Sleeping is child's play
30 years of experience in development and manufacture of children’s furniture makes producer de Breuyn a specialist... In an interview firm owner Jörg de Breuyn explains
Mr. de Breuyn, generally speaking, what defines perfect furniture for you?
Modular furniture, designed to be individually combinable, extendable and alterable. Its construction allows it to cope with any changes in family size or location. In times of increasing mobility, it enables extra flexibility whilst providing reassuring stability. A well made piece of modular furniture can be a companion for life.
Can you give us an example?
Young families, in particular, have to move house more often these days. Whether because of a change in employment, or an addition to the family makes the house too small. If I have, for example, a piece of furniture that is rigidly 2 meters tall, but the new room has a sloped ceiling, then I can't use it there. In many cases I'll need to buy something new. Modular furniture can, however, be adapted to fit the room.
You’ve been producing modular and multi-purpose kids’ furniture for 30 years now. What is the underlying concept behind the products?
Our aim is to produce perfect kid’s furniture that – no matter how family structures or living conditions might change – meets the needs of both children and parents. With our furniture we offer families solutions to a range problems.
What was your initial inspiration?
I’m also a father, and so know young families’ needs and their challenges. My eldest son is now 35, but I still remember the sleepless nights from back then. My three children also had nightmares, or wet their beds, or were ill, or didn’t want to tidy up. A lot of ideas for our furniture have evolved because, as a young father, I needed solutions for everyday problems.
Our high beds, for example, thanks to their five adjustable heights families can use this furniture for many years. Starting as a low four-poster-bed for toddlers, it builds up according Which part of the de Breuyn furniture range is especially practical?
Our high beds, for example, thanks to their five adjustable heights families can use this furniture for many years. Starting as a low four-poster-bed for toddlers, it builds up according to the child’s height. It grows with the child - so to say! And the versatile accessories provide enormous flexibility. If needed, you can fit the space under the bed with a desk, a second bed, cupboards or shelves Our range also includes slides, climbing walls, ropes and much, much more.
How do the high beds of the debe.deluxe, debe.destyle und debe.delite series differ?
Only in their appearance. They all have the same functionality. Even our knight's castle adventure bed can be converted into a stylish teenager's bed. We build differing high bed styles as a compromise to the parents. Design and aesthetics are of more a concern of adults, which differ from culture to culture and change with new trends.
What makes the best aesthetics?
That is as difficult to answer as the question “what is art”. To my mind, there's many kinds of legitimate design. Even a country cottage style, with lots of upholstery, has its fans. The current straight-lined trends aren’t necessarily more correct, or better, or superior. It's just different! Design is like fashion; it allows groups express their differences to others. Nothing else.
How would you describe your furniture’s aesthetics?
As timeless. Trends or short term desires, like the pink phase, are more easily, and more economically, dealt with through textiles or wallpapers. In the last 30 years, there's been at least 7 or 8 design fads passing through the country. Many manufacturers weren't able to survive. We're still here, as we haven't subjugated ourselves to fads, but have instead concentrated on making stylish, useful, well thought out children’s furniture.
Where do you lay particular value in your furniture?
On ergonomics and usability. For children, a high bed is above all a place to play and climb. That makes safety an extremely important theme. We strictly follow the EU standards, and often exceed these with our own requirements. Our adventure beds, for example, have a guard rail height of over 40 centimetres, for better protection against falls. I also regard it as important for our customers to be able to trace where our furniture is built and which materials are used.
What is of particular importance when developing children's furniture?
Generally, it has to be more robust and stable when compared to adult’s furniture, as kids will want to climb all over it, hang of it, or jump around. Children's furniture will also be used by people with a range of sizes. By parents, who want to give their child a goodnight kiss. Or from smaller siblings who also want to sit on the high bed. All these factors have to be considered when making a functional and safe structure.
You say that furniture has to function within the family, can you give us an example?
When a child feels happy and safe in their own bed, then they won't wake their parents every night, or crawl into their bed, as they'll happily sleep the whole night through. If that isn’t the case, then everyone's in a bad mood the next day.
Or if the matrass of a high bed to too high, and my child can’t see me quickly when they need me, then even the most beautiful bed is of no use.
From which age do you recommend high beds?
Our best selling element is a starter half-height high bed, with a matrass height between 90cm and 1 meter. That's suitable for kids from 3 years old. It's around this age that children start to find climbing exciting. It's important to see at what age a child is strong and capable enough to easily climb into bed, and how high any potential falls are.
What de Breuyn products are planned for the future?
We want to recruit more young designers. We'll take their concepts, and together with them, develop manufacturable, affordable, furniture. Just as we have successfully already done with the ideas of Jannis Ellenberger.
debe.deline has been available since 2015.