Some of the world’s most iconic designer furniture is distinctly cool comfort for today’s children. So how has this modern design evolution come about?
The last decade or so has witnessed tremendous changes in the world of children’s furnishings. However, our generation of parents is not the first to have appreciated good design. Neither are we the first to have had designers create cutting-edge modern furnishings for our children. The fact is, modern design started almost a century ago, and the good news is that now, more than ever, you and your children can benefit from the great design evolution that has been occurring over the past hundred years. So how and why has it come about?
Back in the Twenties, the Dutch furniture maker and architect Gerrit Rietveld created a range of children’s furnishings following the principles of the De Stijl movement – primary colours and the combination of simple vertical and horizontal lines and geometric shapes. One of his most fantastic creations was a wooden beach buggy (now on display at the Museum of Childhood in London) with square panels painted in colourful De Stijl patterning, much like a Mondrian painting. Other designers, such as Charles Eames, created scaled-down versions of their products for children that were exciting departures from Edwardian formality or post-war storybook fare. Verner Panton later created a children’s version of his chair in the Sixties. However, these were almost entirely commissioned pieces or exclusive ranges, and it was only in recent years that it was financially viable to produce such pieces in quantity.
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