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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)


Crank Grinder and Bird Mill

If you want, we could pretend you didn’t read the title and you could guess what this wooden thingamajig might be. I’ll wait while you guess.

Purchase Information:

Price: $75.00
Available from: Areaware

Less Mess Happy Mat

Parents and other adults who have tried to contain the mess of a child eating will know that it’s near impossible to come out of the encounter unscathed. Overturned plates and bowls are bound to happen, but if you turn your eyes to the slightly manaical grin of the Less Mess Happy Mat, you’ll know that there’s hope. This mat is silicone (CPSIA Certified, FDA approved and BPA, PVC, lead and Phthalate-free) and it self-seals to the table. There’s no moving it, and, unless your kid’s a genius and/or freakishly strong, they won’t be able to peel it off and throw it around. The integrated plate has three spots for food and the whole mat is dishwasher and microwave safe. Watch the video below for more.

Purchase Information:

Price: $25.00
Available from: Kickstarter

Powder-Coated Steel Folding Table

Folding tables, ick. They never look good and they’re so very tacky… right? Wrong! There’s one folding table that actually looks decent, and sort of cheery, thanks to its bright green color. Designed by Benjamin Luddy and Makoto Mizutani, this Steel Folding Table has detachable legs and may be used wherever you need an extra impromptu surface- indoors or outside. You can even hang it on the wall for storage and double the function by using it as a message center with magnets and dry erase markers. Smart.

Purchase Information:

Price: $250.00
Available from: Kaufmann Mercantile

Marble Wall-Mounted Shelf

If you’re a complete snob, you might turn your nose up at “Carrara-style” marble, but marble is marble is marble for most people, and a smallish shelf for just under $50 might just go a long way to helping a storage problem. Maybe you could use an extra surface in the bathroom or in the kitchen? Snap one (or two) of these shelves up for an easy fix.

Purchase Information:

Price: $47.96
Available from: CB2

Aerostat Table Lamp

Do you need a little extra light in your life? And I do mean that literally, as in an extra table lamp. If so, turn your eyes toward the Aerostat. As you may know, an Aerostat is a lighter than air craft that stays aloft with the use of buoyant gas. Similar in feel, the white blown glass diffuser of this lamp from Fabbian (designed by Guillaume Delvigne) rests upon a vertical steel frame, giving it an airy, light look. Choose between a Satin Nickel or Brass finish.


Purchase Information:

Price: $394.20
Available from: YLighting

Pennant Belt Holster

I think it’s safe to say that most holsters are generally unfit for the discerning eye, especially when paired with a phone, as was popular when mobiles first became popular. Now, if you’re wearing a holster for tools, as in actual tools for a job or craft, it’s entirely forgivable, especially if it looks anything like this Pennant Belt Holster. It’s just strange enough to be interesting, and, of course, looks quite convenient for holding the tools you need immediately at hand.

Purchase Information:

Price: $60.00
Available from: Scarr

Bigshot Camera

Build a fully functional digital camera! While the Bigshot Camera would be enormously effective in any learning environment, you might also benefit from understanding how science makes capturing images possible. There’s three different lens settings, three fields of view, a flash, a lithium polymer (rechargable) battery, and a hand crank for back up power. Just follow the instructions and in no time you’ll be clicking away. If you do buy one for yourself, also consider buying one for someone else (kid or adult) that would enjoy assembling and using the camera, as $89 is a small price to pay for this sort of knowledge.

Purchase Information:

Price: $89.00
Available from: Bigshot

Wooden Rulers by HAY

Striped, random rulers are sure to cheer you up no matter what. Just look at those colors and lines! Whether you’re in the back-to-school mood or not, a few patterned rulers will surely come in handy, plus, a set of 3 will give your desk area a little flair (in a good way).

Purchase Information:

Price: $40.00
Available from: A+R Store

Friday Links

  • I could live in a houseboat if it looked like this inside: Houseboat by Mjölk Architekti
  • Less Is More: The Tiny House Movement
  • What is the blue light from our screens really doing to our eyes?
  • Just what you need: a terribly expensive firewood holder
  • Dyson’s Robot Vacuum Cleaner
  • How to Teach a Young Introvert
  • Fun: Hedge Planters on Kickstarter
  • Laser cut wood dividers for your vinyl, books, and media: Kate Koeppel Design
    Have an amazing/exciting/relaxing weekend.

    Para Hammock

    Does this remind you of a wood bead seat massager thingy? Or is it just me? In any case, it certainly looks about a hundred times better thanks to its handcrafted flat walnut tiles. The Para Hammock is made of over 700 pieces of walnut, all connected by paracord. The flexing wood tiles provide comfort and is finished for outdoor use, so consider it for your patio or backyard; it should last a lot longer than any rope hammock you might have been considering.

    Purchase Information:

    Price: $3,200.00
    Available from: 4th Period Woodshop

    Aqua Carafe with Cork Lid

    You’re not lazy, you’re just extremely efficient. Keep water (or your favorite beverage of choice) close at hand with a carafe. And, if you’re going to get a carafe, you might as well make sure it’s a little appealing, right? Mouth blown glass in green or blue creates a cool silhouette with a cork top to keep contents protected.

    Purchase Information:

    Price: $24.95
    Available from: Burke Decor

    Henrybuilt Drawer Accessory System

    These kitchen drawer organizers by Henrybuilt are perfect. Made of solid wood, each item holds and divides kitchen utensils and accessories in precise order, and, after installing them, the rest of your life will magically sort itself out. Maybe. But, before you get too attached to these drawer organizers, there’s some not-so-good news: they’re only available as part of a complete Henrybuilt system. That means it’s time to start saving for a new (perfect) kitchen.

    Purchase Information:

    Price: $1,500.00
    Available from: Henrybuilt

    Highflyer Swing

    You know what’s fun? An indoor swing. There’s something about this Highflyer Swing that looks more at home indoors than out, but, hey, if you want to put it in your front or back yard, go for it. And, if you’re seeing the lines of a vintage aeroplane/airplane, you’re spot on, as that was the inspiration. The title tipped you off, didn’t it?

    Purchase Information:

    Price: AUD220.00
    Available from: Anaesthetic

    Master Kit #5575

    If your toolbox is a mess, with missing hex bits and no Phillips Head to be found, you could probably use a complete tool overhaul. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you are either very lucky, very rich, or have your home falling apart. In any case, this Master Kit has pretty much everything you need should you need a basic tool set, all in a securely latching box.


    Purchase Information:

    Price: $95.00
    Available from: Chapman Manufacturing Company

    Soffio Macbook Sleeve Backpack

    There’s nothing wrong with a little scuffs here and there on a great leather bag, especially when that bag keeps your 15″ MacBook Pro pristine. This Soffio Macbook Sleeve Backpack is made of high quality untreated leather that protects your Macbook, with space for an iPad, a magazine, a moleskine or A4 documents. The front removable pocket perfectly fits a charger, or, more likely the case, just use it to carry all those other smallish things you need upon your personage. The straps may be changed around for use as a briefcase, shoulder bag, or backpack. Remove the straps and pocket altogether and it’s simply a sleeve.

    Purchase Information:

    Price: €210.00
    Available from: Soffio