A peek inside a planet-conscious kid’s room proves the kids are alright
Produced, written and styled by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Sarah Dorio
My grandmother said it best “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the…” wait, that was Whitney Houston. Nevermind. Flash forward 23 years to children of the 1980′s now raising kids themselves. Have we taught them well? Are they leading the way? What are they into? Perhaps the contents of a modern day kid’s room would reveal the answer.
To get to the bottom of this, we spent an afternoon with seven-year-old Nikhel. The whiz kid’s colorful pad is a testament to eco-responsibility. From organic and/or hand-made toys to hand-me-down modern furniture, Nikhel’s room is proof that sustainable style need not be sacrificed for substance. Future-focused? Check. From the looks of it, Ms. Houston’s lyrically mentioned beliefs are becoming modern day reality. Our small wonder led the way through all of his prized possessions. Then he had to finish his homework and get ready for bed.
Do your homework
Nikhel’s desk, an Indian rosewood antique from the 1950′s, was handed down courtesy of Grandma’s BFF. This same piece he scribbles on was used by his mom back in the 1980′s. Mom paired the mid-century relic with a brand-spanking-new Philippe Starck Le Marie chair from Kartell.
Walls in “Sea Isle” create a great backdrop for a custom bed painted “Fruity Cocktail” [both Benjamin Moore].
A 100% cotton monkey keeps watch over Nikhel in the wee small hours of the morning. Vessel Candeloo LED Rechargeable Night Light Lamps glow from atop a black Kartell Componibili storage unit.
A young modernist’s space wouldn’t be complete without robots. Blik, a vinyl wall graphics company, was the source for the Giant Robot – Re-Stik. The graphic art arrives on transfer sheets; rub it off onto the wall, then re-stick elsewhere should you change things up later on. Nestled inside Nikhel’s desk sits a plush robot from Jelly Cat, a space invader of the organic kind. Avaiilable in turquoise and red, these are 100% knit cotton and retail at $25.
A collection of interactive neutral-toned items keeps playtime both creative and eco-minded. An organic wood bowling set was scored at Target from their summer toys collection. Nikhel received the beech and rosewood xylophone as a gift from a family friend. Pint-sized music makers are keepsakes from a trip to the MoMa store. Dates are well-managed with Enzo Mari’s Wooden Perpetual Calendar. In production since 1959, the classic gem is made from strips of walnut, ramin, beech and maple.
Nikhel and Co. stay entertained for hours with the Balancing Cactus from Plan Toys. Friends are challenged with building an entire cactus [made with recycled rubberwood and water-based dye] without it toppling over. A hand-carved rosewood tree puzzle came from India while the hand-made onyx dinosaur was a memento from a trip to the Mammoth Caves of Kentucky.
From original artwork to playing cards to typefont, Nikhel’s room is loaded with graphic detail. The Bauhaus Pack engages youth with a memory card game focused on classic modern iconography. Leonardo the Terrible Monster has giant-sized typefonts and larger-than-life illustrations. Mid-century inspired monster art is the work of Matte Stephens.
Everything in its place
This cotton tote bag comes with major heart. It was created by a handicapped Indian girl who could only carry things with her shoulders. A discontinued coat hook from IKEA gives it a permanent space on the wall.
As we said goodbye to our grade school tour guide, we learned about the biggest staple of any mod kid’s room, Ugly Doll. Each gender-neutral character [such as Jeero pictured above] comes with a hysterical backstory. Jeero’s family and friends all live together on the Ugly Dolls website.