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A new dollhouse and castle on the market leads me to wonder, can Waldorf design ever be modern?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I’ve been looking at castles and dollhouses off and on for the last year. I actually bought a nice one on sale (Plan Toys Eco House) last year and then decided that DS was receiving too many gifts and held on to it for his birthday. And then 6 months later I decided, again, that he was receiving too many things and held off. And then after a full year this Christmas I decided I just wasn’t in love with it. I sold it on Craig’s List for a little bit more than I paid for her. Yeah!

 

I had seen a lot of pictures of beautiful, simple Waldorf dollhouses in the meantime. And I keep looking at dollhouses and castles and finding fault. I wanted something neutral in design or wildly colorful. I wanted it to be easy to access the inside. I wanted it to be made in a sustainable and ethical way. I really preferred to buy something made in the US. And this just came on the market and I *love* it. I think the design is wonderful. I love that it can be a Castle or a House or a Skyscraper. I love that it can be reassembled into new shapes for open ended play. I love the open interior which will be wonderful for small hands. I love that it is expandable. I love that the interior is so neutral. I love it that it is eco-friendly and made in the US. In my mind I can see a wet-felted "pool" on the rooftop. But it is obviously modern in design and feel.

 

The Stackhouse by Toideloi http://www.toideloi.com/stackhouse.html

 

Which brings me to the root of my question; can modern design be Waldorf? Waldorf celebrates natural materials and appreciates the handmade. And many Waldorf toys have a shared sensibility and I like it but it doesn’t entirely mesh with our lives. And I am sort of curious if you think there is room for another sensibility within the community. Is the design sensibility merely a preference of the community or is integral to some better understanding of Waldorf then I currently posess.

 

Or at the very least, do you like the dollhouse/castle? =)

post #2 of 19

gorgeous. and natural and creative and wow.

 

post #3 of 19

Really cool, open-ended. I am fine with modern stuff all around, and this is just so cool. To me, it is perfectly in tune with creative play because there are no definitive ends... It is beautiful, and I think that children would be very attracted to the possibilities. Kind of like the creative potential of cardboard boxes. I think Waldorf can be modern in this sense, totally. It is just another translation of the natural world in our everyday environment.

post #4 of 19

I love the add-on castle roof. It really takes this design from a dollhouse and onwards.

 

I think that some things that North Americans perceive as being "waldorfy" are really just German. There's no reason why this toy doesn't fit in perfectly with Waldorf concepts.

post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

I did end up buying it and we love it. It arrived with great, green flatpack construction and it only took about 20 minutes to assemble. We got two rooms and one castle roof. It is so cool. Totally easy to play with and we've had a lot of fun flipping the castle roof to make a "swimming pool." I didn't give him the Kathy Kruse dolls I got yet because I wanted to see what happens. Thus far pretty much every animal, dinosaur, and assorted people have lived there as well as all of our natural elements. The castle catches fire often. =) No furniture either and I am not sure if we will ever have it. Maybe if we get the house roof. Next plan is to make a felted playmat for the house either as a rug or a nature scene. I planed on a lake or water element but it looks like we don't need it. =)

post #6 of 19

I think they are very very cool - wish we had room/money for it.

post #7 of 19

That is AMAZING!  I love the options.  I'm a real sucker for toys that turn into other toys.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post
Thus far pretty much every animal, dinosaur, and assorted people have lived there as well as all of our natural elements. The castle catches fire often. =) No furniture either and I am not sure if we will ever have it. Maybe if we get the house roof. Next plan is to make a felted playmat for the house either as a rug or a nature scene. I planed on a lake or water element but it looks like we don't need it. =)


 

we got a used dollhouse off craigslist for DD's 5th birthday. 

 

what you mentioned here are some of my fave parts.  it's been a barn for the larger animals, a house, both.  all different animals have lived in it.  i don't think we'll ever have furniture either or at least not for years.  it's so much more creative this way!

post #9 of 19

I have a more modern aesthetic, too and some of the Waldorf things, though quaint and cute, seem a bit too quaint and cute for my taste....I happen to love the stack house and have been considering it when we're ready for that. I just had Jalu Toys make me the most incredible barn, because I there were so many things I didn't like about the all of the barns on the market: too dark, too short, too limited, too many stalls, not enough stalls etc. etc. I worked with Eric at Jalu and got EXACTLY what I wanted. I think working with someone is a great option. AND mine  has a real barn roof shape, which I love!

I don't want a dollhouse and a barn, at least until the barn is really broken in!

Thanks for this thread, i think it's a really valid discussion...also found I had a similar issue with the wood play kitchens, which, again I found a bit too cutesy....am having a more streamlined wooden one made from a vendor on etsy, unless I buy that really cool Holzkram one.

