There are some things Italians just do better and furniture design is definitely one of them.
I feel qualified to make that assertion, because my mum’s family business is a furniture retail store in Lissone, a hub for designer furniture just north of Milan. Our business grew from four cabinet making brothers in 1958, one of whom was my grandfather. Naturally, I spent a lot of my childhood in my mum’s 3,100m2 showroom pretending that it was my house.
That should explain why I was pretty excited when it came time to choose furniture for our nursery. I did a fair amount of research on both quality and safety, and I quickly identified the two leading brands in Australia: Boori and Grotime, both supposedly excellent in terms of the above parameters. I was however surprised by how few other suppliers managed to compete in this market – an absolute antithesis to the plethora of premium pram brands available on the market.
So, the baby shop crawl begun, dragging my husband around in the search of the perfect furniture package. My disappointment was immediate and continual. Everything looked so square and functional!
For once, the left and right sides of my brain were not in conflict. Rationally, I found everything completely overpriced – even the discounted sets. Emotionally, I could not fall in love with any of them.
Luckily, unlike most Australis, I was able to refuse to participate in yet another mediocre retail oligopoly. So, I turned to my connections in the Italian furniture industry. They pointed me to few Italian companies who specialised in kid’s furniture and after browsing for many hours through online catalogues, a vision for my baby’s room started to form in my mind. I wanted neutral, but warm colours; elegance, but with a touch of cuteness; and of course… teddy bears (I have a minor obsession with adorable bears)!
Eventually, I opted for a reputable Italian company, Doimo City Line, which had exactly what I was looking for.
I picked three pieces in a colour combination of white and tortora, which sadly only translates into English as light-grey:
- A small chest of three deep draws;
- A chest of three large draws with the changing unit installed on top of it;
- A cot bed, that offered adaptation to a toddler bed with a minimum of work in a few years’ time.
The clever design of the larger chest allows for a bigger and very spacious draw at the top, as well as for storage space underneath the changing table for items like nappies, wipes, etc.
The cot bed is a fully flexible solution and the conversion into a toddler bed is simply done by removing the sides and then it converts finally into a single bed for your grown-up kid. It was supplied with the additional single bed base and side panels, that required storage in our garage.
There is a lot of weight, workmanship, quality and design in this nursery set (I am still hearing from my husband about how hard was to carry those heavy, pre-built pieces up the stairs). I love the square handles and the three bears design element, which is just the touch of cuteness I was hoping for.
I must admit that this nursery is not fully Italian. One of my favourite parts is the art we chose to decorate the room. Have a look at The Crown Prints by Jenny Kun, an American artist who offers printable art as well as prints for home décor.
I came across her nursery art on Instagram and I immediately thought it would have beautifully completed the room.
We were only going to buy six of them, but when it came to place the order, my husband and I could not decide who to leave out, so we have ended up with twelve furry friends who will keep our little boy company!
The quality of the prints is outstanding and you can really see the details of the little animals. Simple wooden Kmart frames which costed us $10 each – notwithstanding my husband’s labour to hang them square and make a minor modification to the frames so they were super securely affixed – completed the job.
As many of my projects, shopping for nursery furniture was overall a minor Italian drama, but when I peak inside the room while waiting for this little guy to come, I am convinced it was all worth it.