When it comes to furnishing kids rooms, it’s quick and easy to source everything from the high street or well-known catalogue brands. But start to dig around a bit, and you’ll find some seriously cool kids furniture being produced by independent brands across Europe. Here are five of our favourites.
My children’s bunkbed is good quality, sturdy, was delivered on time and has yet to collapse – even though the boys leap and bound on it like ninjas. And while I have nothing against buying from proven high street brands, a number of kids have come here for a play and announced that they have the same bed, which is not the end of the world (perspective, please) but I can’t help feel it’s a bit samey and identikit.
If you love design, you’ll value finding stylish and unusual pieces: the conversation starter wall decals, the chair that is also a shelf and a stacking toy, the bedding that looks gorgeous but secretly doubles as a cape…
There are hundreds of independent kids furniture brands across Europe – here are 5 of our current favourites.
1. Fabelab, Denmark
Fabelab is a combination of the words Fabel and Laboratory, and founder Michaela Weisskirchner-Barfod considers herself a storyteller first and foremost. Living in Copenhagen with her two daughters, the architect explains: “I get inspired by both my work and my children to develop creative products for cuddling, playing and everyday use. I wish to encourage storytelling by designing products that leave space for imagination and the freedom to create your own story around it.”
We admire Fabelab’s zero waste philosophy (the Little Bird Mobiles are made from cut-offs of the blankets) and love the dual functionality of the bedding, from the new hero cape to this butterfly blanket, which doubles as wings. The geometric blocking and colours are also bang-on.
2. RaFa Kids, The Netherlands
RaFa-kids is the brainchild of a pair of architects, Agata (aesthetic) and Arek (technical), whose sons, Frank and Robert, inspired the brand. After creating high quality and good looking products for their own children, the pair were inundated with requests and decided to start a small company, with the mission of making affordable designer furniture for children. We love the ultra modern lines, the pale wood and the silhouettes. Most desired object in the range? The S swing.
3. Cose Da Bocia, Italy
Andrea Marcante and Adelaide Testa are the interior architects behind successful Italian firm UdA. In 2014 they launched Cose Da Boca to experiment with furniture design – primarily for children. Their first collection was presented during the Milan Furniture show at Vanitas Gallery.
They have created a range that is extraordinary: beautiful, unusual and extremely durable, and we have a feeling that their style will influence the next generation of kids’ design. We love the powder coated metal, rope accents and the fluid lines of the tubing.
4. Nobodinoz, Spain
In 2006 a shop opened in Barcelona – Spain’s first concept design store for kids. By 2011 it had launched it’s own range. Now stocked across Europe, Nobodinoz is known for it’s blend of contemporary and vintage styling, paint-dipped furniture and geometric patterned beanbags and teepees. We particularly like the fact you can mix and match furniture keeping the shape consistent while playing with colour.
5. Perludi, Austria
In 2007, Thomas Maitz, a carpenter and interior design engineer, gathered some architects, designers, businesspeople and psychologists, and their kids and headed to a mountain lodge in Austria. His goal was to talk about sustainability, quality of life with kids and build a concept for a new kids furniture brand. Perludi (from the Latin per ludum, for playing) encourages creative play and ‘autonomous discovery to support child development, promote independence and strengthen self-esteem’.
All materials are organic and recyclable – from the Austrian pine to the felting wool – and the design is sleek, clean and contemporary. We love the height-adjustable Caspar desk and the clever Pauli bookshelves that kids can stack, play or sit on to read.
Lydia Gard is the editor of Mr Fox and an interiors junkie. She has written about design, travel and interiors for more than a decade and has a chronic habit of buying chairs she doesn’t need. Follow her on Instagram.