Featured Review: P'kolino- Modern furniture for pipsqueaks

‘s philosophy is "children are not mini-adults so why do we give them mini-adult furniture" and "our children grow so fast but the furniture does not and the uses are limited." Any parent who has had to retire an ExerSaucer knows this all too well.

Their children’s play furniture is clearly designed with how children play in mind, and not just their short stature. Each piece truly grows with your child and most are rearrangeable. Their signature piece is the Play Table (top), a modular play environment. For example, the desk piece can be flipped over to use it as a lounge chair or slide.The collection also includes the Klick desk and chair that fit together, Play Ottoman, which has a top that reverses from a padded top to a flat birch surface, Little Reader arm chair, Kube Set, a modular storage set that can also be purchased individually, and The Wave (2nd from top), which can be arranged in different ways to create sitting or lying down surfaces. All of their products are designed to grow with the child and have multiple uses. Though the pieces (and prices) are high end, they are a worthwhile investment because they are made of high quality wood, stain-resistant vinyl and micro-fiber suede, not particleboard or plastic (like most children’s furniture is), and because you will use them for years with each child. Plus there’s no assembly and most of the pieces fit together to save space when playtime is over for the day.

Their newest products are the Clothes Tree (3rd from top), which is a playful reinterpretation of a coat stand, and the Silly Soft Seating which combines a toy with toddler seating in four different loosely based on animal designs (and named after the designers’ children). They also have really cute triangular colored pencils and jumbo hexagonal crayons, the shapes of which make it much easier for little hands to hold, and which don’t roll away from them.


On the other end of the spectrum are designers who think miniature-sized adult furniture for kids is the way to go. Looking like it got zapped by the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" machine, Jennifer DeLonge‘s Ava chair is an upholstered armchair, with straight lines all around and a matching ottoman. She has expanded the line to include a larger kid size version (recommended for 4+ years), a sofa version, and an overstuffed Pottery Barn-o-rific armchair and sofa. Her chunky round Grace table looks like a modern coffee table until you see the stools that can be easily tucked underneath. We really like this piece except that the stools are very heavy- I have a bad feeling that one of these days one of the stools is going to fall on my daughter’s foot.


In Boom‘s case, they may very well have used that shrinking machine. Their main line is furniture for adults, but at the ABC Kids Expo, they introduced a set of kid’s sofas, loveseats, coffee and end tables, and bookshelves. They look totally normal when you see them together but when an adult enters the picture, you realize that the scale is not 1:1. It’s more like 1:3 and the result is entirely amusing but also slightly absurd. Who has room for a separate child-size living room set up? If I put it in my daughter’s room, will it look out of place with her crib?

Where do you find yourself on this spectrum? Do you like kids’ stuff to look like kids’ stuff?

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