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The Tidy Books Story

  • Why reading is the fastest way to boost your mental health

    Don’t you just love how reading can lift your spirits? I’ve usually got a book on the go but during the occasional reading drought, when I’ve been too busy to stock up on new books, I really notice how it affects how I feel. Reading helps to take me out of my own ‘me, me, me’ world into a wonderful new, magical world and, to be honest, without it I soon feel myself slipping into a low mood.

    So I’m really pleased to hear that the theme of this year’s World Book Night on 23rd April is how reading benefits mental health. The annual event, run by national charity The Reading Agency  helps to get books to people who don’t read for pleasure or who don’t own their own books. Publishers donate books which are then gifted to prisons, hospitals, care homes and mental health charities – and among the books being donated this year will be ones that explore mental health and wellbeing.

    reading benefits mental health, charity, give a book, tidy books, kids reading Simply reading can help kids boost mental health. Photo credit Give A Book

    There has been lots of research about the benefits of reading for mental health, including increasing self-esteem, improving communication between parents and children and reducing stress, anxiety and depression. In one study, reading for just six minutes was found to decrease stress levels by 68% amazingly it’s a quicker and more effective stress buster than going for a walk or listening to music! 

    I totally understand the power of books and how reading benefits mental health. When I was a child, I remember going through periods of anxiety when books were a real solace to me. Whatever was happening around me, I could completely lose myself in a story and it calmed and comforted me. With a book by my side, it felt like everything was going to be OK.

    With one in ten children and young people affected by mental health problems – that’s three out of every 30 in a classroom – isn’t it incredible to think that something as simple as reading a book could help them?

    From my own experience – as a child and now as an adult – I know how truly uplifting reading can be.

    * Tidy Book holds a monthly collection for children’s books that we donate to Give a Book for distribution to schools and prison. For details, please contact us on 020 8520 4647

    geraldine grandidier, tidy books

    Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile.   She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids.  Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.


  • Time to read...

    Telling the time is so natural to most of us, that we forget kids don't have the same concept of telling time.  I was chatting to a friend the other day about her Christmas and she said her three-year-old son was so excited he’d been constantly asking when Father Christmas was coming.  Of course, being so young, her son had no concept of time so she told him it would be ‘three times when you’ve gone to school’  She wanted to help him understand that he’d have to wait for what would feel like three school days.

    I thought that was a really clever way of teaching her child about telling time. Another mum I know does a similar thing – only she breaks time down into episodes of Peppa Pig. As for helping my own children to tell the time, I remember we sat down and made a clock out of a Camembert box (well, I am French!).

    telling time, teaching time clock, book box, tidy books, tell the time clock The Tidy Books Box with teaching time clock

    Experts agree that telling the time makes better sense to children when they can relate it to their own experience – like teatime at 5 o’ clock and their 7 o’ clock bath time. And of course it’s always good to making learning fun, so they suggest things like setting a timer when you’re baking cookies or using a stopwatch to time them cleaning their teeth.

    When I was designing my Book Box, I immediately thought of adding a teaching time clock on one end. I mean, why waste space when you can use it to include something useful? I loved the idea of kids having a little portable library so they could have their favourite books around them wherever they were in the house. And if it had a colourful telling the time clock, well they could have fun playing with that, too.

    The award-winning Tidy Books box has certainly gone down well with customers – they love that it’s so compact and space-saving and can easily be moved from the living room to the kids’ bedroom. I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with it myself – and I’m not bad at making a Camembert clock either!

    What do you do to explain time to your kids?

    geraldine grandidier, tidy books


    Geraldine is Tidy Books’ founder, designer and CEO, as well as mum to Adele and Emile.   She started Tidy Books in her violin workshop because she couldn’t find a good bookcase for her kids.  Now her Tidy Books bookcases and storage designs are encouraging independence and a love of reading in kids all over the world.

