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The Tidy Books Story

  • Is your child’s name inspired by a book?

    Have you ever been so inspired by a book that you chose a literary name for your baby ? Apparently, when J K Rowling’s Harry Potter books were published there was a rise in babies named after her famous characters – Harry, Hermione, Luna (Lovegood) and even baddie Lucius (Malfoy). And whenever Disney brings a character to life on screen there’s a surge in names like Elsa, from Frozen, and Ariel from The Little Princess.

    Funnily enough, I gave both my children literary names – only in my case they were inspired by the authors themselves. My daughter Adèle is named after Adèle Hugo, daughter of Victor Hugo, who wrote Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s also a shortened version of Adelaïde, a character from a series of novels; Les Rougons Macquart written by Émile Zola – who’s my favourite author. Not surprisingly, I called my son Émile.

    literary baby names, baby names, literary names, tidy books, literary characters, children's names Adele and Emile: Inspired by literary characters

    As an avid reader in my teens, I always knew that if I had children I’d name them after my favourite authors. I loved reading stories and I loved the idea of there being a story behind my children’s names. It felt significant and special.

    I could never have predicted then that I would grow up to run a business related to children’s books, but I guess it makes sense really. I’m passionate about getting kids excited about reading – which is why our book case and book box can be personalised with your children’s names. It’s a way of giving them their own little story and making them feel special, too.

    Going back to my own children, I’m lucky that my husband, Matthew, agreed with the names I chose. Though I must admit that while he was instantly taken with the idea of a daughter called Adèle, he wasn’t so sure about ‘Émile’ at first. But then, when the mid-wife asked us what we were calling our new-born son, Matthew instantly said ‘Émile’. To which – to my surprise – the midwife replied, ‘Oh, after Émile Zola?’

    You see – it’s a lovely story, isn’t it?

    geraldine grandidier, tidy booksGeraldine 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.

  • Give the gift of reading | Kid's book bundle and Tidy Books Box giveaway

    "A book is a gift you can open again and again" Garrison Keillor

    This Christmas and Holiday season we're talking about the how we can 'give the gift of reading'    We've teamed up with our friends, kid's book blogger Bookbairn and kid's bookshop Small Print Books  to bring you an awesome series of kid's book recommendations and reviews so you can give your children the gift of reading.  What's more there'll be a GIVEAWAY in early December!

    give the gift of reading, kids book reviews, prize, giveaway, kids books

    Every Thursday, Bookbairn - who's an oracle of the subject of kid's books  will post a review of the kid's book she's reading with her kids over 5 weeks.    At the end of 5 weeks, you'll have 5 great kid's book recommendations,  AND you'll have the chance to win all 5 PLUS a Tidy Books Box to store them in!   The prize books are supplied by cool kid's bookshop Small Print Books who has fabulous book gift packages to order,

    give the gift of reading, tidy books box, kids books, kiids book storage The Tidy Books Box

    So, keep watching for book reviews by Bookbairn and don't forget to enter our prize draw in early December to win a brilliant book bundle from Small Print Books, and a Tidy Books Box!

  • The accidental trend-setter

    When I founded Tidy Books in 2004 it was never my intention to be a trend-setter. In fact, being trendy was absolutely NOT what I wanted my business to be about. I never wanted to make things that would be here today and gone tomorrow. My ethos was – and still is – to design children’s furniture and storage that stood the test of time. But I’ve always been extremely proud that my bookcase, with its front-facing shelves so kids could see the book covers, was the first of its kind.

    Fast forward to 2018 and it seems Tidy Books is accidentally trending again. According to Houzz  nearly 50% of parents are choosing white as the main colour in their child’s bedroom. Which is how, earlier this year, our iconic white bookcase came to be featured in the Houzz of 2018 – a pop-up home exhibition showcasing the latest design trends.  

    tidy books, neutral kids room design, kids rooms, timeless design, kids design Parents are choosing white and natural furniture for kids' interiors

    Using wood as part of a neutral palette is also having a bit of a moment, and we’re getting an increasing number of requests from bloggers and Instagram influencers asking to feature our bookcase. Being on trend has even led to TV stardom. Fans of Homeland will probably have spotted our natural wood bookcase and letters in Series 6 of the show – fitting in beautifully in Carrie’s daughter’s bedroom in their trendy New York apartment.

    A neutral look for kids’ bedrooms definitely seems to be ‘the thing’ this year. It’s all over Pinterest and has even gone global, with Australian-based interior designer Kristy Wither picking it as a 2018 trend. She suggests using natural and whitewash tones as a canvas, then adding splashes of colour with bed linen and throws (in case you’re interested, her other top trend are metallics, velvet... and unicorns!).

    It’s all pointing to a more unisex style for kids’ bedrooms, creating a space that’s suitable for boys or girls. And of course it’s a perfect interior design solution for a bedroom that’s shared by a young brother and sister. Which is probably why grey is another popular choice right now. Well for that we must have had a crystal ball because last year Tidy Books worked with an interior designer to introduce a timeless and harmonious colour palette that included pale and dark grey.

    Honestly, I don’t try to be on trend. I’ve always gone for neutral colours because I love kids’ furniture and storage that looks great wherever you put it in the home. The combination of style and practicality is what Tidy Books is all about. Trends will always come and go, and that’s fine by me. I’ll still be here creating beautifully made, long-lasting designs that can be passed down through the generations.


    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.

  • Montessori and Me

    ‘Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.’
    Dr Maria Montessori

    When my two children were tiny I remember watching them crawl around the house, slowly getting to know their territory. Bit by bit, their inquisitiveness took them further as they discovered new and exciting places around the house. As I hovered nearby, keeping a watchful eye, it was wonderful to see that sense of independence forming in my kids at such an early age.

    Letting children explore and learn on their own is something I’ve always felt strongly about.  And in that, I’m very much aligned with the Montessori way. Dr Maria Montessori’s philosophy was about allowing children to develop naturally and independently. She believed that children should be free to make their own discoveries and to learn for themselves by ‘doing’ and ‘experiencing’.

    My very first design, the Tidy Books bookcase, was made with that guiding principle in mind. I wanted kids to have their own special little library so they could pick out their favourite books whenever they wanted rather than having to wait until it was ‘time to read’. So many parents have told me that because of the bookcase their children are reading at every opportunity – which makes me really happy.

    montessori, montessori bookcase, tidy books, kids bookcase The Tidy Books Bookcase in Montessori colours

    The bookcase is also useful for learning the alphabet.  My daughter, Adèle, used to love pointing to the colourful letters and running her fingers around the tactile wooden shapes. There was nothing forced about her learning – she just did it gradually, in her own time, without me pushing her.

    From recent market research we’ve done here at Tidy Books, I know that many customers are interested in the Montessori way of teaching and would like to bring elements of it into their home. In response, my original bookcase will now also be available with the alphabet in Montessori colours – a simple colour scheme of blue for vowels and red for consonants. And the wooden letters are all lower case – which makes better sense to children as these are the predominant letters they see when they read.

    I love that I share so many values with the Montessori way of teaching. From the very beginning, I set out to design products that made sense to kids and would help to foster their sense of independence. I’ve watched my own children interact with all my Tidy Books designs and seen them grow up to become creative, self-sufficient adults. As a parent and businesswoman, that’s a pretty amazing achievement.

    * The new Montessori-inspired bookcase is available to pre-order now for delivery in early July.  Send an email to with subject line 'Montessori' to claim yours. 

    geraldine grandidier, tidy booksGeraldine 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.

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