Thursday, October 28, 2010


Unfortunately we had no choice but to let go of Olivia today, just five short days after she first became ill. We still don't know the cause (it might have been bacterial, fungal, or a toxin), but the effect was quite simply devastating -- her liver completely shut down, and no manner of drug nor treatment was going to bring it back. I'm still in a state of shock at this twist my life has taken in less than a week. But I suppose you never expect tragedies, nor can you ever prepare yourself for one.

Saying goodbye to her this morning was one of the harder things I have ever had to endure, but I know that in the end Dave and I made the right decision by ending her suffering rather than needlessly pursuing life-extending (but not life-enhancing) treatments. The process was made somewhat easier by a wonderfully supportive and incredibly gifted veterinarian and staff. I know they did all they could for her...and I was amazed to see them all in tears as well at the end. But then again, Olivia was (and I don't think I'm overstating things here) just about the cutest dog out there, with the personality to match. I wish I could have brought her home with me at the end of this ordeal, but I know that just wasn't meant to be.

Olivia taught me so many things in the 3 short years I had her. She taught me how to take care of someone else, someone totally dependent on me. She taught me greater patience, especially in her puppy phase. She taught me to take joy in the simple things: food, sun...feathers. Beyond these lessons, she gave me so much joy and comfort. My hope is at the end she knew this, and that she knew how much she was loved -- not just by Dave and I, but by so many other family and friends.

I have often been accused of loving her overly much, but to quote my father "if you don't love 'em, what's the point?" And I have to agree. Despite the pain Dave and I are going through now, it's worth every second I got to spend with her. I had hoped to enjoy Olivia for years to come, but I know that I was lucky to have her, if only for a short while.

St. Francis of Assisi believed that all animals, and not just humans, have souls. Because all living things are an expression of God, to St. Francis, they were considered sacred and to be cared for. And I would like to think that's true. For we are all God's creatures, and His heart and His heavenly home have room for the lot of us. If that's the case, then I know for certain that Olivia is there now, playing with my childhood dog Gretel and in good hands until I can be with her again.

I used to joke that Olivia was the puppy of my dreams, the puppy of my heart. And she will be in my dreams and in my heart forever. I know that in time Dave and I will get another dachshund -- I'm just a dog (specifically, dachshund) lover. But no dog will ever replace her: she was, after all, my Olivsita, my Chub-buns, my baby.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Olivia Update

After a horrible day yesterday, when every sign pointed towards me having to say goodbye to Olivia today, we have received some very positive news this morning. Olivia has started to respond to treatments, her liver is recovering and, while we're not out of the woods yet, the vet is "cautiously optimistic".

I will still count it as a tremendous blessing if I get to take Olivia home after this ordeal, but this is the first real sign of hope that I've had since she fell sick on Saturday afternoon. And, for now, I'll cling to it. Many thanks for all your sweet comments and notes. I have been reminded how lucky I am to have such amazing friends, family, coworkers and blog readers.

In the interim, please continue to pray for Olivia's recovery. And of course for my cousin Patrick, who continues his fight in NICU after suffering serious head trauma during a terrible car accident two and a half weeks ago. A family friend has been sending around daily devotionals for Patrick (and for my cousin KB who is serving in Afghanistan as a surgeon). Today's was particularly poignant for me.

Psalm 23 is one of the most famous passages in the Bible, and its first 3 verses read as follows:

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases verse 3 in a way that really spoke to me today:

True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
I do not know yet whether we are past the storm or merely in its eye, but today I am grateful for this moment of calm to catch my breath and collect my thoughts.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Advice for New Moms: Home to Three Duncan Boys

Hi guys, I’m Lakeitha from Home to three Duncan Boys and I’m here today sharing my baby must haves with Averill for her little “munchkin”!


Munchkin products are my absolute favorite. They make a wide variety of baby accessories that I think are perfect for new moms! Plus the color combinations are just too darn cool to pass up! Here are a few of my favorites…

For Feeding:

Breastfeeding may be ideal for many moms, but it didn’t work out for me with my three. So when it came to purchasing baby bottles I opted for glass! Glass bottles are the way to go especially when it comes to cleaning and not to mention the concerns of the chemicals found in plastic bottles. I’m a little old school when it comes to washing and sterilizing my babies bottles. Wash with soapy water and place them all in a large stainless steal pot with water and let them boil!

