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David Netto's chic contemporary children's designs

How David Netto’s cool designs changed the face of children’s furniture

Posted: 6 September 2011
by Helen McKay-Ferguson

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While David clearly rubs shoulders with the glitterati, it’s not a world he feels that comfortable in. “We go to Diane von Fürstenburg’s Oscar party every year, which is like the hottest ticket in town,” he says. “I’m really glad to take Kate with me because at least if you have a child, people talk to you. Those movie stars don’t usually speak to anybody who isn’t somebody. Kate saves me from social oblivion.”

At heart, David is far more at home with traditional family pursuits. “I think that hour when you’re cosying up with your children reading together before bed is the most important time of the day. It’s when you really get to know each other.” His tastes in children’s books are typically unconventional. “One of my favourites is Choochee: A Story Of An Eskimo Boy by Naomi Averill. I have this copy from 1938 that’s falling to bits. I also love this comic strip called Little Nemo In Slumberland from the 1900s. I think children’s books were much smarter back in the day. They were less pandering and the illustrations were much richer. There was a sense that things for children didn’t need to be dumbed down.”

These days, David is a budding writer himself, and has recently been appointed contributing editor to the Wall Street Journal, specialising in design. “Writing is exciting, deadlines are exciting. After you leave here, I’ll probably go and throw up and then finish an article,” he says. But his burning ambition is to make a foray into children’s literature. “I’d love to write a book about the adventures of polar bear called Rufus,” he says. “That would be really cool.”  

For details on the Maclaren Nursery range, visit

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