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Toy Storage for Living Rooms: The Hidden Playroom

Remember that life you had before kids? When your home was an adult space, and didn’t resemble the toddler zone at a low budget theme park? Remember when you could invite friends over for drinks of an evening, and they could get inside the door without stepping over the ride on fire engine; and the dining room was actually for eating in, not finger painting and pasta collage? You need to get your home back… and get some stealth storage on the go. Sneaky, clever toy storage for living rooms, because not everyone has a dedicated playroom they can close the door on; and as a parent you deserve to have some downtime without a block of Duplo or a homemade American Girl outfit in sight.

toy storage for living rooms facebook

**This post contains affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from a store I link to. It does not affect the price of the item.**

 

Last month I published a post called ‘How to Create the Ultimate Playroom‘. It has been by far my most viewed post, and still brings new readers to Twin Pickle everyday. It seems people want to know how to give their kids the perfect play space, whether their motive be to enhance their children’s educational growth, or just create somewhere so awesome that Mom and Dad get the break they need.  I love to dream of the big time, and take inspiration from those all-singing-all-dancing homes with a bottomless budget. There’s always a piece of it you can bring back to reality, and it helps get the creative juices flowing. But in the real world, few of us are lucky enough to have a apartment sized play space to install a jungle gym and a tire swing. So today, we’re going the other direction and thinking small and sneaky… what is the best toy storage for living rooms, so our home can return to an adult zone after bedtime? 

I live in a lovely family sized home in Arizona, but when my daughter was a toddler we lived in a Victorian terraced house in England. For those of you struggling to imagine what scale of house the working class built for themselves in the Victorian era, the bathroom was outside, the kitchen is usually a lean-to addition on the back, and furniture (and people) were a lot smaller than they are now. Despite loving old houses, I didn’t want to live in one of ‘those’ kid houses; I was an Architect in my late Twenties, and still in denial that I could do, and have it all. Some things have changed, but my policy on living in a toy box have not. Some people must love to live amongst toys… children’s TV presenters for example. Slightly obsessive toy collectors. Who knows who these people are, but I’m sure they’re out there somewhere. If on the other hand you’re like me, a tidy home means a tidy mind, and I can’t think straight when the living room looks like Toy R Us after a monsoon.

5 Tips for Successful Toy Storage for Living Rooms:

1: Do not ‘add’ a toy box.

Do not keep a house full of your pre-kid furniture and add a personalized painted toy box in the corner of your living room. Little Johnny will be just as happy pulling his toys out of whatever vessel you offer, so unless it’s going in their bedroom, save yourself the evening eye sore and keep the exterior to your toy box adult friendly. Ditch your coffee table or end table and swap it for something with storage. Toy box by day, scattered with magazines and cocktails by night. Here are some of my favorite containers acting as toy storage for living rooms:

Storage Trunks

The light in this space is wonderful, but I’m featuring it for the lovely coffee table. Look how many toys you could fit in there, and in the evening no-one would have any idea they were there. Similarly, the blue dresser could be crammed with toys and art supplies for all we know! The great thing about trunks is they often come with nice rounded corners, perfect for wobbly toddlers.

 
My favorite picks for something similar:
Steamer Classic Storage Trunk
ZallZo Commander Aluminum Storage Trunk
Safavieh Navarro Storage Trunk
Clever Coffee Tables

There are loads of clever coffee tables about with slick openings and cubby holes perfect for toys. This contemporary living room in Colorado, remodelled by Studio2b, has plenty of hidden storage space for those pesky toys. The slide opening coffee table would be perfect for crafting or Barbie’s wardrobe

Photo by samantha_bales – Source: Houzz.com

 

My favorite picks for something similar:

ioHOMES Luxer Coffee Table
Dann Coffee Table
WYNDENHALL Elliot Coffee Table
Baskets:

Baskets are usually child friendly, light with soft corners, and come in an endless number of shapes and sizes. I’ve got living room envy over this beautiful home designed by Bungalow Design, and I can see loads of potential toy storage for living rooms:

Photo by Bungalow Design – Source: Houzz.com

 

My favorite picks for something similar:

Rush Storage Basket
Natural Wool Houndstooth Basket
Deco 79 Seagrass Basket

2: Purge toys as they grow and consider size when you buy.

