There is no denying that the Nocs NS2 Air Monitors are stunning. Beautiful, elegant computer/small room active speakers with built in AirPlay tech, making it ridiculously easy to throw your music around the house… and with AirPlay’s multi-speaker set up being so easy, it’s been fun hooking up the speakers in every room - from laptop to kitchen to living room to bedroom to be in sync, so music follows us around the house and NOTlabs! But back to aesthetics, these are designed in Stockholm (assembled in China) and have hand-built soft touch rubber coated cabinets (feels SO good!), Kevlar reinforced woofers and silk dome tweeters. I’m smitten by the way the red pops - they also come in black, white, grey, orange, and yellow. The set up is relatively easy (but also easy to forget, lest you need to reset and do it again - but you can ping the website for that too) - you basically plug it in, press setup on the back, and connect to its personal wifi network, hitting the usual 192.168.1.1 to set it up to attach to your network. You can also use AirPlay Direct Mode, which allows you to play to the temp wifi network it will create, perfect for wifi-less scenarios (simply double click the setup button till it turns amber.) Ready to take a peek at the details and setup? See the full unboxing on the next page!
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Learning to make room for the NOTpuppy, Bucky, in our world, i keep browsing dog bowls and wondering why so many are so painfully gaudy (it’s not like a dog can read “dog” or will drink/eat from it because it has pictures of dogs on it, right?) And also, what’s so different about using human bowls for dog dishes? (Quickly figured out the shape/weight distribution/spillage/etc problems with many those!) So our biggest priorities were quickly, heavy enough not to be pushed all over and shaped well enough to be less spillable…
We recently shared Waggo’s Dipper Bowls on NOTCOT.org, and they offered to send some over for Bucky to try out. A nice simple splash of color, dishwasher safe, and FDA approved - these hand-dipped ceramic bowls are a nice, minimalist solution to simple dog bowls that fit well in any environment! They are also subtle and not so dog-bowl like that they could easily fit into your home as a cereal bowl, fruit bowl, etc as your pup outgrows it… They also sent over one of their Bubble Placemats that are made of 100% Silicone - upside: no slipping, downside: static grabs all the dog hair. Take a peek at their fun packaging and product details on the next page!
Adventures with Bucky, the NOTpuppy! Currently he’s a mere 22 weeks and a whopping 47 pounds… which means, no more baby teeth, and he’s starting to lose that puppy coat… everywhere. Not to mention his digging and constantly bringing who knows what from the yard inside… from dirt to grass to twigs and more… so as you can imagine, while we cleaned the house and lab before, we’re cleaning more than ever now!
Well, Dyson just sent over some of their Animal specific products (aka even more super sucking power) to help: specifically the DC41 Animal Complete and the Groom Tool. Currently, i’ve been combating the dirtiness with the cordless Dyson DC35 Digital Slim, which is still fantastic for quick clean ups… We’ve been huge Dyson fans for years now (long before NOTCOT even existed), for their beautiful, innovative designs, attention to detail, and ability to truly innovative with their machines both inside and out, but until Bucky, i haven’t had the chance to really put the suctioning power to the test with their Animal line. The DC41 Animal Complete is not just a DC41 Ball Vacuum, but it also comes with the new Tangle Free Turbine Tool, Soft Dusting Brush, Multi-Angle Brush, Stiff Bristle Brush, Crevice/Brush Tool, Stair Tool, a bag of Zorb Carpet Maintenance Powder, and a tool bag (that looks like a giant toiletry kit that unfolds to hang from the back of a door)… basically it has enough to tackle just about anything that you could need it to do… except brush your dog. For that, they included the Groom Tool, which functions much like your self cleaning brush, where you can push a button to remove the hair from the bristles, only this one has the super suction power of Dyson to vacuum it all in as you brush!
So here are some things i’ve learned. The suction power of the DC41 Animal is AMAZING. Bucky seems to think it is his foe - or a plaything - and either runs away or tries to play with it. I’ve always had problems with my long black hair getting twisted up on tube of the turbine heads - the Tangle Free Turbine Tool really works! (And you can attach it to the handhelds as well.) Re-vacuuming what i thought was a pretty clean floor, couch, dog bed - proved the sucking power of the DC41, and with the right attachment even helped us vacuum the impossible to reach thin spaces between the washer and dryer! There is something satisfying about the way the stand on the giant ball kicks up (just tilt the vacuum back and up it pops). While they say the Groom Tool doesn’t work with the handhelds, it DOES work technically, but since the power is only on when you hold the trigger, it’s a bit hard to handle pulling the trigger, squeezing the tool, and managing the dog all at once. The Groom Tool also works as your normal brush. Bucky isn’t quite used to the brushing + the vacuum noise so close/on his body… but treats help ease him into it.