Munchkin Glass Bottles and Bottle Sleeves
glass bottles silicone sleeves

Now, washing these bottles are made easy with Munchkins bottle brushes! They have three different brushes.

These are my favorite! They have a soap dispenser made into them and with the press of a button, you have just the right amount of soap to wash a cup or bottle!
Next on the feeding list are these lovelies!
formula dispenser fresh food feeder
trainer cup sippy cup spill proof

Again since I bottle fed, the powdered formula dispenser was very convenient. And if you are breastfeeding, they come in hand when the need for cheerios comes! When the baby gets older, I used the fresh food feeder for different fruits (An absolute hit with the Duncan boys!). And lets not forget sippy cups! Around 6 months I introduced my boys to them and I started with the trainer cups. The handles are perfect for baby’s little hands! By the time they reach 9 months they are ready for the handle-less cups that are of course spill proof;-)

I’m not going to get into what type of diapers to use because I used disposables and I wish I could go back and use cloth! Not only would they have saved us money and are eco friendly, but they make some really great cloth/reusable diapers now!

Averill, if you decide to use disposable diapers on occasions (like traveling), these are a must!

diaper bag dispenser nursery freshners

The diaper bag dispensers hold little bags that you put soiled diapers in and they hold in odor. And the nursery fresheners are like sachets for baby! just place then somewhere discretely in the nursery and they will freshen the room!

Bath Time:
toy scooperturtlescoop1_lg

OMG, I don’t know if I can say enough how great these bath toys are! My boys have the alphabet and numbers. They also have the little squirt toys too. They literally play until they are wrinkled! The letters and numbers are foam and they ‘magically” stick on the wall of the tub (no worries, they stick because of the water) where you can put together words. And the clean up is easy thanks to the frog holder. And once you “scoop” them up, just rinse them with clean water and they are ready for the next bath time!

Averill, I can go on and on about my love for Munchkin products, but I’d rather hear what you think of them. So, please send me your address so that I can mail you a Munchkin “starter” gift set from me to welcome your new baby boy!

So guys, how many of you moms out there use Munchkin products? Can any of you back up my love for this baby line of products? Is there something that I missed and you use? Let Averill and myself know! Thanks again Averill for allowing me to be a part of this series!


Monday, October 25, 2010


Update (7pm): Many thanks for all the sweet messages and comments. We had to do a plasma transfusion today, but fortunately Olivia has responded very well to treatment so far and her vitals and behavior are both markedly better. We won't be out of the woods until tomorrow when we can do some more blood work, but this is a very hopeful development.

Please excuse the lack of postings this week. My darling dachsund Olivia has become suddenly and extremely ill. The vet is saying she is suffering from acute liver failure and now the job is to ascertain the cause (many of which are, thankfully, treatable). In the meantime though, to say I'm distracted (okay, distraught) right now is an immense understatement.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The verdict is in....

Dave and I went to our anatomy ultrasound today and are happy to report (first and foremost) that everything looks great and....that we're expecting a boy in early March! Time to launch the nursery design efforts in earnest.

In the meantime though, and (unfortunately) on a more somber note, I ask that you keep my cousin Carol, her husband and their darling daughter in your prayers and thoughts today. Patrick was in a serious car accident 10 days ago where he suffered serious head trauma. He's undergoing another surgery today to try and relieve mounting pressure in his brain. I hope and pray that the surgery is successful and Patrick can finally begin the long process of healing.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Advice for New Moms: My Little Happy Place

This week's advice comes courtesy of Alison G. at My Little Happy Place. Alison is the mother of two darling little girls, Avery and Isla -- and the designer of both of their darling nurseries. I'm particularly loving Alison's advice on what I don't need as a major goal of mine is to not overcrowd my house with unnecessary baby items!

* * *

I'd like to think I have something to offer a new mom, as I've been one twice - as recently as six months ago. However, the Mommy-to-Be and New Mommy experience is so personal and unique, it's difficult to encapsulate with anecdotes and product reviews, as there will be as many moms out there who agree as who disagree with my words of advice. For what it's worth, here's a couple of my Golden Nuggets on new babyhood....

