Category Archives: Designy Stuff


As a child who loved clothes, and even more the act of acquiring clothes via annoying mall excursions, my mother frequently reminded me that her mother actually made ALL of her clothes as a child and (gulp/gasp, and god forbid) a teenager as well. This seemed like the ultimate punishment and the very definition of uncool to my 14 yearold mind. I could just see my mother forcing me to peruse little-house-on-the-prairie-style patterns at the local fabric store, and this imaginary situation caused me to shudder.

Of course, as my mom always assured me, the tables have turned. And while I may not have a 14 year old daughter, or a daughter at all for that matter, I love these vintage children’s patterns I found on Ebay. For little girls, one could really create some adorable little pinafores, modernized by a more current print.

I must comment, however that I think my husband would kill me if I ever tried any of the little boy’s numbers out on little Nikos! My, how boys fashion has evolved…


Makes me want a girl…

Italian children’s clothing company Minimu is another great example of Italian designers rebelling against the traditional stuffy, itchy, scratchy baby style so often found inside Italian prams. Soft colors, gentle, natural fabrics, and shapes that I wish they made in mommy sizes! Just one question… where are the little boy’s digs???

Meritalia coziness…

This afternoon as I was out and about on a potential labor inducing power stroll, I passed Meritalia’s showroom that was displaying an extensive collection of pieces I had seen previously exhibited more as prototypes in last spring’s furniture fair. While I usually prefer simple shapes and subdued colors, I am a total sucker for one or two more quirky pieces– particularly if they perfectly meld comfort with design. These 2 groups are so fresh, versatile and playful and I love the size options and soft edges. After visiting the website, and viewing the pieces myself I must say that they are even more cozy and nap-inviting in person:

La Michetta is a system of modular components coming in all sizes and colors, meant to be constantly changing and rearranged. Ultra soft and beautiful available in a neutral palette as well (not shown here):


Shadow chairs are unique in their construction to allow for constant flux and adaptation to the sitter. They are big and cozy without being sloppy and even come in a “mini-shadow” size for the piccolo design enthusiast:



Ikea hacks for the expat baby…

As we know that we will only be in Milan for the first several months or so of our baby’s life, we have been hesitant to invest too much financially in the designing of our nursery. Keeping in line with this mentality of making the most of the inexpensive and easily obtained, here are a couple of great Ikea hack ideas I have found. A perfect way for spiffing up the creative expat nursery on a budget.

Mod revision of the Gulliver crib from ikeahacker



curbly’s lilybee LACK hack table

ikeahack3.jpg ikeahack2.jpg

angelique’s decoupaged hack toychest



Hand painted GRONO hacked lamp by Irina Troitskaya…



Virtual Nesting… the main room

As I get closer to my due date my spaciness is taking full control and it becomes more difficult to focus on text-based blog entries, but here is an update of my virtual nesting project using Google SketchUp to model the apartment that awaits our return from Italy 🙂


Will continue to update with the new components as I design them– some of the current fixtures are standing in for ones I have yet to crank out.


Milan is grey today…



So I have been playing online with color. Maybe it is my end-of-pregnancy desire for mindless (I like to think of it more as meditative) activity, but I am loving the color blending/matching utility on Using radio buttons, the site allows you to chose an initial jumping off color and then suggests color palettes to accompany. Yes, its simplicity is not too unlike my being mesmerized by the Sherwin Williams color chips at the Home Depot (not available in Milan for better or for worse), but with the color blending workstation there is decidedly a more intelligent dimension. Oh– and I forgot to mention that each color is listed with its HTML# and the palettes can be uploaded into photoshop or illustrator, plus the blends can be named and saved on the site for future use. To be integrated into my virtual nesting project for sure!


Virtual Nesting part 2

Just an update on the progress of my virtual nesting using Google SketchUp. Still learning, still playing around, sure to make changes and additions to the nursery as well as continue to play with different colors and textures…