We used a wooden storage box for a side table in our house in England, and I was pretty ruthless with the number and size of toys I bought. Anything that didn’t fit in the box went to the charity shop. Of course my rules were constantly blown to shreds when Grandma went shopping… hello pink ride on and pop-up tent; honestly, that tent was bigger than our dining table. It might seem mean to limit the number of toys your children have, but now we have a large playroom, the tidying (and arguing associated with tidying) has become a real burden. If you remember Elsie’s talent for what we’ve quoined ‘poopcrastination‘, she doesn’t like to tidy up, and the more toys that can potentially cover the floor, the bigger this problem becomes… leading to my next point below!

3: Keep things contained and easy to tidy up.

I know what it’s like… you’ve finally got the kids to bed, all you want to do is crack a beer and put your feet up… screw the tidying up. But being in a toy free zone for a couple of hours in the evening makes all the difference, so make life easier for yourself and check out a couple of nifty ways to keep toys contained and quick to put away…

Lay-n-Go Activity Mat & Toy Organizer

I am in love with this idea, I haven’t tried it myself as I’ve only just discovered it in researching for this post, but it does look pretty genius!

Lay-n-Go Activity Mat
Lay-n-Go Activity Mat
Lay-n-Go Activity Mat
Trundle Storage

Although designed to slide under beds or cribs, if you have the right sofa, a trundle could work well as toy storage for living rooms; perfect for train sets, lego, cars, jigsaw puzzles and pretty much any of those annoying kit-of-parts toys that take forever to pick up – the alphabet jigsaw is the worst. Carefully measure your sofa and see if it just might work!

Orwell Wooden Trundle
Delta Cot Trundle
Trundle Bed Storage Drawer
4: Find or create a nook for the big stuff.

Don’t leave the ride on, the multistory car ramp and the singing bubble mower out on display, find a place for everything and your home will be transformed. We had a nook about the size of this one under our stairs in England, and it was perfect to tuck a couple of those bigger items that family can’t resist to buy. And in case you’re wondering, this beautiful staircase is the work of Best & Company in New York.

 

5: Keep it behind closed doors.

If you have the space, build in some floor to ceiling cupboards and fill them with all your kiddo’s goodies. This fun set up at ‘Number 23’, by MATT Architecture in London, is the perfect way to give kids the color and ownership of space they crave, without allowing it to take over your house. I love that they have one each and all three are personalized. 

 

And one last thing to think about… dual purpose furniture:

For the perfect playroom/living room combo, think about flexibility and how you can combine functions. Not all kids toys/activity tables have to be ugly, what about a coffee table that doubles up as a ping pong table or a dolls house? Brilliant…

Huzi Design Table Tennis Set
QUBIS DESIGN Coffee Table And Doll's House

Just because you have kids and you don’t have a playroom, it doesn’t mean your house has to look like the set of the Teletubbies… so get thinking about toy storage for living rooms, be savvy, and find somewhere to tuck away those Legos!

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*This post contains affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase from a store I link to. It does not affect the price of the item.*

Mid Century Modern Design: Know It, Find It, Fake It, Make It

While browsing furniture recently, I was struck by how many mid century modern design pieces have been reborn into the mainstream, affordable furniture stores. It seems the craze of 1950’s style is showing no signs of dampening, and why should it… simple, clean and practical; yet delicate, considered and warm; it’s enough to make anyone fall in love with Grandma’s house. But what inspired mid century modern design in the first place? And what options do we have for bringing the style into our homes?

mid century modern deisgn fb

**This post contains affiliate links. This means I get a small commission if you purchase through some of the links. This does not affect the price of the item.**

