Little People, Big Design

Steele stuck to traditional shapes with new dimensions for her eight-piece collection, called "Little People, Big Design," geared toward people with dwarfism. It includes small-scale chairs and ottomans, and average-size chairs with shorter seat depths, as well as higher armrests and footrests. These allow people of small stature to sit comfortably and at eye level with people of average height. Next up: beds and sofas, and a furniture line for the extremely tall.
View the slideshow above for Steele's designs.

Steele stumbled on the idea in 2008 while watching "Little People, Big World," the realty TV show about a family that includes two parents with dwarfism. Then she approached leaders of Little People of America, a 6,000-member national support organization for people with all 200+ forms of dwarfism to see if they'd welcome a line of furniture made with them in mind.

While visiting their homes, Steele noted that they had ingeniously learned to live with full-size furniture by cutting the legs off, using footstools or buying children's versions. She says she learned that people of small stature would welcome smaller furniture that was "high quality, sophisticated, modern, and adult"--without the train motifs on kids' models. Steele now even makes furniture for "mixed company"; a set of dining chairs, for example, in which some are standard and some are adapted.

"People are excited that someone has taken them into consideration," Steele says. "They're used to customization; I offer something off the rack."

The pieces are available by special order and start at around $450. For more information, visit
Photo Credit: Tracy Steele Design

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