{Avery's Nursery}

I'm forever amazed at the sheer volume of baby and nursery products. It's hard to know what is essential, but I've found three items (and my husband concurs) that we use day-in, day-out, from the moment we come home from the hospital:

1) the Boppy Pillow - the pillow that forms 'round Mom or Dad during feedings, provides support for baby during pre-sitting stages, etc has been my #1 go-to item.

2) Sheet Saver - Let's face it, babies have a lot of blow-outs! This quilted and waterproof tie-on pad covers crib sheets, so when baby's mess goes beyond the diaper, you're not changing the entire crib in the middle of the night. I bought several. Babies R Us has a decent selection.

3) Bouncer Chair - I can't get over the array of bouncer chairs on the market - some look like they might send your baby into orbit! We've always had fairly basic models, but they've done the job of calming and entertaining our kiddos beautifully.

{Isla's Nursery}

You could devote an entire post to what you need not spend money on in terms of baby gear, but my vote goes to Diaper Genies (or similar diaper pails), and free-standing high chairs. In my book, you don't really need a so-called "contained" HAZMAT container for diapers - just take them outside to the trash - easy peasy.

Although there are some very designerly high chairs out there, I still think the versions that snap onto a chair you already own is a better use of space.

{Isla's Nursery}

Other advice/preparations....I'd say go ahead and take those labor and birth preparation classes. They will at least provide you with the basic information of what to expect when baby decides to make his/her appearance. If you plan to breastfeed, I highly recommend making friends with a Lactation Consultant, or, as my new-mommy cousin calls hers, a Boobie Whisperer.

Congratulations again, Averill and Dave!


Monday, October 18, 2010

A little retail therapy...

How did I not know Jonathan Adler was coming out with a diffusion line over at HSN?! Mayhap I've been focusing far too much on babies and nurseries over here. In any case, get yourselves over to pronto and check out all the Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler line, which includes plenty of candles, lamps, vases, pillows, throws and other accessories in Adler's signature motifs and bright colors. I just picked up the greek key throw and greek key diffusers. What a nice little shopping pick me up for this otherwise tired Monday!


Friday, October 15, 2010

And the winner is...

I'm excited to announce that the winner of Mary McDonald's new design book, Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style, is Anastasia from Precious and Pink. Many thanks to everyone who entered to win! This weekend, I'm off to entertain the in-laws so I'll see everyone back here next week. Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Little Boys' Rooms

I thought in many ways it would be more difficult to do a roundup of little boys' rooms that I love as opposed to little girls' (see HERE for last week's installment), but once I got going, I found a ton of wonderfully inspiring spaces that tow the line perfectly between a mother's desire to decorate and a boy's desire to be, well, a boy. As with the girls' rooms, trends did tend to emerge. Firstly, bunkbeds and twin beds appear to be very popular in boys' rooms -- is this because little boys share rooms with their brothers more often than little girls do? Or is it just because there's an inherently pleasing symmetry in two beds? Another trend I noticed is that little boys rooms tend to be more theme-y than little girls (unless you consider "princess room" a theme, in which case, you got me): from jungles to ships to circuses, boys rooms seem to veer more towards a specific motif.

That said though, I do love this decidedly un-themey room by Amanda Nisbett. The touches of bright orange-red are wonderfully crisp against the white, while the oak furniture lends a warmth to the space that it might otherwise lack. And those monogrammed pillow cases? Yes please!

Navy and white stripes are a particular weakness of mine, especially when paired with orange. The Jonathan Adler giraffe lamp is also a personal favorite (and on my wish list for the nursery!). The seagrass rug brings a great organic texture to the otherwise modern space.

A nautical theme is a popular choice for boys rooms -- and I love the colorful, graphic punch that traditional nautical flags can lend a space grounded in navy and white. Note here how the attic roof resembles an overturned ship, further enhancing the theme. The sunny yellow paint pops against the white trim and beadboard as well as the crisply painted white floors.

There are quite a few examples of red, white and blue boys' rooms floating around the Internet -- and little wonder as the palette is preppy and timeless. Here, Palmer Weiss's iteration brings a further crispness to the palette by repeating a subtle square motif throughout the space.

