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How different is DESIGNING FURNITURE for children?

Garima Agarwal
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Think personalised children’s furniture and Peek-a-boo Patterns’ colourful palettes and quirky designs immediately come to mind. Designer Garima Agarwal talks to Anusha Parthasarathy about her journey and vision for this design store

Kids’ furnishing pertains to the age group, whereas for adults, it is just options like the overall colour palette, silk or cotton and print embroidery or texture. With children, their taste and requirements keep changing but that is not the case with adults. Nurseries, for example, need a lot of extra comfort, regular maintenance, hygiene and safety measures. Rooms have to be designed with a lot of flexibility, comfort and built-to-grow measures.

How did you get into children's furniture and furnishing?

I always wanted to do something unique, especially with the insights I had from Kolkata (being born and brought up there). Every other person in that city designs women’s clothing and from the comfort of their homes! I was also drawn towards this niche while I was doing up my children’s room and realised that children’s furnishing was almost non-existent.

Is the market for children's furniture and furnishing picking up now? If so, why do you think so?

The market for furnishings was rather slow, especially in the South. But now, parents are getting more aware and conscious of the way their rooms look and are now taking more interest in doing up their kids’ rooms. Also, they were not exposed to such products before and we had to create a market first.

What precautions do you take when designing for children?

For furnishing, we use 100 per cent natural fabric to avoid skin allergies. Our products are easy maintenance and can be regularly washed. Lastly, colours play a major role on our moods. Using reds and bright pink extensively can make one hyper as they are energising colours. As for furniture, we use non-toxic paints, good hardware, ensure round edges so that it's child-safe. There is so much more to a child’s room and we try not to miss anything important. We also like making our furniture easy-to-use with shelves which that are easily accessible. We keep open spaces as free as possible to move around and ensure that there is enough natural light in the room.

Can you tell us the story of Peek-a-boo?

We started Peek-a-boo in 2005 and we complete 8 years of learning, experimenting and having fun. The best rewards have been when the kids say we are the best. From just a few linens and curtains, we now have a huge range of products. Peek-a-boo is a hide and seek game and went very well with the kind of products we have. It brings a smile to anyone’s face and children are also able to relate to it.

What are the current trends in interiors for children?

The current trend is minimalist design. This makes our work more flexible. Kids are smart and need to have storage options and prefer a clean look. We use a lot of whites and pastels but add a fun element with some bright accents.

How often do you bring out new collections?

We bring out new designs every 3 months. Most of the time, its my children or out clients who inspire us. We also look at current trends, like the MasterChef craze.

What next?

We are looking at expanding with more products and ready-to-pick furniture. We have also launched our new website. Apart from this, there have been offers for franchising our brand in other cities.

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