Baby gates are perhaps the final frontier when it comes to products for children that are functional and beautiful. We've all grown so accustomed to the bland, bordering-on-institutional look of them that it kind of feels like how things should be. Safety comes first and we seem to collectively accept that it's okay if safety products are also ugly.
The baby gates on the market are, for the most part, uninspiring from a design perspective although there have been improvements and added features since the standard accordion-style ones my parents probably used when I was little (if they used them at all).
The "Loft" baby gate by Munchkin (originally called the "Numi"), one of the few (only?) baby gates on the market with a deliberate focus on a modern aesthetic.
Depending on the type and layout of your home (and your parenting style), you may not use baby gates at all. But if you do and have been frustrated by your choices at the store, I've collected some of my favorite, stylish examples of baby gates. Many of them are custom built or DIY projects that address unusual layouts or spacing in a home or improve the aesthetics (and often, both).
They are a breath of fresh air and may inspire you for your own home. With any luck, the industry will begin to take note that there is a desire and a market for better looking baby gates, especially among families with multiple children for whom they are a fixture of the house for several years.
What do you think? Do you want more stylish options or is function enough?
MORE BABY GATES ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Going Rogue: Pet Gates as Baby Gates
• Using Baby Gates To Divide A Room
• Good Questions: Babyproofing a Rail-less Staircase
• Reusing Cribs and Baby Gates as Garden Trellises
(Images: 1. Industrial Design Sandbox 2. Because We Can 3. Benjamin Benschneider/The Seattle Times 4. Blue Ant Studio 5. Frazier Builders 6. Catrin Moss 7. Vernacular Studio 8. The Sunset Lane 9. Kelly Rae Roberts 10. Merriment Design)