There's a wonderfully natural, undecorated look to this bedroom -- this looks as though boys might actually live here. I love the playful illustrations hung across the back wall, sandwiching in a British flag.

And unlike in my quest for girls' rooms, I found a number of boys' nurseries that I found inspiring:

I love this picture in part because I think it's such an adorable moment between a mother and her children -- but I also love the decor. The grasscloth wallpaper and pale blue bedding are classic coastal choices, punched up by the playful addition of that ark print (which is gorgeous) and the colorful throw pillows. All in all, a great balance between kid-friendly and designer-friendly.

This nursery bedding is from Serena & Lily, and a strong contender to go in my own nursery. But what I really want to know is: wherever did Kristen get that adorable elephant box pillow? I want. I also love the wainscoting, an elegant touch to a playful space.

The circus pattern on the walls reminds me of the Serena & Lily bedding that Kristen used, writ large. I love how seamlessly the valence continues the stripe tent.

Jungle themes are popular in boys' rooms, but I think they can easily be overdone. Sally keeps it simple with khaki walls and classic, masculine furniture.

Jenna Lyons via Domino

Proof positive that black can work beautifully in a bedroom, especially when paired with lots of white and yellow. 

Marianne Strong, designer and blogger behind Haven and Home, did her own riff on Jenna's black, yellow and white nursery. I love how the pops of red bring in a more playful element and how elegant the art over the crib is.

This nursery just makes me smile (and crave some oranges!) -- and it's the perfect example of how white walls can be the perfect backdrop for some seriously big color statements. Note too how just a few big, bold statements (like the wall decals and curtains) can make a huge impact and avoid the cluttering effect of lots of smaller moments. This is especially key in most children's bedrooms as (a) they're often small and (b) they'll quickly be cluttered by toys, books, etc.

Sarah Richardson

Sarah's design show (Sarah's House) on HGTV is one of the few my husband can tolerate watching -- and there's good reason for that: Sarah is really, really good. I particularly loved the nursery she designed in the mid century back split she renovated back in season 2. It's quiet and peaceful and in many ways very traditional, but the mix of fabrics is so clever and sophisticated, that I really think it elevates the room to truly special. I also love the whimsical alphabet she propped up along the plate rail (which is a great opportunity to display pictures, objects, etc. well out of the reach of tiny tots).

The feature wall is inspired by the alphabet DwellStudio bedding (a favorite print of mine that is, alas, not currently in production) and it is, to quote Fergie, "F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S". I'm not sure I have the patience (or the steady hand) to pull this off myself, but I love it. The Thomas Paul rug is a wonderfully adult option that coordinates without matching.

P.S. - Don't forget that there's still time to enter to win a copy of Mary McDonald's new design book!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Advice for New Moms: Maddie G Designs

Today I'm thrilled to welcome Susie from Maddie G. Designs, a great resource for trade-only buying and a wonderfully inspiring blog. I knew Susie would be a wonderful resource for new mom advice (not only does she have a toddler, but she's expecting her second child in just a few short weeks!) and I wasn't disappointed -- this post has me scurrying to my registry to add/change so many things.

* * *

Thanks, Averill, for including me in this fun series. I am a mom to an almost 2.5 year old daughter and I am due with a little boy two weeks from tomorrow. I remember well how excited and overwhelmed my husband and I were before Maddie was born. I have to admit that we are totally unprepared this time, but are hoping to wing it with all of the stuff we have from Maddie’s early days. A lot of this was gained by trial and error and to be honest, a lot is completely personal preference. But, I’ll share what worked for us.

Oh, and I cannot resist the urge to share a couple of photos of Maddie’s nursery. It was so fun designing this room for our first little girl!


Baby Bargains  – This book is a go to source for ratings on almost any baby gear you could imagine. They talk about the practicality, safety ratings, cost, durability, etc. No new parent wants to be without this book.

Baby411 – This book serves as a little encyclopedia of common questions/concerns that new parents may face. It can be a first line of defense before calling the pediatrician and often helped to put me at ease in the early days where I was totally sleep deprived and clueless.

