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#NodRealFamily // Shaw's Big Boy Room

Ampersand Design Studio

Hi everyone! I’m Morgan and this is my little family of four: my husband, Dan, 4-year old son, Shaw and brand new baby boy, Lennon! If you’re anything like me, you flip through each Land of Nod catalog and pretty much freak out about the awesomeness on every single page. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an item that I would not want to own. It’s all so wonderful! I’d like to challenge anyone out there to a Land of Nod biggest fan contest!

So, when Danielle Kurtz, the creative director at Nod, approached me about having our family be a “Nod Real Family”, where a team literally shows up on your doorstep to come in and completely redecorate your kid’s space, I’m pretty sure I fell out of my chair in disbelief!!! That would be a dream come true! At the time, what I couldn’t have even imagined, is that I would end up actually DESIGNING half of the pieces in the room!

Let me take you back a bit first. The original discussion started a couple of years ago with a tweet to Nod about some rugs for my son, Shaw’s “big-boy” room. Danielle just happened to be logged in to the Land of Nod Twitter account that day and responded to me directly. She said she could put together a little style board for my son’s room. OF COURSE, I jumped at that idea and probably replied, “YES” within less than a second. Danielle asked what areas we need help with and about Shaw’s interests, then began gathering pieces onto a secret inspiration board on Pinterest that only her and I could see filled with kids furniture, decor, bedding and more. I fell in love with each and every idea she had. In addition to my son’s room, she also designed a reading nook for an under-the-stairs spot in our finished basement playroom.

Here’s where the twist comes in! In addition to being a huge fan of Nod from a consumer standpoint, I happen to be a designer. Along with Carrie Kiefer, I’m the co-owner of a little company called Ampersand Design Studio and we have always admired (been obsessed with) Nod’s products for their forward-thinking and fun designs and admired their ethics in the way they produce their products! Truth be told, upon starting our company, one of our goals was to partner with Nod! In a crazy series of meetings and collaborations through our company and blog, Ampersand Design Studio was hired to design an entire line of rugs, bedding, wall decor and more for the Land of Nod Spring 2015 launch!!!!!! Count this as another HUGE dream come true!! Seriously, this is bucket list material! (Here’s our little spread from the catalog)

So fast forward to when the Nod Real Family came to life in my own home, Danielle updated my son’s big boy room design to include some of our very own Ampersand Design Studio exclusive designs for Nod! (ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!) Now, BOTH dreams are coming true!  I am getting my four year old son’s room decorated with Land of Nod products including some that we designed! The rug, sheets, quilt, pillows and growth chart are all Ampersand designs! Pinch me! Wait, am I actually dreaming?

Nope. It’s true, this all really happened!!!!

Let’s start with the “BEFORE” picture of Shaw’s room. As you can see, we were already a fan of Nod products and owned the Gray Uptown Bed and Uptown Wide Dresser, which we love!  But other than that, we hadn’t really done much decorating. The few things that Shaw loved from his room including the vintage signage “S”, the chalkboard wall and the clipboards for various artwork, were all incorporated into the new room!

Now, let me introduce you to the “AFTER”! This is Shaw’s brand new big-boy room!!! It’s such a true reflection of my colorful, fun little guy! Danielle and I talked about his personality, his favorite things to do and play, and how much he loves his new little brother, and Danielle found a way to weave every little thing we discussed into his new room!

To start, she completely rearranged the room and…just wow!, it feels so much bigger! We formerly had a small play table in here but Shaw had outgrown it and I just love the new campaign desk and acrylic chair! Right now he uses the drawers as his “treasure box” and the top for sticker books and coloring, but it’s a piece that will evolve with him. I love imagining him doing his grade school homework here one day!

The Alphanumeric quilt and sheets, along with the hexagonsquare and triangle throw pillow are all pieces we chose out of the Ampersand Design Studio collection (#AmpersandforNod) as the perfect new bedding for Shaw! While these pieces were being designed, I would have them up on my computer screen and would ask Shaw which colors he liked best….just hoping one day they would come to life in his room!

For the gallery wall, Danielle expertly mixed photos of Shaw and his little brother, three-dimensional pieces, the tricycle wall art, the beaker wall art, with some of Shaw’s own paintings and even a weaving done on-the-spot by Danielle (talk about talent!)! The on the grid nightstand now holds his stacks of bedtime books (Shaw’s favorite part) yet keeps the top clear (my favorite part)! The windows in Shaw’s room before simply had white blinds, nothing with much personality. So, these sunny yellow color edge curtains are a very welcome addition!!

Shaw using the stripes in his roller rink rug as a road is a daily occurrence! It’s just crazy because as we were designing this rug, we envisioned this very scenario! Our whole family LOVES this rug! The quality is incredible! It’s so soft and easy to play on, because see, when you have a four year old and an infant, rugs aren’t just for your feet. They are for your whole body.

Danielle did such an incredible job of assigning uses to different areas of the room! I never thought Shaw’s room was big enough for this until I saw it completed! One corner is now a cool little book nook. The three acrylic bookcases hung on the wall are my favorite solution to the stacks of books all over the floor! They are such a light and airy way to get organized!  A  knit pouf and a second rug (the flokati fluff rug) layered over the central rug make this spot modern, yet comfortable!

YOU GUYS! I have to tell you. THIS Storagepalooza is EVERYTHING! I didn’t even realize how badly we needed this until we had it. It’s so deceiving. It doesn’t look monstrous, it’s a perfect size, but it holds SO. MANY. TOYS. and stuffed animals. and games. It’s amazing!

The ABC Animals growth chart is another #AmpersandforNod exclusive that Danielle surprised us with. Anything with Shaw’s name on it is pretty special in his eyes! I love that we are going to get to watch him grow up by each little mark we make on this chart! Also, it’s right across from the foot of Shaw’s bed and now, he loves to go through each letter and corresponding animal before bedtime. What better way to memorize the sounds of letters than things like, “P” is for “peacock”! And below, the three Honeycomb Wall Shelves are such a fun way to display all those little collectibles and photos! Plus, the genius idea to use patterned paper as a backer in each shelf is a cool way to add pattern and color in a way that can easily be updated when you’re ready for a change!

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I wanted to share a little style board for his room just in case any of you want to recreate this fun, modern vibe!

That’s a wrap on Shaw’s big boy room design! Incredible, right?!!!!

Ampersand Design Studio specializes in surface pattern design, identity design and stationery products, with clients in the home décor, fashion and baby and kids industries. Their clients include respected big names like Land of Nod, Tiny Prints, Papyrus, Minted and Giggle,  as well as great small, local businesses around the country, including cafés, bakeries, wineries, photo studios and fashion boutiques.