Take a peek at the unboxings and details on the next page!
p.s. Here’s an outtake on instagram…
Rootcup - love this simple, elegant solution to growing plant cuttings! Designed by product development firm, good3studio of Michael Good in San Francisco. The root cups are molded from a flexible elastomer that’s highly UV resistant, nonporous, and water proof, and have such nice details! The flexible lid helps protect the roots from light, holds the cutting’s leaves above water, captures evaporating water, and has a slot to help easily remove cuttings when ready for planting… and it now comes in a BIGrootcup as well… or it nearly does, their kickstarter campaign just successfully completed for the big ones! See more details of both sizes on the next page!
Love the clean design and packaging of the D&A Guitar Stands and Wall Hangers! Their GigStands fold up sleekly to slip into a guys back pocket (they didn’t quite fit in mine), but when opened become a pop up guitar stand! There are two models, one for electrical, and a deeper one for acoustics. The way it opens and closes is brilliant! There are also two Guitar Hangers, one passive and one active. The the Grip Wall Hanger is the passive model which hangs elegantly. The active Headlock Wall Hanger is open when there is no guitar weight on it, but when you put the guitar down it auto-closes. There are thoughtful designs to all of the models, from great grip to keep your guitar pristine, as well as plate covers to cover the screws in the wall mounts. Take a peek at it all up close on the next page!
Oooooh - file this one on the “why haven’t we had more of these?” list! W+K Studio’s Goodness has a brilliant 2013 letterpressed calendar of COASTERS! With designs by Ben Guernsey, Chris Lael Larson, Curtis Pachunka, Dani Guralnick, Erik Blad, Jason Murray, Kristen Minarik, Mike Weihs, Nicole Blauw, Paul Levy, Peter Yue, Sarah Hollowood and Brad Simon. Printed by Chelsea Guidry… this limited run of 100 calendars contains 12 coasters each filled with art on one side and month info on the other, making it useful far beyond it’s month. I hope they make this one a new tradition - i never seem to have enough gorgeous letterpressed coasters around the house (and they age so nicely!) See more pictures on the next page of the art and details!
Just in over at DWR is the Vitra Toolbox by Arik Levy! Too cute - wandering over to Vitra, i found even cuter pictures (and more colors) of the super simple, functional, injection molded plastic tool box/desk organizer… I think we need some of these in NOTlabs to get all the hacked apart electronics and knives and tools and more organized (and easy to move from desk to desk!) - see more pics on the next page!
We’ve been tracking shipping container architecture for years now, and it has become more prevalent than ever… you can even get doll house versions now! These Model Container Homes at Module R are such detailed examples of designer modern living down to the art, tvs, plants, furniture and more! See more details on the next page!
You just have to try some things in person. I never thought the idea of a classic eames lounger molded in plastic would be as fun as it is in real life… There’s something about a certain type of molded plastic seating that will always remind me of little tikes. Rugged enough to take what a little kid can throw at it ~ easy enough to clean (aka pressure wash off) when left outdoors.
Here’s the Mal 1956 Lounger - “The 1956 is the first product of Mal, a young Eindhoven(NL) based label by Bob Copray and Niels Wildenberg. The Mal 1956 is a plastic (PE), rotational molded product, which is extremely suited for outdoor use. The chair has an ergonomic design. It is solid but it is very comfortable. It has been designed with a subtle drainage system to prevent stagnant water from collecting in the seat. The Mal 1956 can be cleaned using water along with common household cleaning products.” As described in the NYTimes - “Coyly called Mal 1956 — “mal” is the Dutch word for “mold,” and it also means “silly,” Mr. Wildenberg said — the chair and accompanying ottoman are made of polyethylene powder that has been heated and rotated in an aluminum mold.”
I must admit, i’m tempted. It could be far too fun to sit and spin around in it in the backyard! The pictures on the next page pretty much speak for themselves ~ see some fun press images and pics from Superbrands London!
