Articles Written by Katie


About Katie: Katie has been a product and textile designer, an art restoration specialist, and an interior designer/merchandiser. Her interests are focused on finding well designed items that improve daily life as well as reading fiction and making stuff. (View Profile)


The Vamp

See that tiny, red, cube-like device on top of that speaker? It’s here to save the lives of all the old speakers that don’t have Bluetooth. That’s right, you can keep your vintage Mcintosh or JBL speaker(s) with its/their amazing sound and have the convenience of streaming music from your latest smartphone or device.

So, how does it work? The Vamp fits onto your existing speaker via a magnetic metal disc or the provided audio cables. Connect it, and voila! Bluetooth compatibility. Keeping those traditional speakers around reduces electronic waste, so it’s a win/win situation. And, if you possess no traditional speakers, The Vamp team will give you one, free of charge* (from the recycling center). Cool, huh?

Purchase Information:

Price: $75.00
Available from: MoMA Store

OP-vases by Bilge Nur Saltik

Finding spectacular gifts for those favorite people in your life probably isn’t at the top of your priority list just yet, but, don’t you worry, I’m on the hunt. May I turn your attention toward this vision of a flower seen through cut glass? Thanks to visual distortions created by a kaleidoscopic effect, just one flower gives the impression of a bouquet. Yes, it is expensive, but, man-oh-man is it pretty and strange and amazing. Conclusion: excellent, high budget gift.

Purchase Information:

Price: $350.00 - 450.00
Available from: designboom shop

Kaufmann Gathering Bench

Ooo, nice! We’re big fans of Kaufmann Mercantile, so, of course it’s exciting to see their new line of select goods. The Gathering Bench is particularly lovely, as it is made from solid Black Walnut wood, and by woodworkers in New York, no less. Think of the design like a recipe; start with a base of Scandinavian lines, throw in a fair amount of Danish mid-century modern, and then add a generous pinch of Japanese minimalism. Sounds good to me. It would look damn good in an entryway or at the end of a bed, with or without miscellany piled on top.

Purchase Information:

Price: $1,195.00
Available from: Kaufmann Mercantile

Tanno Free Case

Pen and pencil cases aren’t just for school-age children, you know. Those of us on the go don’t want to leave our prized writing/drawing instruments behind, and a case that has a trick up its sleeve might be just the thing to keep our bags and workspaces organized (and clients and coworkers impressed?). Similar to vintage ‘trick boxes’, this Tanno Free Case requires one push of its wood button for the tray to pop out. Sort of fun, isn’t it? Fully constructed in wood save for the one metal spring, the case is a lesson in craftsmanship.

Purchase Information:

Price: $185.00
Available from: Nalata Nalata

The Soy Sauce Cruet

A spill-proof Soy Sauce Cruet? Pfft, you say. I didn’t believe it either until seeing it in action. It has a beak-like spout that’s built into the adjustable cap; soy sauce (or olive oil or vinegar) simply flows out without a drip. Is this a game changer for anyone who loves their soy sauce (or olive oil or vinegar)? I think so.

Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: Ode to Things

Geometric Steel Side Table by PWHFurniture

Hip, hip, hooray for geometric steel side tables that cost $175. We can thank PWHFurniture on Etsy for this find. It’s made of sheet steel and a welded steel base, so it’s sturdy and particularly friendly on the ol’ wallet. Now you’ll have an ideal spot to set your drink(s) and/or mobile device when you settle into your favorite chair/sofa. Choose between white, black, blue, red, or yellow.

Purchase Information:

Price: $175.00
Available from: PWHFurniture on Etsy

Private Parts Rugs by Cold Picnic

Are these rugs too provocative for you? Well, tough… ummm, you-know-what. Cold Picnic brings us the Private Parts Rugs, with a little something for everyone. There’s Private Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Pick the parts you like most and then choose the preferred size and color- most are available in the 2’x3′ size with the cream background. I bet you’ll have fun seeing the rug each and every day; be sure to enjoy that the imagery can be interpreted however you (or your guests) want.

