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For Minimalist Mommies and Babies, a Modern Dollhaus

Toys that won’t ugly up your living room have arrived. Who cares if kids don’t want to play with them?

For Minimalist Mommies and Babies, a Modern Dollhaus

Ah, children. What sweet little darlings they are ?til they go and ruin the clean lines of your DWR living room with their hideous plastic Barbies and Legos and stuffed animals tossed all over the place. You almost want to throw them out (the toys, that is).

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One company has turned this niggling clash of sensibilities into a business opportunity. New York-based Brinca Dada (from the Brazilian “brincadeira,” which means ‘game’ or “play thing?) sells dollhouses and mini furniture that look like they were taken from the pages of Dwell. Instead of Barbie’s Pink Dream compound, you’ve got a De Stijl-inspired townhouse and instead of frilly, fringy Victorian lampshapes everywhere, you’ve got recessed lighting — made of LEDs, naturally. ‘Nothing brings a parent greater joy than seeing their children’s faces alight as they open the perfect gift,’ Brinca Dada writes in its press materials. ?But few modern parents would want that toy to stay in the living room forever. Until now.”

So here’s the company’s marquee product. It’s called the Emerson house, named for the street the designer, Brinca Dada co-founder Tim Boyle, grew up on. Built at a 3/4-inch scale, it’s got all the boring-adult luxuries: scored hardwood floors, cut-stone walls, wood beams — even solar panels on the roof that power the aforementioned LEDs. The cost: $329.99. (Which could probably buy you three real houses in Detroit.)

Then we’ve got the Bennett House below, billed as “an oasis in the sea of glitzy toy houses.” (It won’t be available for purchase until next year). Eschewing color for simple lines and patterns, it’s designed in the tradition of the Schroder House by Gerrit Rietveld, the grand-daddy of the De Stijl movement. ‘Townhouses are typically a stack of floors with a few windows on each floor, and no inside/outside relationship,’ Boyle says on the company’s Web site. ?I prefer architecture that reveals structure and engineering, hence windows extend past floors to show the weight and thickness of the structure.” Wait, is he still talking about dollhouses?

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Brinca Dada sells matching furniture, too:

Obviously this stuff would be a blessedly minor intrusion on any design-minded household. But would children even play with it? Have you ever seen kids gravitate toward anything beige … ever? Us neither.

Turns out, parents aren’t dollhouse shopping for their kids anyway. See what we mean here.

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[Images courtesy of Brinca Dada]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.

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