Leo & Grace Edits: Toddlekind - Prettier Playmats

As parents we make a lot of compromises, but I believe we shouldn´t compromise on the stylish interiors of our homes. After being disappointed with the choice available on the market, I sought to create a range of playmats that would exceed in safety and quality for baby, but also appeal to stylish parents. Our playmats deliver on practicality, beauty and safety.
— Samantha Brueckner, Toddlekind
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I could not agree more with the words of Toddlekind founder and mum of two Samantha Brueckner. I have always loved interiors, and when I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I was so excited at the prospect of decorating his nursery, only to be brought back down to the ground with a bump when I saw the appalling choice of decor available on the high street. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that my own home is decorated in shades of grey and inky blues, with pale natural woods and scandi-boho details. The last thing I wanted was to fill it with clashing primary colours and plastic toys.

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After many months of research, I discovered lots of small independent brands, who were filling this gap in the market. Many of these were mums and dads looking to carve out a more flexible way of working for their families. This inspired me to start my own children’s interior design business, and one of the areas of my business I am most passionate about is introducing my clients to small independent brands they wouldn’t necessarily find themselves.

I was therefore thrilled to discover Samantha Brueckner’s new baby interiors brand Toddlekind. Samantha is a British mum of two living in Germany who decided to address a gap in the market for stylish playmats and developed their Prettier Playmats - a range of playmats that fit into the beautiful design of your home.

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Samantha has poured so much of herself into her brand, from the name itself which reflects her family’s dual nationality (‘kind’ is German for child) to the style of her playmats which are inspired by both her Persian heritage and the Nordic interiors that are so popular in her home in Northern Europe.

Toddlekind playmats are made up of 60x60cm foam puzzle pieces which can be interlinked seamlessly to create exactly the right sized mat for your space. They are available in three sizes- standard 120x180cm (6 piece mat), large 180x240cm(12 piece mat) and playroom size 240x360cm (24 piece mat).

The brand launched in November 2018 with two collections: the contemporary Nordic Collection is inspired by the clean geometric lines so often seen in Scandinavian interiors, and is available in four colours: pebble, petroleum, vintage nude and neo matcha.

In contrast the Persian Collection is reminiscent of a faded shabby chic Persian rug, also available in four colours: smoke, sand, blossom and sea-spray.

Aesthetically, Toddlekind playmats will work beautifully in any family space in lieu of a rug and the beauty is that you won’t want to hide it away once your child goes to bed.

But it’s not just about style, the mats are also incredibly practical. Toddlekind have sourced non-toxic, odourless foam which has been rigorously tested by an independent laboratory in Germany to exceed EU and US safety standards. The mats provide a safe, soft and padded surface for babies learning to explore, are easy to wipe down and keep clean, and equally suitable as a softer surface for older ones to play on.

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My 2 year old daughter has balance and coordination difficulties and it gives me great peace of mind knowing that if she falls we have a soft surface to protect her. By contrast my 4 year old loves to use the mat for gymnastics practice and again it gives me comfort knowing he is doing this safely. Even I can use it for my pilates, on the rare occasion I get some precious time to myself!

I hope you all love Samantha’s designs as much as I do. You can read lots more over at www.toddlekind.com

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This blog post is a paid partnership with Toddlekind, but all words and opinions shared are very much my own.

Leo & Grace Edits: Junior Beds

Whilst I realise I've only just revealed Georgia's new nursery, my thoughts are already turning to transitioning her into a big girl bed.  The main reason for this is that when decorating her room, I wanted to ensure that I can easily just switch out her cot for a bed without having to make any major changes to decor and other furniture in the room.  Also, I found with my eldest he completely took me by surprise one night by climbing out so I'd like to be better prepared this time around.

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There are a few considerations when choosing a toddler bed, but the main one has to be the space available in the room.  As you can see Georgia's room is quite small, and whilst we could probably squeeze a full size single in at a push, I have been looking at slightly smaller beds around 165cm long that will still last her a good few years, but leaves enough space for her wardrobe, dresser and chair without the bed dominating the space.  I have also looked for beds that still retain a feeling of a cosy cot with a raised ends so that she doesn't feel too exposed, and low to the ground so she can climb in and out easily. 

Here are a few of my favourites that would all work beautifully in Georgia's room:

OLIVER FURNITURE WOOD JUNIOR BED

This bed is right up my street, with it's Scandi style and clean lines it would fit beautifully into Georgia's room.  It's available in plain white and also in white with Nordic oak legs and I love that it still retains some of the cosiness of a cot so she would still feel safe and secure.  It is also available with a bed guard to prevent her falling out.  Who knows if I'm lucky she might not even realise the sides are off and she can get out and wake us up in the middle of the night!  Another advantage is that along with all the other Wood beds by Oliver Furniture, it can be converted as she grows older from 160cm into a full size European single (200cm), or a loft/bunk bed.  It's definitely a contender. 

Price from £662.

I've managed to resist splurging on a stunning Sebra cot bed on the basis that my two wouldn't get much use out of it, so I have to admit I got a little bit excited when I discovered that they have just released an extendable toddler bed.  Along the same lines as the Oliver Furniture bed, the Sebra Junior & Grow bed starts at 165cm long which is the perfect proportions for smaller rooms but can be extended to 205cm over time as required.  I am finding this one particularly hard to resist because it would also go perfectly with Georgia's toy crib, is that reason enough to splash out?

Price £825.

I also really love the Kukuu Bird & Berry design for it's minimal design and rounded edges.  It comes with a good looking bed guard with a pretty branch design and is available in plain ivory, natural and ivory or natural and cocoa. (167 x 74cm)

Price £355.  

MAISONS DU MONDE SUZANE RATTAN DAY BED

Finally, I absolutely love the curves of this gorgeous day bed and whilst it would work beautifully with the colours in Georgia's room, it's totally off-brief as it's a full size UK single (90 x 190cm) so I'd have to change the layout around which I want to avoid doing ideally.   It might be a good option for their playroom though... watch this space.

Price £344.

If you're also gearing up for the transition, here are a few other gorgeous beds that aren't quite right for Georgia's room but would work fabulously as a first big girl/boy bed.