideal for really creating very customized and detailed window treatments,” says designer Megan Arquette. “Having a high ceiling allowed the ceiling to be covered in a busy pattern without closing in the space.” Meanwhile, brass accents helped make the room more “uptown girl” rather than too sugary, she says.

Window treatments: custom designed by Megan Arquette Design using Brookhaven chambray by Kravet and custom antique brass finish hardware with custom Lucite finials; chair: Wingback swivel glider with Perennials slipcover, Restoration Hardware; floor lamp: Gumball, Urban Outfitters; pendant: Jamie Young Design; crib: Kalon Studios

M.A.D. Megan Arquette Design
Designer secret: “Using soft hues of pinks, grays and cream kept the overall visual effect almost as though you’re seeing it through a scrim,” Arquette says. “The carpet’s soft flokati style mimics this effect through texture. And adding very small touches of warm brass keep the colors from going too cold.”

“Uh-oh” moment: “When we ordered this paper originally, we ordered it in the adhesive-backed ‘tile’ form,” Arquette says. “We didn’t see a cutting prior to the purchase. When it came in, it was far too neon and not at all what we had envisioned. Luckily, Hygge & West are consummate professionals and sent us the regular wallpaper that was exactly the color we had expected.”

Splurges and savings: The homeowners splurged on the custom window treatments and saved by buying the rug and other accessories from big-box stores and overstock retailers.

Also on the team: Dana Thompson (photographer)

Rug:; wall paint: Pensacola Pink, Benjamin Moore; ceiling wallpaper: Day Dream, Hygge & West; dresser: Campaign in Silver Dollar by Benjamin Moore, Mi Vida Vintage
Coats Homes

2. Neutral and graphic toddler room

Designer: Theresa Rowe of Theresa Rowe Interior Design
Location: Dallas
Size: About 230 square feet (21.4 square meters); about 18 by 12½ feet

Homeowners’ request: A playful kid space for a 2-year-old that can evolve over the years

Special features: Gray-and-white Quadrille wallpaper; light, airy and clean-lined furnishings; neutral palette with punches of color through accessories; painted gray windows

Designer secret: “It’s not about a lot of stuff, but about the right stuff,” says designer Theresa Rowe. “A little girl’s room doesn’t need much furniture, so it’s important to be selective when filling the space.”

Also on the team: J Wilson Fuqua (architect); Coats Homes (builder)

See the rest of this home
Bed and table: Oeuf of New York; wall sconce: George Nelson, Design Within Reach; rug: Restoration Hardware; accessories: Calypso Home; toys: Jenni Kayne Home; ceiling paint: All White, Farrow and Ball; window paint: Urbane Bronze, Sherwin-Williams
Tiny Little Pads

3. Bright and colorful playhouse

Designer: Jannicke Ramsø of Tiny Little Pads
Location: Las Vegas
Size: 80 square feet (7.4 square meters); 8 by 10 feet

Homeowners’ request: A farmhouse-style playhouse with “a little bit of Norway in the desert of Las Vegas,” says designer Jannicke Ramsø

Special features: Farmhouse style; natural light from several windows; chandelier, kitchen area with outlet for making the family’s famous Norwegian waffles; dining area; living room; painted checkerboard floors; beadboard walls; exterior that matches main house

Why the design works: “Comfort was a must for this playhouse as it was built to be played in and used, and not just to look pretty,” Ramsø says. “Play is all about comfort and being surrounded by an environment that inspires and lets creativity loose. The farmhouse style is down-to-earth and a place where cooking and fun take center stage.”

Designer secret: “Always divide a playspace into zones,” Ramsø says. “This makes the play go on for hours.”

Hardwood flooring: Lumber Liquidators; round table, chairs and play kitchen: Pottery Barn Kids; stools: T.J. Maxx; plate rack: Charleston Antique Mall; storage drawers: Hobby Lobby

Tiny Little Pads
“Uh-oh” moment: “Building a playhouse is like building a house — who knew, right?” Ramsø says. “This playhouse started as a pallet of 10,000 pieces of unpainted wood — nothing pretty about it.” Ramsø spent hours taping and painting the house and trim pieces in contrasting colors. Then, once the insulation and drywall were done, she introduced the farmhouse detailing. “Beadboard walls and stacked window and door trims can’t be just purchased to scale,” she says. “Every single part [was] cut and painted to perfection.”

Splurges and savings: The homeowners saved by buying toys and furniture at consignment stores. They splurged on the toy kitchen appliances.

Playhouse exterior kit: Little Cottage Company; porch: Tiny Little Pads; roofing: GAF; deck chairs: HomeGoods

Original story by Mitchell Parker for Houzz

More from Houzz—

Roman Shades Are Perfect for Kids' Rooms Too
Kids' Beds in All Shapes, Sizes and Styles
Discover More Design Ideas for Kids' Spaces

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As much as I love fall, it always feels like the season when my family's routine gets kicked into overdrive. With our oldest in (homeschool) kindergarten, my youngest on the brink of entering her twos, work, housework and *all the things* filling my day, it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed sometimes. Did I mention we're still in a pandemic? (Yeah, it's a lot.) And while I try to take a positive view as much as I can, now more than ever I definitely jump at the chance to take anything off my busy plate.