Purchase Information:

Price: $264.00 - 550.00
Available from: Cold Picnic

Mininch Tool Pen

Ah-ha! This looks like a pen, but it’s really a multi-purpose tool hidden inside a pen-like casing. It’s perfect for those of us that like to be prepared for anything, yet can’t really justify wearing a tool belt everywhere we go (sooo cumbersome, right?). The 16 tool bits can be easily switched out- they’re all stored within the pen, so you cycle through to the one you need*. Taiwanese architect Yu–Hung Cheng and his team call it the world’s first “pop–a–point” pen style tool.

Purchase Information:

Price: $69.00
Available from: Wallpaper Store

Eva Solo To Go Grill

A small, portable grill that looks a little like a bento box gets a big ‘yes, please’ from anyone who has ever eaten outdoors. It’s a charcoal grill, so there’s nothing complicated about it. A built-in handle and a nylon strap secures the whole thing together to make transport extra easy to the backyard, beach, or campsite. Silicone handles, dishwasher-safe parts, and a black enamel finish all further add to the function and overall aesthetic.

Purchase Information:

Price: $199.00
Available from: Gessato

Paper Lamp

Here’s a nice lamp with a very affordable price tag. Inspired by origami, this lamp is constructed without any screws or glue. It’s held together simply by its interlocking structure. Using minimal materials allows for a simple beauty that is also environmentally friendly- no small feat in this day and age, don’t you think?

Purchase Information:

Price: $119.00
Available from: Milk Design Shop

Coleman Height-Adjustable End Table

If the Coleman Stool and the Coleman Camp Stool are to your liking, chances are that you’ll want to own the End Table. It features the same geometric base and adjusts from 22 to 28 inches in height, which makes it a cross between an end table, stool, and even a low bar stool. Spin the tabletop clockwise or counterclockwise to raise or lower it to the right height.

Purchase Information:

Price: $599.00
Available from: Dwell

BLTD Site Update

Expletive! We finally got our site updated! That affects several things that you probably don’t care about, as we didn’t change much visually. However, you probably do care about the fact that we no longer need the app that you may have on your mobile device.

Yes, the app worked, and yes, it looked okay, but now the normal BLTD site will load on whatever gadget you’re on without the occasional hang-ups and weird landing pages that we had before. So, please say your goodbyes to the app we had, and say hello to the newly updated BLTD.

Please add us to your home screen for a super quick way to see the latest and greatest of all of our features. Just navigate to our site in whatever browser you use and save it as a bookmark/favorite to your home screen. And, if you’re feeling generous, please ‘like’ and/or share the stuff you like the most, as it would be really nice to spread the word that our site now works like it should.

Thanks, as always, for visiting and supporting BLTD. You’re the best.

Friday Links

– This thing moves! Behnaz Farahi’s Caress of the Gaze (via thinx)

– Back/neck tension? How about a “luxury” foam roller? RolPal (via NYTimes)

The 20 people who have given away the most money to charity

– A “cute” surveillance camera: Ulo

– Ha ha- Daniel Craig’s thoughts on James Bond

– A “futuristic” wallet: Kallet

ROAR: smart safety jewelry

Cantilevered Home in the Mountains

Enjoy your weekend.

Dwell Bolton Residence

Light + Ladder Desk Accessories

Deliberate, simple, clean… maybe that’s how your coworkers describe you, but I’m talking about the walnut set you see above. Solid wood, brass, porcelain, and vegetable-tanned leather all work harmoniously together for a desk set that’s sure to say you mean business.

There’s the Leather Blotter, which features a hidden wooden compartment for pencils and business cards, the Pencil Cup, which has a sliding mechanism to easily access your writing utensils, and a Catch-All, which gives you a spot for Post-Its and little things like paperclips. Shall we call them desk successories?

Purchase Information:

Price: $65.00 -360.00
Available from: Light +Ladder

Carl Auböck Oversized Paperclip

It’s a very, very large paperclip. Use it as a bookmark, as shown above, or as a paperweight. Considering it’s designed by Carl Auböck, and hand-crafted from solid brass in Auböck’s fourth-generation Viennese workshop, it will retain its value for years to come. Don’t believe me? Do a search for Auböck’s pieces on any collector’s site (or Ebay) and you’ll see. Consider this as a very nice gift for that someone who has everything (except a huge brass paperclip).

Purchase Information:

Price: $200.00
Available from: Ode to Things