While i’m not a huge camper or backpacker ~ i’ve always had a fascination for the wonderfully efficient products that come out of their needs! They pack down to nothing ~ make use of every pound and every inch… multipurpose mixes that normall wouldn’t happen ~ somehow work! Tables ~ Cookware ~ Lighting ~ you name it ~ its some of the most functional and uniquely designed stuff out there! And i was just fascinated with the latest from Snow Peak! They’ve even made the jump that all the impressively modular camp kitchen ware and let it work at HOME in a gorgeous wooden outdoor table set! And their latest for this year ~ the Tulip lamp works in every which way ~ stand alone, hanging in your tent, bedside, you can get creative with it. I also adore the little round bamboo tables that work as well at camp as they do for kids or as a coffee table, and it folds up to make space into a nylon carrying bag. And as for unexpected mixes ~ how about a spatula that can turn into a fork or…. well check it all out on the next page! I love how these new products allow you to seamlessly transition your camping/adventuring gear into usable goods at home ~ or vice versa!
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On fun unboxings ~ this beautiful gift box came from Perrier Jouet containing their new 200th Anniversary Limited Edition champagne glasses designed by Daniel Arsham. They are a beautiful addition to his designs for their Bicentenary, and match his signature style ~ take a peek at all of the lovely details on the next page!
What to do with all of those old toys? Well over at Freshome, just found out that you can commission Evil Robot Designs to merge your toys into a bespoke sculptural lamp… then finish it off in a single color high gloss finish… fun concept, playful execution… take a look at some closeup examples on the next page.
On fun new thermos/water bottle options, just came across this Cocoon Flask from Mar Mar Co., which debuted at London Design Week. Love that it’s packaging is in an inflatable “air box” case to protect it. The flask is designed by Torsten Neeland, and apparently it can keep liquids hot or cold for 3 hours. It comes in both matte and gloss finishes and holds 500mL. Something about the design reminds me of little gas cartridges… and i’m curious what the materials are like… and what the top lip is like if it all unscrews? Does that mean you can use the bottle with just the clear part? Anyhow, while i go look in to it all more ~ take a peek at close ups on the next page!
Embargoed until a few hours ago ~ it’s been driving me crazy to sit on these pictures from my few hours in Reims, France for lunch a few weeks ago! Veuve Clicquot’s Hotel du Marc, which is barely a hotel at all ~ more of a magical guest mansion of sorts in Reims that Veuve Cliquot uses for special occasions ~ has recently finished its restoration/remodel which now includes some lovely themed guest rooms filled with modern art as well as hints of its past! From the beautiful staircase and the Chanel like faceted mirrors, to the Veuve-yellow Smeg and wall of champagne… the ornate chandeliered dining rooms to the modern portraits lining the hallway to the guest rooms… there is so much to take in, but here’s a first peek into their world!
p.s. you can also catch me in a few reflections rocking the super yellow veuve apron…
On fun contraptions that might make kitchen life a tiny bit simpler, i’m liking these Orange Juice Makers and Flash Chill Lemonade Makers from Takeya. Simple swappable screw top lids allow you to juice right into the container before you serve or pop it into the fridge! See more pics of them in action on the next page.
Our London-based editor Justine Aw catches up with the latest action from the London Design Festival! For this latest in unexpected combinations, we love the idea of an object that can be used to hold just about anything your mind can dream up ~ while functioning like a giant clothespin! Another discovery from this year’s 100% Design, Been Kim’s DrinKlip. Sometimes you just can’t find a cupholder when you need one. How convenient would it be if you could add your own to any surface? That’s exactly what DrinKlip sets out to do. The piece clips onto desks, shelves, or even the arm of your chair using a classic clothespin design and gives you a cup that can carry up to 1kg. These clips come in a range of fun colors and can hold all sorts of things (love the idea of using them for plants!). Each sale also supports efforts to develop wells and water filtration for areas in need. More photos on the next page!
