Visit our other brands: danishdesignstore.com, adogslife.net

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

It’s Modern Playhouse Time!

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
6 Comments »

This Lichtenstein house in The High Museum of Art’s front yard got me thinking about modern playhouses the other day:

Doesn’t it look fantastic with the building’s gridded white facade behind it? Depending on where you’re standing, its lines and perspective change.

A lot of my all-time favorite playhouses have been posted over at the fabulous blog created by vintage mavens Alix and Dottie, Modern Kiddo. They brought back many of their readers’ happy memories of The Nut Tree destination rest stop in Vacaville, California in this delightful post. Here’s a peek at just two of the amazing, kid-friendly and colorful designs that were part of The Nut Tree back in the day  (according to their post, it closed in 1996 and some of it was demolished, but re-opened in 2009). How awesome is the graphic design on this funhouse?

I love the modern spirit behind these three modern playhouses. All are made with certified sustainable wood and are pretty easy to assemble. This is the Circle House with Furniture Set from Modern Playhouse:

I love its simple lines and whimsical circle cut-outs. The house is made of plywood and was inspired by Scandinavian fishing shacks. It’s the perfect spot for a tea party.

Next, we have the MD-20 from TrueModern:

This house was designed by Edgar Blazona, is made of eco-friendly sustainable birch plywood and coated in non-toxic finishes. It also has wall-mounted paper tablets that turn it into a little one’s own private art studio.

Finally, we have the Puzzle Playhouse and Furniture Set from Modern Playhouse. It can be stored flat and easily assembled and disassembled on a daily basis, but honestly, it’s so cute, you’ll want to find a special spot to keep it on display all the time.

Do you have happy memories of your playhouse, or have you built one for your kiddos? Please tell us about it in the comments section!

Share

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Designer Interview: Gitane Royce of Modern Playhouse

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
Leave a comment!

Today we’re having a chat with Gitane Royce of Modern Playhouse. These earth- and kiddo-friendly playhouses make cozy modern spots for children to play and imagine. Who knows, they just might inspire your kiddo to become the next Mies!
1. Did you have a playhouse growing up?
I grew up in a rural New England setting and didn’t have a playhouse as a child. Instead I constructed countless forts made in and out of trees, couches, tables, and with lots of blankets. Modern Playhouse is my way of bringing my nostalgic rural childhood memories to an urban setting. The simplicity of my
playhouses leaves plenty of creative room for a child to make a space all her own… as I once did!
2. How did the Modern Playhouse concept develop?
My child was born. I wanted to give her a space truly her own in our home and hacked out my first modernist influenced playhouse for she and her friends to play in. I do maintain that my 2 year old didn’t care about the architectural influence on her playhouse structure but my idea was to make the openings simple enough that she would appreciate her defining space but still have a connection to the outside world from her domain. In this case the outside world was our living room and us.
The inside/outside connection in modernist architecture is well documented and I think a nice concept for childhood on so many different levels. I began to get orders for playhouses from other families in our San Francisco community and the Modern Playhouse concept was born: simple modern design for kids, made from sustainable materials, easily assembled, and made in the USA.
3. How do kiddos respond to your playhouses?
With overwhelming cheer! The pre-walkers crawl in and pop themselves up at the window, the early toddlers open and close the door and sit at the table with delight, and the 2 yr+ kids
engage in pretend play or artistic endeavors, snack eating, house decorating, and everything a child does but all with a proud sense of place. It is so fun to watch the kids play in their houses! Child-led play is so nice to observe and so important developmentally for them.
4. Why do you think it’s important to produce earth friendly products for kids?
I truly believe that good product design for kids has a sustainable element…whether it be recycled, recyclable, repurposed, made close to home, or made from responsibly managed raw materials. I think as a parent and business owner on this planet I am COMPELLED to do the best I can to manufacture
my kids products incorporating elements from the above list. By manufacturing this way, my hope is that my products reuse traditional waste materials, create less green house gases, and ultimately get passed on to other families after they are no longer needed. Truly there is nothing more satisfying than offering handcrafted, non-toxic, and long lasting sustainable products to my customer. Ok, besides the sheer joy the houses bring to the kids!
5. What is in the future for Modern Playhouse?
As a one-woman show and a parent, everything happens at Modern Playhouse from my perspective… and to coin a phrase from my father-in-law… in the fullness of time. Having said that, I am delighted to launch the Puzzle House during Fall 2011. This house goes together…well, like a puzzle… and is
manufactured from sustainable domestically sourced wood products. The Puzzle has a slightly smaller footprint than my existing playhouses. The Modern Playhouse product line has a bright future with other exciting products to be released in Spring 2012!
We can’t wait to see what’s coming down the pipe from Modern Playhouse. In the meantime, shop all Modern Playhouse.
Share

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Welcome Modern Playhouse! And a Sale!

Ali

Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
2 Comments »

We are super excited to welcome Modern Playhouse to Design Public and with their addition to our site the Puzzle Playhouse and furniture set will be on sale from November 1-8! Thanks, Modern Playhouse! We are thrilled to have you.

