Editors Pick – this Christmas you get a house!!!

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

For the parents who happen to be huge fans of contemporary design and modern architecture, there is an appropriate gift through which they can project their passions on their wee ones. Perhaps it’s a way to translate something personal into something playful and fun, a sort of inspiring journey, like the gift of a book or the first set of paints; or perhaps this is a way to dream up a home very early on by letting imagination soar.

Lo and behold, there is a house designed for children to play in, unlike anything else with similar intentions, this is not a cottage but rather its Italian counterpart called Villa Julia. Fittingly manufactured in Italy and a part of Magis MeToo collection of children’s furniture and accessories, Villa Julia is designed by Javier Mariscal.

Going beyond its obvious utility, Villa Julia is a realistic dream house with enthralling potential and vast possibilities for creativity innate to designing and building a real-life house. With a mid-century modern flair, Villa Julia gives children autonomy to build it and decorate it as they wish; making it an entirely personal experience with smaller scale construction challenges and design decisions that they could be facing later in life.

Villa Julia house by Javier Mariscal for Magis (part of MeToo collection)

Villa Julia house by Javier Mariscal for Magis

For the parents whose kids draw on walls

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Any parent knows that sooner or later their child will need a drawing surface. Most parents end up buying bulky blackboards or flip-charts that very soon become absolute and very hindering on the surroundings.  This is where new innovations play an enormous role, offering sophisticated surface paints that can transform walls, furniture and any other surface around the house into a dynamic message board and art center.  To do this, there are three leading paints that work differently but essentially accomplish the same thing:

Dry Erase by Ideapaint – any type of surface can be painted and after 7 days used to draw, paint or write with dry erase markers.

Dry Erase Paint by Ideapaint

Dry Erase Paint by Ideapaint

Magnetic Wall by Magpaint – magnetic paint can turn any wall into a magnetic board because of iron dust with particles that attract magnets. Magpaint in an undercoat which means that it does not limit or hinder on any interior color palette paint is applied on a smooth base.

Magnetic Wall Paint by Magpaint

Magnetic Wall Paint by Magpaint

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You Won’t Believe How Much This Baby Furniture Costs

Monday, October 31st, 2011

After a new baby arrives on the scene, some parents feel the urge to spend exorbitant amounts of money on furniture for the nursery; after all, who doesn’t want their baby to have the best? However, the drive to provide the most magnificent trappings can sometimes cross the line into wanton excess. Only the parents themselves can decide how much is too much to spend, but it’s safe to say that these ten baby furnishings set the bar quite high:

The Majestic Carriage Crib from PoshTots ($19,995)

This made-to-order crib comes complete with an attached changing table with storage beneath. The crib portion is round and comes with its own specially-made round mattress. Parents wishing to order this for their daughter will want to order as soon as the ultrasound is definitive, as it takes 10 to 12 weeks to arrive. There is also some assembly required.

The French Panel Crib ($4,140)

For those well-to-do parents who are expecting a boy, this crib seems like a bargain compared to the Majestic Carriage. This crib is made of alder and birch and takes a standard-size crib mattress. While the mattress is not included, couples are urged not to simply crumple up $100 bills as a bedding substitute; parents of means can simply purchase a mohair organic crib mattress of the same style for a mere $450. The little prince of the household will feel right at home in this cherry-finished, French Empire-inspired creation.

A Bohemian Mosaic Armoire ($5,270)

Should parents be concerned that they won’t have enough room for all of their baby’s clothing and blankets, this detailed armoire offers up three deep drawers. Two doors at the top open to reveal space for hanging clothes. This piece is made with hand-painted pieces of broken China, so each one is guaranteed to be unique. There’s even free ground shipping! By comparison, a gorgeous walnut piece from the 18th century was sold at Christie’s for a mere $3,177 and was considered one of the most expensive armoires in the world… But that piece, however gorgeous it may be, just doesn’t quite approach the whimsy of this Bohemian creation.

A Parker Converse Rocking Chair (Up to $32,000)

What nursery is complete without a rocking chair? Artisan Parker Converse II was listed in Forbes magazine in 2004 for consistently producing a “named, numbered, and signed work of very comfortable art.” Should an affluent parent want to rock their baby to sleep, a gorgeous hand-carved creation would look right at home in the nursery. The artist even takes the user’s height and weight into account while crafting his one-of-a-kind chairs, so parents may just want to buy two so they each may have their own!