Happiest Baby on the Block – This book, which is also apparently available in DVD format, was a lifesaver giving advice on how to sooth our baby early on. It is a quick read and one of the few baby books I actually read and found useful.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child – I cannot say enough great things about this book. It really helped me to get Maddie on a regular nap and nighttime sleeping schedule. I was very lucky that we had her sleeping through the night by six weeks and I recall a regular 2x per day nap schedule by 4 months. I know so much depends on the baby….but I loved how this book broke down what to expect by various stages, so I could read the relevant age-appropriate chapters when needed without having to find the time to read the whole book at any one time.

Super Baby Food – I made all of Maddie’s baby food. This book was like a bible for me. It breaks down various fruits and veggies, how to cook and freeze them and at what age they can be introduced. It really takes the guesswork out of making your own baby food. The only drawback is that the author is a vegetarian so you won’t find any meat recipes. However, I found websites geared toward baby food to supplement with meat recipes.


As a new mom, you don’t have a ton of time to surf the internet. But, here are a couple of websites that I found to be helpful.

KellyMom -- This site offers breastfeeding and parenting support. I found the forums to be invaluable in the early days when I had breastfeeding questions/concerns.

Annabel Karmel -- Annabel Karmel authors many of the popular baby and toddler cook books today. Her website offers a bunch of recipes and useful tips for feeding your baby.


My best advice is to avoid the hype or urge to buy what is “in” and go to a baby store and test everything before you buy. With Maddie, I went to the store knowing I had to have the trendy Bugaboo. I wanted top of the line/stylish everything. Thank goodness we found a wonderful salesman who really steered us in a more practical direction. By the time Maddie actually arrived, I was much more concerned with function than style!

We ended up getting a Graco Baby Carrier with the Snap-N-Go frame. This way we could transfer Maddie from the car to the “stroller” without having to wake her up or unsettle her. The carrier could also be adjusted so it would rock…so I carry her with me and rock her on the floor or a counter if I was say, out to lunch with friends, etc.

Then, we went with a more robust stroller for long walks. We ended up with the City Jogger series which I love. And, our splurge was the bassinet feature (pictured here). Truthfully, we could have gotten by with adaptors that would have allowed us to clip on the Graco carrier…..but my husband fell in love with the “pram.” First daughter…..

My best advice is to think about your lifestyle. Test drive everything and buy what works for you. When Maddie was born we lived in a suburban neighborhood. So, for walks around the neighborhood (including off-road trails) I needed a stroller that would be durable, with inflatable wheels, etc. Alternatively, since I had to drive to shopping, a system that was easy to fold up and transport was key. Being able to fold the stroller and lift one handed was important to me. I didn’t want anything bulky or unwieldy. Other key features were the size of the basket under the stroller, cup holder, safety ratings, etc.

Finally, we went with a simple MacLaren umbrella stroller for once Maddie outgrew the snap-and-go and wanted to sit up and look around.

Other Miscellaneous Products I Love

It was mentioned last week that swaddling is key to get your baby to sleep. I completely agree and we found the SwaddleMe® blanket to be our go to swaddle blanket. We tried them all and this worked best for us. When Maddie eventually outgrew the swaddles, we moved to the HALO SleepSack®. We used these until she was old enough to unzip them….so we got a lot of mileage out of them!

For diapers, we found the Diaper Genie II to be the best for us. Again, we tried several before we ended up with this one.

Make sure you have lots of sheet savers like these or these, which can be put in on the change table, in the bassinet/crib, pack n play, etc. so that a spit up or blow out doesn’t mean a big production. This is especially helpful in the middle of the night!

In the first few months, you may have need for a humidifier. I love the Germ Guardian Ultrasonic humidifier because it doesn’t require filters and is easy to clean.

I also loved the Fischer Price Rainforest Bouncer. This bouncer, which plays music and vibrates, bought me the time to shower or cook dinner in the early days as I could tote Maddie around and set her up on the bathroom floor or kitchen counter while I got things done. My advice is to find something colorful. I found that many of the items I initially purchased because they matched my color scheme (pink and green) for her nursery were not as well received as similar items in primary colors and bright patterns.