It felt a bit silly when i experienced some de ja vu when i ran into the Ivanka Concrete Design booth at Tent London… drawn in by the colorful cement tiles with shapes and patterns that reminded me of a mix of french and morrocan tiles… the large, interactive, push button, converted TV of a display to play with patterns, and their adorable mini cement tile magnets they were giving out… All promoting their Flaster! “Flaster is a concrete floor and wall covering fostered from a traditional motive. Made from fiber reinforced high performance IVANKA concrete, these tiles are available both for exterior and interior usage. Flaster comes in three different thicknesses, therefore it can be applied for floors, walls or for heavy traffic.” Looking at the catalog ~ i realized i had just stumbled across their concrete tiles at Liberty of London the day before! Beautifully juxtaposed inlayed in the old wooden floors… take a peek at all the details on the next page!
The Danish designers of By Nord create stunning products “inspired by the diversity of the raw yet beautiful Nordic nature”. Their products are minimalist, yet capture the incredible detail of their subjects. By Nord’s new Autumn/Winter ‘12 line includes gorgeous new line of bedding, including king and queen sized duvet covers and a pretty line of bone china ornaments for Christmas including polar bears, reindeer and penguins!(yes, we know it’s only September, but they’re beautiful!). More photos of the new line (and a few old favorites) on the next page!
While exploring Tent London today ~ we were instantly smitten with Budapest designer, Molnár Réka’s Moringa line of fun nature inspired kitchen goods. First drawn in by the adorable Fox Tea Towel, which actually makes use of the way a tea towel naturally hangs… and then won over by the color changing mugs!!! The Mushrooms grow and the rain drops disappear when you add a hot drink! And the leaves and bushes disappear to reveal birds and bunnies and more!
Since we unfortunately couldn’t see these mugs in action while at the fair - we had to buy them and bring them home! And they are so amusingly magical in person, we made some videos (to go with the many other detail shots and booth shots!) for you to check out on the next page!
Just arriving in London pre-design week, the last thing i expected fresh off the plane was to end up on a boat in a London canal exploring IKEA color sorted floating displays with actors lounging and cooking in them… IKEA turning a section of Regent’s Canal in Islington into a floating night market to launch their colorful new collection. The floating night market was inspired by the vibrant night markets of Asia. Upon arrival, we found ourselves in a black and white pavilion making fantastic use of patterned textiles and put our names down for a boat ride to visit the floating showcases and enjoying cocktails while awaiting our ride.
Once our boat was ready, we were gondolier-ed along the canal in a black and white boat (all IKEA fabrics and pillows) to visit moored boats housing color-themed selections from the new IKEA ranges and even got a taste of a Swedish crayfish party on board! The IKEA floating market is open to the public tonight for one night only (Friday, September 14th)! We hear general admission has sold out, but you can find out more from the event facebook page. See our boat ride photos of the floating market on the next page!
We have been smitten by the works of duo Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla, aka Carnovsky, for years now (you can see them on NOTCOT.org) ~ from the wallpapers to the art pieces to the scarves and now STICKERS with Blik! [Side note: I feel so ridiculous that even when reading/writing about them for so long ~ it wasn’t until i ran into this picture of Sylvia and Francesco at the show opening in Portland that i realized i went to Domus Academy with them a few years back! What a small world!]
Anyhow, we’ve been lusting after their wallpapers filled with various plants and animals for some time, but have yet to figure out a wall to commit to it, so when the Blik stickers launched (and were teased at their 10th bday party!) we had to try it! Since the designs for the Rosone series of 4 designs were all symmetrical circular patterns, they reminded me of ceiling moldings around chandeliers or other pendant lighting… so, why not a fun artwork for the ceiling to go around the light? This also allows for the possibility to have color changing lightbulbs you can easily use to see the various RGB views of the artwork! Take a peek at unboxing of the new Blik x Carnovsky Rosone wall stickers, peeks through the 3 colored glasses they come with, and our application of it on the ceiling all on the next page!
As you know, we have a thing for Geometric Lighting… so naturally, i was intrigued when Artecnica’s 2012-2013 releases landed in my inbox and i spotted this new Shayk Light by Amanda Betz! This pendant light is made of a high tech synthetic paper shade… take a peek at more info and the interview with her on the next page!
NOTCOT SPECIAL from FLOS! Enter NOTCOT at checkout to receive 10% off of the D’E-Light Table Lamp by FLOS exclusively at Lumens.com. Limited to the first 10 NOTCOT readers.
Perhaps the ultimate iPhone/iPad charger accessory for your desk or bedside table… the Flos D’E-Light by Philippe Starck! In addition to its chrome finish, this minimalist, energy efficient LED desk light is now in an awesome matte black version exclusive to Lumens! Flos and Lumens were kind enough to send one over for us to check out, and it looks and feels even better in person! (Though somehow in my head, i imagined it larger than it is!) The matte finish feels like a soft touch rubber, and the simple touch sensor on the side of the light glows a subtle orange… there are three states it toggles through, 100% brightness, 50% brightness, and off. Within the box are even plug adapters for multiple countries (including US, Europe, UK). Take a peek on the next page at the full unboxing as well as a look at all of the details!
