Sticky fingers and expensive materials. Do children need design furniture?

We’re living in a time where the aestheticization of everyday life is highly common. The interest in art, design, and creativity is widely spread and no longer an issue for subcultures and specific target groups. Via Instagram we cannot only see how other people live, eat and travel, but how stylish they do it. Design has reached our everyday lives, our homes. This, of course, doesn’t affect only the living room but goes all the way to our babies’ cribs.

With the high quality of a design product often comes a higher price due to smaller editions, local production, and high-class materials. When we buy furniture for ourselves, we argue that the higher price is reasonable because we are going to have that item for a very long time even for a lifetime. For kids’ products, this is obviously not the case since children are known to grow up. This is why even design-loving and environmentally conscious parents tend to buy low-price furniture for their kids that lasts a couple of months and ends up the dumpster afterward. A way out of this dilemma is to buy furniture that grows with the children. A pioneer in this field is the well known Tripp Trapp chair from the Norwegian company Stokke: they started selling Tripp Trapp in 1972 and have sold ten million pieces! The great thing about quality furniture is that it can be passed from one generation to another. If you buy timeless and gender neutral pieces not only your kids but also your grandkids can use it.

Stokke — probably the Birkenstock of furniture — is a decent choice but there is plenty of innovative kids furniture design that grows with kids or transforms themselves with the changing needs. Approximately 99% of the world’s children grow up without design furniture and are doing just fine. However, most children turn into adults that become part of the consume cheap and throw away cycle which, again, is not so fine. Being aware of the quality and origin of a product is no more a luxury but a necessity regarding the state of our environment. Another plus is that furniture made of valuable materials like wood ages gracefully, so even sticky little fingers and a rather rough handling of our little ones can’t harm them.

Photo credits: Herz&Blut, Linea, OEF NYC, CuldeSac, Dot and Cross, Pure Position

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