New York, NY and online
Birsfelden near Basel, Switzerland
Swiss company Vitra has been manufacturing modern furniture since the 1950s. They've worked with some of the great designers of the 20th century — among them, Isamu Noguchi, George Nelson, and Charles & Ray Eames, who had a particular talent for creating children's furniture that was functional and beautiful, but escaped the cutesy conventions (scalloped edges, lacy details) of mid-century children's design.
Many of the designs that the Eameses developed (including the famous Eames Elephant and Hang It All Coat Rack) remain in production today, and they continue to be big sellers. Other mid-to-late 20th century designers, like Vernor Panton, also created child-sized chairs for the company.
Today, Vitra continues to work with high-end designers, like the Bouroullec Brothers and Hella Jongerius, on their children's collection. You can see the full line at the Vitra for Kids page.
Most of the classics in the collection aren't cheap, but they're also not astronomical — the Eames Elephant costs around $300, the Hang it All around $180, and the Panton Junior Chair around $130. The furniture is durable and much of it, like the coat rack, can repurposed in another part of the house once your kids grow out of it.
• Eames Elephant
• Panton Chair Junior
• Roomset with George Nelson Zoo Timers
• Porcupine Desk by Hella Jongerius
• Algue by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
Vitra products are sold through their showrooms in several major US cities, or through network dealers such as Design Within Reach, Hive Modern, and Unica Home.