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)


MIDORI MD 2014 Monthly Notebook

It’s October already, and you know what that means. Besides getting your Halloween festivities sorted, your Thanksgiving plans arranged, and your subconscious started on options for special holiday gifts, you need to find a decent monthly planner for 2014. No? Lucky you. Yes? Join the club. I’ve been on the quest to find the perfect (i.e. minimal) monthly planner for what seems like forever, and though Moleskine and others have come close, I think this one by MIDORI (and available from Baum-Kuchen) might just win first place for 2014.

With plenty of negative space on each monthly calendar, there’s oodles of room to make notes. Memo pages are divided into eight sections for optional weekly pages and there’s plenty of blank pages for extra sketches or notes. Last but not least, the ” target=”_blank” >MIDORI Monthly Notebook is bound by strings, so the planner opens flat for easier writing and perusal.

Purchase Information:

Price: $16.00
Available from: Baum-Kuchen

Push Pull Rotate Door Knobs

While these door knobs from Brinks Home Security aren’t as visually appealing as a minimalist/modernist would hope, they do pack a certain punch in terms of function. Simply push, pull, or rotate the door knob to open a door. Have your arms full of groceries/kids/laundry/etc? Use your hip/elbow/knee/whatever to push the knob and open the door.

Purchase Information:

Price: $24.97 - 32.97
Available from: Lowe's

Infinity Rose Square Mirror

What’s better than a square mirror? A rose square mirror, because you can finally take off those ridiculous tinted glasses you’re always wearing and just stare into the mirror instead. It’s a sure thing that a rose mirror is a different way to throw light around a room, and it will no doubt add a little bronze edginess to an interior. Available in a square, $149, or narrow version, $129.

Purchase Information:

Price: $149.00
Available from: CB2

Wintercheck 06/08

What happens to orphaned furniture? Often they end up in a very sad place called the landfill, sitting unused and unloved. Wintercheck Factory has saved a few pieces from this slow death, and, with some upgrades and additions, they’re now available online for your purchase (at not bad prices, I might add). Pictured above is the Felt Top Table, $375, who in a previous life sported a linoleum top and was drawerless.

Purchase Information:

Price: $175.00 - 375.00
Available from: Wintercheck 06/08

Tangram City Sculpture Puzzle

This grey conglomeration might perplex you at first, but it’s actually a puzzle that doubles as
table décor. You’re most likely familiar with tangrams, those puzzles with seven flat pieces meant for rearranging in a certain shapes, and this tablescape takes that idea into 3D territory with each piece being a part of a miniature city landscape.

Each piece is made of solid concrete, so you’d be smart to place them well out of any small child’s reach, but that said, it would be an interesting piece to have out and test yourself occasionally on making certain shapes (exercise for the brain!).


Purchase Information:

Price: $200.00
Available from: Molla Space

Standard Magnets

If only small, turned, wooden magnets existed, we could place them upon any metal surface and know that our papers, notes, and tear-outs would be shown as an elegant web of ideas (all due to the uniform simplicity of the magnets, of course) thus allowing our brains to settle upon brilliant results previously unknown. Oh, wait, they do exist, available from Fort Standard in a set of six, no less, and feature very strong rare-earth magnets, so they’ll hold up all manner of things (keys, perhaps?) with no problem. Nothing stopping those brilliant results now.


Purchase Information:

Price: $58.00
Available from: Ford Standard

Soma Water Filter

You know what’s impressive? A water filter from the future. That’s really the only explanation for such a well executed design, after all. The handcrafted glass carafe is a beauty all on its own, then you add the filter on, and you’ve got an excellent option for purifying water. No need to mess with finicky lids either, as the Soma has a pour-through lid that automatically opens when you add water. The all-natural filters are biodegradable, and you can sign up to have fresh filters delivered every two months for $13, shipping included.

Purchase Information:

Price: $49.00
Available from: SOMA

Bulb Flashlight

Say what? It’s a flashlight and a low-heat LED rechargeable bulb? Sounds strange, but it makes sense, I guess. Extend the telescopic handle to use as a flashlight (up to 3 hours) or use it as a bulb in any standard screw-in light fitting. Like I said, strange, but seemingly practical. Using only six watts of power, the bulb is equivalent to a 40w incandescent bulb.


Purchase Information:

Price: $45.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Perch Barstool

Hmm, I don’t quite understand how the same barstool could cost roughly $150 more on one site than the other. Do you? One site has it on sale, so that explains a little discrepancy, but perhaps it’s not exactly the same barstool, or by the same designer/manufacturer, or maybe someone is smoking something somewhere and the profit margins were messed up. Either way, this teak and iron base barstool has that spindly-yet-sturdy look and would provide extra seating without taking up too much visual space.

Purchase Information:

Price: $216.00
Available from: West Elm

Prime Media Console

Hmm, this media console by Mark Daniel (of Slate Design) has the right sort of look and the right sort of price. Plantation-grown shesham wood is set off nicely by an iron base, and there’s the nice detail of a finished back in case you need to float the piece in the middle of a room. Two open shelves provide space for components with two drawers below for storage. And, yes, don’t worry, there are cutouts for managing cords.

Purchase Information:

Price: $699.00
Available from: CB2

Luis Organizer

I’ve long admired the Uten.Silo, but somehow can’t bring myself to pay the $475 for organized bliss. The Luis Organizer isn’t a whole lot less in terms of the damage done to your wallet, but it provides the same sort of function with a minimal, geometric purity, and is handmade in Barcelona by OLI13 (so you won’t see it around as much, if you care about that sort of thing).


Purchase Information:

Price: €300.00
Available from: OLI13

11+ Sound1 Speaker

A bluetooth enabled speaker is a dime a dozen (so to speak) these days, so what’s so special about this pair? Well, for starters, the 11+ Sound1 Speakers have absolutely nothing to offend the eyes, and one could even say they’re aesthetically pleasing. What else? Three things: embedded magnets allow the pair to be joined into one piece for storage or transport, the cables can be stored neatly within each base, and each speaker has a slight angle at its base to allow an optimal auditory experience.

Purchase Information:

Price: $85.00
Available from: leibal

Friday Links

  • Portable Home ÁPH80 from ABATON Architects (conversation)
  • How to Stop Chasing Self-Esteem
  • Helen Friel’s paper scupltures
  • The History of the Trapper Keeper
  • Kottke: Richard Feynman explains rubber bands
  • pointerpointer
  • William Faulkner’s 1924 resignation letter
  • YouTube: Sheep teaches young bull to head butt
  • NASA: This is what the Earth will look like in 2099
  • Film: De La Espada Factory (furniture making)
    Enjoy the weekend!

    Wire Basket Table

    So, what do you get when you add a wooden disc to a Wire Basket? A small, lovely, graphic table, or just a lid for the basket, depending on the way you look at it. Both basket and top from Ferm Living, of course.

    Purchase Information:

    Price: $85.00 and up
    Available from: Ferm Living

    Fold Mirror

    You might think a mirror is just a mirror, but that would be underestimating how much a small tweak can change a rather ordinary item. Marie Thurnauer has bent the Fold Mirror slightly away from the wall to give different views and angles of a room. The image above (from domus) with the Fold Mirrors en masse shows their potential dynamicity, and has me, at least, thinking about ordering at least three.

    Purchase Information:

    Price: $35.00 - 70.00
    Available from: Normann Copenhagen