The Birth of Mid Century Modern Design

So often when I’ve read about mid century modern design, it’s straight into the furniture. Filling your home with expensive antiques in not going to instantly create a mid century paradise. To understand the style we need to look at the furniture in context… what did mid century homes really look like? What are the key concepts to a mid century dream home? Although opinion varies, the term ‘mid century modern’ tends to refer to designs between the mid 1940’s up to 1960. Take a look at these architectural classics… it was about so much more than furniture: 

 

The Glass House, Philip Johnson (1949). Source: inexhibit.com
Curutchet House, Le Corbusier (1953). Source: arquimaster.com.ar
Stahl House, Pierre Koenig (1960). Source: moderndesigninterior.com
Farnsworth House, Mies Van de Rohe (1951). Source: britannica.com
Miller House, Eero Saarinen (1957). Source: home-designing.com
Kaufmann House, Richard Neutra (1947). Source: archdaily.com
  1. The Glass House, Phillip Johnson (1949) – Top left.
  2. Farnsworth House, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1951) – Top right.
  3. Crutches House, Le Corbusier (1953) – Second row left.
  4. Miller House, Eero Saarinen (1959) – Second row right.
  5. Stahl House, by Pierre Koenig (1960) – Third row left
  6. Kaufmann House, Richard Neutra (1947) – Third row right.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when your look at these houses? For me, it’s not furniture… it’s light. These homes are all filled with light and have a fluid connection with the outside. These houses were all about the perfect setting, plenty of glass and an exceptional view. If you, like me, live in a house with a small yard overlooking the house behind you, an exceptional view may not be an option. But consider light, window treatments, and continuing your internal floor surfaces outside to make that connection. Indulge in large uninterrupted panes of glass,  sparsely populated open plan living – functionality over fuss. You’ll also see from these houses there was a color palette to the era – yellows, browns, orange, red and pink. Accents of blue and plenty of white.

Kitting Out a Mid Century Modern Home

When you’re ready to get hunting for furniture and accent pieces, there are a few options:

  • Hunt down an authentic mid century modern piece;
  • Buy a new but retro styled piece;
  • Upcycle an existing or cheaper piece of furniture to give it a mid century modern twist.

Although I would love to say you must only buy authentic furniture from the era, I also live in the real world. Antiques are expensive, and the mid century modern design craze has been running long enough that it’s rare to find a total gem before it’s snapped up by a savvy collector. So, let’s consider all options and not be a total design snob…

Identifying Classic Mid Century Modern Design

Mid-century modern furniture has a distinct look. Here are some of the classic styles and materials:

  • Thin legs that test the limits of engineering;
  • Low seating, ergonomic shapes, simple clean lines;
  • Teak, elm, beech and rosewood.
  • Molded plywood and fiberglass;
  • Sliding doors with minimalist hardware;
  • Leather, chrome and glass;

If you’re looking for the ultimate classics, some of them are still in production. These are new pieces of furniture, made to the original design and method, approved for distribution by the original designer. You will find many people offer cheaper alternatives with the same design, but they will likely be made with cheaper materials and craftsmanship. 

Tulip Chair, Eero Saarinen (1957). Source: knoll.com
Eames Lounge Chair, Charles and Ray Eames (1956). Source: hermanmiller.com
Credenza, Finn Juhl (1955). Source: dwr.com
  • Left: Tulip Chair, Eero Saarinen (1957). Approved distributor: Knoll.
  • Center: Eames Lounge Chair, Ray & Charles Eames (1956). Approved distributor: Herman Miller;
  • Right: Credenza, Finn Juhl (1955). Approved distributor: Design Within Reach.

Sadly, most mid century modern designs are out of production, and you are left scouring flea markets, antiques stores and the internet to find original pieces… Don’t forget grandma’s garage, you never know what you might find! Here are a few beauties to look out for:

Adrian Pearsall Model 893-TGO Coffee Table (1950s). Source: 1stdibs.com
Edward Wormley Open Back Sofa (1947). Source: 1stdibs.com
Hans Wegner Model 20 Hutch (1959). Source: 1stdibs.com
  • Left: Adrian Pearsall Model 893-TGO Coffee Table (1950s).
  • Center: Edward Wormley Open Back Sofa (1947).
  • Right: Hans Wegner Model 20 Hutch (1959).

