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A Whimsical Nursery Makeover

One of our favorite photographer’s shares her nursery redesign journey.

A Whimsical Nursery Makeover
If you've been reading Well Rounded for awhile, you might recognize Mariliana Arvelo of Stylish & Hip Kids...maybe not by face, but certainly by her beautiful photography. A Venezuela native with a background in photojournalism, Mariliana's got a special way with the camera, and she’s been doing kid and family photography for a while now. She’s been a part of so many of our very favorite stories; and now that she’s got her own baby girl Anaya, though, we thought it might be time to turn the lens around. Mariliana and her husband recently moved apartments, and 1-year-old Anaya finally got a room of her own. And that meant a new creative opportunity for Mariliana -- the chance to redecorate her daughter's nursery and extend Anaya's budding personality in a larger space. So, how did Mariliana come to design her daughters new nursery? Much like her photographs, it’s filled with vibrant color, texture, and patterns, all of which come together to make the space feel alive. Each picture, fabric, toy, and decoration has a story behind it and a special connection to a certain place or memory. With each clean and modern piece, there is a colorful and fun piece to match it. While we could go on forever about Anaya's new nursery, we’ll let Mariliana’s pictures do the real talking. 1. Tell us about the nursery and the overall vibe of the space! Anaya’s space is like a mini-person extension of the overall vibe of our apartment -- a playful space that feels lively and in which we can create and tell stories about all the universes of our imagination. 2. Tell us about your nursery! What has the journey been like decorating it? It's only been two months since we moved to our new apartment, and it’s a big change for all of us. Anaya now has her own room, which I started imagining and planning in my head well before our move. Since Anaya has her own room and we had more space to work with, we upgraded furniture. She transitioned from a mini to a full-sized crib by Bloom, which has modern and clean lines that we really dig. We also got a daybed from Ikea, which has lots of storage space and pulls out into a king-sized bed. It’s great for guests, but it’s also a fun space to play on, so we leave it open pretty often. 3. Any details or accent pieces you want to talk about? The art wall is a collection of prints that we started before Anaya was born -- things that connect us to some memory or place that we hold dear. The whale is one of two pieces we brought back from our honeymoon in Portugal. There are two illustrations from Miranda Bruce: the rabbit, which we bought when Anaya was born, and the flamingo, which is part of a series of six limited-edition art prints that she did in collaboration with Stylish and Hip Kids. And it goes on... a poster from the the Beastly Verse book Leo El León; a stuffed animal lion’s head; a colorful garland our friend Lula from Lulaland made for us, and so much more. I know the wall is pretty full, but somehow I still see spaces to put more work. 4. Anything sentimental or special you particularly love? We have a newborn picture of Anaya from back in her days of being burrito wrapped in swaddles, and a picture from a project I did with children at Omkareshwar, an orphanage and ashram in India I lived at for a month. 5. How, if at all, did your eye for photography help you decorate or influence the way you ended up decorating? I’m attracted to color and composition. In my photography that manifests itself through the city walls that I scout as backgrounds for my photography, and obviously what gets framed in my pictures. In my place, it’s the blue of the tapestry on our day bed, or the joy I get from placing one piece of art next to another. 6. How has becoming a mom influenced your work in family and kid photography? A lot of my work isn’t about photography per se, but about setting an atmosphere where people feel comfortable and are having fun. It's also about being present with the experience myself and knowing when those gorgeous moments are going to happen, so I can capture them. And the final part are the technical skills of photography and how to wrap it all up and make it pop in post-production. Now that I’m a mom, I’m much more in tune with those moments and the connection between parent and child. I think it’s opened up an empathy -- for both the good and the challenging moments -- and has made the process much more real.

Shop the nursery:

the penguin we got at Raplapla in Montreal,

an elephant from Brooklyn-based Sugarloaf,

a gorgeous handmade doll we got online from Lauvley out of Spain.

retro crib by Bloom

colorful garland our friend Lula from Lulaland

the flamingo, which is part of a series of six limited-edition art prints that she did in collaboration with Stylish and Hip Kids.

Pineapple lamp.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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