There was a time when having a little one meant saying goodbye to good design and hello to large piles of colored plastic eyesores. But big name designers have gotten hip to parental toy woes, creating pieces so visually beautiful that they’re as pleasing to the adult eye as they are to kids.
The biggest name to enter the fray? Jonathan Adler. Mattel recently tapped the legendary designer to be the creative director of Fisher Price. He’ll bring his playful, midcentury aesthetic to everything from baby gear to nursery décor and, of course, toys. You’ll have to wait until fall to score those colorful finds. So in the meantime, we’re rounding up our favorite high design kids lines.
Charley Harper for Land of Nod
Midcentury artist Charley Harper is known for his imaginative minimalist wildlife drawings. He brought a whimsical graphic eye and a focus on bold colors and shapes to the previously staid world of nature illustration. So his work is a perfect match for design-oriented kids store Land of Nod. The newly released vibrant collection includes a monochrome graphic sheet set and a geometric zebra-inspired rug that would feel just as at home in an adult room as it would in the kiddo’s.
Kidrobot for Crayola
Kidrobot is the kind of company that made even Kanye think toys are cool again. While grownups obsessively collect these limited edition art toys, the company has decided to pull in the younger crowd too with a new Crayola collaboration. Parents and kids alike can now create their own character, using Crayola markers to draw on blank white vinyl figurines.
Marimekko for Target
The iconic graphic prints of Finnish fashion and home design company Marimekko will be coming to a play tent near you this summer thanks to a new afforadable collection at Target. Expect boogie boards with giant strawberries and puffy clouds, bikes with floral frames and ruby red tires, and pool rafts with black and white squiggles. Target also upped their kids design game with the recent release of their Pillowfort collection, a line of gender neutral toys, stuffed animals and décor that would look just as at home in a grownups room (hello mint green Marais chair).
Monique Lhuillier for Pottery Barn Kids
If your style is more soft and sophisticated than bold and graphic, consider Monique Lhuillier’s collection for Pottery Barn Kids. The famous bridal designer brought her eye for whimsy and glamour to a line of frothy ballerina-pink bedding and darling tutus, and a magical mansion of a dollhouse that we’d be more than happy to take up residence in.