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Painting the Nursery

I am waiting for the ultimate surprise. In t-minus 9 weeks, the gender of Baby T will be revealed! Strangely, a lot of prep work seems to be contingent on old, traditional norms. Pottery Barn, OshKosh B’gosh, Carter’s, Old Navy and other big brands are convinced that “male means blue” and “female means pink.” The birthing industrial complex kindly suggests green, yellow and grey as unisex hues. Onesies, house paint, socks, and animal-themed toys (lions are on “boy teethers” / birds are on “girl swaddlers”) are all codependent on antiquated tropes. Some of the clothes even seem overtly sexist, “Mommy’s littler helper” and “Daddy’s princess.” Sigh.

That said, a few brands get the aesthetically pleasing, gender-neutral baby fashion (and lifestyle) items right without all of the saccharine, cutesie details: Boden, Giggle, Sprout, Tea CollectionBurt’s Bees Baby, KicKee Pants, SkipHop, René Rofé Baby, and hundreds of independent brands found online and via Etsy.

Now that my nesting instinct has kicked in at (just shy of) 32 weeks, my personal struggle with the “gender wars” came this past weekend. In my desire to check errands off of my (never-ending) list, calm anxieties, or feel superficially prepared for the whirlwind of a newborn, I decided this Saturday was the time to paint. Four of my wonderful friends obliged and were paid in delicious Greek food and major gratitude.

Headed to Lowe’s Home Improvement with nothing but a few dream photographs from Pinterest, I had little idea of what color to choose. Originally, I had wanted a minimal and Scandinavian white. But, my friend Sonja said such a dull color was “unnecessarily punishing the baby with bland” and also, not indicative of the excitement, joy and magical exuberance of a child. Tall order.

Hours later, we chose Valspar’s Mint Hint. I’m told it pairs well with Apple Slice, Lime Sherbet, and Pearly Violet. Considered a blue undertoned neutral, it easily complements grey, wood, and pastel. Step one of our unisex mint nursery is now complete!

Now on to modern yet infant appropriate decor.

A Modern, Gender Neutral Mint Colored Nursery

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P.S. Yours truly, neurotic mom-to-be, promises the room was HIGHLY ventilated – windows and doors were open.

My husband and I are in the midst of decorating our new house. We find ourselves being drawn to seemingly disparate styles. We love Victorian clutter, and yet we also love sleek minimalism. We like aspects of midcentury modern, and we even like some steampunk accents. We found ourselves at a loss on how to incorporate all of our favorite eras, and yet to remain contemporary and present.

Introducing a fellow Brooklyn, NY resident, Jason Miller! Jason is influential in breaking the rigidness of contemporary modernism and initiating the back-to-nature movement in design. Born and raised in Darien, Connecticut, Jason’s suburban upbringing heavily influenced his early, more conceptual pieces — duct-taped chairs and cracked vases, among them — and continues to inform the elegant, historically rich work that has become his signature.

His Superordinate Antler Collection (2003) could be called an artful collision between hunting lodge décor and high-end contemporary design. The whimsical antlers are available in white ceramic, chrome and gold finishes. 

The_Walk_Up_Post_Meta_Tag-300x34A perfect mingling of organic masculine energy and quiet austerity, paying homage to  the fauna without harm.

Available for purchase at Jason’s own Roll & Hill, Design Within Reach or Future Perfect.  It’s “nature made better!”

My obsession du jour is “The Himmeli!” This organic, geometric sculpture is named from the Swedish word ‘himmel’ meaning sky or heaven. Ever since I saw the artistic mobiles hanging in a J.Crew in SoHo, I find myself dreaming of simple and minimalist metals.  Originally built with stalks of straw grown from the prior years harvest, the designs would be prominently displayed in the main room of a cottage. It was thought that “the larger the himmeli crafted, the more prosperous the following season’s crop.”

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Abstract Himmeli no. 1 / Wall Sculpture / Minimalist Home Decor

One purveyor of these unique Scandinavian designs particularly stands out. Meet Melissa from Gran Rapids, Michigan of HRUSKAA (pronounced Her-oo-shh-ka). Her favorite materials include straw, string, linen, leather and wood. Each of Melissa’s original designs are influenced by the pure simplicity of Scandinavian styling and are made for medium to small scaled spaces. 

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Copper Himmeli Wreath / Modern Geometric Wall Sculpture

Above, the perfectly faceted 22″ wreath inspired from the himmeli changes visual perspective from every angle, playing off its clever lines. It casts a beautiful geometric pattern on the wall when the light is just right, truly a sculptural piece of art to admire.

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupBrass Himmeli Wall Prism no. 1 / Modern Geometric Ornament / Air Plant Hanger 

An unconventional air plant vase hangs out casually and seamlessly with frames, antlers, and other forest creatures. It is perfectly sized to hold a Tillandsia, [aka. air plant] for display.  Hand sewn from solid brass straw and nylon cord, the metal is ‘bright’ but will naturally oxidize and darken over time.

The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The WalkupLarge Abstract Himmeli no. 1 / Wall Sculpture / Minimalist Home Decor
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The Himmeli by HRUSKAA via The Walkup
Does it get any more white and clean than the Himmeli no. 6?
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There is no better way to celebrate the Winter Solstice and to pay homage to the seasons!