We also found that soothing music in the nursery would become a welcome part of Maddie’s nighttime ritual. She still listens to this CD every night. A lot of people love the Rockabye Baby series of CDs which offer lullaby renditions of popular rock bands’ music. Other must haves for me were the Baby Bjorn for “wearing” Maddie. We went with a neutral color so my husband could use it as well. I wore Maddie a LOT when she was little. Also, a boppy and a good pump are essential if you plan to breastfeed. Check with your insurance company too….a good chunk of our Medela Pump in Style was covered by our insurance.

Speaking of breastfeeding….if you plan to go back to work, make sure they install an interior lock on your office door to avoid any uncomfortable situations with coworkers.

Saving Money

Whenever possible, I’d find an online source for the larger products I’d decided to purchase. Take advantage of no sales tax and coupon codes to save a bit of money.  Also, for those with Buy Buy Baby stores in their areas, keep in mind that they are owned by Bed Bath and Beyond and will honor the Bed Bath and Beyond coupons that seem to show up in our mailboxes on a weekly basis!

Well, I could go on and on, but all of this has reminded me of how much I have left to do in the next couple of weeks. Yikes! We are in the process of moving cross country after our little one arrives so I’ve been trying to work remotely on the new nursery. This post has prompted me to blog about my current nursery selections today, so feel free to check out my blog here.

Thanks again to Averill for including me. This was fun!

P.S. - Don't forget to enter to win Mary McDonald's new book Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review -- Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style

Last week Mary McDonald came out with her first book Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style. I'm fairly picky about what design books to pick up because, not only can they often be on the pricey side, but they're often just...disappointing. Most interiors books are just picture books for adults -- all style and no substance (and sometimes even the style ain't that great). But, since I've been a fan of Mary's for several years now, I set aside my usual reservations and quickly snapped up a copy (actually, I preordered it on Fortunately, I'd argue that I more than got my money's worth.

If you already know and love Mary McDonald, then this book is a must have as it's exactly what you've come to expect from the Southern Californian. There are no surprises here, just page after page of glossy, high resolution photographs of her best work. In fact, in many ways this book reads like a greatest hits compilation. For the avowed McDonald fan (like me), there's a lot of what you've probably already seen, either on her website or in one of the many magazine spreads she's been featured in. But there's also a lot you probably haven't seen before, from designer show houses to the designer's own homes.

If you aren't familiar with McDonald, then this book would also serve as a great (and comprehensive) introduction to her work and Mary's text does a good (though perhaps not great) job of pointing out many of the milliner's details that set her work apart. (Mary was a hat designer prior to launching her successful career in interiors.) And perhaps that's what I like about McDonald's work the most: that strong reference to fashion. From the dressmaker details to the playful use of color, Mary's work often draws heavily from the runway. But there's also a level of timelessness and sophistication that keeps her rooms from feeling too trendy, and it's that balance that I find so refreshing (and so difficult to achieve in my own home).

So how do you know if you'll like this book? If you are a fan of at least three or more of the following, then my bet is that this book is for you:

Hollywood Regency
Color (especially aqua)
Bold Patterns
Strong Architectural Details
A "Decorated" Look

My one complaint? Mary's voice can sometimes come off as a wee bit bombastic, but I'd argue that her confidence is essential to her success as a designer. After all, you have to trust your instincts and your eye in order to take some of the risks that she routinely takes. Nevertheless, that same voice can grow a bit wearisome in print. Despite this criticism, however, I would still whole heartedly recommend this book to any design enthusiast.


As it's been a while since my last giveaway, I've decided to give away a copy of Mary McDonald's book this week. If you're interested in entering to win it, all you have to do is leave me a comment here (and include your name/email so I can contact you if you're the winner). I'll randomly select a winner this Friday and announce it here on the blog. Best of luck!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Little Girls' Bedrooms

Of course the past few weeks I've been busy collecting inspiration photos of children's rooms. So I thought I might go ahead and post a round-up of some of my favorite rooms: first girls' and then boys' (which, I'll admit, where a lot harder to find!). [Aside: And no, I still don't know what I'm having, but I should when I go to the doctor next on the 20th!] This first room from Natasha Baradaran (whom I only recently discovered but very much love) is a great way to kick this post off. I love the melon and yellow color scheme -- and that butterfly fabric is pretty dynamite. Overall, this is a kid's room that doesn't feel particularly kiddish, but also doesn't feel too adult. It's that delicate balance that I think is so difficult...and that I'd argue all these rooms have in common.