New Alternatives in Mid Century Style

Pretty much all the big furniture distributors have jumped on the mid century band wagon in some way. Although frowned upon by die-hard collectors, these mainstream alternatives make the style more accessible to the masses. I personally would go for furniture which is inspired by mid-century, instead of what looks like a bad copy of an original classic. So spot those skinny legs on squared sideboards, the return of teak, and smooth clean lines. Here are some of my favorite budget pieces:

 

Slate Grey Xander Armchair, World Market
Porter Mid Century Modern TV Stand, Target
Morgan Dining Chair, Joy Bird
Walnut Brown Wood Ashlyn Bookshelf, World Market
Two-Tone Mid Century Modern Coffee Table, Target
Fairfax Sofa, All Modern
Chunky Woven Albin Upholstered Sectional Sofa, World Market
Embick Mid-Century Modern Dining Chair, Target
Alton Cherry Dresser, Living Spaces

The top row are all from World Market, and although they don’t have a great selection of mid century modern design in my local shop, online they have loads of great pieces (grab the 10% coupon code at the end of the post or sign up for World Market emails and get 15% off). The second row are all from Target, who would have thought?! Again, a huge selection online compared with the stores. The bottom row are from Joy Bird (who specialize specifically in mid century modern but are a little more pricey), All Modern and Living Spaces.

DIY Mid Century Modern Design 

I don’t like waste, and I do like DIY. Those of you in my team may have trouble throwing out that 90’s pine dresser that’s been tucked in the garage for the past 10 years. Or maybe you spend your weekends trawling garage sales? Trouble is, this furniture is rarely winning style awards, so get your design cap on and up-cycle. The great thing about up-cycling free or cheap furniture – if it goes wrong, you haven’t ruined an expensive piece, so the pressure is off… have some fun!

DIY ideas to transform your furniture to mid century modern design:
  • Add tapered legs;
  • Change the hardware;
  • Wrap in wood veneer;
  • Stain a darker color – teak is classic;
  • Reupholster with a retro style fabric.
Hairpin Legs, Amazon
Tapered Legs, Amazon
Brass Knob, Amazon
Hairpin Legs, Amazon
Tapered Legs, Amazon
Brass Knob, Amazon

I’m definitely feeling the mid century vibe… when I find the perfect project I’ll come back to show it off. I hope you’re feeling inspired to raid Grandma’s house for treasures, don’t overlook those pieces that need a little TLC!

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**This post contains affiliate links. This means I get a small commission if you purchase through some of the links. This does not affect the price of the item.**

10% off at World Market with code SAVEBIG10

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Wooden Designs You’ll Love

We are all familiar with hand crafted wooden side tables and the perfect mahogany chair. However, the world of carpentry shows no boundaries, and there are all sorts of others things out there made of our favorite natural material. I’m picking a few home and fashion designs I know you’re going to love… 

wooden designs cool watch

**This post is sponsored by Jord Wooden Watches**

Home

Art Couture Collectives Bath Tub

If you have a spare $36,000 to spend on a bath tub… check out this beauty from Art Couture Collectives. I have no idea how you care or clean such a beast, but it’s definitely going to give your bathroom the wow factor. 

Modern Soaking Walk-in Handcrafted Wood Bathtub
Image source: Houzz.com 

 

Ryosuke Fukusada Light Bulb

These wooded light bulbs by artist Ryosuke Fukusada are a labor of love. The bulbs are carefully hand turned to a thickness of 2-3mm, allowing light to pass through for a warm glow. Unfortunately this was a limited edition project, so you may have trouble getting your hands on one!

