Alexander Girard’s wooden dolls for Vitra
June 22, 2008, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Decor, Picks for Grown-ups, Toys and games | Tags: , , ,

OK, today’s picks ended up being much more design oriented than I had originally planned, but the Alexander Girar list were still something in the back of my head, and seeing them at Unica Home just reminded me that I haven’t posted them yet. Besides, it is already a while ago that I have featured some of Girard’s items, so why not have another turn.

These wooden dolls made of pinewood were originally created by Girard as decorations for his Santa Fe home. Fortunately though, design museum Vitra is reissuing models 1-11 of his wooden dolls. These dolls with sometimes happy, sometimes melancholy faces are hand-painted and not suitable for very young children. But with their modern design, they would surely look fabulous as room decoration, not just for the nursery! They also make perfect gifts, since they arrive in a printed, wooden box.

Available at Unica Home for $150.00 each.

Alexander Girard: Alphabet Blocks
June 7, 2008, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Toys and games | Tags: , ,

I have to say, I just love Alexander Girard’s colorful designs.  If you haven’t heard of him before, I’ll just say really quickly that he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, colorists of the 20th century, and is known mainly for his textile design, combining folk elements with rich, warm colors and modern design.  All this makes a wide range of his creation just perfect for a sunny children’s room.

Just take a look at these wooden alphabet blocks, truly stunning!  They come in a set of 28, printed with assorted designs and fonts by Alexander Girard, as well as a Girard inspired puzzle, depicting the logo of typography- and design-studio House Industries.

Available at màXimo, a company specialized in reissuing Girard designs, for $100.00.

In case you think this is too expensive for a little children’s toy, maybe it helps to remember that it’s never too early to introduce your kids to some great design.  Moreover, these blocks are so beautiful, they can surely be used long after they have lost their usage as toys, and I can imagine this is even a great collectors item with a good reseller value.  And if all these reasons aren’t enough, I have one last one: Girard’s designs are timeless charms, and the solid wooden blocks are certain to become a heirloom item to be passed from generation to generation.

If you have now made your way to màXimo, but can’t find a symbol to add the blocks to your cart, don’t dispair, click on the picture and in the appearing pop-up window, you find everything you’ve been searching for.

Sunny design: Alexander Girard’s La Fonda Del Sol Carpet Tiles

Today it’s gray and rainy outside, so what options do you have, but to take the sun inside, if it doesn’t want to shine for you outside?  And who would be more apt to do just that than Alexander Girard?  If you have never heard of him, you may switch to my post above, where I’ve given a very brief introduction, or you may just contine reading and check out his increadible work by looking at these photos.

The La Fonda del Sol line by Girard was created for the, surprise surprise, La Fonda del Sol restaurant in 1960.  Though this restaurant has long disappeared from New York, his designs remain and are just as stunning and happyiness inducing as always, with their vibrant colors and folk-inspired sun-prints.  The whole La Fonda collection actually comprised a whole lot range of interior design, from wall-decor and table-ware to pillows and carpets.  Unfortunately, the other items are not available at the moment, I would have loved to introduce you to the La Fonda pillows.

But luckily, FLOR has introduced a carpet tile collection based on his sunny design 🙂 And though it is not specifically designed for a children’s room, and will certainly look great anywhere, with its warm colors and friendly faces, the La Fonda del Sol prints are surely perfect for a nursery or playroom.  Not to mention the tiles are made of soft velours and easy to clean, should a mess occur, and can even be pulled up and cleaned in a sink, if disaster strikes.  The pull-up feature is also great, if you want to rearrange the tiles, to give the room a new look, which is a truly great feature for children whose tastes will change many times.  Now you can have a carpet that develops with your  children, and introduces them to some great, timeless mid-century art as well!

The FLOR tiles come in packs of six, with large suns (one sun per tile) in the variants Azul (blue), Mandarina (orange) and Verde (green) and with small suns (nine suns per tile) in the multicolored Piqueño.

Available at FLOR, $159.99 for a six tile rug.

Maharam designer memory game with Alexander Girard patterns

The last Girard inspired theme for today is actually not entirely his creation, but only features some of his fabric designs created for Maharam, the over 100 year old textile family business, which revolutionized the commercial fabric sector in the 1960s with special contract design for commercial purposes.  Though Maharam has some great design to offer, the price range is not really child-friendly: Pillows available from $150 upwards aren’t really the ones to have pillow fights with or spill hot chocolate on, and are rather something for grown-up fashion addicts.

However, if you are searching for some nifty accessories for the playroom, Maharam has repacked its most famous designs, among which also Alexander Girard’s textile designs for Maharam, into one stylish memory game, that does not only look great, displaying some awesome patterns, it is also completely timeless. And since it does not contain any of the flower or animal themes so typical for memory games, Maharam’s memory is also great for teenagers and adults.  It consists of 72  richly colored cards, depicting 36 sets of famous Maharam patterns and does not only contain quality design, such as Gio Ponti’s  “I Morosi Alla Finestra” or Verner Panton’s “Optik”, the workmanship is top-quality as well, being made of heavy stock and printed in Germany.

Moreover, at a price of $36.00, it is luckily also affordable! Available at DesignWithinReach