an eco toybox with enviable style

When I was ten, I was obsessed with finding a toy box worthy of my stuffed animal collection. But everything my mother suggested was princess pink or yucky white, with flimsy plywood doors and lids. Even back then, I knew they were tacky. The Owyn Toy Box would have been just the thing. Beyond its organic style, it has two leaf-shaped lids kids can lift and place back like a puzzle. It’s separated into two compartments under the lids. And it’s made with non-toxic paints and non-toxic, low-VOC water-based polyurethene. I would totally go back in time to be a kid again to own it — heck, I’d even play dodgeball in one of those weird one-piece gym suits. But is $495 too much money for a toy box, even one this cool? –Bay A.

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It would make a nice shoe storage box in an entry way too, but ouch, the cost.


Yes, that is too expensive for a toy box ;-)

Also: Those lids look cool, but might make getting toys in and out of the box difficult. And they make it hard to rummmage and get to the toys at the very bottom of the box. So I give it a 10 on looks and a 2 on practicality. This may be the perfect piece for parents who care more about esthetics than usability. The price is a deal killer.

Hi Bay!

Thanks for the great write-up! I really appreciate it. As you may or may not know, I am a mom (who designed that very toy box almost three years ago based on what my kids needs were/are) so my goal was to combine aesthetic with functionality. The lids are wide enough for most toys and the scale is low enough that it’s easy to get to those buried toys. I’m thrilled to say that the Owyn Toy Box won the Etsy Handmade Kids Challenge Award in 2008 and was recognized for good design in London-based Thames and Hudson’s book, Designed for Kids, by Phyllis Richardson.

As for the price, the $495 sticker includes shipping so if you’re in NYC, you get a beautifully handcrafted, eco-friendly, heirloom-type storage piece completely assembled with wood dowels (not flat packed for you to put together) all the way from LA. Shipping alone normally costs roughly $125 to get it across the country. It usually takes me anywhere between 8-10 hours from start to finish. I still build everything myself and rely on this income for our family. I’m happy to report that I’m currently booked through August with 3-4 orders per week. I mostly sell to those who regularly purchase (or have their interior designers purchase) modern design from sites like Modern Nursery, Design Public and NYC boutiques like Capucine Maman.

Thanks again for the article! I sincerely hope this helps give more perspective on the design and the pricing.


One more thing….thanks to your feature, I just received three orders from Modern Nursery. THANK YOU!! I’ll be sure to post it on my blog.