Light-bulb-wooden
Image source: ryosukefukusada.com
Wooden Sake Pourer

I appreciate compared to a wooden like bulb, a jug might not be quite so groundbreaking, but I had to feature these sake pourers from artist Kota Fukunaga, purely because I love them! Hand turned in Birch, the exposed bark base give these pourers a fabulous natural finish that reminds me of a Japanese landscape painting. If you need a set in your life, they are available at Mjolk.

birch sake jugs
Image source: mjolk.ca

Fashion

Tesler Mendelovich Purse

Tesler Mendelovich create wooden textiles by scoring thin veneer into a folding, bending fabric. There’s purses are quite the spectacular piece of design, and come in a multitude of veneers. Check out the ebony purse too!

wooden clutch bag
Image source: psfk.com
 
SH Wood Sunglasses

There are a few wooden sunglasses on the market, but I particularly like the ‘Canby’ deisgn from SH Wood. They have a range of finishes to pick from; these beauties are Zebrawood.

canby wooden sunglasses
Image source: shwoodshop.com

 

Jord Watches

Jord don’t just make one cool watch from wood… all their watches are made of wood! It’s their thang… so when I was offered a chance to review one in the flesh, I was pretty excited. My husband is pleased with himself too, because we’re test running a men’s watch. Our particular model is made of Koa, a Hawaiian tree species, warm in color and sustainably sourced. Husband / Twin-Pickle-Hand-Model for the day, made these complimentary points about the ‘Frankie’:

  • We live in Arizona, and it’s HOT. He finds a metal link strap gets sweaty and… yep, smelly. It’s pretty gross, but it’s true. Wood on the other hand, being a natural material, will breathe and be more comfortable in the summer heat.
  • We were both impressed that despite the sensible price tag, the Jord watch face is finished with Sapphire Crystal, and the overall build and quality is great.
  • We love the packaging, and it’s not just for show. Jord watches are built to last, and come in a case made of… wood obviously. More than that, the case includes a humidity draw to keep the wood in the perfect conditions. It reminds me of some kind of mini cedar closet for your watch.

jord mens cool watch

jord cool watch car 02

 

The Jord website is lovely to browse, and they’ll adjust to your measurements for a small fee. The watch we have been testing out is called Frankie, finished in Koa and Ash, I’m hoping you like it as much as we do! And don’t worry ladies… if you’re in the market for a cool watch for yourself, they’ve got you covered too. 

 

jord cool watch box

 

 

I hope you’re feeling inspired by these unique wooden designs for the home and your wardrobe!

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**This post is sponsored by Jord Wooden Watches**


Luxury Wooden Watch

Hygge Home Decor: Comfort for all Seasons

You may have heard of the Hygge home decor trend that is sweeping the globe, after it burst it’s borders of origin in Denmark. Although Hygge loosely translates as ‘coziness’, there is much more to it than that; so if we want to get the look and feel right, we need to understand more about what it means and what it’s trying to achieve. And as we all look forward to the Spring arriving, are we just going to pack away all our Hygge? No, because Hygge home decor is for all seasons. Read on to find out why…

hygge home decor all seasons

** This post contains affiliate links**

What is Hygge?

Scandinavian style has been huge for some time, and although we all still love it, we’re starting to want a bit for warmth to our spaces. In ‘Home Design Trends 2017‘ I mentioned that pure whites are on the out, and warmer colors and textures are on the rise. I also noted ‘coziness’ as a trend for the year, so what does this look like and how do we get a piece of it? Hygge is considered by the Danes as more of a philosophy than a style, because the Hygge way of living describes relaxation and warmth, family, conversation with friends, and that fuzzy comforting feeling inside. It’s an atmosphere worth a fortune if only you could bottle it. Hygge is about slowing down the pace and enjoying the moment; and it’s said that the Danes are happier nation because of it. Who wouldn’t want a piece of that, it sounds marvelous. 

Hygge Home Decor

I can’t deliver friends, family, love and cheer to your home, I wish I could. However, I can help you enhance your Hygge home decor with some inspirational spaces and small details to bring some of atmosphere into your home. Although we can all envisage curling up with a loved one next to an open fire in the winter, getting that Hygge feeling in the summer may not be so simple. So I’m bringing to you a Hygge home decor style that works for every season, I hope they bring you a case of the fuzzier…

Winter

For winter you’ve got to look at your bedroom. When it’s cold outside there is nothing better than getting into your PJs and snuggling up under a cozy duvet. To maximize the atmosphere of Hygge, think layers, blankets, varied textures and plenty of scatter cushions. You’re after chunky knits, faux furs, and a little pattern too. You want your bed to look so comfy, you wish your arms were long enough to wrap around and give it a big hug. In fact, I might have to change the official translation of Hygge from coziness to hug. It’s so much more appropriate.

