Creativity Corner Creative Projects

qubis haus – coffee table/dolls house

January 28, 2013

Ok, so you go to an exhibition like home-london and you know you’ll find most of the usual suspects with new ranges, colours, textures etc. Then, once in a while, you get stopped in your tracks. This is that time!

I was happily going about my business when i came across qubis. Meet amy whitworth, who is the face behind the award winning contemporary furniture & handmade toys.

IMG_1915a

The pièce de résistance is haus, a solid birch plywood coffee table that transforms into a dolls house. You simply add sliding panels made out of wood and perspex and then go about creating your desired room layout. There is no right or wrong, it’s up to the ‘designer’ whether that’s you or the little people. The table aims to solve the dilemma of having children’s play space in a modern home without having to compromise on style.

I ask you, isn’t this a great idea, utterly adorable and yet practical?

Haus comes with the qubis magnetic oak toy furniture, which essentially are a variety of building blocks with embedded magnets. These can be transformed into contemporary furniture with the click of a button. There is no limit to what you can create. Of course, you can also buy some miniature design classics, like the eames chair seen here below. Best places for those are dolls house exhibitions.

Another bonus, when adding sliding panels, is that it’s been designed with the iPad in mind so children or adults can watch something while playing (as seen here below). Genius or what?

IMG_1818a

IMG_1883a

IMG_1805a

IMG_1875a

Take a look at this video clip.

IMG_1895a

IMG_1825a

IMG_1821a

IMG_1863

If a coffee table transformed into a dolls house is a step too far, amy is also making these boxes with interiors for little people to play. Alternatively, one can buy wooden dividers and set up an interior on a bookshelf. All it needs is a few items and a bit of imagination!

IMG_1853a

IMG_1819a

IMG_1855a

IMG_1835a

I asked amy a few questions:

How did you come up with the idea and what triggered it? My 3 year old daughter and I were making a house for her dolls out of cardboard boxes … decorating the walls and interiors how she wanted them. … but i couldn’t stop there!  We both got the most fun out of deciding what the rooms were going to look like – and spent hours creating our house over the following few days … during this time it was out in the living room so she/we kept tinkering with it …. This is what gave me the idea of creating a piece of furniture that can remain in the living room, but also double up as a dolls house or play table for children.  The fact it is always out and in the centre of the room means that it is always played with.

Making the walls slide into the table – means that kids (or adults) can make the table/dolls house into their own style – either as a dolls house to make rooms – or as an interesting coffee table using the walls to create compartments.

And so – qubis haus – the dual purpose dolls house coffee table was formed!

From concept to execution, how long did it take? Eve and i made our first haus in nov 2011, the qubis haus was launched at the southbank centre, london in oct 2012.

You are new to the market. Is it difficult to get established? I am new to the market, but I was very fortunate to win a competition run by the southbank centre and the observer aimed at launching new designers. I have had a great response to my work and hope that people enjoy it.

I’m interested in the exchangeable wooden panels. You mentioned you wanted to use various different designs like ella doran, mini moderns etc. yes ..this is an area that I am keen to explore … collaboration is great!

This has much scope. Any future products in mind? I hope to bring out a range of dual purpose furniture  … but in the mean time I am busy making the haus and working on commissions that I have secured due to the success of the qubis range so far.

The table comes in 2 different sizes and the size shown below costs just under £600. For a limited period, the table can be bought from the qubis shop, where you’ll also find all of amy’s products, and also from here for £400.

IMG_1851a

Well, i don’t know about you, but i want one. Yes, i’ve always been obsessed with dolls houses and this must be one of the coolest i’ve seen. Who else is now saving up? See you thursday.

You Might Also Like

28 Comments

  • Reply Michaela January 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Wow, wow and triple wow!! I especially love the net and ball pattern (which is from the carpet at the Southbank Centre – erm how much of an anorak am I?!! – help needed!) xx

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Ha, you anorak? That exactly what I like about you xx

  • Reply We Heart Home January 29, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Such a cool concept – never seen anything like this! Wouldn’t mind a doll house coffee table… I can imagine I might get a bit too into the doll house part and forget about the coffee table aspect. Such a child at heart!

    Trisha x

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      I think most of us tap into the dolls house, I certainly did! How cool to be able to play house with modern design pieces and wonderful patterns? I so want one . Thanks Trisha x

  • Reply Alison Sye January 29, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Never mind children, I would play with that for hours.
    Utterly gorgeous.

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      Ha, I know, I was instantly smitten x

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey January 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I risk being chastised, but it looks a bit shoddy in terms of the design and build. The QUBIS packaging is maybe the best thing about it. I’d love my nephews to have something like this to play with, but would prefer it to be more contemporary… don’t want to give them a bad impression of design after all 😉 (oh I did go there).