Another Natasha Baradaran room, this time in a lovely lilac and sage. The palette is very soothing and feels a bit Provencal to me. I love how natural this room feels, too, with the nubby natural headboard and very clean and simply white fabric draped around the bed. 

Jeff Andrews

I just realized this is the only nursery I've featured on this roundup -- but frankly in many of these rooms you could just swap out a bed for a crib and pretty much be there, yes? In any case, I love how there are two gliders in this room. Perfect for your spouse or friend to keep you company while you nurse. I also love how the shaggy green rug looks almost like turf -- it brings a naturalness to the room that's a great counterpoint to all that pink and yellow. My only complaint? Those yellow sheers! They just look dirty to me.

I'll admit I'm a bit jealous of that girl -- her bedroom is pretty darn fabulous! The headboard is sophisticated and neutral, a piece that could easily see her well into her adult life. The large-scale square and circle print doesn't feel overwhelming thanks to heavy doses of white (and keeping the wallpaper to just one feature wall). Oh yeah, and at her age I would've killed to "play" on a pink guitar!

This room is a personal favorite of mine (in fact, I posted on it at length HERE). The colors, the prints, the's just all so fun and funky! The wallpaper is particularly fabulous, especially with the pink ceiling and gold crown molding. Fit for a princess, indeed.

A second example of how to use this great, graphic print, this time used more sparingly in just the drapes. I think though my favorite element in here is the daybed-cum-hammock. What a great spot for daydreaming, reading and gossiping!

I include this room primarily because I am completely in love with that headboard. Note how the greek key motif is again picked up on the carpeting.

This room sure made the rounds in the design blogosphere a few months ago, but it's too great not to include in this roundup. I love how the bed/bookshelves combo are completely built-in. It's a tremendous use of a very small space. The pops of pink and turquoise make a big impact and I love the sophisticated use of a chinoiserie; it's pretty and feminine, but not babyish.

As a little girl I had a strong affinity for Impressionist art, especially anything by Claude Monet. And there's something about this room that reminds me of him. The soft colors and prints almost bleed into each other, creating a soothing, pretty picture. I also love the flatweave striped rug -- a brilliant choice in any kids' room for hiding all manner of sins.

Sally Markham via House Beautiful

As a woman who doesn't consider herself overtly girly, I can definitely appreciate a girl's room that doesn't have an ounce of pink in sight, but still strikes a decidedly feminine note. The turquoise, chocolate brown and white combination is exceedingly popular -- you need only look at PB Teen to see that, but I really love how Sally brought in hits of chartreuse to bring an extra dimension and real jolt of novelty to the space. Note how the spotted print on the floor cushion brings the entire color palette together. Sometimes an inspiration print doesn't have to be the dominant print to be the spring board for the entire look.

P.S. - Those bedlinens are purportedly by Kate Spade? When did Kate get into linens? Is she still doing them?

Did y'all catch the first season of Nine by Design on Bravo last winter? While I'm not wholly in love with most of the Sixx Design portfolio, after catching that show I am now very much in love with the darling family behind Sixx Design. Of the few rooms of theirs that I do love, their twin daughters' bedroom has to be near the top. Perhaps it's that dreamy antique bed or the giant art installation of fake flowers behind plexi-glass, but there's just something so joyous, feminine and yet very clear and modern about this space. It's a great dichotomy that makes for a very refreshing girl's bedroom.

And finally, what roundup of little girls' rooms would be complete without a collection of fantastic canopied daybeds?

A great modern approach with a sharply tailored canopy and graphic geometric print.

Ruthie Sommers goes the more traditional route with lots and LOTS of pink. The blue and white porcelain table lamp is a great touch and really helps to break up the monochromatic room.

Perhaps my favorite version of this look -- the floral print has a great color palette and a more graphic, whimsical touch. Love how the inside is lined in a solid -- it really helps break up all the pattern.

I love purple in a girls' room and the touch of zebra in the canopy lining brings a more grown-up look that's perfect for a preteen or teen.

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