11 February 2010

Baby Lust.

Now that my baby is almost all grown up and leaving for college, I just happen to discover a line of baby furniture that makes me want to hire a surrogate and have another child!!!  Notice I’d hire a substitute womb, as opposed to using my own.    God knows that at 55 I am incapable of actually carrying another baby.  Although there are 60 year old women who have somehow managed that feat, I barely made it through the nine months when I was 37.   The night I went into labor, I was so bloated,  retaining  fluid in every cell – especially in my face - that my father walked into my hospital room and seriously didn’t recognize the water filled balloon that was masquerading as his screaming-in-pain daughter.    Such wonderful memories, makes you want to really relive that event!   But still, seeing French inspired baby furniture certainly leaves me a little wistful.  If only!   Is it just a tad ridiculous to want a baby in order to decorate a nursery?   OK, it might be a little too obsessive.   So, I’ll settle for a granddaughter.  After all, Elisabeth is going on 19.   Realistically, she could get married at 23 or 24, have a baby at 25 – that’s just six years away!   I better start planning her nursery now!  And yes, it’s going to be a female, because this furniture is just too gorgeous for her not to have a little baby girl.  

 

 image

A picture from Elisabeth’s graduation photoshoot.  Notice how the photographer sat her in an antique French chair with exposed nails and muslin upholstery!  Of course I loved this picture with the antique prop (how did she know???!)   The photoshoot was at Found For the Home.  Karen Sachar Photography HERE.

 

This baby lust started innocently enough (my daughter will be so relieved to know that I am not actually sitting around planning her nursery when we still haven’t found a college for her.)   I got a phone call from a reader, which is a first.  Usually I get emails.  The reader must have somehow known how backed up my emails are right now and that I’ve spent the day apologizing to people who haven’t received a follow up in over a month.  (Seriously  you try reading all four books from the Twilight series in a week and run a business and write a blog!)   The phone call was from a woman who had recently discovered design blogs.   As you might imagine – we all fell under their spell at one time ourselves – the reader was giddy with all the photographs and design talk that goes along with blogging.   She felt a certain kinship with me, after all we certainly like the same things, and she wanted to share all this with me and just talk about her excitement.  I love that part of blogging, meeting people you never would have met if not for sharing a love of design.  Oh, and by the way.   She owns a company:  a baby and juvenile furniture company:  Art For Kids.   She also has a retail store although a large portion of her business is wholesale.  Would I mind looking at her web site?   Casually she asks this, waiting to hear my response.    She should known that her merchandise would overwhelm me to the point of thinking about giving birth again, or maybe just adopting a orphan from some impoverished country like Borat’s Kazakhstan, or selling my daughter’s virtue off to anyone who will just impregnate her with my grandchild!!!    

 

image

 The Josephine Bed from the French Collection.

 

But, do you blame me?   I took one look at this bed, from the French Collection and my heart skipped a beat!   White cane, Louis XVI, silk bedspread, reaching to the floor.  Has a cuter bed ever been made for a little girl or a teenager just leaving home for college?  Immediately I am so sorry that didn’t see this bed before I redecorated my daughter’s bedroom.   After all, the pale blue silk would have gone so perfectly with her new decor, I know her curtains would look fabulous with this bedding!   I could have even make a little canopy – there’s a wood corona that matches this bed:

 

 

imageThe bed corona for the French Collection that would fit easily over the Josephine bed to make a faux canopy.

 

The same caned Josephine bed, painted in a soft aqua. Too beautiful!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

The brains behind this wonderful collection of baby and juvenile furniture is Gail Sedigh.  In 1982, newly married and pregnant, Gail started Art For Kids when she painted nursery pictures spelling out children’s names.  Today, the company is run by Gail and her husband and together Art For Kids sells everything for a child’s bedroom from baby to teen.   There are now ten furniture collections, ranging from the elegant French Collection to the fun, youthful Nursery Rhymes.   Located in southern California where the main office is, the flagstaff store is in tony Beverly Hills.   The furniture is exceptional – bench made -  and luxurious with carvings and appliqués.  It is hand painted in  California and each piece is made-to-order so that the client can choose their finishes and designs.   Gail is so enthusiastic about her product and it is infectious – she designs for the younger set because it is in her heart – a personal choice that can’t be easily explained.   Truthfully, I think some of the pieces would be beautiful in a master or guest bedroom despite their having been designed for the younger set.  

 

image

The handpainted “names” signs that started it all in 1982.

 

 

This nursery shows the full range of AFK’s merchandise from the cribs to the changing tables to the rockers, including the bedding and mirrors. 

 

 

 

Twin cribs in the French Collection – what pretty striped skirts!

 

 

More of the French Collection showing the light pink and white bedding.   Oh, it’s just too beautiful!  I would have never left my baby’s nursery if it had looked like this!

 

 

The tufted Hollywood bed is part of the Upholstery Collection.    The side chest goes from nursery to tween.  The lamp and mirror are also part of AFT’s accessories collection.

 

 

Here is the Hollywood bed shown with just a headboard.  Custom bedding from AFK.

 

 

No, this is not a master bedroom, it is technically “Juvenile” furniture, showcasing the Courtney bed, handpainted.   All the chairs, tables, chest and accessories come from AFK.

 

 

This nursery shows the Madison crib with more furniture from the French Collection.  I love their trumeaus and that low, open bookshelf, perfect for little hands to put away her own books!

 

 

Aqua and cream handpainted pieces from the French Collection.

 

 

Though little girls are definitely favored at AFK, the boys furniture makes quite a statement too.

 

 

AFK is known for their round cribs – many of which show up in design magazines and books.

 

 

This child sized table with four chairs is just adorable!

Does it get any cuter than this chaise lounge for a little baby girl?  I don’t think so!  I would love to design an entire nursery around this one piece!!!

 

 

Well, this is pretty adorable too!

 

 

imageThe Josephine bed comes in a full size.   Here it is shown with the corona above and the matching armoire.  

 

 

The Charlotte bed, shown with a trundle for preteen girls.

 

d

Naturally there are two bathroom vanities – one in pink and one in blue.  But, you can custom the color for any decor.

 

 

 

The flagship Art For Kids store in Beverly Hills.    On the web site HERE, there is a store locator to find a shop that carries this line in your area.   The Longoria Collection in Uptown Park is Houston’s best choice.

 

Thanks Gail for the phone call and for letting us all know about your wonderful company!   You knew I would fall head over hills in love with it – and I have!!!!

 

And, finally -

 

[French+vintage+school+poster+botanical+plant+french+wall+le+trip.JPG]

 

The new Skirted Roundtable discussion is up.  This week we talk about giveaways.  And as a tie-in to our talk, we are giving away this vintage school poster direct from FRANCE!!!!   Be sure to go listen to the new Skirted Roundtable and sign up for this fabulous give away!!!!!

To reach the Skirted Roundtable go HERE.