    Thanks for sharing what is an interesting concept, but in my view needs a lot more work xx

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Mr Grey. I always appreciate your honest opinion and feel free to ‘go there anytime’.

      However, I want to alert you to the following points. Sometimes, life is about living, learning and experiencing. Although I love great design and execution, it isn’t always possible due to financial and maybe other restrictions. I think it’s great that Amy came up with an amazing concept and got it off the ground with (I’m assuming here) not a huge budget and who knows, eventually there might be resources to help develop this further.

      I believe that your nephews would do well with this. It’s educational, humorous and inspirational. They would spent hours and not really worry about the ‘design aspect that so offends you’.

      There is a time and a place for high aesthetics and functional and beautiful furniture. When it comes to children and education, I believe this project is hitting the spot.

      Have a look at this. I hope ‘little Gerard’ comes out to play: http://cainesarcade.com/

      Thanks love x

  • Reply Chi @ 106 January 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Oh, I’m definitely saving up – I LOVE it! It’s Lego’s younger, slicker sibling. I can’t think of anyone in our household who wouldn’t get hours of immense pleasure out of it.

    What a super find! 😀 x

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      You and me…..

      ‘It’s Lego’s younger, slicker sibling’… great description Chi:-)
      Thanks darling x

  • Reply Tracey@chalkboard living January 29, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    This is wonderful. There is always something great in simplicity but i know those dolls would be overtaken by some Sylvannian rabbit or the like. I’d like to see one painted in white too!

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      hahaha… ‘overtaken by Sylvannian rabbit..’

      You know, the first thing I said to Amy was, why didn’t you make one in white? I think she did and am sure she talkes commissions and makes them to specifications. I would love it in white myself.

      Thanks for your comment x

  • Reply Anya Jensen January 30, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Such an adorable idea – I LOVE it. Smart for the kids (and parents:) – such a clever idea. Happy wednesday sweets,
    Axx

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      Yes, everyone would love it and it serves both purposes. Genius really x

  • Reply WeHeartHome January 30, 2013 at 9:11 am

    What an interesting concept and oh so u! I can see why you chose to share this with us – miniature furniture, creativity, little dolls, imagination… fabulous.

    Thanks Tina!
    Xx. Holly.

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      Ha, you know me so well by now and we haven’t yet met…. soon my love xx

  • Reply Doris January 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Wow.. that’s fantastic. Forget about getting it for the kids, I want one for myself to play with. I especially like that it comes with mini models of classic mid-century furniture. That Eames Lounge Chair is too cute! xD

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Oh, I went to the Kensington Dolls House exhibition and just couldn’t believe my eyes. You’ll find everything there, everything you could ever imagine!

      I want one too! x

  • Reply Will @ Bright.Bazaar January 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    These are so fab, aren’t they! I saw the stand at HOME and was instantly charmed by the designs and concept. Great post and snaps, Tina!

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Thanks Will. Such a great concept and it has so many uses. Imagine a Bright Bazaar Dolls House. Oh, the mind boggles!!! x

  • Reply geraldine January 30, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Tina, I’m so pleased you posted this. I caught a glimpse of this at the show but there were so many people surrounding it, I thought I’d go back later. Needless to say, I got lost and overwhelmed in the maze of stalls and crowd and never made it back there.

    It is so beautiful and innovative. Love the contemporary feel and pared down simplicity. Hope to see you soon. I’m off to stockholm on Friday xx

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      I couldn’t keep up myself at HOME – too much to see and far too little time.
      Glad I posted it to remind you….

      Have a super time xx

  • Reply Judith January 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Wonderful! I wouldn’t mind a human version of this doll’s house 😉

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      Haha..You’re right. I just want to decorate that bedroom. maybe I can get Missoni bedspreads???

  • Reply Catherine Bedson January 31, 2013 at 1:28 am

    So sweet..would look fab in any childs room. Love the little white eames chair. Doll’s houses are so special for children and this design is so clever! Yes we’re back to reality now..what a ride, just the best holiday. Didn’t have anyone to bring me my bircher muesli and fruit this morning!!!! xxx

    • Reply tina January 31, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Awww, know you must have such withdrawal symptoms… can’t wait to hear all about it! Welcome back!!

      Glad you enjoyed this post xx

  • Reply leah of sang the bird February 4, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Oh i love this! And I think we both know Miss S would adore it too!
    I only wish I could do this with my real home xx

    • Reply tina February 5, 2013 at 2:22 am

      Haha. yes, was sure you both would love this..:-)
      I can imagine the creative ways you both would find….xx

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.