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)


Modern Mailboxes

Someone has mentioned to me that we need a new mailbox, and given that my job is to find modern, well-designed things, I feel that I cannot ignore such a plea. So, what you see below are all the items I see as acceptable options. However, I don’t necessarily feel that there’s a clear front runner. Perhaps we should have a vote on some sort of social media outlet? Hmm, stay tuned. If you are also in the market for a mailbox, and know of another (or better) option, please let me know.

Graded Shelving Kit

Now, here’s an interesting take on a shelving kit. Notice how the legs thicken towards the bottom? That enables “precisely machined plastic collars” on each of the five shelves to fit at certain spots, thus creating shelving space. Those legs are produced in collaborations with RJH Custom Pool Cues, as those of you who play pool might have noticed. No other hardware is needed, just slide the shelves over the four legs.


Purchase Information:

Price: $2,200.00
Available from: Jamie Wolfond

Walnut Keyboard Tray

What’s so great about a keyboard tray? Well, nothing if you’re a strict minimalist and don’t have a bunch of little things rattling around on your desk. However, if you’re like the rest of us, you could use a small spot to stash a few pens, paperclips, extra batteries and other little miscellany that has no home. A slim profile keeps the ergonomics of Apple’s keyboard and the natural black walnut will look good with almost anything.

Purchase Information:

Price: $59.00
Available from: Grovemade


Perhaps you have a favorite notebook, but I bet you a dollar bill that it doesn’t have magnets as a main component. Huh? Yep, magnets. The Magnote, currently a Kickstarter project, has neodymium magnets embedded in its spine, allowing you to easily carry several at once while keeping your ideas or projects separate. It lays completely flat when opened, so you can take advantage of the full page surface. Carry just as many as you need in an orderly stack and separate them whenever needed. At the size of an iPad, each notebook stacks easily alongside the others on a shelf, and you can choose between a blank, gridded, ruled, or a daily or monthly minimal planner.

Purchase Information:

Price: $29.00 +
Available from: Kickstarter

Metamorphic Rock Bookend

You may not see the allure in stone shards cast in cement only to then be shoved upon a shelf to hold books in place, but these Metamorphic Rock Bookends now occupy the number one spot on my wish list, and will likely stay there until the holiday season. Three flat, perpendicular sides enable the bookend function while one decorative, textured side provides sculptural interest. Each unique set is signed and dated by Chen Chen and Kai Williams.


Purchase Information:

Price: $170.00
Available from: Chen Chen & Kai Williams

Ball LED Indoor Outdoor Lamp

How about adding a cordless, rechargeable, waterproof, and energy efficient light that can live indoors or out to your abode? The Ball LED Lamp is pretty perfect for making your outdoor evening soirees a little more romantic. It’s entirely portable, and will withstand all sorts of bad weather. You can even throw it in the pool for a floating lighting display (I’m sure party planners already know this) should you want a more impressive atmosphere. Get the Pebble Remote to control color options and/or several lamps up to a distance of over 66 feet.

Purchase Information:

Price: $177.65
Available from: YLiving

Grill Basting Brush and Beaker by Eva Solo

The official beginning of summer is almost upon us, and the summer means backyard grilling. And, if you do any backyard grilling, you need a basting brush. This brush and beaker by Eva Solo is a smart little set to aid you in your outdoor cooking, as the silicone brush rests upon the side of the beaker to keep things tidy. It’d be a handsome addition to your other grilling tools.

Purchase Information:

Price: $39.00
Available from: Emmo Home

HB6B / Karin Matz

Small, well designed apartments that take advantage of cramped quarters will always have a place in my heart, thanks to living in a ~450 square foot studio apartment in my 20s. I remember imagining countless ways to remodel it if I owned instead of rented. That’s why, despite its somewhat rough looking walls, this little apartment by architect Karin Matz in Stockholm has caught my interest. Take a look at the lofted bed sharing a glass wall with the kitchen, with storage underneath, and marvel at the smart way they’ve incorporated necessary living areas all within under 400 square feet (36 sq meters).

