Actions may speak louder than words, but words themselves hold a power all their own. They help us communicate, relate and get a point across; they provide the currency with which we exchange information. So it makes sense that there are so many “font snobs” and typography enthusiasts out there; even when words fail, the way in which they’re presented can still speak volumes.
Today, we’ve pulled together a host of type-inspired home decor, from the most inexpensive and accessible fabrics to help you bring your own creative ideas to life, to one of the most chic and cheeky designers on the market today. First, IKEA treats us to its “Britten Nummer” fabric, with a random string of numbers written longhand in an open, ambling script, shown above.
Several years ago, my daughter and I went on a 10-day trip to Europe. We had a fabulous time visiting with a close friend of mine who was living in Germany while her husband served our country. During our stay we visited several countries and had our first encounter with IKEA.
Now, at the time, I had no idea that there was an IKEA so close to my own home (like, two hours close). So when we went to the ginormous store, I did crazy amounts of shopping and ended up bringing home a boatload of stuff. In fact, looking back, I probably should have just shipped it all home, rather than checking it as luggage. But whatever, hindsight is 20/20, right?
And while I love the prices and eclectic nature of IKEA, my one complaint has to do with how plain most of their furniture is. The styling is very cute, but the basic furniture is very plain and simple. So I’ve often wanted to spice up the pieces we have from them. Read more…
I’ve been on a quest to find a modern toddler table that will grow with our little one but won’t break the bank. Since we don’t have a playroom separate from the main living area of our house, I wanted the table to at least be pleasing to look at and fit in with our sense of design. However, I didn’t want to spend a bundle of money because, while I wanted the table to be of use for years to come, that doesn’t mean it WILL be of use for years to come. What I really didn’t want is an expensive dust catcher stuffed away in the basement (or in our case, the black hole closet).
1) The Anka Table set. It’s stylish without being fussy or overly designed. I like the natural finish on the birch wood, but it comes in honey and espresso, too. It seems perfect for little ones and can also support Mom or Dad, so you can join in with “tea time” or playing with trains or coloring. Priced at $199 ($249 for the honey and expresso), it was at the top of the list, though still a little pricey to end rejected in the closet.
2) Offi Nest Play table. Here’s a great idea – re-purposing that Nest bassinet that was only in use for roughly 3 months. My brother and sister-in-law have the bassinet and barely used it for those 3 months. Theirs now holds hats. But, Offi decided to make a conversion kit for the bassinet so it becomes a table and toy bin. Beautiful stuff! Only, at $599 for the conversion kit (plus the $999 for the bassinet you’ve already purchased) that makes for one expensive toddler table!
3) Softy Table by Paul Frank. Really cute mix of plywood and molded MDF, this table was also a top contender. The chili red chair that comes with is also very stylish and sturdy, able to support both toddlers and parents. Also priced at $199, it’s a good choice if you like simplicity with a little bit of contemporary quirk thrown in.
4) The Chalkboard table set with stools. I love the chalkboard finish for an activity table. Talk about a no worry surface. However, the chalkboard doesn’t seem like a meal friendly surface, so I’m not certain it can do the double duty we need it to. Again priced at $199 it’s a fun table but, if we’d have to buy yet another table for meals, it’s not what I’m looking for.
5) Ecotots Project table and Popsicle table. Totally cute and clean lined table with stools fit for any toddler’s developing sitting style. And, apparently, it is assembled with NO TOOLS! Yay! Can you imagine not having to whip out the allen wrench or screwdriver?!? The stools tuck under the table for easy storage. Made out of eco-friendly, formaldehyde free plywood, it could be a good choice especially for the “green” family. I can’t find a discernable difference between the two styles except the design on the legs of the stools and the price. The Project table ranges from $125 to $225 while the Popsicle table is $250.
6) Svala table at IKEA. Now I love IKEA for some things and hate them for others. Mainly I think that buying too much IKEA makes a room scream “IKEA!”, so I shy away from making big purchases there and stick to the small stuff. But, I must say their children’s section is quickly winning me over. This table set that comes with 2 chairs costs only $39.99 and is perfectly acceptable. It won’t win any design awards, surely, but it is simple and made of real wood. Plus, if it gets tossed aside I won’t be heartbroken.
Ultimately we decided to go with the Svala table and chairs from IKEA as it fit the bill for simple design at a reasonable cost. I do, at times, wish that it had more style. I’ve seen a number of the Anka tables in action and they do look great. So, there’s that. But, we bought it and we’re happy with it. Out little girl loves to color while sitting at the table and we do use it for meal time to great (most of the time) success. (also see post on eating at the toddler table).