Life In Miniature Size

February 25, 2019 • DesignKids

when juliet had to give up her pacifiers to santa last year, we knew santa had to offer something rrrrreally good in return. her fourth birthday already in sight, it was high time to get rid of her paci’s, but we were all dreading the actual moment. we had been playing around with the idea of building a doll house ourselves, but when i came across this extra large version online, it was like they had seen our sketches and done the work for us, so we quickly decided this was what santa was going to give juliet in exchange for her equally large dummy collection. i want to say i’ll never forget the look on her face when she saw it on christmas morning, but she was just utterly and completely confused! to be fair, the house is so big we didn’t wrap it, and it seemed like we just added a piece of furniture to our living room to hold the little gifts for our kids… but ever since she figured out the house was the actual gift, she hasn’t stopped playing with it. and neither have i.

i have to admit – i was probably more excited about the doll house than juliet initially was. i spent an hour putting all of her maileg mice and bunnies on display to surprise her on christmas, but it has become one of my habits to regularly redecorate her house and create all kinds of ‘situations’ with her little dolls. she’s received so many cute things for the house already, but i am constantly on the lookout for original, cool things to add, and am always so excited when i see her incorporate them in her playing routines. the maileg furniture is super cute and fun, but i like to mix it up with other things and see her get creative with them.

i had always loved the VITRA miniatures collection – those cute 1:16 scale versions of the furniture we so admire or love in our own home. i just never really saw them ending up in our home as decoration, until now, obviously. i waited a little while to get juliet her very first piece until i knew for sure she wasn’t throwing the doll house furniture around and breaking things, but when i witnessed her playing for hours on end, so careful to put everything just right, to seat the bunnies in the chairs and put the mice to sleep underneath their blankets… it was just too cute to handle. i decided the dolls needed their own EAMES RAR CHAIR, so now the larger bunnies can rock the baby bunnies to sleep in style.

juliet’s first reaction when she opened up the wooden box the chair comes in, was to use the wooden box as a mouse hideaway, which is the most adorable thing, of course. but she then recognized the design of the rocking chair to be similar to our own VITRA CHAIRS and she was so excited to see a piece of her own world represented in miniature size. i guess getting excited about smaller versions of large objects is pretty much a universal thing. i know i have more fun tidying up this little house than our actual home…

photos by stephanie duval • post in collaboration with MISTER DESIGN

we recently welcomed the VITRA ELEPHANT into our lives and it has been moving around the house non stop. there’s no way i’ll get to decide ‘a place’ for it like i do with other interior decoration, as two little girls are always picking it up and leaving it behind somewhere else. which is exactly the reason why i fell in love with it in the first place.

i love the VITRA COLLECTOR’S ITEMS as a way to introduce littles to timeless and iconic design. they might not fully appreciate it yet, but it’s one of those things that they’ll pick up subconsciously, and i am looking forward to telling them all about CHARLES & RAY EAMES, for example, when they get a little older.

if you’re into design and want to share this with your kids, i can also highly recommend the book THE THREE LITTLE PIGS as imagined from an architect or designer’s point of view by artist steven guarnaccia. it was gifted to juliet in french when she was born (by a dear friend who knew i’d LOVE it), and it’s still one of her favorites. the classic story takes place in modernist houses, furnished by design classics. it’s so much fun for adults to spot and identify them, and once again it’s a great way to gradually introduce these things to your kids. i’ve found myself explaining who corbusier was to a two-and-half-year old juliet and though i’m sure she doesn’t really remember or understand yet, it is hopefully laying a foundation for a future appreciation of good design. (also check out guarnaccia’s take on GOLDILOCKS!)

after our engagement trip, honeymoon and babymoons, i am now looking forward to another trip of a lifetime – taking juliet and eloise along on a trip to the american west coast and showing them all the famous architectural houses and museums filled with modernist design. it’ll probably be at least another year or ten before we’ll do that, so in the meantime i keep adding to our collection of kid-friendly design items and they keep treating them as their little friends!

photos by stephanie duval • post in collaboration with MISTER DESIGN


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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