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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)


Concrete Brain Bookends

Braaiiins!! Feel free to pretend you’re a zombie, and walk around disjointedly with your arms extended and your head cocked to the side whilst saying that, as it’s entirely appropriate. Just don’t bite into this particular brain, as the two hemispheres are made of concrete. Designer Bertrand Jayr brings these smart bookends to our bookshelves- they’re excellent pieces of heavy ‘gray matter’ to hold your books in place.

Purchase Information:

Price: $69.00
Available from: Gessato

Grid and Rain Table Linens by Sylvain Willenz

Need I remind you that Thanksgiving is right around the corner? I know, I know, there’s too much to think about, and you just don’t have the space in your brain to consider how your dining table will look. After all, who cares about food presentation and the overall aesthetics of your home? Oh, wait, you care. Darn it.

So, take a look at the collection of table linens from Hem. You can basically close your eyes, point at any pattern, add to cart, and voilà! Your table will look fantastic, as the patterns are modern and simple and will set off your food fabulously. Plus, they’re not holiday-centric, so you can use them year round.

Purchase Information:

Price: $25.00 -49.00
Available from: Hem

Aarre Wall Jewels

Pretty, aren’t they? The Aarre Wall Jewels collection is made by skilled artisans in the Iittala factory. Every single one is mouth-blown, so consider them each as a unique piece of art. Perhaps you’ll just need one to hang your beloved Leica, or perhaps a trio would do the trick of organizing your oft-worn coat and scarves. Fair warning: they’re not inexpensive, so don’t get too entranced by the jewel-like colors, or else you’ll blow your whole budget.

Purchase Information:

Price: $295.00 each
Available from: Scandinavian Grace

Geo Thermos

Hello Geo. Nice sharp edges sure set this guy apart from the usual thermos. And the colors (!), that geometric shape, the semi-retro design… who would have thought that a thermos could draw such an admiring audience? The Geo thermos holds one liter and comes in the colors purple, grey, black, white, red and turquoise.

Purchase Information:

Price: $90.00
Available from: Danish Design Store

Wrong for Hay Cork Cone and Magnetic Tower

Need a place for odd notes, photos and other such sundries? Consider Wrong For Hay’s Cork Cone, as it has plenty of room for a vertical tower of pinnables. And, if your paperclips need a home, perhaps you should take a look at the Magnetic Tower as well, as it will gather those small metal clips with ease.

Purchase Information:

Price: $28.00 - 38.00
Available from: Hand-Eye Supply

Floating Forest by Michael Anastassiades

Ah, thank goodness, you can now stop your search, for I’ve found you the perfect gift for any discerning modernist/minimalist. Each Floating Forest piece by Michael Anastassiades is composed of a hand-made brass planter that sits on the rim of any glass. By suspending a seed or plant above, growth is facilitated and exposed in its natural elegance. Now, the question is, just which one (or ones) shall you select?

Purchase Information:

Price: $75.00+
Available from: The Future Perfect

Max Lamb Crockery Salt & Pepper

What are these two objects? Lumps of salt? Some kind of rough plaster paperweight? Or, wait, might it be the set of salt & pepper shakers by Max Lamb? Ding, ding, ding! Your last guess was correct, and should you want to peruse the other items in the collection, be sure to take a look at the Mug, Tall Vase, and smaller Posy Vase, just to name a few.

Purchase Information:

Price: $65.00 - 150.00
Available from: GARDE

Friday Links

– Not new, but pretty cool: permanent marker installation by heike weber

Axis Gear: Motorize your existing window shades

Bob Ross Painting Episodes Are Streaming Online

Bumblebees used for targeted pesticide deliveries

Onomo’s “magic compass” uses LEDs to guide cyclists

Onomo's magic compass Haize

Recycled skateboard pendant lamp

Action figure replica of Michelangelo’s David– there’s also Venus de Milo and The Thinker, available at Goodsmile’s shop

Fortsy: the 2 minute fort


Happy Halloween! Don’t eat too much candy, it’ll make you sick.

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