One thing first in line at the chopping block? Cooking. To be fair, I like cooking. I cooked most of our meals long before I had ever even heard of social distancing. But there's something about the pandemic that suddenly made cooking every single meal feel exponentially more draining.

Enter Daily Harvest. They deliver nourishing, delicious food right to your door. Daily Harvest's mix of smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, snacks and more provide a balanced, whole food options that are as satisfying as they are nutritious. But my favorite part? When we're ready to eat, I simply pull the food from the freezer and it's ready in minutes—without any chopping, measuring or searching for a recipe. Even better, they're incredibly tasty, meaning I'm not struggling to get my girls to dig in. Not cooking has never felt so good.

Here are my 8 favorite products that are helping to lighten my load right now:

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

Mulberry + Dragonfruit Oat Bowl

One thing that actually helps break up the monotony of quarantine? Trying and introducing new ingredients to my family. I love this overnight oat bowl (add milk the night before and let it set in your fridge overnight—easy-peasy!) because not only does it not compromise on nutrition, but it also helps me bring new whole fruits, vegetables and superfoods to the table with ease.

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

Mint + Cacao Smoothie

I kid you not, these taste exactly like a mint chocolate chip milkshake. (Just ask my 4-year-old, who is constantly stealing sips from my glass.) What she doesn't know? She's actually getting organic banana, spinach and chlorella with every sip. #momwin

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Kabocha + Sage Flatbread

Our family's eating habits have been leaning more plant-forward this year, which often means a lot of veggie washing, peeling and chopping every time I cook. That's why these flatbreads are my new best friend come lunchtime. This Kabocha + Sage Flatbread is made with a gluten-free cauliflower crust topped with kabocha squash, fennel and sage for a taste of fall in every bite. (Missing the cheese? You can add it before baking for more of a pizza feel.)

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

Kale + Sweet Potato Flatbread

There's something about the combination of sweet potato crust topped with red cabbage, organic greens and an herby-cilantro sauce that is so delicious… like surprisingly delicious. I polished off this bad boy in seconds! And unlike other "veggie" crusts I've tried, these are actually clean (AKA no fillers, preservations, partially-hydrogenated oil or artificial anything). Plus, it couldn't be easier to throw in the oven between conference calls and homeschool lessons.

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Cacao + Avocado Smoothie

Any time I get to serve a breakfast that tastes like chocolate, it's a good day. (That goes double when it's *my* breakfast.) This rich, chocolatey smoothie is packed with organic zucchini, avocado, pumpkin seeds and pea protein for a nourishing mix of healthy fats and muscle-building protein so I can carry that baby all day long. And did I mention the chocolate?

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Vanilla Bean + Apple Chia Bowl

Maybe it's just me, but after a long week of cooking, the last thing I want to do on Saturday morning is...wake up and cook. That's why these one-step breakfasts are saving my weekend. I simply add our favorite milk the night before and store the bowl in the fridge overnight. Come morning, I have a nutritious chia bowl that powers me through even the busiest day of errands. It's also Instagram-ready, which makes me feel like I'm out brunching (even if I can't remember the last time I was in a restaurant).

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

Cacao Nib + Vanilla Bites

My kids have turned into snack monsters during quarantine, and I'm often struggling to find a wholesome option (that doesn't require a lot of extra cooking or else I resort to something ultra-refined and shelf-stable). These bites are the hero I never knew I needed. For one, they taste like cookie dough, but they're actually packed with chickpeas, pumpkin, dates and flax seed (among other whole ingredients). But unlike actual cookie dough, I don't have to go anywhere near my mixer to whip them up—all I have to do is pull the container out of the freezer, let them defrost a bit and we can all enjoy a treat.

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Harvest Bowl

Sometimes I have a little more time to cook, but I still want a quick, stress-free solution. (Especially because it always feels like I just cleaned up from the last meal.) I love these Harvest Bowls because they warm up in under five minutes on the stove top (or microwave!) but pack tons of flavor. The Cauliflower Rice + Pesto bowl is one of my favorites, with basil, olive oil and nutritional yeast for a hearty dish reminiscent of a mouth-watering Italian meal. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I add leftover grilled chicken or a fried egg.

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Strawberry + Rich, Rippled Berry Compote Scoops

Who doesn't want to end the day with a little something sweet? This creamy and decadent frozen treat from Daily Harvest is swirled with sweet berries and tropical dragonfruit for an antioxidant burst you'll feel good about—but that your kiddos will just think is ice cream. Go ahead, take credit for being the best mom ever.

Want to try it yourself? You can get $25 off your first box of Daily Harvest with code MOTHERLY.

This article was sponsored by Daily Harvest. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas

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9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.


Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.


Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.


The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.


The Snoo bassinet


Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!


Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.


Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!


Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.


Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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