Welcome! The current reality is sobering. So I hope this newsletter (a) provides some needed distraction or (b) draws attention to your immediate surroundings. To the latter point, a lot of us are using our homes like never before, and while my own day-to-day is more “rote task list” than “total home makeover,” I haven’t stopped dreaming. —Kelsey
The children’s classic Goodnight Moon is in heavy rotation at my house. Every time I open that board book, I think, “What a stoned-out kid’s room; I wonder what it would look like IRL.” It’s got real panache, mostly thanks to its bold color scheme. Long story short, I rounded up a few ideas to duplicate the look. Since this exercise is a completely fantastical one, I disregarded any notions of budget.
(From left to right) First things first: the paint. The original is an intense and queasy shade of green; I’d recommend picking a hue that’s equally saturated, but with blue undertones that will play well with others (Verdigris Green paint, $115 per 3-liter can, from Farrow & Ball).
Let’s talk about those curtains: They are out of bounds, in a batty yet delightful way. For a real room, I’d go for a serape-inspired yarn-dyed cotton stripe ($14 per yard, from Stonemountain & Daughters) that incorporates a few different hues, including that bold green.
Goodnight Moon’s tiger rug is, to quote a cinematic masterpiece, what really ties the room together. This cartoon-y version ($380, from Aelfie) in wool and cotton is suitable for a tot.
(From left to right) Once your kid is ready to size up from a crib, might as well get a trundle bed ($415, from Wayfair) for that twin-size mattress.
All play rugs should be washable, IMO, like this one from Lorena Canals ($200, from Maisonette).
A dimmable light is de rigueur for a nursery. This one ($129, from Crate & Kids) is satisfyingly on-the-nose for a Goodnight Moon-themed bedroom.
(From left to right) Instead of a standard lamp base-and-shade combo, I like this playful midnight-blue lamp ($178, from Gantri) that rotates on its base, casting dramatic shadows faithful to the original illustration.
Dollhouses are trending—hmmm, perhaps there is something soothing about exerting complete control over your own tiny environment? Theoretically you could paint any dollhouse red, but here’s a chipper ready-made one to start ($200, from Green Leaf Dollhouses).
The Eames Case Study storage unit is more “in the spirit of” than an exact replica of the GM bookshelf, interpreting the rows of multicolored books as color-blocked modular shelf components. They come in a plethora of sizes, too (from $795 at Herman Miller).
INTERVIEW: ALEX GILBERT
Speaking of bold color in kids’ rooms! I got Alex Gilbert—currently associate director at Friedman Benda gallery, formerly of Sotheby’s and Artsy—to fill me in on her son Clyde’s main hang in their Brooklyn apartment. Alex is married to gallerist Patrick Parrish, and it’s no surprise their 4-year-old has an eye for design and texture: The mobile is his own creation.
Kelsey Keith: What kind of artwork did you all hang in Clyde’s room? Are these pieces you already had or shopped for specifically?
Alex Gilbert: Andy Rementer did the figurative painting “7 Train,” and it was in a 2012 show at PPG. Another friend, Jim Oliveira, did the resin color field. It’s from his “Patchwork” series. Patrick has some of his objects for sale, cubes and totems.
Other art in his room—we have a framed dino print by Jason Polan, and this great Andrew Kuo edition we got at NADA in Miami. He also has a vintage hand-painted Babar sign that his godfather brought back for him from a Normandy junk shop. The vintage 1930s airplane quilt we found in an antique mall is always on his crib.
Let’s talk paint. I love strong colors for kids; it’s kind of underrated.
Big and bold and colorful is sort of the route we’ve taken. Clyde was already 2 when we moved in, so we wanted a color palette that wouldn’t feel juvenile down the road. In fact, we painted all the small bedrooms darkish colors to make them feel a bit cozier. Clyde’s is Benjamin Moore Avalon Teal in eggshell.
Tell me about that lamp!
The mushroom lamp is something Patrick had in storage—he remembers it having come from an amusement park in Oklahoma—as a piece of “outdoor” lighting. We’re sort of mushroom-lamp obsessed in this family. Patrick found this great one for his sister, which is in her upstate house entry.
THIS WEEK IN TABS
- Architectural Digest featured Drake’s new mansion in Toronto, which is so over-the-top it’s already inspired countless memes. Bonus: Here’s the story on the 1963 midcentury modern abode Drake had demolished in order to build his “eye-popping pleasure dome.”
- Reconsidering sustainable, environmentally responsible homebuilding materials in the face of coronavirus
- In which Curbed editors highlight our own small fixes. I’ve been rearranging our baby daughter’s nursery.
- Notes on Japan’s pandemic mascot, Amabié
- Jenna Wortham’s latest column details a bunch of examples of people doing community good via the internet.
- The question on everyone’s mind is: With the economy grinding to a halt, will the housing market follow? Curbed consulted brokers across the country to find out what’s happening on the ground, and how to proceed (or not) with homebuying.
- ICYMI when it aired last fall, something that will always make me laugh: an Aidy Bryant-led SNL spoof of Farrow & Ball paint.
- The Letterform Archive is now open to the public, with 1,500 objects from the 60,000-item archive digitized and viewable online. It’s been 13 years since everyone learned about Helvetica; I say it’s high time for some new font inspiration. Or just mindless, visually inspiring scrolling.