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start ‘em young: adorable mini ikea doll furniture

As if the bouncy ball room and pervasive smell of cinnamon buns weren’t enough to please its young customers, Ikea has introduced yet another way to seduce the junior set. We spotted this Ikea doll furniture and house in the store the other day and instantly fell in love. The doll furniture set comes with a bright pink Klippan sofa, a green Lack table, a yellow lounger and a black and white rug. Who needs wooden doll house furniture? This stuff explodes with color. Since we firmly believe in instilling the art room arrangement into our young ones, we think this set would be a fine present for a little tyke. Better yet, pick this up and mix and match with others. Wonder if they’d fit in a Lundy house? See Ikea’s site to view the doll house furniture set, $13, and the playhouse, $8. They’re all Swedish, after all! Meatballs not included.

the new nest protect is a cool & smart smoke detector — but is it worth the price?

Smoke detectors are a necessary, sometimes life-saving tool that can be, on occasion, annoying. They go off when you’re making brulee for your dinner party, chirp in the middle of the night when their batteries die, and create loud and brutal noises. These occasional blips seem like small things to suffer from when they do the job they are intended to do — a job that hopefully you’ll never need.

Now Nest, the company who is trying to reinvent the way we look at thermostats, has unveiled a new kind of smart smoke detector, Nest Protect. It is armed with an attention-getting yet calm voice that tells you what’s wrong (“There’s smoke in the bedroom,” it may say.), can be shut off with a wave of your arm (as opposed to frantic fanning with newspapers) and sends you an alert on your phone when the battery is low. It can even be set to glow like a nightlight. Oh, did we mention it’s pretty?

After watching the video below, you might think to yourself, yes, I need one of those! But then it hits. The price is $129 — not too bad, until you consider how many a typical house needs. We have seven. That’s nearly thousand bucks! Currently we are using a standard smoke detector that we paid about $30 bucks for. You can buy four of those for the price of one Nest Protect.


So tell us, what do you think: Are you willing to pay more for a better, smarter smoke detector?

P.S. A good rule of thumb is to change your smoke detector’s batteries on daylight savings time night… coming up soon on November 3nd!

site we’re psyched about: kid & coe

In case you haven’t noticed, one of our favorite pastimes is planning vacations. We secretly have as much fun thinking about where we can go and where we will sleep as actually going to them. In our spare time, we’re just as likely to spend our downtime surfing through sites like Airbnb, Home Away or Boutique-Homes.com as we are to watch a TV show. Well, there’s a new site to add to this list that is our kind of heaven: Kid & Coe is dedicated to beautiful spaces for rent that are specifically designed for families. Just because you’re traveling with a little one doesn’t mean your aesthetic sensibilities have to be left behind! All homes featured on the site are kid friendly, which means that not only do many come with toys or playrooms, but also you don’t have to fret about things being too fragile for energetic young guests. Here’s how it works. First, choose your destination from their menu of fabu places. Want to come visit us in New York City or upstate? There’s plenty to look at. But we might head to Coswalds for a cozy English countryside getaway (above). Or perhaps to a stone cottage in the South of France (below).


Once you find a place you like, use the site to contact the owner and check availability. Note: It’s not to early to start planning for next year! Many of the featured homes aren’t available until spring or summer 2014. Regardless, you can’t help but want to look through the offerings at Kid & Coe and dream.

Let us know if you book a home from them! We’d love to hear your review here. We’ll be sure to do the same.

steal this idea: clipboards to display illustrations as wall art

Every time I visit the Marie Robinson salon in the Flatiron district I come away inspired. Maybe it has something to do with walking out with a freshly shorn crop or perhaps it’s just having a half an hour to sit still and unplugged, but the place provides a creative recharge. One thing that inspires the collector in me: A display of vintage illustrations above the waiting area hung cleverly with classic office clipboards. These witty doodles were a discovery James “Ford” Huniford who designed the airy and clean interior. The clipboards make them feel light and spontaneous, as though they were portraits of other clients who recently left the couch to be shampooed. My favorite is the lady above, who looks like she has a secret. They make me want to scour the overlooked boxes of antique stores in hopes of finding my own pile of illustrations. Perhaps I’ll just use clipboards to display my five-year old’s growing pile of masterpieces. Clipboards are about $1 each, so you can afford two rows of ten or more, easily.

So tell me: What would you clip and hang?

the solution to our camper dreams? land of nod’s tent version

Yes, we covet a camper. Whether it’s one we own or rent for the night, our fantasies about capsule-size, mobile dwellings are growing. Now we can pass the obsession down to our kids, even if we are urban-bound for the moment. Land of Nod (a constant source of inspiration and whimsy) has just unveiled this adorable camper play tent by Jetaire ($199). With embroidered and patchwork details (even an awning and curtains), it looks close enough to the real thing to fuel all kinds of wilderness adventures, right in your own living room. The S’more the Merrier Campfire ($69) is sold separately, but so chic, we recommending having on display full time in your non-working fireplace (if you have one).