Hygge bedroom
Source: myscandinavianhome.com

The bedroom shown above is the face of lifestyle blog ‘My Scandinavian Home‘. I love the layering and the hints of fur, and the warmth of the rustic wood to tone down all that white. Mix up with furs with other textures like corduroy  or a chunky knitted blanket, the ultimate Hygge accessory. I’ve got my eye on the one shown below from Ugg. We all know how cozy their boots are… put it in a blanket and what have you got? Hygge.

Get the Look:

Sacho Baloo Faux Fur Cushion
Ugg Oversized Knit Blanket

Spring

For Spring we are going to the Lounge. As the sun comes out we’re ready to escape from beneath the blankets and start to socialize. To inspire a feeling of Hygge, we need to create spaces that can easily, yet casually invite family and friends to perch and chat. Comfy spots to drink tea and catch up on the latest news, without the formality of a three piece suite. Ottomans, bean bags, scattered chairs and cushions, all invite people to linger, relax and share.

sincerely jules office
Source: sincerelyjules.com

This is the LA Headquarters of lifestyle blog Sincerely Jules. The different seating options allow this social space to stay casual, and I chose this look for Spring because I just adore these hanging basket chairs. They feel really outdoorsy, and with the planting in the background I am feeling some major Spring Hygge. If hanging a chair from your ceiling seems a little too much to take on, there are alternatives. How about a banana leaf ottoman that can easily be tucked out of the way, or this fantastic orinoco rocking chair.

Get the Look:

Esteri Banana Leaf Ottoman
Orinoco Rocking Chair

Summer:

Time to bust open those doors and bring the inside out. Take every opportunity you can to eat outside in the summer, and soak up some serious Hygge with family and friends. Let the evenings get long, and make the most of the season by lighting up the perfect spot in your garden or terrace. Candles are not just for winter, so look out for lanterns and candlesticks you can bring to the table for intimate ambience.

outdoor dining
source: pinterest.com

Despite trying, I do not know to credit for this fantastic space, it really sums up summertime Hygge for me. Clusters of hanging bulbs, miss matched chairs that look like someone’s had to grab one from inside to fit an extra seat at the table. Scattered flowers, candles and pots. Even the cabinet brings the perfect welcome to to this space, which oozes Hygge home decor without looking so obviously Scandinavian. Go on, give summer a hug.

Get the Look:

Globe String Lights

Fall

Long walks, leaves falling and a bubble bath at the end of the day. For bathrooms it’s about the cozy details – a little wood, plants, candles, and don’t be afraid to bring some fabrics into the bathroom to warm things up. Take your time, pamper yourself, enjoy the moment and soak up the Hygge.

Source: fashionmenow.co.uk

This little snippet of bathroom Hygge is courtesy of Lucy Williams of Fashion Me Now, and her Ultimate Bath Recipe. My bath is seriously lacking in luxury at the moment, so a design intervention will be happening at some point. Watch this space…

Get the Look:

Olive Wood Bath Bridge
Tom Dixon Candle

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I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty warm and cosy from from all this Hygge. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

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Extraordinary Plates for People with Personality

This was to be a interior design post all about the different things you can hang on your walls. I was going to start with plates, but I got totally carried away, and I’m now delivering to you a whole blog post on plates… whoops. I had no idea how many creatively designed, extraordinary plates there were available, so I just have to share a few of my favorites.

extraordinary plates

** This post contains affiliate links.**

You can be sure that when you pull these out of the cupboard at dinner time, everyone is going to be surprised. And if you’re looking for a gift, there’s something for every personality…

