Who knew old-school could be so, well, modern? The design team behind Amsterdam-based Studio Roof, apparently. They create stunning 3-D cutout toys, mobiles, and cards, as well as simple yet striking furniture.
“Our inspiration lies in the beauty of childhood,” they say, “the imagination, nature, peoples of the world, art and craftsmanship, and our drive has above all been the urge to create, and to unfold a new imagery.”
Imagination comes to life in a tactile, colorful way with their toys. They started with the Casa Cabana, a white cardboard house that leaves the decorating up to the kids who play with it. Make it a brick house or a station, a garage or a wooden cottage — there’s no wrong way to play. In addition to the door and seven windows, children love the many spy holes placed strategically throughout.
When the house eventually becomes old hat, the kids can reach for the stars with the company’s Rocket! (We’re sure you’ll find space for it.)
We love their whole Imagine & Create section, with pop-out cities of London, Paris, New York and Amsterdam (hey, you have to include your home town), for starters. The cities arrive flat, and you have to build the 14 recycled-cardboard pieces into a cool 3-D city-scape.
Learning more about the world right from your living room is also the plan with Studio Roof’s lovely People of the World collection. There are two sets in the collection, and each comes with eight 3-D cardboard figures and accessories. You and your child can learn more with the world map and background information provided, all while making up interesting tales of travel.
As a bonus, the People of the World collection also benefits children in India: Studio Roof donates 5-percent of the proceeds to the nonprofit Karm Marg, which for the last 20 years has been providing a home for children.
Of course no toy collection is complete without some cool cars, and Studio Roof is happy to oblige. They also offer a helicopter and planes (complete with their own airport, of course), as well as spaceships and even a harbor with a lively dock scene featuring a container ship, a captain, a lighthouse, cranes, a submarine and a cruise liner.
If animals are more your kid’s speed, check out the hunting-trophy-like antelope, deer, and mouflon heads to hang up on their bedroom walls. You can buy them in a natural wood or very colorful, decorated cardboard to assemble. (No animals were harmed in the making of these decorations.)
Animals also star in the Totem collection, which offers wood or cardboard options for some of the figures. Check out the prancing horse and slinking puma, or the firebird and butterfly. These make for lively jungle games or eye-catching 3-D art for a little someone’s room.
While we grown-ups may pretend we’re above playing, there’s just something about these toys that grabs everyone’s attention, no matter their age.
But if you want to preserve the illusion of serious adult-ness, you can probably get away with ogling this gorgeous horse coffee table designed by Studio Roof for Petit H – Hermès.
See? There’s something for everyone here.