Without question, the most charming designs in nursery accessories that I've seen come from a little San Fernando Valley company called Merryland by Marilyn.
Marilyn Baum started to create her designs seven years ago, sold them to a few major boutiques across the country and recently decided to offer her products directly to the public in the Los Angeles area.
It all starts with crib bumper pads in the shapes of elephants, bears, pandas, horses, dolls, clowns--even a football player. Imagine the body as the headboard with outstretched arms welcoming baby, while the legs form the bumpers. The generously padded bumper sides flatten on the crib's slats to protect the infant's head. For a standing baby, these sides flatten on the mattress, eliminating leverage for a child trying to climb out of the crib. The bumpers are high enough to protect yet low enough for baby to enjoy the newly decorated room. Velcro tabs hold the pads in place.
That nursery won't need much else in the way of decoration with these accessories, which come in several pastel shades or vibrant red, white and blue, solids or polka dots, depending on the theme and whether the decor is for a boy or girl.
When the child gets older, the bumper pad can be moved from crib to bed, becoming a headboard with perimeter protection and helping to ease a toddler's transition to a bed. More than just bedding, these are soft toys perfect for cuddling and are easy to wash. Coordinated accessories are available too. Quilts, sheets, pillows, dust ruffles, diaper stackers and wall hangings come in matching patterns.
The best part is that all are available at wholesale prices when bought directly from the manufacturer. The bumper pads retail in pricey baby boutiques for $125 and up; bought directly from the manufacturer, they are $60.50. Quilts are $36.30, pillows $12.10, sheets $9.68, dusters $20.50, diaper stackers $13.94 and wall hangings $28.44 . . . all wholesale prices.
For a fabulous shower gift, the entire set, with four sheets, comes to about $225 and the cost could be shared by several people. When my first grandchild is on the way, this grandma wanna-be has the gift on tap with Merryland by Marilyn.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, you can view these charming accessories for baby's room at the manufacturer's Showroom Sale at the Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel, Terrace No. 1, 12825 Ventura Blvd., Studio City.
Merryland's products really have to be seen in all of their colors for the full impact. The next best action is to write for a catalogue because the pictures are lovely and tell the story.
Merryland by Marilyn , P.O. Box 55391, Sherman Oaks 91413. (818) 780-5999.
Geri Cook's Bargains column runs every Thursday in Valley View. Questions about shopping may be sent to her, in care of Valley View, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Letters will not be answered individually, but topics of general interest will be discussed in future columns.