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Tidy Books US

Putting books at the heart of your child’s world

  • 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.

     

    tidy books, kids bookshelf, kids storage, kids furniture

    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.

  • Step away from the socks this Father’s Day

    I think it’s really sweet that in lots of families on Father's Day the dad gets a present from his children. Of course, many kids are too young to go out and shop themselves so the gift arrives courtesy of mum. Well if you’re looking for present ideas this month, forget socks or aftershave and buy a children’s book instead.

    A children’s book for dad? Am I being serious? Absolutely, yes. According to a study by the Literacy Trust, dads who read to their kids receive a whole host of benefits – including decreased stress, greater confidence and self-esteem as well as an improved father-child relationship. That’s a pretty good Father's Day present, don’t you think?

    Father's Day , tidy books, bedtime stories, children's book, dads reading Bedtime story is the best gift for Dad. Photo credit The Dad Network

    But it’s the gift that dads give to their kids through reading to them that I really love. Research has shown a link between children attaining a positive literacy score at school and the time their dads read to them. Not only that, the Fatherhood Institute found that kids who are read to by their dad regularly display better concentration and behaviour at nursery.

    When our kids were growing up, my husband Matthew and I shared the reading with them. And that’s a good thing because it gives kids a different perspective. Apparently mums often focus on a character’s feelings, while dads are more likely to use the story to talk about something that’s relevant to their life – like the cat they saw in the garden or the bright yellow car that was parked in their street. So kids have to think more, which helps to develop their language.

    It’s also great that Matthew has always been an avid reader because having a good reading role model sends out a positive signal to kids that reading is enjoyable. Ours grew up seeing Matthew glued to a book or newspaper and now, even as teens, reading is still an important part of their life.

    So this Father's Day, step away from the socks and surprise dad with a children’s book.

    tidy books, kids bookshelf, kids storage, kids furniture

    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’.

    montessori, montessori bookcase, tidy books, kids bookcase

    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.

    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 will be available in the US in the coming months. 

    tidy books, kids bookshelf, kids storage, kids furniture

    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.

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