For the Traveller

Map fanatics everywhere need to get their hands on the ‘City on a Plate’ collection by notNeutral. There are multiple cities to choose from other than classics like London and New York, and I love that some of the smaller cities like Austin make the cut. I’ve picked Seattle, Washington DC and Chicago to feature because they’re all cities I would love to visit and haven’t yet managed to yet. I’m thinking about making a dinnerware bucket list…

Seattle
Washington DC
Chicago

 

For the Casual Comedian

I was excited to find these plates by British designer Jimbobart available in the US, partly because I think they’re awesome. I’m also hope featuring them will remind my dear friend Max Halley that he needs to go to the post office and send a limited edition Jimbobart plate (only available at Max’s Sandwich Shop in London). If you’re in London, go get an epic sandwich. If you’re not, but you love good food, ducks and foul language, I highly recommend following @lunchluncheon on Instagram. You’re welcome Max… where’s my plate?

Doughnut Destroyer
Cake Crusader
Cheese Sloth

 

For the Fashion Lover

Who knew the eccentric french fashion designer Christian Lacroix had branched out into homeware? Amazing. 

The Christian Lacroix brand subsists through timeless values. The result is a fabulous and richly entwined universe, which can be continually reinterpreted, re-mixed and illuminated. (christian-lacroix.com)

I was just going to say these plates are really pretty, but – what he said.

Dona Jirafa
Queen Bull
Woman

 

For the Sci-Fi Geek

These Star Wars dessert plates are an absolute bargain, and come as a set of four – sorry Luc Skywalker, I didn’t have space for you. Despite their price, don’t underestimate how cool these plates would look on your wall, I love the monochrome simple design. Of course they’re good for cake too.

Yoda
Darth Vader
Storm Trooper

 

One for the Kids

These melamine delights from designer Jackie Shapiro are adorable, and I know my daughter Elsie will think they are totally cool. I love that each band member comes complete with their own instrument, and what kid won’t enjoy those bold colors? Bring out your kids’ inner musician, and dish them up some nuggets on these beauts…

Guitarist
Drummer
Singer

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That’s it for today… I got so carried away with extraordinary plates I haven’t had a chance to think about anything else. Let me know what your favorites are!

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Toys for Twin Toddlers or Young Siblings

When my twins turned one something happened. Suddenly they discovered that sensation we all experience from time to time… The overwhelming ‘I have to have it now’ feeling. Yes, at the grand old age of one my boys have started tug of war over pretty much anything cool. If you want to see a real fight, give one of them my phone, the TV remote or their personal favorite… the baby monitor. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal, or at least immoral, but if it wasn’t I’m sure twin toddler fighting would make a great sport. So, what toys for twin toddlers (and of course young siblings) can help avoid the fighting? 

toys for twin toddlers

How to shop toys for twin toddlers and young siblings:

Whether you’re buying one present for them to officially share or a present each, twins and siblings will want the other one’s toy, so you have a few options:

  • Buy two of everything and watch them fight over one of them anyway;
  • Assign them each their own toys and optimistically try to teach them about sharing and being kind to each other;
  • Separate them;
  • Just let them work it out between them, they’ll soon learn and respect which one is more ‘Thug Life’.
  • Buy toys they can use to play together. No fighting, it’s actually MORE fun to get along and share.

I would recommend the latter choice. Buy toys for twin toddlers that encourage sharing and interactive play. Those are best toys anyway aren’t they?

My thoughts on toddler toys that are boy/girl defined:

Slight side note… the best toys for toddlers are unisex. If you read ‘Boys Playing with Girl Toys‘, you’ll know that I am not a fan of limiting my children to the girl or boy isle of the toy shop. It’s ridiculous and totally goes against everything we teach them as teenagers about equality of the sexes. Just a short pep talk but I had to get it off my chest.


*This post contains affiliate links. This means I get a small commission from Amazon if you decide to purchase from them. This does not affect the price of the item.*

Top Ten Toys for Twin Toddlers and Young Siblings:

Kiddey Children’s Dual Play Tent with Tunnel

It’s massive… I hear you. But it’s awesome, and they’ll love it. It does break down into pieces too, so you don’t have to have the whole thing out at once if you want to still access the rest of your house. My twin boys have a similar set up from IKEA which you buy in separate pieces and they absolutely love it! They love chasing each other though it… even the cat likes it. Not everyone has an IKEA at hand, so if Amazon is your thing I’m certain the Kiddey Children’s Dual Play Tent will be a hit!