Andrea

post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akingme View Post

I have a more modern aesthetic, too and some of the Waldorf things, though quaint and cute, seem a bit too quaint and cute for my taste....I happen to love the stack house and have been considering it when we're ready for that. I just had Jalu Toys make me the most incredible barn, because I there were so many things I didn't like about the all of the barns on the market: too dark, too short, too limited, too many stalls, not enough stalls etc. etc. I worked with Eric at Jalu and got EXACTLY what I wanted. I think working with someone is a great option. AND mine  has a real barn roof shape, which I love!

I don't want a dollhouse and a barn, at least until the barn is really broken in!

Thanks for this thread, i think it's a really valid discussion...also found I had a similar issue with the wood play kitchens, which, again I found a bit too cutesy....am having a more streamlined wooden one made from a vendor on etsy, unless I buy that really cool Holzkram one.

Andrea

When you decide you want a castle or house or whatever-it-is-that-day keep the stackhouse in mind. 2 rooms + one roof makes a great size.

post #11 of 19

But there is something magical about the more traditional kinderkram castle pieces that look like a castle......Im sort of torn.....the kitchen was a no brainer, because I didn't want cutesy furniture, but a castle is a different story....I look at their site all the time...planning...Im in LA, too!

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by akingme View Post

But there is something magical about the more traditional kinderkram castle pieces that look like a castle......Im sort of torn.....the kitchen was a no brainer, because I didn't want cutesy furniture, but a castle is a different story....I look at their site all the time...planning...Im in LA, too!


PM if you want to come over and play with it. I honestly think it is awesome. Sometimes play time is the "great decider." I really angonized about castles and was considering everything from the Nova/Kinderkram/free form blocks for A Toy Garden and then decided on none of them. Five days I saw the stackhouse and realized it was perfect for us.  

post #13 of 19

Will you post/send pics. Im in Beverlywood. How old are your kids. My son is 16 months. He loves his barn right now, so I don't want to overwhelm him...but soon/dollhouse and then later a castle, so maybe this is great as it changes.

Take care.

post #14 of 19

That is amazing!  Have to decide if I should get it for my boy's 2nd birthday... i LOVE it! 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

I thought I would update this to include a picture of the new barn roof available, not on the website yet but I was able to request. I am really drooling over the Amsterdam roofline.

 

This has been of our best purchases ever, and I have yet to buy furniture or give them the dollhouse dolls I bought. We are really tight on space and I store it under our coffee table in three pieces (roof, room, room)

 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Toideloi-Stackhouse/108207772571460#!/pages/Toideloi-Stackhouse/108207772571460?closeTheater=1 

post #16 of 19

THis looks so cool, I have emailed them to see what the international shipping costs are. I love that it is open ended.

C

post #17 of 19

yes, i think it does.

 

seriously, i prefer modern in my home (looks-wise), and i love minimalism and I love modest amounts of (non-pastel) color. Eg, bold yellow on occasion or some such.

 

anyhoot, cool thing is that our parenting coach said with DS's personality type, our whites and quite colors, our minimalism were *great* for him. It means he doesn't get overstimulated and exhausted. His personality type is such that when he goes into a space, he has to quickly notice and evaluate all of the changes in the space. It's a normal process -- he likes to take things in and be in it "boots and all" as they say. But it's exhausting if things are changing constantly, or there are a lot of bright colors or whatever. She even noted that her waldorf play room was probably too much for him because there were so many toys, so many special corners set up for play (3 areas really), and then beautiful natural decorations that change pretty frequently (flowers wilt and so she puts fresh ones in, for example). 

 

So, you know, I think it depends on so many factors. We like things very minimal, clean, and calm. It's essential to our being -- feeling creative, comfortable, and low-stress. Helps DS too (even though his personality type *is* different from ours). we lucked out, I guess. :)

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

FYI-- also check out this cool new building set from etsy, great castle, if this wasn't similar to what we have I'd buy it in a heartbeat 

http://www.ohdeedoh.com/ohdeedoh/manzanita-kidsetsy-seller-147859

post #19 of 19

We've improvised a lot thanks to being on a tight budget - a lot of the traditional Waldorf stuff is out of our price range. So, we're definitely not purists in terms of aesthetics. I have noticed a bit of competition in some places for parents to be the "most Waldorfy" and to have houses which perfectly reflect that. Personally I think the play possibilities are the most important aspect of a toy, the materials it is made out of are secondary (ie, I do prefer natural materials) and the aesthetics are a third consideration. And I judge how well we are doing by looking at our overall collection of toys and playthings, rather than at each toy individually.

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