Interior designing a children's book! / by Joseph Bradshaw

Lauren Bradshaw Magnolias Magnificent Map Author

I'm so excited that the second book in my Walnut Animal Society series is out! It's called Magnolia's Magnificent Map starring Magnolia the Bunny. It's the follow-up to my first book, called Henry's Bright Idea

As a little backstory, my husband and I renovated and designed a 1925 Craftsman in downtown Orlando in 2009. We had our first son shortly after, when I decided to take time off work to be with him. I created a sewing pattern for a fox stuffed animal, called him Henry the Fox (after my son Henry), and started Walnut Animal Society. Our home and the whole Walnut crew were featured in Country Living, where my publisher, Cameron Books found me and asked to write a children's book about my characters.  

Writing the text for the first book, Henry's Bright Idea, was pretty surreal. I had thought about these characters for so long in the process of creating them, so to put their stories on paper was incredibly fun. But I had no idea how fun the next part would be—basically interior designing their world! Our lovely illustrator Wednesday Kirwan sent back some initial sketches for the book. I reviewed those and thought—wow, I get to build their treehouse, and all the furniture and palette within it. I sent over a super long list of inspiration links to the publisher; but most importantly I sent them over one of my very favorite homes I'd ever seen: Jens Risom's Block Island Retreat. It was the perfect inspiration for the Walnut treehouse. 

Image by Floto + Warner via Dwell

Image by Floto + Warner via Dwell

Magnolias Magnificent Map Lauren Bradshaw
Magnolias Magnificent Map by Lauren Bradshaw Interiors Book

In addition to sending along the treehouse idea, I sent a ton of links to amazing mid century furniture from 1st Dibs, and Wednesday was so receptive to all of it. She incorporated some of my favorite pieces and painted the Walnut world so beautifully. We were so careful with the palette to feel vintage yet fresh, and I'm so proud of what we created.

I hope you'll add it to your children's book collection!