Michelle Henry dishes on design, motherhood and her recipe for sumptuous sleep. First ingredient? Beautiful bedding, of course!
I am so happy to have been asked to be a guest on the Posh Tots blog! The name Little Bunny Blue comes from my favorite book as a child “Bunny Blue.” It was about a little bunny that lost his big beautiful pink satin bow and he was devastated. He worried that if he did not find it, he would not be as cute or as loved by his owner Hope Ann, or accepted by his friends.
Today, the story still means so much to me and is actually a reflection of my life being Michelle Henry of Little Bunny Blue, a mother and just being me.
Being creative, visual and a perfectionist is not always easy. Let’s face it, I am not perfect, and I can’t be “on” all the time. So when I am “off” I start to feel incomplete and not as good as I can be. That is probably my ultimate struggle as a single mother of four boys who’s trying to create a crib bedding line. It comes down to having the courage to ask for help, delegate tasks and surrounding myself with positive people (however easy all that is!).
Which brings me to my topic: “Surrounding Yourself With Beautiful Things.” I am so excited about where our industry is today. How fantastic is it that we can purchase baby furnishings that, later, parlay perfectly into the guest bedroom, or chandeliers that can go in the powder room or master bath? If it’s classic and well made, it never goes out of style. Incidentally, this is a great sales pitch for your husbands, no?
From day one, my goal was to design bedding that would withstand change. I am inspired by so many things, but recently, I find I lean towards a mix of artistic and classic — whether I go artistic with the fabric and classic with the design, or vice versa. I keep popular furniture like Bratt Decor and Villa Bella in mind, as well as chandeliers from I Lite 4 U, artwork and rugs…just everything I would use if I was designing a room. My goal is to see past just the bedding.
Although this year as been a tough one for me personally, I have had the wonderful support of all of the Posh Tots Staff (sweetest most professional girls ever) and, industry colleagues, and, most importantly, my clients. I was actually getting worried for a minute that I had lost my big pink satin bow. However, I think Isabella Jewel Rosette, Simply Silver and Bijou are just a glimpse of what sometimes can come out on the other side of “REAL LIFE.”
I know, I know, this is something we talk about a lot here. But, hey, it’s part of our tag line for a reason.
On a personal note, I’m finally getting around to redoing my littlest son’s room, as well as my daughter’s room. Two room makeovers at once! Chaos, truly. But as a result, I’ve been perusing the internet, consulting decorating books and magazines, and pulling out all my old Domino magazines (oh Domino, how I miss you!). I aspire to think outside the box, to leave my traditionally decorated upbringing behind to create rooms for them that are warm, creative and fun. And I need help doing that, because I am a product of the 1980s Williamsburg/Americana-inspired interiors. It’s why I papered my son’s wall with antique maps and it’s why I created silhouettes of my little girl with fun fabrics to capture the happy, quiet beauty of little girls.
Yesterday’s Daily Candy Kids (don’t get their newsletters? you should. you won’t regret it) featured the ever-fashionable Barbie and her, well, fashions, a la Tiny Frock Shop, an online store specializing in Barbie fashion dating as far back as the 1920s. Ah, memories. I used to spend hours in the toy store debating what to buy, a $2 bill (remember those?) burning a hole in my pocket and indecision burning a hole in my brain. Wanting to find just the perfect item for her to wear — it was my first unforgettable brush with fashion. And now, there’s even vintage!
It just goes to show, some things just never go out of style. Barbie certainly doesn’t. And neither do her clothes. And nothing immortalizes those fashion memories the way these Fashion Barbie Prints do.
Meet Sarah Graves. Sarah is one of our DCEs — Design Consultants Extraordinaire! OK, I added the “E” part, but it really SHOULD be part of the title. In my opinion. Because, we are blessed to work with some crazy talented ladies.
Name: Sarah Graves
Design Background: BFA in Fashion Merchandising from Virginia Commonwealth University, has worked in the juvenile products industry since 2004.
