May 13, 2004

Baby Furniture Cool Enough for the Dutch

More from Dwell magazine's June issue [just subscribe, already!], this time its a Dutch modern furniture company executive who got all into his house developer's business to improve the layout of their 2,000 sf house (and to make sure windows and walls were surgically placed to hide the faux-chalets in the neighborhood).

Stokke Sleepi crib, image:babycenter.comHere's Caspar, the dad, talking about what's in their kid's room: "Why should we put up with badly designed kids' furniture? Take the kids' beds from Stokke. They're elegant cribs, and they convert later into a bed, a desk, or even two chairs--good design with a long life. That's what furniture design is all about. We chose things for the kids' rooms the way we chose everything about the house."

[Um, special delivery! A big, fat check from Stokke for a Mister...Caspar...] Here are the partial contents of their 3-year old son Jort's room:

Sleepi Crib system by Stokke: It's not just a crib, it's a way of life. It converts to a bunch of other furniture later on, but it's round, and so has it's own system of sheets, drawers, &c. that'll lock you in. It's $699 for the crib, plus adapters for every conversion option, at Baby Center.

Toadstool, by Nanna Ditzel, image: nanna-ditzel-design.dkToadstool stools and table, by Danish designer Nanna Ditzel.

Vintage versions of this 1962 classic go for $5-700 at auction, which'd make little Jort's set worth about three grand. ["No crayons for you, Jort."] They're called Trisse or Trissen and are manufactured by Snedkergaarden, whose site only lists Danish retailers. Until I can find some US outlets, put these in the "nice concept, implausible purchase" category.

Eames Hang-it-all , another design classic. A coatrack with colorful knobs, which is around $135 at MoMA's design store, among other places. [Do you get the sense that there's a pretty short list of kid-friendly modernist design objects?]

What goes unmentioned by design snob Caspar or Dwell is the dark secret of kid-filled modern living: they got some decent stuff from Ikea. I mean, it's right there in the picture. There's the bright-striped STRIB carpet ($149.00), for example, and the slick LACK wall shelves ($12.99 each), with their smooth finish and concealed hardware.

So there's the real Dutch secret: blow your wad on a couple of expensive pieces, then outfit the rest from the Big Blue Box. Try it at home.


"blow your wad on a couple of expensive pieces, then outfit the rest from the Big Blue Box"

That's our strategy as well. People think our chairs are from Kartell, but they were $15 each. On the other hand, I almost cried when someone asked if my Bensen sofa was from IKEA.

We've got the crib, bought it in Germany for about half the amount listed here. Darn well worth it. It was a bassinet till she was 4 months or so, then a crib, now it was just turned into her toddler bed yesterday. With the conversion kit (that we got with it) it becomes a junior bed.... then later without anything extra, two chairs or a chair and a desk!

she'll inherit it I'm sure :).

It is a way of life and for 400 bucks (our cost in Germany). pretty cool.

i love cool european gadgets.

Do you know what the make of the bed is? I am looking for a crib/cradle with a more modern look to it than the trad. wooden-slatted version that is everywhere. Do you know of any new and cool designs?

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