Mid-Century Furniture for Kids
Twee Womb chairs and tiny Tulip tables are not a recent fad invented by design blogs and enterprising modern furniture manufacturers—kid-size replicas of iconic pieces have always been de rigeur. Here we present a roundup of one-of-a-kind furnishings and toys meant for the mini Modernist set.
When Ray and Charles designed this birch-veneer piece in the 1940s, they did a short run of only 5,000. Today, the piece is reproduced by Vitra and carried elsewhere, but this one is an original produced by the Molded Plywood Division of Evans Products. The heart shape at the back is meant to be a hold for tiny fingers.
Created in the 1955 by Danish furniture designer Nanna Ditzel, this teak high chair is rare and in excellent condition. Ditzel, who trained as a cabinetmaker, also crafted a pine and oak version, as well as one with a leather leg strap and a removable vinyl cushion.
Vedel is often credited as being one of the very first designers to take furniture for children seriously. This piece, designed in 1957 and constructed of beech plywood, features slats on either side of its curved form, enabling the user to select the seat height as well as accommodate the added weight of a growing child. Simple tension keeps the seat in place, and the chair itself is meant to be used as a table, a high chair, or a stool. It won the silver medal at La Triennale di Milano in 1957.
Created in 1929, this tubular steel-and-canvas chair was manufactured in Vienna for Gebruder Thonet. Creating quite the sensation for its lack of arms or conventional legs, the B33 was among the first cantilevered chairs on the market. Due to its immense popularity, the child-size version, the B33 1/2, debuted soon after.
Though not attributed to a particular designer, this circa-1952 plywood-and-painted-wood piece found a place in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. It was designed for and manufactured by Creative Playthings, a fifty-year-old business that sells wooden swing sets and other playground equipment.