French Design For The Young At Heart

Design for the home by L’Atelier d’exercices

Have noth­ing in your house that you do not know to be use­ful or believe to be beau­ti­ful – William Morris.

Where do you go when you’re look­ing for a really spe­cial gift for a friend or a mem­ber of your fam­ily? We all have our favorite addresses, places where we know we’ll find some­thing a lit­tle out-of-the-ordinary, tailor-made for a loved one. As the inter­na­tional design and home decor trade fair Mai­son & Objet kicks off in Paris this week, I thought I’d do some­thing dif­fer­ent today and share a snap­shot of the work by French stu­dio that focuses on design for kids and the young at heart.

Let’s have a closer look!

Cool take on the piggy bank

Money Saver
avail­able for $186 from L’Atelier d’exercices

What a bold, strik­ing fea­ture this would make in a mod­ern child’s room! A work of art and a money saver com­bined, this cool bank designed by Sebas­t­ian Bergne col­lects all types of coins and gives change. Prop it up against a wall or hang it for all to see (mount­ing fix­tures included) – who knew sav­ing could be so much fun?

A place to store all of the treasures your children find

Feather Holder
avail­able for $41 from L’Atelier d’exercices (posted ear­lier here)

I think this is a beau­ti­ful, poet­i­cal way to dis­play your child’s col­lec­tions, be they feath­ers, shells, peb­bles or chest­nuts. Made from nat­ural wood and metal, this would make a thought­ful gift for any bud­ding explorer, and I wouldn’t mind hav­ing one on my desk myself!

french family growth chart

Fam­ily Growth Chart
avail­able for $33 from L’Atelier d’exercices

The brain­child of PiKs Design, this clever fam­ily growth chart dou­bles up as a fam­ily album too. The chart folds/unfolds like a con­certina and once mounted enables mea­sure­ment of each and every fam­ily member’s growth (2.10m). Made from tear and moisture-resistant paper, the chart can be also be used to dis­play pho­tos, draw­ings, notes… and once taken down, be folded to form a prac­ti­cal fam­ily keep­sake book.

pencil holder / display

Pen­cil Dis­play
avail­able for $57 from L’Atelier d’exercices

I think my teenage son needs one of these! I’m hop­ing it’s never too late to get orga­nized… ho hum! Elise Gabriel’s smart metal dis­play looks the per­fect desk acces­sory for kids and adults alike. It can hold up to 100 pen­cils ver­ti­cally, be left out on a desk or mounted on a wall. Clean, effi­cient and orga­nized – I like it!

great photo holder / display

Draw­ings Holder
avail­able for $60 from L’Atelier d’exercices

Another exer­cise in col­lec­tion, this five-frame draw­ings holder opens out front­wards, back­wards hor­i­zon­tally and ver­ti­cally. You can use it dis­play up to ten fam­ily pho­tos, kids’ draw­ings, spe­cial notes and let­ters, all encased in trans­par­ent acrylic frames. This would make a lovely gift for grand­par­ents or god­par­ents, but would also look great on a shelf in a child’s room or on your desk. Easy to change — min­i­mal design with max­i­mum marks for versatility.

Monthly Measure - a unique way to count down the days

Monthly Mea­sure
avail­able for $46 from L’Atelier d’exercices

Last but no means least (this is actu­ally my favorite), Sebas­t­ian Bergne has designed a uni­ver­sal monthly cal­en­dar that can also be used a met­ric ruler. The metal star can be posi­tioned on the notched top bor­der to show the day of the month and the date (each date = 1 cm), and is bilin­gual, with Eng­lish days shown one side and French on the other. Clever, good-looking and func­tional – what more can I say?

Although based in France, L’Atelier d’exercice’s designs are sold around the world. Please visit their site for a com­pre­hen­sive list of stock­ists.

Images: ©Frank Verdier & L’Atelier d’exercices