  • Children's room trends for 2018 with Houzz and Tidy Books

    Parents are taking the design of their children's room very seriously.   When Tidy Books was selected to be part of interior trends expo Houzz of 2018, it was immediately clear that parents want a space for their kids that is functional, playful and stylish.

    International interiors platform Houzz and designers Run for the Hills took over a five storey Soho townhouse to create a modern family home which showcases the trends for 2018.   The children's room featured the iconic Tidy Books Bookcase which I'd created for my daughter 15 years ago. 

    children's room, tidy books kids bookcase, kids bookshelf Tidy Books Bookcase in Houzz of 2018

    The key trends I spotted in the Houzz townhouse were tactile rugs and fabrics, retro touches; all looking luxurious.   In the children's rooms the interior design team highlighted blush pinks and illustrated wallpaper as key design trends for 2018.

    children's room, interior design, tidy books The children's room in Houzz of 2018

    Houzz discovered that  72% of parents want a children's room that's easy to clean, so simplicity and amazing storage are their top priorities.*  30% said they despaired of keeping the kid's belongings organised.  Houzz identified key purchases as bookshelves and toy boxes, such as Tidy Books' kid's bookcase and small toy storage boxes, the Sorting Box.   

    It's not just the children's rooms that parents are taking seriously.   I've observed that parents don't want to tuck all their children's belongings in their bedroom.  Houzz identified that parents are creating playrooms, homework stations and reading nooks in other areas of the home.  As a result, they're seeking out designs that work well for children and are stylish enough for adult spaces. 

    Tidy Books' timeless bookcases, shelves and toy box designs reflect this trend.  Parents want simplicity, function and style.  My original designs are conceived in real life scenarios, from being a parent or observing others’ family life.  I think that’s what makes my designs strike a chord with parents, who’re craving simple, functional designs for children.

    houzz, interior design, children's room, tidy books The Soho 5 storey townhouse - home of Houzz of 2018

    Houzz of 2018 was a fabulous event and I was excited that Tidy Books was selected.  It was a pleasure to be in the company of so many other fabulous home and interiors products and I'm looking forward to Houzz of 2019!

    *Source Houzz Kids and the Home poll 2017

  • See Tidy Books in kid's interior design expo in Soho townhouse

    Tidy Books has been selected by leading interior designers to showcase the latest trends in home design.  In an exciting pop up expo, Houzz, is taking over a five storey house in London’s Soho for a week-long, interior design installation.

    The Houzz designers have created a beautiful family home from kitchen, home office and a kid’s bedroom, where Tidy Books’ iconic kid’s bookcase is featured. The installation, which is free to the public, will appeal to anyone who loves snooping around other people’s homes.

    interior design, trends, kids design, tidy books, kids bookcase Visit the Houzz of 2018 event at 19 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D4DT

    Naturally I'm excited that international interior design platform Houzz has selected Tidy Books' iconic kid's bookcase to be part of the event Houzz of 2018. Everything I make is designed to be fun and enjoyable for children whilst creating a timeless classic design that can be passed down through the generations.

    I made the first Tidy Books kid’s bookcase for my own daughter and went on to found the Tidy Books in 2004.   It's fabulous to see my design in this smart Soho townhouse.

    Parents today  are seeking out designs for their children which are stylish, but also practical and easy for kids to use.  As more of us choose open plan family living spaces, parents are looking for kid's designs which work for the whole family.

    The Tidy Books’ Children’s bookcase was a design first, created to encourage kids’ love of reading by enabling them to explore books by themselves.  It forever changed the concept of what a good children’s bookcase should do.

    Touring the Soho home promises to be fascinating, with workshops and talks from interior designer and brands. You can even relax with a free coffee on the top floor!

    The Houzz of 2018 event can be found at 19 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D 4DT from 26th January until 31st January, and is open from 11am till 6pm. Will you be dropping by to see Tidy Books on tour?

    You can find more information on the Houzz of 2018 site

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