Design Style: Shabby Chic, coastal, cottage styles. I like to create pretty, calm surroundings. Seaglass with pinks, whites and corals. Aaah!
Inspiration? Influences? Nature, especially the ocean. I love pulling ideas from fashion. Jackie O is my style icon.
Favorite Books? Websites? J. Crew, Anthropologie, Coastal Living magazine. I’m also a Twihard!
On My iPod: Florence & the Machine, Paramore, Lady Gaga, Mumford & Sons
Must-Have TV: Gossip Girl, 90210, Bethenny Ever After…I love the “Real Housewives” too, ok, I admit it.
And now, we’ve discovered that it is, once again, featured on this amazing site, Nursery Notations. Which is great for three reasons: 1) because it means that other people feel the same way we do about purple, and 2) because we discovered an amazing new site. It’s so well done, and it speaks to our very nature as nursery connoisseurs, of sorts. We love finding new inspiration, and this site reads like a luxurious magazine.
Signs of spring at my house are sun, warmth and the sound of a quiet house. THEY’RE ALL DYING TO GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY! And, after a long winter, I’m willing to give them whatever tools they need to do just that.
Wheels are a must. And balls and bats and baskets and goals and jump ropes. And a clubhouse. Ours is a treehouse, inspired by this. They’re getting exercise, vitamin D, fresh air, sunshine…and all is good.
Meet our newest designer and guest blogger, Nancy Gent. This amazing artisan’s urban country creations not only caught our eye, they cleverly capture the contrast between big-city style and small-town charm.
Now, a few words from Nancy…
I’m a huge fan of country music, and like country music my designs tells a story. I was inspired to create a piece of furniture after I heard my son read for the first time, felt the warmth of good hospitality while having supper with friends, and saw the need for smart storage with personality. I have also been inspired not to create a piece when in the middle of the night, after too much wine and many rounds of darts while dancing to Al Green, I was unable to exit the guest room of a friend’s mountain home because I had rolled the trundle bed into the door. I knew in that moment a trundle would never be part of my collection, and two twin LIAM beds would always be my response.
The last several months have provided much inspiration for what’s new at NANCY GENT DESIGNS. Over the holidays I spent time getting acquainted with my biological father and his passion for restoring classic cars. I learned on that trip where I get my attention to detail and love for design. RICHARD, the tool box bed side table with casters, was created after the hospital called to tell me my father had escaped in his wheelchair. He missed his cars…
My big brother, Mike, is a re-use artist, so we collaborated on a platform bed constructed of horizontal reclaimed Cypress boards and vintage license plates, which I named QUINCY, after the Northern California town where he lives.
When it is 40+ degrees, you will find me shooting hoops with my son after school. One afternoon a little boy dressed in a black polo shirt and khaki pants joined us. He was six years old and could shoot an all-net free throw. I introduced myself and told him he inspired me. That evening I created HUTTON, constructed of alternately finished reclaimed Cypress boards in MIDNIGHT and SHOALS.
And after having a serious crush on a guy for six months and wondering if he would ever ask me out, I was inspired to create EDWARD, a rugged bed with 200 year old vertical boards reclaimed from the bottom of Cape Fear River. Call it the Law of Attraction, but when my crush found out I designed a bed and named it after him, 8 days later we were in Vegas. (curtsy)
The other day, as we were installing crown molding in my daughter’s room, I shocked my husband by making a rather odd request: if something ever happens to me, please make sure that our little girl always has polka dots in her life.
I realize now the timing was wrong. The poor man nearly gave himself a concussion.
Moms think about things like that. Call us crazy, and morbid, but we do.
So, I felt the need to secure a little plan for her future. See, I’ve always loved polka dots. They’re cheerful, happy (yes I realize those two words mean the same thing, but I’m trying to make a point), playful and fun. They feel like Spring! You never outgrow polka dots, and they instantly brighten any space. They’re the epitome of femininity. And they are timeless.