We all have that friend who is naturally a stylish person in body and home. Sarah Bean of Sarah Bean Brooklyn is one of those mothers who not only is one of the kindest humans you may ever know-she happens to possess the talent to style a space instantly. This mama of two (and expecting #3!) can take a bunch of crazy and make it into a warm gorgeous nook. This is why it wasn't rocket science on who was going to be our first profile for our first decor post in our new Motherburg look. Lucky us!
We asked Sarah a few questions on how all all mamas can create a beautiful space.
MB: How would you describe your aesthetic?
SB: Comfortable, functional, classic, pretty, relaxed but fun.
MB: With decor in kids room are there any 'rules' you personally follow ?
SB: I wouldn't say hard and fast rules - but I do have general guidelines. I like to include the child in some sort of developmentally appropriate way. For infants that may mean having a comfortable tummy time spot or black and white cards near their changing place. For toddlers, photos or their artwork hung at child height near their sleeping place is important. I love having the older kids participate in the actual design selections. Bedding is a great way to offer choices. You can curate the choices first but including them helps create a feeling of pride and ownership of their space. I believe that there's a way us parents or adult can appreciate and enjoy a child's space while it's still child friendly and theirs.
MB: I feel your home is the perfect example of Neutrals yet with touches of color. How do you achieve warmth in the home?
SB: Thank you! That's what I like and I'm happy it translates.
I try to only have items in our home that my family loves in. Much of the artwork and furniture has meaning or was passed down from someone special. Many items have a story and a history so the warmth is inherently there. I also have lots of photographs and the kids artwork around the house. That's a great way to add that warmth to the home. By using similar frames and photographs you can keep things personal but not cluttered. Also I like to designate certain areas for the kids art and projects. The fridge and a big gallery wall are our favorite spots.
MB: What tips do you have for someone who is hoping to perhaps design a gender neutral baby room?
SB: I love gender neutral. When we had my first son we didn't find out if we were having a boy or a girl so I designed a very gender neutral space. Actually, both Leo's room and Daniel's spaces are still mostly gender neutral. My favorite colors for decorating always start with a neutral base - greys, whites, natural woods are my go-toos. I like to keep big purchases such as furniture neutral and interchangeable. This isn't even about gender but thinking ahead and making lasting purchases. Your family will evolve and your space will often change so having the ability to mix and match pieces effortlessly is also functional in the long run. Linens are a place I love both neutral colors and pops of color. I purchased dove grey crib sheets with white polka for Leo's first crib and a beautiful bright colored throw blanket by Mini McGhee. The sheets have been used on Daniel’s crib and now his toddler bed. The dove grey is that great base and the blanket in shades of greens and blues has stuck with Leo wherever he moves too. Throw pillows are another fun way to add in your colors. They can be moved around and are a budget friendly way to change color preferences. While I love light blue and pale pink I find those to be the most gender specific colors. I'd suggest using those more sparingly. Daniel loves bright yellow and hot pink and I find those colors to be more gender neutral. Right now shades of ocra, rust and indigo are on my radar and are warm and colorful without being gender specific. At the end of the day love what you bring into your child's space and it will be beautiful.
MB: What are some of your favorite online stores?
SB: Now that Sweet William is no longer in Brooklyn I visit them online. There are often good sales and the selection is always inspiring. I also enjoy browsing Fawn Shoppe for particular kids decor touches. Merci and Milo is a treasure trove for gifts and your item will come packages beautifully. For furniture I've had lots of luck with my local online parenting list serves, Craigs List and Apt Deco.
MB: Where to shop for kids things in Williamsburg/Greenpoint?
SB: I've been shopping at flying squirrel since before I had kids for my nieces and when I taught preschool for toys and books. I have a lot luck finding quality kids clothes at a great price. I like warn-in denim as it's more comfortable and can always fine OshKosh overalls there or a nice wooden toy. I also love a great second hand find so I enjoy the search. Geometry kids has some very sweet toys and gifts - I just got the best light for Daniel's nook there. Mini Jake's has all the gear you need and lots of furniture. I love that you can try the strollers and check things out in person before you purchase. Wild Was Mama has been a lifesaver as a new mom since it opened as Caribou baby years ago. You can always grab a Freda Baby product last minute or some support.
MB: With a third one on the way how do you 'take' care of yourself or do you (ha, ha) ?
SB: When Leo's at school or home and deep into a lego project and Daniel is napping I really do try and put my feet up for a few minutes. Just to recharge - it's a little thing but it also makes a big difference. Also just being easier on myself and keeping life a little "simpler" when possible.
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