If you could imagine it, what would be the colour of a storm? A medium grey channelling dusty concrete; the shadow of dusk just when the yellow-orange ombre has faded and it is at the instant just before the sun sinks into the deep and all is blackened.
It is an interesting way to think about the colour to give a chair. Storm Grey is the newest shade added to Stokke’s Tripp Trapp® high chair colour range. It is, the more subdued and cool cousin of black, and a more fashionable neutral to the wooden finishes. It is obviously a colour but yet not, acting as a background shade to the more feisty lemon-lime and fire-engine red options. And can I also say, grey is a colour that evokes quietude and subtlety, which is why we are glad Stokke has introduced it.
The Tripp Trapp® chair, made from solid beech wood and beeech wood veneers, was designed by Peter Opsvik more than forty years ago when he couldn’t find a suitable chair for his toddler son to join the family at the dining table. The ergonomic seat that grows with the child is something I use everyday since Becky was a month old, together with the infant insert, and I believe, as with every well-designed Scandinavian product, it is a wonderful tool for building communication. Design for the child doesn’t start with brand names alone, but with good-working products. Additionally the chair is appropriately spaced and stable that even a young toddler can climb up into the chair safely by without help. Like the Carl Hansen & Sons classic Wishbone chair or Achille Castiglioni-designed lamp that you have at home, you don’t have to chuck it away once the child is grown. It’s always there and always useful. It’s no wonder that nearly 9.5 million pieces of the chair has been sold since its inception.
We go a little deeper into the making of the Tripp Trapp® chair with Jan Eskil Hollen, Stokke’s Category Director, Category Home (Office: Ålesund, Norway):
How many man-hours go into manufacturing each Tripp Trapp® chair?
It is a Stokke secret, which makes the difference in its wooden high chairs. It’s for a reason why these Tripp Trapp® icons last for decades. [For sure, a lot of time go into making each detail. For instance,] we spend many man-hours on the back laminates to get the right curves and show off the quality of the wood, especially on the wooden variants – Original, White wash, Walnut.
Is there any unique factor about the finishes and paint colours? What are the processes that goes into deciding new finishes and paint colours?
The lacquering process and the material used for lacquering are according to a specific Stokke® standard. Within this specification, there are some requirements for the resistance for the surface. The lacquer is water-born and have no emission of formaldehyde. It complies with the EN 71-3 standard, [containing] no harmful substances.
Our designers attend trend seminars and try to read the trends two to three years ahead. For instance, Stokke launched the Lava Orange in 2013 and in 2015, Orange is the ‘it’ color featured in interior magazines.
Which is the most popular finish or paint colour?
Wooden colours are the most popular, but there are differences across regions and countries; Asians have other preferences to Northern Europeans versus Americans.
Where is the Stokke factory located? Please describe the environment and work culture.
The factories (three of them) are located in South and East Europe. All of our factories have their own codes of conduct, and all of them are closely monitored and inspected by their own teams in Norway.
Is the Tripp Trapp® chair a household item in the Norwegian household? Where are the best markets for the iconic chair?
In Scandinavia we have a market share of more than 90 per cent—our biggest competitor is the pre-owned Tripp Trapp®. That just tells something about the quality of the product. A pre-owned Tripp Trapp is often sold for 90-100 Euros.
Northern Europe is the main market, but countries like US and Japan are increasingly important to us. The product is now sold in more than 80 countries. It is more relevant than ever—bringing the family together, letting everyone sit around the table, whether you are the newborn or the father of the family.
Stokke products are available from Motherswork.
+ images courtesy of Stokke unless otherwise stated