LEGO DUPLO My First Deluxe Box of Fun

It’s a timeless classic… everyone loves Duplo. I would recommend a big box of classic blocks over a fancy school bus or the like. My boys have my daughter’s hand-me-down Duplo airplane and they fight over the crate of bananas and the propellers, apparently they’re the best bits. However, they also have a LEGO DUPLO My First Deluxe Box of Fun and even at age one, they love just carrying the blocks around and smashing down towers built by their big sister. There’s plenty of blocks to go around, no arguments.


Anatex Deluxe Mini Play Cube

My boys are really enjoying their smaller bead maze at the moment. They play together with it well because there are multiple bead runs to interact with. The only trouble is, occasionally Arthur decides he wants it to himself and tips the whole thing over. They stand together very well at their Fisher-Price Learning Table but as they get older they are now less interested in the sounds and buttons. The Anatex Deluxe Mini Play Cube would however prevent the bead maze sabotage and work well for a wide age range. Plus it’s wooden and a bit retro, gotta love that.


Little People Wheelies Stand ‘n Play Rampway

It’s a classic and still going strong… long live the Fisher Price Rampway. Who doesn’t love to run cars down ramps? And don’t even go there if you’re going to tell me this is a boy’s toy. My brother is five years younger than me (to confirm: I am a girl) and I remember playing together with something very similar. It’ll last for years and it has two ramps – you know what that means? RACE!


LeapFrog Learn & Groove Musical Mat

I have seen kids play together with something similar in an indoor play park. They love giggling over the sounds together – it is definitely more fun with two! The trouble I would have is my six year old would love it too and I’m not sure there’s space for three! One Amazon reviewer says her two young children love the Learn & Groove Mat “because sharing is out of the question for them.” You see? The struggle is real and you are not alone.


Step2 Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Water Table

It may be a little cold outside for water play at the moment, but in case you’re in the market for some summer fun, check out the Finding Dory Swim & Swirl Table. Water play is one of those activities that is more fun when you have someone to splash, and there’s plenty of space to move around it without getting in each other’s way. And who doesn’t love finding Dory?


Playmaker Toys Turtle Family Floating Bath Tub Toy

My boys were given the matching Shark Family for their birthday which they absolutely love. But I couldn’t resist featuring these cute turtles… might be filling the bath with yet more toys at Christmas. The babies are matching so they can have one each without arguments, and there’s even a spare one for big sister. Of course if you’re shopping for triplets this is beyond adorable and perfect!


Play-Doh Cookout Creations

My boys are little young for using Play-doh molds, but I’m including Cookout Creations because… well I want a go! It looks so much fun, and creating the perfect BBQ together should keep them busy for some time. There are plenty of different molds to allow sharing, and the set comes with one burger bun and one hot dog bun. As long as your siblings can agree to swap every now and again things should run smoothly.


Foam Building Blocks – 104 Pieces Different Shapes and Sizes

As you can probably tell, I’m all about timeless toys. You really can’t go wrong with building blocks, and these foam blocks are great for a wide age range so big sister can help too. You can buy a 52 block set or the 104 block set but the larger set is considerably better value.


Aquadoodle Draw N Doodle Mat with BONUS Pen and Cap

This one was picked by my six year old. She thinks it is the perfect present for her twin brothers, and I’m sure the choice has nothing to do with the fact she is desperate to have a go herself. Do note that Aquadoodle make the Classic Mat and the Classic Mat with BONUS Pen. If buying toys for twin toddlers… make sure you get the bonus pen!


So there you have it… ten unisex toys for twin toddlers, young siblings, or just about any kid that likes to have company! And in case you’re looking for some twin cuteness… here’s a short video of the boys hanging out in their tunnel!

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