The Magic Garden Cradle ($2,580)

While cribs are great, a mom who is nursing may not want to rush to the nursery at every cry. So, many parents decide to use a cradle in their bedroom until the baby is a little older. For those who want the very best in cradles, this garden-themed creation comes with the mattress included but some assembly required. The wait for the item is only 2 to 4 weeks, making it perfect for last-minute shoppers.

Pirate’s Cove Book Case ($2,999)

What better way to encourage a love of learning than to buy a book case? Well, when the book case’s cost is equivalent to two or three mortgage payments, some parents might have to look elsewhere. However, for those with plenty of funds and a leaning towards the nautical theme, a Pirate’s Cove book case may be just the right fit. Want to outfit the whole room in the same theme? Everything from a pirate booty chest to a matching ceiling fan can be had from the same manufacturer. The prices are more reasonable for other pieces in the set. In the world of luxury book cases, however, the Pirate’s Cove option is a steal; Chilean designer Sebastian Errazuriz once had a large tree-shaped book shelf sell for $75,000 at New York’s Cristina Grajales Gallery!

The Black Beauty Supperman High Chair ($2,125)

While a standard high chair can be had for under $100, this black one was designed by Ineke Hans, a Dutch designer of note. The entire chair is made of recycled plastic and is billed as wind, salt, acid, water, and UV-resistant. Apparently, this thing should be able to withstand just about anything the elements can throw at it.

The Chelsea Dresser in Antique Silver ($1,912)

The astonishing cost of this dresser is compounded by the fact that every other piece in the collection is equally fussy, overdone, and shockingly expensive. While it may seem huge and out of place in a normal room, this piece will look right at home in a mansion-sized nursery. Whether the parents decide to buy the entire set or just the dresser, their wealth will not go unnoticed.

The Agnès & Agnès Design Toy Box ($2,600)

While some parents will simply buy a plastic 55-gallon tote from WalMart and call it a toy box, children of the affluent can have this dual-use toy box instead. It can serve as an art desk and includes many drawers, cubicles, and hiding spaces.

The Sarah Lamp with Bird Finial ($383)

This item may seem cheap compared to the other items on the list, but bear in mind that a decent lamp can be purchased for $30. Therefore, the excess of buying a lamp that costs $383 for a nursery where it may be broken by roughhousing children may seem initially insane. However, discerning parents can see that this lamp could easily be used by a tasteful daughter well into high school. That alone could make it an investment worth the price tag.

When buying furniture for a nursery, affluent parents may decide to splurge on some of these high-end pieces. Whether it’s celebrities, CEOs, or heads of state, the upscale baby furniture market will always be bustling as mothers strive to outdo one another in the nursery. Whether that is money well spent or a frivolous waste – well, I’ll leave that for you to decide.

10 Ideas to Create the Scariest Haunted House

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

It’s that time of year again: Halloween has arrived and there is nothing more fun than turning your home into a factory for squeals, screams, and good ol’ terror. Thankfully, creating the scariest haunted house doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. All you need is a bit of creativity, dedication, and a desire to scare your friends, family, and neighbors!

1) Alter The Atmosphere:
One of the first steps to creating the scariest haunted house possible is to alter the atmosphere of your home. After all, it can’t be scary if your home still feels cozy and safe. Altering the atmosphere in your home is easy; one of the first and most effective ways to change it is to play around with the lighting. Simply replace the regular light bulbs in your home with black or dark purple ones. If you can add a strobe light on top of the darker lighting, even better! The strobe light will add a sense of confusion to your haunted house.

Another excellent way to make your guests feel like they are in a scary place is to add some spooky sound effects. CDs with spooky music and noises can be purchased quite cheaply, or even downloaded from the internet. All that’s left to do is place the sounds in the right places of your home and watch your guests squeal with terror. If you can’t find music that fits your needs, you can always make your own with customized sound effects.

Last, but not least, you can alter the atmosphere of your home by creating temporary wall paper to cover up your “safe” wallpaper. If you don’t feel like being especially creative, using simple, black sheeting is an option. It can also be helpful to cover up windows so that your haunted house remains dark and spooky.

2) Find Actors:
If you really want your haunted house to come to life, try enlisting the help of family and friends to play the scary monsters of your haunted masterpiece. Combining your “monsters” with your new scary atmosphere, your haunted house will scare everyone! Although you can purchase props, there is nothing scarier than real, live ghouls lurking about. However, if you don’t want your actors moving, try placing them near other stuffed props. When guests walk through your haunted house, they won’t be sure of which is real until it’s too late!