More information:

View HB6B / Karin Matz here

OK Dish

Stay sane with a daily reminder that everything is, in fact, going to be okay. Take a deep breath, put on your jewelry/pick up your keys/etc., and head out for the day. Similarly, at the end of your how-the-heck-did-end-up-with-a-12-hour-a-day work schedule, take off your jewelry/put down your keys, and relax. This small dish might just be the one spot where things won’t get lost.

Purchase Information:

Price: $25.00
Available from: Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

August Smart Lock

Remember this smart lock? Through the magic known as bluetooth, the August Smart Lock senses your approach and unlocks your door for you, without you reaching for your phone. Here’s the lowdown: It fits over the interior portion of your current deadbolt, so there’s no need to change out your door hardware, as from the outside you’ll still have the same keyed entry. August’s encrypted locking technology allows you to control when people have access to your home, from family members to cleaning crews, and you can see a complete log of who has come and gone (and the exact times of their arrival/departure) remotely from your phone or computer. Don’t worry about power outages or internet connections, as the August is powered by standard batteries. The second batch of August Smart Locks will be available later this year; reserve yours now.

Purchase Information:

Price: $199.00
Available from: August

Hardwood Step Stool

You won’t like the price of this step stool, but you will understand it once you see that it packs a lot more punch and pizzazz than anything you’d find at a hardware store. Architect-turned-furniture designer Aaron Poritz designed the Hardwood Step Stool with storage in mind. Slide-away storage panels for books- or anything else you’d rather not see on a daily basis- are tucked in between each step, making it a handy storage option and side table as well as a functional step stool. Nicaraguan craftsmen make the Hardwood Step Stools from century old Nancinton trees felled during the destruction of Hurricane Felix.

Purchase Information:

Price: $579.00
Available from: Kaufmann Mercantile

Aluminum Tray by Piet Hein Eek

What’s so great about an Aluminum Tray? Other than the fact it’s from Piet Hein Eek and his fascination of the technical possibilities of aluminum (specifically, when combined with a stamping machine), you can rest easy knowing that it’ll take a beating and still do the job of holding whatever you might need to transport to and from the desk or dining table. Or, if you intend to set it upon a surface merely to corral mail and/or other miscellany, it certainly adds a certain machine aesthetic that you may find as a nice contrast to your other wooden pieces.


Purchase Information:

Price: $120.00
Available from: The Future Perfect

Geo Stands

Sure, you could use these solid brass stands as paperweights or placeholders, but why not have them out all the time as photo holders? It might encourage you to switch out photos more often, as there’s no fumbling about with picture frames. Buy them as a set ($60), or individually ($22 each).

Purchase Information:

Price: $22.00 – 60.00
Available from: Yield Design Co.

Friday Links

  • World Bicycle Relief: mobilizing people through the power of bicycles
  • “The Stratus A1 mobile storage unit is designed for the cloud-enabled knowledge worker…” yet I think I could use one beside my desk at home. Yes/No?
  • Knock: Knock you phone to unlock your computer
  • Brainspace: just launched this week and it looks very promising.
  • HYVE: a modular system over on Kickstarter
  • Christoph Gielen’s aerial photography
  • “The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations on 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.” -Wikipedia
  • Lego: Ellen Kooijman’s Female Minifigure set
    That is all for today; learn something new this weekend and then relax, for goodness’ sake.

    Reflect Sideboard, Small

    Perhaps you were fond of the undulating front of the Reflect Sideboard, but you pinned your hopes on a smaller version. Lucky you, those hopes have materialized into the little brother/sister version you see above. Measuring in at 41.3″ wide, this Small Reflect Sideboard will be able to fit into those not-so-large nooks that its bigger sibling simply can’t, and will provide you with storage space and Scandinavian style all in one.

    Purchase Information:

    Price: $2,900.00
    Available from: YLiving