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Nesting: Kid-Friendly Design

Interior designer Lisa Hershman of Playchic Interiors reminds us that there’s more to baby-friendly design than the nursery.

Nesting: Kid-Friendly Design

It didn’t take long after learning I was pregnant to start decorating our nursery. We’d hardly shared the news before I started racking up the baby room bills -- a cat night-light here, a hedgehog clock there.... What I didn’t think about was that my little baby would grow up, and leave the confines of her chic little nursery. And when she did, she’d end up in my very adult apartment, filled with sharp edges, expensive wedding registry knick-knacks, and my heirloom husband-can’t-even-sit-on-it couch. And she’d drag her 30 million toys with her. Our good friend Seri Kertzner (pictured above), half of the über-talented Little Miss Party planners, had a similar situation. As her two baby boys got older and used more and more of her Greenwich Village apartment, Kertzner realized she needed a kid-friendly makeover -- fast. So she called in the big guns: Lisa Hershman of Playchic Interiors. “Seri is a high-energy party planner, but being a mother is her number one priority,” said Hershman. “It was time to have a grown-up space -- and apartment she could be proud of, but one that was also well-suited for her family.” Hershman, a mama herself, created a “preppy chic” look for the Kertzners, with plenty of details conducive to family living. She struck an important balance between mama and babies: cool colors, funky furniture and beautiful accents, but every piece has a purpose, and that purpose is to stay intact through her boys’ childhood. Here, Hershman walks us through the beautiful photos (by Raquel Bianca Creative) of the recent redesign and offers nesting tips for new parents-to-be. Furniture. We looked for pieces that were tough and resilient. We wanted rounded corners on everything -- we didn’t want to have to put on ugly bumpers -- and tried to spend smart to stay on our budget. For our coffee table, we found an upholstered bench with soft rounded edges and storage space underneath. The sofa was our big purchase -- it looks and feels good, but can be cleaned easily. Tip: Take home a fabric sample of your sofa-to-be and get it dirty with everything you can think of. If the stains come out, you’re ready to buy. Walls and Floors: To hide stroller scuffs, we painted half the entryway wall in gray. We also used vinyl decal stripes -- not only did we save money by not painting, but unlike flat paint, vinyl is easy to clean. We did one wall of wallpaper, which was inexpensive but made a huge impact, and we decopaged the back of a bookcase with owl-printed paper. And although the cowhide rug doesn’t look kid-friendly, it’s actually more durable than other floor coverings since it’s a natural material that can be shampooed, just like our own hair. Storage: In a small apartment space, it’s important to get pieces that can do double duty. Ottomans provide extra seating, but also have space inside for storage. The bottom shelves of a bookcase are also lined with storage bins and in the kids’ area, the shelving has yet more storage bins. Other, larger items, have extra space too: the dining table, for example, has a drawer at each place-setting. Accents: Little touches mattered. We spent money on changing out light fixtures, which could make a statement and had no impact on the children. We also changed out the knobs on closets and doors, as well as switchplates – it only takes two screws! These are easy things that make a huge difference.

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    Sunday Citizen

    I live in the Northeast and when I woke up this morning, my house was freezing. It had been in the mid 40's overnight and we haven't turned the heat on yet. Suddenly, my normal duvet felt too thin. The socks on my bare feet too non-existent. Winter is coming, and I'd been drinking rosés still pretending it was summer.

    I couldn't put it off any longer. It was time to do my annual tradition of winterizing my home—and I don't mean making sure my pipes and walls have enough insulation (though obviously that's important too). I mean the act of evaluating every room and wondering if it has enough hygge to it.

    If you've never heard of hygge, it's a Danish word that means a quality of coziness or contentment. And what better time to make sure you have moments of hygge all throughout your house than right now? As far as I'm concerned it's the only way to get through these dark winter months (even more so during a pandemic.)

    So I went room by room (yes, even my 4-year-old's room) and swapped in, layered or added in these 13 products to get us ready for winter:

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    Shop

    This post is brought to you by Staples. While this was a sponsored opportunity, all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

    One of the biggest changes in my household once my daughter started homeschooling was that, suddenly, everything and everyone in our home had to start pulling double duty. While I was used to wearing a lot of hats (mom, wife and WFH employee, to name a few), suddenly our dining room was also pulling shifts as a classroom. My laptop was also a virtual teacher. Our living room hutch was also a school supply closet.

    If I didn't want my home to be overrun with an abundance of clutter, I had to find products that could multitask. Here are 10 products that are saving this WFH + homeschooling mama right now.

    Stylish storage cabinet

    Whether I need a place to keep the printer or just want to keep crayons and colored pencils organized, this pretty cabinet provides a mixture of exposed and hidden storage without clashing with my living room decor.

    White board calendar + bulletin board

    With so much on our plates these days, I need a visual reminder of our daily schedule or I'll forget everything. This dry erase version makes it easy to keep track of Zoom meetings and virtual classes—and I also love using the corkboard to display my daughter's latest work from art class.

    Natural Recycled 3-Ring Binder

    From tracking our curriculum progress to organizing my family's paperwork, I can never have enough binders. Even better, this neutral version is pretty enough that I can display them on the bookshelf.

    Bamboo storage drawers

    The instant you start homeschooling, it can feel like you're suddenly drowning in papers, craft supplies and more. Fortunately, these simple bamboo drawers can be tucked into the cabinet or even displayed on top (seriously, they're that cute!) to keep what we need organized and close at hand.

    Laminated world map

    I love this dry-erase map for our geography lessons, but the real secret? It also makes a cute piece of wall decor for my work space.

    Rolling 7-drawer cabinet

    When you're doing it all from home, you sometimes have to roll with the punches—I strongly recommend getting an organizational system that rolls with you. On days when both my husband and I are working from home and I need to move my daughter's classes to another room, this 7-drawer cabinet makes it easy to bring the classroom with us.

    Letterboard

    From our first day of school photo to displaying favorite quotes to keep myself motivated, this 12"x18" letterboard is my favorite thing to display in our home.

    Expandable tablet stand

    Word to the wise: Get a pretty tablet stand you won't mind seeing out every day. (Because between virtual playdates, my daughter's screen time and my own personal use, this thing never gets put away.)

    Neutral pocket chart

    Between organizing my daughter's chore chart, displaying our weekly sight words and providing a fits-anywhere place to keep supplies on hand, this handy little pocket chart is a must-have for homeschooling families.

    Totable fabric bins

    My ultimate hack for getting my family to clean up after themselves? These fabric bins. I can use them to organize my desk, store my oldest's books and even keep a bin of toys on hand for the baby to play with while we do school. And when playtime is over, it's easy for everyone to simply put everything back in the bin and pop it in the cabinet.

    Looking for study solutions for older children? Hop over to Grown & Flown for their top picks for Back to School.

    Work + Money

    Mama, all I see is you

    A love letter from your baby.

    Mama,

    I can't see past you right now, I'm so small and everything's a little blurry.

    All I see is you.

    When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I'm here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren't lonely for me.

    You are my everything.

    When you feel like you don't know what you're doing, you're making it look easy to me. Even though we're still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.

    I trust you.

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    Life