NOTlabs (the NOTCOT physical, experimental, play/make/hack/exploratory studio of sorts) has been quietly evolving faster and faster… recently you’ve seen the new Makerbot Replicator that just joined us… and i’m a bit overdue in sharing some of our other machines and projects with you… And loving skateboards (remember our Skateboard Swing?) first up ~ staring at the ugly, boring ceiling fan that hung above us led to the idea of of skateboards as fan blades! And sure enough a few days later, skateboards and a nice simple ceiling fan was acquired to test with! take a peek at our skateboard ceiling fan experiment on the next page.
It seemed like a good Sunday afternoon, home alone activity… i’ll install/upgrade a few outlets i impulse bought at Dwell On Design! Moans and groans and installing in spots other than i had planned… i’m wondering if these were just a novelty or truly adding a much needed convenience. So in theory, with SO many things charging via USB (and i love the USB charging ports in cars!) ~ having some added to outlets is a wonderful idea! And theoretically easy enough to switch! Right… and wrong. How old your home/wiring is will make a difference… i just learned which parts of my house have older outlets from probably 50+ years ago, and which parts have brand new ones… the electrical boxes are different sizes, and these new USB ones nearly fill newer ones… and don’t fit the older ones. Also, when they cut your countertops/backsplashes, if it doesn’t line up EXACTLY, these may not fit. (argh!)
On the upside ~ these U-Socket USB Power Outlets are supposed to reduce energy costs and minimize that vampire power issue when you leave things plugged in that don’t need to be sucking power. And it is like turning your 2 outlet into a 4… (or a 4 into a 6, but those don’t seem to be available yet!) So i’m still debating whether i need more… or whether a power strip does the trick in most spots… but i am totally charging my phone via USB outlet next to me as i type this! See more pics on the next page!
I’ve loved the Lladró Parrot Party collection since they first debuted in 2010 and i saw them in person at ICFF… well, their latest additions i just saw at Dwell On Design are adorable as well! The Parrot Vanity mirror is especially tempting! They have also added the Parrot Romance and Parrot Treasure. See them all on the next page!
Kohler always has such fun, playful booth designs when it comes to design fairs. This year at Dwell On Design, they made great use of a shipping container, big bright colors (a perfect fit with their new Jonathan Adler collaborations), and super fun, colorful bathtub love seats around charging stations! See pictures of the fun on the next page!
Darragh Casey’s series Shelving the Body. Darragh’s dad used to put up a shelf every time was bored and this inspired the furniture design student to explore the relationship between people, shelves and the objects they are designed to hold. Rather than creating generalist shelves that support all nature of goods, he began experimenting and creating shelves which rely on people to use their own bodies and weigh to support or counterbalance objects or require users to carefully configure their objects on the shelves. Some shelves require the user to take a certain position and in his shelving the body project, shelves are designed to support human bodies themselves! I love the ‘shelf portrait’s that result and the excellent participation of Darragh’s family across the generations! See more pictures on the next page!
I love art as objects… there’s something fun about paintings and photographs as transformed into large pillows you can hug and squeeze… the change in texture changes the way you relate to the pieces (like these i’ve long loved from click for art)… the latest find are these beautiful pillows from East Camp Home Pillows featuring the creature photography of Valerie Shaff. The two initial collections are Exotics (Tigers and Crocs and Peacocks and such) and Fable (Doves and Snakes and Hawks and such)… see the gorgeous pillows on the next page!
Little feels as good as a good hot, bubbly soak in a gorgeous tub with a magnificent view. The relaxing feeling as stress simply floats away… makes these basins heavenly… whether in porcelain or steel… indoors or out… woody or marble… freestanding or built in… hard to believe over the last 7 years of NOTCOT, hunting for dream tubs has been surprisingly difficult! We’ve rounded up 10 favorites… and a bonus IGLOO snowy hot tub set up i’m currently dreaming about… see it all on the next page!
Breathtaking. Year after year, Stockholm Design Week seems to get better and better ~ and there’s just something calmingly minimalist, playful, and beautiful about the new designs that emerge… the mix of black, whites, and woods with refreshing colors and clean lines makes me want to update my house and NOTlabs! So, while we weren’t able to make it there in person this year, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite designs from the event on the next page… take a peek at the lamps, chairs, tables and more on the next page!