Just had a baby or due to have a baby soon? Petrified that your beautiful home is going to be hidden behind a mound of brightly coloured baby tat? Well, I know how you feel. Being an interiors obsessive, when I was pregnant and strolling around the baby section of department stores (clutching my extensive list of things I would 'need' to have in the home for baby), I was quietly groaning to myself as I passed piece after piece of baby furniture and furnishings covered in teddy bears, bright green cartoon apples or pale blue or sickly pale pink toweling fabric.
In the lead up to my sons 'birth day', I spent months antagonising about how I was ever going to get a red, yellow and green striped bouncer chair to complement the gold Tom Dixon pendant lights I'd saved so hard for in my kitchen. Christ, I was someone who poured basic washing-up liquid into a specially bought bottle that matched my kitchen drawer handles. I would never buy a box of tissues that did not match the colourway of my cushions. How on earth was I going to get all this baby stuff to actually fit in with my decor schemes?
There also seemed to be so much stuff. A moses basket, a bouncer chair, a jumperoo, a chair for when they can't sit themselves up, a chair for when they can 'sort of' sit themselves up, a chair for when they really can sit themselves up properly. Then one for when they want to get down from the table themselves. What we actually needed was one item that covered all stages - from birth to proper childhood. And what we wanted was something that looked sleek, modern, and complemented our existing Philippe Starck dining chairs. Our baby was a baby - it couldn't care less if its furniture did not have farm animals on it. Hell, it turns out that babies are colour blind and can't see past their own hand anyway for a good chunk of their first year?!
When I was at the Harrogate Home & Gift Festival a few months ago, I was introduced to the Nomi highchair and it was a real revelation. Designed by Norwegian Peter Opsvik, the highchair has all the classic features you'd expect from excellent Scandi design. It looked gorgeous with its curved oak spine (also available in walnut.) Colour options for the feet, seat and foot rest come in matt colours such as black (a rare option for a baby item - unless it makes up part of a pandas face) and a beautiful teal (not baby blue - a proper teal.) You can instantly see the clever details like the slightly curved back rest to keep your baby in place. It wasn't fussy, didn't have a lot of parts and seemed strong and durable.
What I didn't know, until I was informed, is that the Nomi highchair can be used from birth until your child is a teenager. Yes - a teenager. From 0-6 months your baby can be placed in the recliner next to you while you sit at the dinner table. From 6-24 months use the Nomi with the restrainer and tray for that wobbly, messy weaning period. Then from 24 months onwards the Nomi can be used as a proper chair, where the seat pad and foot rest can be easily adapted to your growing child.
When Evomove, the company who sell the Nomi, asked if I wanted to try out this super-Scandi highchair in my home, I was delighted to give it a go. Not only have I never found a high chair that I have liked in my kitchen in the 3 years since my son has been in one, he is now pretty independent and likes to do things himself. He can't get out his existing highchair without my help, meaning it's another baby item we own due for the scrap-heap.
The Nomi arrived in 5 parts - the feet, foot rest, seat, back rest and spine. It all slotted together really easily and I had my son in it 30 minutes from opening the box. I chose the matt grey colour seat and oak stem, which matched my Italian oak dining table a treat.
So, apart from it looking amazing, how did we get on with the design? To be honest, I couldn't fault it. I could see why the Nomi had won gold in the Junior Design awards for the 2nd year in a row, as well as the international Red Dot Award in 2014. The ergonomic design of the Nomi meant that my son was free to move around in the chair, moving away from the back rest as he ate, while being supported by the shape of the seat and the foot rest:
At the same time, the design of the feet of the Nomi and the way the back rest curves round meant that he was completely safe while leaning fully back:
I loved how you could adjust the seat pad and foot rest with a simple twist of the knobs round the back, with no allen key required:
I felt that this meant the chair moulded around my child, giving him great posture and security:
With the price starting at £199 for the chair without the add-ons, it might not seem the most appealing option financially - but trust me when I say the Nomi is incredibly cost-effective in the long run. Unfortunately, myself and my husband learned the hard way. We brought brand new ugly items and used them for a few weeks before we discarded them to the loft as they were no longer required for that 'stage'. On one awful occasion, we threw out a £50 highchair after 4 weeks due to its bad design. We fell for the lie that in order for your wobbly 6 month old to be comfortable in a highchair it needed to be surrounded by foam covered in a clammy cheap plastic. We soon realised that we were never going to be able to get the pureed food out of the deep foam crevices, and that if mummy tripped over the tripod highchair legs one more time after no sleep, she was really going to lose her sh*t. As it was so filthy there was nothing we could do with it other than stick it out with the bins. The great thing about the clever simplicity of the Nomi means that it is wipeable and so easy to clean after use.
Other pros? It is completely light-weight. I'm 5ft and I can lift the Nomi to the other end of the kitchen with one hand. The wheels also give you the option to push the Nomi along the floor. It's incredibly strong, so your child jumping from it won't break it. At the same time it is designed not to tilt or fall back. So that's one sleek, contemporary piece of furniture for your child that looks beautiful while at the same time caters for all your child's growing needs.
I am hugely impressed with the Nomi - but are you? If you own a Nomi, what do you think of it? Are you about to purchase furniture for your baby? Are you convinced by the Nomi? Let me know in the comments section below...
* This post is a collaboration with Evomove, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.