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In the 1700s and 1800s it was commonplace for children's furniture to look exactly like adult furniture, only smaller in size. Then in the 1900's, and certainly by my birth in the mid 1960s, children's furnishings and toys were made of plastic, vinyl or formica and came in bright primary colors or sickly pastels and were often printed with duckies or trains. Furnishings that concentrated more on function that form.
They usually didn't have much aesthetic appeal to an adult, their biggest selling point being that they were safe, durable and 'easy to keep clean'. This yielded such popular, albeit tacky, items as bean bag chairs, ride on plastic horses and beds shaped like castles and race cars.
Now there are lots of beautiful modern furniture options for children on the market that cater to both form and function. Several new companies and manufacturers such as Argington, Iglooplay, Offi kids, Netto, Oeuf, Ooba, and the Magis Me Too Collection (see the links to many more modern children's stores in my sidebar) have appeared over the past few years who make quality modern cribs, dressing tables, bassinets and the like in palatable, tasteful colors and woods.
But for this post, I'm sharing with you a return to the 1700s and 1800s with some children's sized replicas of adult designer furniture. Only this go round, it's 'modern classic' furniture that comes in pint sized versions.
Actual scaled down pieces (both authentic and replicas) of well known works by designers like Charles and Ray Eames, Le Corbusier, Arne Jacobsen, Vernor Panton and more eight different companies.
Either children are writing down their wanton desires for a mini Barcelona chair on their Christmas list or parents are simply looking for more stylish children's furnishings so they can leave the door to their kids room ajar without shame. Either way, the following are some truly nice examples that are all available for purchase.
First off, if you didn't know, KnollStudio, Herman Miller and Kartell actually do make some of their own modern furniture in scaled down versions.
The Child's Womb Chair by KnollStudio:
The Womb Chair has been developed in both small and medium scale, to complement and accompany the standard Womb Chair designed by Eero Saarinen in 1948
The Child's Barcelona Chair and Ottoman by KnollStudio:
The Child’s Barcelona Chair and Ottoman are 85% scale of the standard Barcelona Chair and Ottoman designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1929
and the Child's Eames Molded Plastic Rocker by Herman Miller, originally designed in 1948:
The Philipe Starck Ghost Chair by Kartell now comes in a child's version called the Lou Lou Ghost Chair:
All of the above chairs can be purchased here at All Modern Baby.
Another example is Little Nest of Australia who creates scaled down replicas of modern classic furniture like the immensely popular Eames Lounge Chair, The Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair, the Barcelona Chair by Meis Van der Rohe and other designs that have resurged as popular design icons ver the past 2 decades. Because these are reproduced items and not made by Knoll or Herman Miller, or associated with the original licensed pieces, they have different nomenclature.
The Mini-e based on the Eames lounge chair:
The Club Chair (based on Le Corbusier's LC-1):
The Little Bert (based on Harry Bertoia's classic Wire Chair):
The Play Ball (based on Eero Arnio's Ball Chair):
The Cygnet (based on Arne Jacobsen's Swan Chair):
The Madrid (based on Mies Van der Rohe's Barcelona Chair):
The Yolk (Based on Arne Jacobsen's Egg Chair):
Visit Little Nest to learn more.
Another company creating mini versions of collectible and stunning modern furniture design is Living Jewels of Germany who sells the scaled down versions Le Corbusier's famous Le Grand Confort collection; the single seater, the two seater versions and a daybed.
Available in various colored leathers, the collection is quite sophisticated, even for the most design-savvy juvenile.
Visit Living Jewels to learn more.
Boom has a collection called MiniBoom that makes a few sofas that replicate the ones I've seen in many of my friends' homes. A funky little modern sofa called, not surprisingly, the Modern Sofa and a little sectional sofa called the Lucy.
You can buy the Lucy Sectional or the Modern Sofa here.
And in 2006, Vitra reproduced their famous Vernor Panton chair in a mini me size:
Learn more about the Panton Junior here.
Finnish designer Alvar Aalto's famous birch 3 legged stool is made in both adult and children's sizes as well.
Both adult and child Aalto stools are available for purchase from Unica home.
Now, I'm waiting for a Barcelona dog bed. After all, The Dog Bar already makes one based on the Le Corbusier chair.