Published on May 16, 2019

I never thought I’d say this, but have you ever considered taking design inspiration from your elementary school classroom? I’m not talking about chalkboard paint or even those retro metal chairs that, if we’re being totally honest, would probably look pretty cool in your kitchen. No, no. I am speaking about one particular embellishment in particular: the solar system model.

By and large, I had all but forgotten all about these kinds of mobiles (though I haven’t forgotten the mnemonic device I used as a child to remember planetary order: My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles). It was only when scrolling through Instagram that I caught sight of a living room belonging to Tom and Sandra Maria of MiMaMeise. Their North German abode is styled with mid-century-modern furniture and a lush smattering of houseplants. Hanging from the ceiling, unexpectedly tying it all together, is a simple arrangement of planets you could find in a museum gift shop.

Now, we’ve waxed poetic before on the merits of mobiles (not just for babies), but solar system models, in particular, are an underrated design hero. They might seem a bit too esoteric or infantile, but trust us: When they’re well-made and arranged in an artful configuration, they can make a space look out of this world.

Get ready to blast off—these intragalactic mobiles will give your home some serious style. It’s science, after all.

If you spend your weekends watching reruns of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos

You can hardly go wrong with a classic, realistic model. This mobile is as beautiful as it is educational, and, as MiMaMeise proves, it looks great in mid-century-modern spaces.

If, yes, you have a telescope and you know how to use it

This mobile, designed by Johannes Lindner from Christian Flensted’s 1955 original, might just be the most mesmerizing thing you can hang from your ceiling—just watch this video for proof. Even minimalists can get behind this one.

If Ms. Frizzle is a lifelong role model

If you’re not afraid of a little bit of kitsch, don’t be afraid to head on over to the kids’ department. Sure, this felted model might be made for a little one’s room, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look sweet as a playful accent in your home office.

If you’re actually more of a chemistry person

Astronomy might not be for everyone—maybe you appreciate science on a smaller scale. Like, really really small. This design is an artful rendering of Niels Bohr’s 1913 atom model that everyone can appreciate.

If Bill Nye’s your guy

By adding a solar system mobile to your home, you’re automatically embracing your playful side, so you might as well have fun with color too. The planets (and sun) in this model are handpainted in lush colors that can easily cheer up the room of your choice.

If you’re a little more down-to-earth

Don’t want to travel too far out of the atmosphere? Consider a moon phase mobile instead. This simple brass design of this Urban Outfitters makes it perfect for hanging right by a window, where it can catch the light just so.

If science fairs have a special place in your heart

This sweet felted mobile is the perfect thing to add some color to a reading nook. Just hang it above your favorite armchair and crack open a good book that may or may not have anything to do with black holes.

If you’re a conceptual thinker

A realistic planetary model this is not, but it does reflect how planets actually move. This design by Ole Flensted rotates in the most mesmerizing way, giving you reason to pause and consider, for just a moment, how we, too, are rotating ever so gently amid the other planets in our universe. Remarkable.

See more delightful design ideas:
New York’s Coolest Design Duo Literally Reinvented the Nail, and I Want 20

It’s Been 6 Months and I’m Still Thinking About This Baguette Lamp
It’s Time to Ask Your Grout, “Are You Working Hard Enough?”

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