July 15, 2008

Whew! Kids And California Modern Houses DO Mix

The nursery in a fastidiously restored, mid-century modernist California tract home. It's the space that launched a thousand trips to Ikea. CA Modern magazine has a story about how kids are not actually incompatible with your Eichler house's modernist lifestyle.

It features a bunch of product, plus wisdom and photos from regular DT commenter Darren, who's like the dean of CA Mod parenting these days. And there's those folks who use the giant Cray supercomputer in their kid's room as seating and storage.

sofali_ca_mod.jpg

And then there's Sean Curran, the dad and Eichler owner who was fed up with the high prices and Made In China-ness of the modernist kids furniture out there, so he started his own line. First up in September are a toddler bed and a knock-together kid's chair inspired by the Herman Miller logo, both made in the USA from sustainable birch ply. His company is called Mod Dad Furniture. HAHA, just kidding, it's Sofali. Named after his daughter.

KIDS GO MODERN: How your children and your home's modern design can live happily together [eichlernetwork.com via rockstar darren]
Sofali [sofali.com]

3 Comments

My favorite part of that article was how they kept stressing they wanted more affordable kid's room options that weren't made in China and then all the suggestions at the bottom were super-expensive or from China by way of Target. Way to go guys!

"The Dean of CA Mod Parenting"? Sweet. I think I'll have calling cards printed with that title.

By the way, Julie, the dads quoted here weren't privy to the content or theme of the article (at least speaking for myself). The journalist had just heard from somebody who had a cousin who heard from somebody who had a friend who had heard that I had a "modernist" house so she tracked me down and asked what we'd done with the kid's room and what "issues" we'd had. She seemed surprised that a dad was interested in this stuff. I think it just went from there, and also based on my off-handed comment about not wanting to blow $1500 on a crib. We didn't have anything to do with the selection of products featured or anything like that (or were even aware that products would be featured).

That said, I have to say that Marty and the folks at CA Modern and the Eichler Network have done a lot of for the local modern community, so I really appreciate that.

Well, hopefully I'll help change that. I really want to see more people doing business in America. Everything designed at Sofali will be manufactured in America. I for one am willing to not make a profit for a while if it means that more people will be willing to cut their profits in an effort to bring more work here. Right now a lot of these companies are being just plain greedy. I see countless items that have $30.00 in materials and minimal labor in it retailing for over 20 times that.
I'm trying to price everything so that it is affordable.
In order for me to continue making products and to make them affordable I need to cut out the retailer. In a retail market the bed would have to be priced at over $1000.00, whereas I can sell it direct for $600.00 and continue manufacturing.
Unfortunately, people tend to suffer from shortsightedness. Most of these companies care more about making huge profits than they do about the American economy and the safety of our children.
This 'grab what I can now' mentality makes it extremely difficult for American companies who manufacture ply wood or paints etc. to make kid friendly, and environmentally friendly materials affordable.
It's a lot cheaper to make a product in China using poor quality wood soaked in chemicals, slap a few layers of lead paint on it, and ship it back to the States than it is to just do the whole thing right.
If more people start to build in America with our children and planet in mind everything will eventually be more affordable.
That's all for now, the kids want a story.
Cheers!
Sean

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