Parents endeavour to give their children the very best, and I am no exception. As a mother to baby Faith, I am always on the lookout for quality clothes, toys, books, foods and other knick-knacks.
In the series ‘I Have My Eye On‘, I share my favourite finds for my little girl.
[SPONSORED POST* - GIVEAWAY details in this post] So. Faith, at the grand old age of (almost) two, has discovered the magic of pens, crayons, pencils and markers. She makes herself comfortable on the floor and Picasso-s anything which resembles a piece of paper (I’m glad that she knows not to draw on OTHER surfaces, that would be criminal) but sometimes, she ends up spilling her masterpiece over onto my poor parquet floor because she doesn’t know how to restrict her overzealous movements to MInistry-of-Mum-Approved drawing surfaces. Faith has also been going to pre-school for a few hours every week, and enjoys doodling with her teachers. When we were sitting in with her during the first few classes, she was absolutely enamoured with the desks and chairs at school and practically rearranged the furniture to pander to her newfound obsession. I told the husband that we needed to get her a desk and chair set, pronto. We headed to a couple of places to hunt for a set that we think would work well for Faith and still look great in our living space, which we have conscientiously tried to keep in neutral tones ever since Faith was born. We failed. The ones we saw were either good-looking or functional; it was impossible to have the best of both worlds. The sets we saw couldn’t grow with the child too, and I most certainly didn’t want to spend on something that Faith will outgrow quickly.
We were a little disheartened with the search and almost gave up, when Yamatoya Singapore approached us to review the new Buono Amice Desk & Chair. How timely is that; Fairy Godmother must have been listening! Some of you may have heard of the original Buono, and the Buono Amice is a bigger and better version of it! I swooned over the photos of the set I saw on the Yamatoya Singapore site, and was absolutely eager to try it out because it looked like everything we wanted in a desk and chair set! And it is!
Designed in Japan and manufactured in Indonesia, the set is made of 100% rubber wood; the natural wood grain is something that I really, really, really like (I’m very fond of wood when it comes to furniture). Being made out of solid wood, the set is a little heavy but this means it is incredibly sturdy and can bear weight up to 60kg. I squished my butt on the chair, put my full weight on it and I didn’t break it; the chair didn’t tip over due to a significant change in the centre of gravity either, because the side bars and leg protrusions of the chair distribute the weight very effectively. When Faith sits on the chair, she isn’t able to rock the chair backwards because of the unique design of the legs. That really puts my mind at ease; I recall a kid in my primary school who rocked his chair, fell backwards, hit his head hard on the floor and suffered from a concussion. True story that haunts me to this day!
While I have seen Faith struggle with the chairs in school (which are ironically made for kids her age), Faith gets in and out of the Buono Amice chair fairly easily on her own. It really helps that the heights of the chair and desk are adjustable at three levels as well; this means that the set grows with the child, something that I am always on the lookout for when I purchase furniture for children. Mind you, the Buono Amice is suitable for children from the ages of 1 to 5! For her height and proportion, I have assembled the set on the lowest levels to accommodate her frame, and she sits in it so comfortably! No hunching over because the desk is too low. No raising of arms to rest her elbows on the desk because the chair is too low. Her legs tuck nicely under the table without having her thighs and knees rub against the underside of the desk. Her feet rest flat on the floor. And look at her posture, it’s so well-maintained with the ergonomic design of the chair!
The work surface of the desk is also very spacious, allowing Faith to work on larger masterpieces at any one time. The cute red and blue trinkets are excellent holders for stationery, and fit in pre-carved grooves on the desk to prevent them from getting knocked over easily. There is also a shallow ‘pool’ of sorts in between the two trinkets to hold extra pencils and what-not. Faith has no problem reaching for her coloured pencils and decorative pieces stored in the trinkets and the ‘pool'; I like that she doesn’t have to go, ‘Mama, help, please’ whenever she needs something. Everything is so easily accessible on this workstation!
The desk comes with a built-in drawer that glides in and out smoothly for ease of access; it doesn’t fall out when Faith yanks on it because a built-in stopper prevents that from happening. Brownie points for safety! It is a rather large drawer and I find it useful for storing materials, books and more stationery. I’m a clutter-phobe, so I’m all for furniture that boasts storage space! Of course, Faith loves hiding her favourite belongings in them and I end up finding all sorts of weird things in there…but that’s a story for another day.
For something that is so thoughtfully designed for children in every aspect, I would have expected it to be a challenge to assemble. But it was SO FREAKING EASY that I, being far from acquainted with the ways of carpentry and heavy, manly tools, could assemble the desk and chair in 15 minutes. I have to say the Japanese are really at the top of their game in coming up with the simplest, yet highly functional designs! The set comes with an allen key and all the screws you will need to put the pieces together. The most difficult part of all, which isn’t tough to begin with, is to figure out the height you want to fix the desk and chair at for your child. And the truth is, even if you get it wrong, the set is very easily disassembled and re-assembled at the correct heights. Just check out the gallery below for the photos of how I assembled the set. And yes, again, it was so easy that I could hold the parts together with one hand while photographing with my other hand. Speaks volumes, doesn’t it?!
We are incredibly happy with the Buono Amice set, and so is Faith; every time she comes home, she runs to her workstation, pulls out the chair, plonks her butt down and starts scribbling or reading. I have to say it is one of my favourite products to-date, largely because it is so very beautifully made and yet, highly functional and safe for Faith to use. The rubber wood is so smooth and there are no offensive, sharp corners that may hurt Faith. The screws are all deep-set; hence, there isn’t a chance of her scratching herself on protruding metallic bits and bobs. Most of all, she sits so comfortably in the set, and I know that she will continue to do so even when she grows taller (or fatter, tee hee) because the heights are easily adjustable. Even Mama’s childbearing hips can fit in that chair! I’d like to add that I use the beautiful wood grain on the desk as THE background for my food photography these days…tell me about maximising the potential of my kiddo’s things; don’t you dare judge, you would too if you own the Buono Amice!
WANT TO GET YOUR HANDS ON THE BUONO AMICE SET?
If you’re interested to have a look at the set up-close before purchasing it, I’d highly recommend you to drop by the Yamatoya Singapore booth at the SUPERMOM BAZAAR at Suntec City Hall 401-404 from 22-24 August 2014. As Yamatoya Singapore does not have a physical retail store or stockists, this is a great opportunity for you to have a look at the Buono Amice set and other products (we love the SukusukuES high chair too, which we have given away a few months ago!) at a central location in Singapore!
Now, Yamatoya has kindly sponsored one handsome Buono Amice Desk & Chair set to a lucky reader of mine (you have to be based in Singapore as Yamatoya does not deliver internationally). It comes with 1 desk and 1 chair, a built in drawer, red and blue trinkets and the tools required for assembly. Delivery is provided free-of-charge as well! What are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway here! Some steps can be done once a day, so don’t forget to check back to get more entries into the draw!
Terms and Conditions of the giveaway:
- One winner will be randomly selected to receive the Buono Amice Desk & Chair Set.
- Giveaway is only open to those based in Singapore.
- Free delivery within Singapore; assembly service of the set is not provided.
- Yamatoya Singapore will contact the winner after the giveaway closes.
GOOD LUCK, AND THANK YOU, YAMATOYA!
*I was gifted one Yamatoya Buono Amice Desk & Chair Set to review, and another set worth S$198 to give away to a lucky reader. No monetary gift was received. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and written according to my experience in using the products. Sponsors have been notified that I am not obliged to write a review upon receipt of sponsored items, should I find the products unsuitable.
You can now shop online at Yamatoya Singapore!