For most Remodelista editors, design has been a lifelong obsession, starting even when we were children. I, myself, recall admiring (well, coveting, really) the toys made by my best friend’s father, a woodworker, and later, adding replica English wallpaper to my grandmother’s old dollhouse.
Nowadays, as we browse the Web in search of the best gift finds, Remodelista editors still ooh and aah over our favorite beautifully designed children’s books and heirloom playthings. Turns out, our love for finely crafted toys is something we never outgrew; here are our picks.
Above: Julie is all for cultivating an appreciation for well-made, cleaning goods at an early age. Just like the grownup versions in her own closet, Julie’s toy pick, this Doll’s Mini Broom Set from Germany, includes real wooden and natural bristle brushes with an enamel bucket and dustpan. Available at Mûr Lifestyle; $40. Above: Margot has been admiring the selection of wooden animals at Moon Picnic. Her favorite is the Sutnar Elephant by Czech designer Ladislav Sutnar; $79. Above: Annie’s inner child is coveting Milton & Goose’s Classic Play Kitchen, which, she notes, “has all the crucial features of a Remodelista small-space kitchen: clever storage (see the nifty hooks tucked away under the hood), a center grill that doubles as a cutting board, and a farmhouse sink. Plus, it’s crafted in maple and Baltic birch by Amish artisans and finished in a gentle (and on-trend) blue-gray”; $699. Above: Continuing the culinary theme (apparently, cooking is also a lifelong passion among Remodelista editors). Meredith opted for Opinel’s child-size Le Petit Chef Knife Set, with finger guards. Because, having fun in the kitchen is all about having the right tools. Available at Food 52; $49. Above: Growing up I played with my mother’s childhood collection of Steiff animals, which stood the test of time in terms of durability and design. Similarly, this Gray Bear, from Flora & Henri, is made for a lifetime (or two) of love. Constructed of “100 percent natural materials,” he features a hand-embroidered nose and fashionable necktie; $98. Above: Michelle hopes to pass along her early love of embroidery and gardening with a gift of a Floral Monogram Embroidery Kit. Choose any letter in the alphabet. From Fancy Tiger Crafts; $22. Above: Another favorite of mine, this European Wooden Dollhouse features four separate components, so your child can explore architecture as well as interior design; $480. On the dollhouse design theme, Rock & Pebbles’ clever allows young designers to dream up and draw their own interior designs; $27. The Dollhouse Book Still feeling playful? Here are more of our favorite resources for kids: Above: Alexa is someday looking forward to giving her own children Bruno Munari’s Prebooks, a complete set of tactile mini-books designed for pre-readers by the legendary Italian designer; $179.