Share

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Designer Interviews: Edgar Blazona of TrueModern

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
5 Comments »

Today we have the pleasure of introducing Mr. Edgar Blazona of TrueModern, and learning about his new playhouse design, which may just nudge your toddler into becoming a budding Modernist.

We know you’ve had a background in prefab architecture. Tell us a bit about how your experience with prefabs lead to the creation of the playhouse.

When I started building modern prefab architecture, I was trying to create a space that I could fill with my furniture designs. I felt that I needed a place that was truly modern from the moment you walked in the door. Modern architecture is sometimes unapproachable in cost. Living in the Bay Area, there really isn’t a way to be able to build a modern home. I started in the backyard, thinking I could create a small building that could house my modernist books, mid-century furniture and my own designs. Basically, the playhouse is the same sort of situation. I wanted to create an environment for kids so that they too could grow up in a modernist setting. I have noticed that kids enjoy a little simplicity when they are taken away from the primary colors of plastic play structures.

What influenced the playhouse design?

As you can see in my buildings, there is typically a glass corner or the appearance of one. You can see that within this playhouse as well…

It’s really easy to see the similarities between my prefab work and my playhouse. Frankly, the playhouse is a no-brainer given my extensive exploration into kids’ furniture, which we’ve been doing for years now.

How often have you played in your playhouse?

That’s funny you should ask. I recently had a tea party with a neighbor’s kid. We got inside it, I squeezed through the little door and sat down with her. Funny thing was, we didn’t have any furniture. It kind of make me think we should do some furniture to go with these. What’s a modern playhouse without modern furnishings? Truth be told, we just sat for a bit, giggled and played, and ended up having a really great time.

If you could find the playhouse in the home of any one person who might it be?

Brad Pitt, no doubt. A long time ago, Brad Pitt’s assistant gave me a call. I’ll never forget the day. I was working for Pottery Barn at the time ( yep- the modernist used to work for Pottery Barn! ) and this women called very interested in my Modular Dwellings structures. After I questioned her for a bit, she finally fessed up that she was Brad’s assistant. I was shocked that Brad Pitt was interested in my work. I certainly could imagine him with a whole group of these structures for all of the kids that he seems to have nowadays.

I love the Danish modern aesthetic of the 11 Ply collection. Tell us how you came about the design on these pieces.

With 11 Ply, I was trying to create a new kids’ furniture collection that could not only sit with our existing kids collection, but still look fresh and new. The name 11 Ply actually refers to the 11 layers of veneer, making up the thickness of the plywood. We started with selecting a material and then worked backwards. I chose birch plywood to be used as the main material to create a better quality item (it’s stronger and actually made up of these layers of birch veneer, creating basically a solid birch panel). I then chose a manufacturing technique that would accentuate this type of material. We’re actually using the material as it was intended. We are not putting a veneered edge; we are exposing the natural edge with sanding and clear-finishing. All of the parts and panels are cut on a CNC machine. If you notice, most of the shapes have a rounded top or the drawers have a shape that overhangs the top. The fact that we are not veneering the edges allows us to do this type of design. We even use a simple cutout to work as the drawers’ handle, allowing the user to easily grab on and open the drawer.

We noticed that TrueModern is expanding out of kids bedrooms and into the rest of the home. Tell us more about your “grown up” pieces.

We launched our first sofas a few years ago. We started with two – Luna & Lift. Although Lift hasn’t been a great success, Luna has done really well. People have really responded to the Danish looking, somewhat Haywood Wakefield-inspired legs. Just recently, we launched a few new sofa collections called Dane, which is even more Danish-inspired. The legs are solid walnut and tapered with some interesting stitching technique across the back of the pillows. These pieces in particular are a little more comfy and let you get a little cozy. Marfa is more of a lounge-type sofa, inspired by my favorite artist and modernist, Donald Judd. This block-style sofa is very low and great to kick back, while still looking super cool. Each of these collections are available in several different configurations. It’s been quite a struggle getting all these configuration options perfect and available for purchase. It’s been a long road, but we’ve finally got it and we’re super excited to show these to our customers.

And lastly, what is this Modernism For Life t-shirt brand you have launched?

Yeah- I’m really excited about these new shirts. We are having so much fun making fun of ourselves yet exposing so many to a new way of life. The idea here is that we are modernists, we are proud of our ways, and we want to wear it on our sleeves. Literally.  In a way, we are somewhat poking fun at our need for clean lines, simplicity, and good design to fills our lives. Frankly I am using  this humor to push back on the status quo. I guess I am bored with the big box stores, Pottery Barn and brands alike. Who decided that the design standard in the US needs to be a “freshened up” version of an antique? And what about clutter? We don’t need clutter. As modernists we are sick of clutter in fact. Frankly clutter makes me have anxiety you just can’t imagine. I think it all starts in the home; being comfortable at home does not need to come in the form of “stuff.” Quite the opposite in fact. Being comfortable in life is so important and I believe modernism can help us all get there. You know, it really cracks me up when you go to someone’s home and it’s a huge mess, yet they go to yoga four times a week to keep their sanity and life in check. Hello? Try getting rid of that clutter and start seeing the light. Modernism For Life- Live it!, as I say.

Thanks so much to Edgar for sitting down with us today!

Share