Whenever robust, multifunctional seating is needed for a children’s room, infants’ benches often offer a suitable solution. Furthermore, designers and manufacturers are well aware that most children’s furniture will be used for a few years at best, so many of the designs can be repurposed for another use.
For example, Monica Förster’s ‘Tisch und Bank Wonder Box’, manufactured by Richard Lampert, is a narrow bench which slides seamlessly under a small desk. Later on, it can be used a side table or a night stand for older children. Jörg de Breuyn’s wooden ‘Convertible Bench DBD 814.B’ strives for longevity by offering three different seating heights, achieved simply by turning it over. Meanwhile, Minimöbel’s ‘bedside bench’ is a hollow, rectangular box, which can be used either as an infant’s bench, a bedside table, or mounted on a wall as a shelf.
Thomas Maitz designs the plywood, felt-covered ‘PAULI’ and ‘OSKARatWORK’ infants’ benches for perludi, each showing a different approach. The former is a more abstract, irregular, free-standing shelf which also provides seating and a backrest, while the latter is specifically tailored to children: two infants’ benches come with a corresponding table, which offers a small shelf underneath the desktop for coloured pencils, paper and small toys.
To create a more sheltered conditions for playing children, Emiliana Design’s ‘Ottawa’ for Planning Sisplamo consists of two infants’ benches sheltered by an overhead canopy and a table in the middle. On the other hand, Bertrand Guillemot’s ‘Happy Child’ infants’ bench, manufactured by IDM Coupechoux is a low, freestanding, serpentine sculpture with small compartments, which is suitable for seating and as a part of child’s play landscape.
And lastly, perhaps Yvonne Fehling’s and Jennie Peiz’s ‘Still lives’, a small family of upholstered pigs can enliven the child’s room and provide some seating or become toys. Unusual they may be, but these pieces can also function as a pouf, or simply as decorations in their own right.