3) Props, Props, Props:
Now that you’ve set up the right atmosphere and have your “monsters” in place, you can add eerily realistic props to your haunted house. When deciding where to set up props, be sure to take into consideration the route that your guests will take and how the furniture in your home can help you out. For example, if you have a chaise lounge on the route that your guests will take, try converting it into an electric chair. Next, place a dummy in the chair; be sure that the dummy looks the part, with some burnt spots and wires running from his body. If you decided on a strobe light, place it in this area and watch your guests scream in terror! The key to placing the right props is to be creative; your home can easily be converted with a little creativity.

4) Surprise ‘Em with Hidden Props:
So, you’ve placed all of the props in plain view. That’s good and all, but the best way to create the scariest haunted house possible is to place props in places where guests won’t expect them. For example, create a situation where your guests need to walk into a room and open a door. When they do, have a “surprise prop” just inside of the room or on the back of the door. In fact, doors are excellent places for hanging scary dummies and skeletons. Other pieces of furniture can be great places to place random body parts; stuffed arms, legs, hands, and other appendages can be placed on nearly any type of furniture in your home. Another effective – and popular – prop is fake cobwebs, which give the creepy appearance of both decay and spider infestation.

5) Be Creative with Glow in the Dark Paint:
Picture this: the entire house is dark except for a pair of glowing, red eyes. What could possibly be scarier than that? Glow in the dark paint can be found at most craft stores and can really open up your decorating options. Find a few spare boxes, and cover them with the same black sheeting you used on the walls. Next, take your new glow in the dark paint and create terrifyingly creative props.

6) Touch and Smell:
One of the best ways to have a truly scary haunted house is to have the guests feel and smell the scariness. If you don’t mind stinking up your home for a little while, try letting some food sit out and rot. When it’s time for your haunted house to open, hide the food in a room and watch your guests crinkle up their noses in disgust. Also, try taking a pan and adding spaghetti noodles, jello, and ketchup. Gather up a group of guests and have them stick their hand in the pan; while they do so, explain that they are touching brains.

7) Magic Mirror:
If you have an LCD monitor, computer, and internet access, this is one great feature to add to your haunted house. There is free software available from Walt Disney Imagineering that allows you to have the “magic mirror” from Snow White installed on your computer and displayed on your LCD monitor. Using a microphone, you can actually talk to your guests through the screen. To make the LCD monitor blend in, try adding a picture frame to its borders.

8) Scary Food:
If you want to treat your guests when they come through the haunted house, make sure that the food is extra scary. For example, you can use food coloring to make grapes resemble eyeballs. Offer them to your guests and wait for the terror! You can also serve cantaloupe that looks like skulls.

9) Fake Blood:
Nothing creates a feeling of fear in people like blood. Try using ketchup or easily removable red paint and smear it in as many places as possible. As long as it’s easy to remove, you can even make bloody footprints throughout your home!

10) Safety:
Although you want your haunted house to be scary, you don’t want to sacrifice safety. Be sure that there are no walking hazards that your guests could potentially trip over. Additionally, although it needs to be dark, make sure it’s not so dark that your guests can’t see where they’re going. Also, it is considerate to let guests know if your haunted house may not be suitable for young children.

By following these 10 tips, a little time and preparation is all you need to turn your home into a house of terror! Happy haunting!

What the Inside of Your Home Says About You

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Everyone has a personal style which they express in different ways. The way we dress says a lot about us, as does the way we talk, the way we keep our work space, and many other things. However, perhaps no other thing speaks as loudly about us, our style, and our personality as the inside of our home. Our interior design and the way we keep and decorate our home is a physical reflection of who we really are inside. In this sense, your home reflects your personality, your life, and your memories. Here are a few common design schemes, and what they might say about your personality type.

Modern Design

If you have decorated in a sleek, modern style, using modern furniture and cool accents, you are more than likely a no-nonsense person who is just as interested in function as you are in form. You are very well-organized and prone to be a perfectionist who excels at anything you start. Your home decor consists of leather Italian furniture, chrome accents, and dark, highly polished woods. Your walls are painted in neutral colors and are highlighted with mirrors and discreet splashes of modern art. Your home is clean and well-maintained, so that it is always ready to receive guests, whom you enjoy having over often.

What the inside of your home says about you:

You are organized, professional, and well-mannered. You put thought into things, and aim to do as well as you can in all aspects of your life. You have an active social life and think that life is better when your family and friends are involved in it. Read More