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  • Original design classics... and sausages!

    I love designs that help solve a problem or make life easier.  So as we’re celebrating our 15th birthday I thought I’d also celebrate three iconic designs that made a big difference to me when my kids were growing up.

    Time has flown since my three-year-old daughter’s struggle to find her favourite book inspired me to design a bookcase that made choosing books easier. That was the start of Tidy Books 15 years ago and ever since then I’ve been creating original designs that help children to become independent readers.

    Like a lot of mums, I’ll always remember my Maclaren pushchair.  Forget the stress of trying to collapse your pushchair while holding onto a baby and shopping bags. Suddenly here was a lightweight, portable stroller that easily folded in on itself like an umbrella.  It was revolutionary. And I love that it was designed by a former aviation engineer after he saw his daughter struggling with her pram.  Like my bookcase, Maclaren is one of those iconic designs – which is permanently on display at the Design Museum in London – was designed for a purpose and to be useful.

    iconic designs, original design, children's design, tidy books The iconic Maclaren buggy, invented in 1965. Photo: Maclaren

    The same ethos was behind the Stokke Tripp Trapp® high chair. Norwegian designer Peter Opsvik couldn’t find a high chair for his two-year-old son to sit at the table with the rest of his family – so he made one. I discovered the high chair when my son, Emile, was little and was so impressed by the thought that had gone into it. It was just the right height so I could pull the chair up to the table and have Emile with us when we were eating or sitting around chatting – which was brilliant for his development. What’s really clever about the Tripp Trapp® chair is that the seat and footplates are adjustable so it can be used all the way from baby stage to adulthood – hence being known as ‘a chair for life’. It looks lovely in the home, too, something I’ve always strived to achieve with my own Tidy Books original designs.

    Now sausages may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re designing a new product – but that’s exactly what inspired the iconic Micro scooter. Swiss banker Wim Ouboter had a favourite sausage shop that was a mile and a half from his office. The distance was too far to walk but not far enough away to bother getting the car out of the garage and parking. So he designed a scooter to get him there. It was definitely a hit in our household. With its robust design and two front wheels keeping the scooter stable, I was quite happy to let Emile whizz around on his, knowing he was safe while learning to enjoy the freedom of his own independent travel.

    original design, iconic design, childrens bookcase The first, original Tidy Books bookcase which I made for my daughter Adele in 2004

    * So that’s three of my favourite iconic designs. What’s the original design that you love most?  

    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.

  • Kid’s furniture that’s got style

    When I started Tidy Books 13 years ago, I remember a huge truck turned up outside my house in Walthamstow, East London, with a delivery of pallets. The truck was so big it blocked the whole street and it stayed there for hours while everything was unloaded. I was mortified, but thankfully my lovely neighbours were very understanding – and patient!

    The incident made me realise how lucky I was to live and work in such a great area, and as Tidy Books has grown into an international business I still feel incredibly fortunate to be here.

    I was reminded of this a while ago when I was launching a new colour range and needed somewhere local for a photo shoot. Through a friend of a friend I found just what I was looking for – a house that had an open-plan design with kitchen, living room and kids’ play area.

    Tidy Books, bookcase, children, kids, furniture, style, design, get organized

    Open-plan living is an ongoing trend and I love the idea of families sharing their living space rather than children playing separately in their bedrooms. It feels like a nice way of being together yet still having a sense of autonomy and the space to do your own thing. It’s what Tidy Books is all about – encouraging children to become independent as they learn and grow.

    Tidy Books, bookcase, children, kids, furniture, style, design, get organized

    The products aren’t designed just for open-plan living, though. I ensure all my children’s furniture is robust without being bulky so it can fit into small rooms and tiny spaces. As a mum of two, I know how important it is for kids’ furniture to work in the home. And now, with the new colour range, Tidy Book’s furniture can come out of the closet – or, rather, the kids’ bedrooms – and be a stylish addition to any room in your house.

    *How do you organise the kid's stuff?

  • Tidy Books wins Junior Design Awards 2014 accolade.

    The Tidy Books Bookcase has received the seal of approval from parenting and style experts, in the Junior Design Awards 2014.   Tidy Books’ original bookcase, which is an ideal first library for a child, has been shortlisted in the Best Furniture Collection category in this year’s awards.

    Junior Design Awards hosted by Junior Magazine, are lead influencers on parents’ product choices for their children.  The Junior Awards judging panel looked for examples of the finest and unique design for children.

    In awarding the Junior Design accolade, judges recognised the power of the Tidy Books bookcase design, which inspires children, aged 1 and up, to explore books and develop a lifelong love of reading.  Conceived by violin maker, Geraldine Grandidier for her own children, the Tidy Books bookcase appeals to the design enthusiast, the realist, and the dreamer in every style conscious parent.  The bookcase meets parents’ demand for original and stylish design that young children find straightforward to use

    .IMG_7304kJDA2014_SL_FurnitureCollection low res

    Tidy Books founder and CEO Geraldine Grandidier said; “Winning a Junior Design Award is incredibly important- it demonstrates that a product has design integrity and is the finest in its category.  And I’m delighted to get this tribute from the Junior judging team.”

    You can read more of Geraldine's thoughts on the importance of good design for children on the Junior Design Awards page here:

    And see our video about why Geraldine made the first Tidy Books Bookcase here!

  • Tidy Books wins parents' vote, with Loved by Parents Award 2014

    Tidy Books, the children’s bookcase company, gets the stamp of approval from parents, scooping a Silver Loved by Parents Award for its innovative Tidy Books Box, which gets kids reading, in the Best Nursery Accessory category.

    Loved by Parents Awards are influential in parents’ choice of products, because the winners are chosen by other parents through a public vote. This year, over 50,000 parents voted for their favourite brands and products from a shortlist picked by the baby experts at Loved by Parents.


    Parents chose the Tidy Books Box because it encourages children’s love of reading.  The innovative design, created by a mum, is easy for young children to use independently, making books attractive and fun, right from those crucial early years.

    Parents tell us that their Tidy Books Box serves as great reminder to read with their children. Our awards wins give parents confidence that other parents have given Tidy Books the thumbs up,” explained Ruth Duncan, Tidy Books marketer.

    The Tidy Books Box is a portable book box which displays the front covers of books, making it easy for even the smallest child to see and choose a book independently.  Made in sustainable wood, it is stylish enough for the living room, and sturdy enough for the playroom.  The Box comes with a removable play clock for a lovely introduction to telling the time.Tidy Books Box Natural - Reading - Low Res

    Tidy Books founder and CEO Geraldine Grandidier said; “We’re delighted to win a Loved by Parents Award.  It is solid proof that other parents know how important it is to make kids books accessible to even the smallest child, so that they get hooked on reading from an early age.”

    You can find out how the Tidy Books Box would work for your family here.

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