When i first saw the post titled “romantic star projector” over at Design Crush, i thought it sounded ridiculous. Then i couldn’t seem to stop staring at the pics. And there is something overwhelmingly awesome about the abundance of lights all around the room… and i can’t help wondering what it would look like if i turned off all the lights in my office, dimmed the monitors… and turned one on! You build it yourself ~ but can purchase the set up ~ and can even arrange it to mimic the night sky outside ~ or pick another spot on the globe… or another time. Take a peek at the pics and the set up on the next page.
Nothing screams fall quite like watching the leaves change… then drop. Then get mounded up, composted, crushed, collected, and jumped into! (You have to see the monster leaf pile vid on the next page!) So we’ve rounded up some of the awesome and fun contraptions and more we’ve found on the next page!
Beautifully refreshing, I was blown away by the setting of this wonderful showcase of Swedish Design. Hemma, which means ‘home’ in Swedish, is one of two exhibitions of Swedish Design Goes to London and is appropriately hosted in the Swedish Ambassador’s Residence, a beautiful 18th century house.
The beauty and elegance of the house works incredibly well with the clean, contemporary designs showcased in Hemma and the venue is a stunning and welcome addition to this year’s design festival. For example, love the contrast between the chandeliers and the vibrant purples of Sara Reinholtz’s Pixtel Shapes. More photos of this stunning exhibition on the next page.
Fresh in from Anna of Sub-Studio who caught up with James Dyson’s latest inventions at Skylight West in New York.
The event was full of Dyson goodies, including the brand new Dyson Hot fan heater and the recently released DC41 Animal vacuum and DC34 handheld vacuum. The star of the show was definitely the the Dyson Hot - a “fan heater that warms the whole room faster than any other”. Although, since you can set the temperature anywhere between 32 and 99 degrees, it could work as a cooler too.
The Dyson Hot sucks air in from around the room and pushes it out at 6x the rate of intake, creating a jet of hot air. This causes the air in the room to circulate efficiently, allowing the Hot to take a much more accurate temperature reading of the room than your standard thermometer. As a result, it can heat the entire room to the desired temperature before it shuts off.
The new model is packed with fun design features too. Unlike traditional heaters, the heating coils are hidden in the oval frame, leaving no visible heating elements. Even the frame doesn’t get hot to the touch, even when on a high heat. If the unit is tipped over, it shuts off for safety. And the head is adjustable so that you can angle the heater up or down. The unit comes with a magnetized remote that is shaped to sit on the top of heater.
Check out more photos of the heater and vacuums on the next page, including some dissected Dyson machines (it’s so fun to look inside!), and even some Dyson marketing ingenuity in the bathroom!
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There’s something fun about pieces that take on such a mesmerizing yet sculptural form… like the The Limited Edition Melting Chair by Philipp Aduatz. It has a beautifully mirrored surface that captures a transitional state somewhere between solid and liquid. To capture this liquifying (or solidifying) effect, Aduatz studied the solidification of fluids as well as the melting of solids using 3D animation software. The chair is made from a fiber glass reinforced polymer that takes on a mirrored appearance due to a special silver coating and scratch resistant polyurethane lacquer. Feels very… terminator, doesn’t it? Take a peek at more pics on the next page!
There are so many approaches one could take to a mashup ~ for whatever reason mine tends to be start with an evil mwuahahaha kind of mad scientist kind of laugh in my head, followed by trying to figure out what fun items around me might fit together. In this case, 2 of the new Plumen bulbs arrived - “the world’s first designer light bulbs” (So gorgeous! But simply hanging them from a regular light to show off their fun shape didn’t seem like enough!) ~ and i’d been playing with lightbulb fixture connectors/splitter/plugs (and wondering how big of a tree of them i could make with lots of bulbs at the ends!) ~ and there was the Blue Lounge Mini Dock that allows your iphone/ipad/ipod to stay off the ground when charging… and when you put them all together ~ along with a simple ikea lamp base… i ended up with this fun iPhone Charging Lamp! Where the bulbs are as much a part of the lamp as the rest! Something almost antler like about the bulbs viewed this way ~ and rather mesmerizing as it lights up a room ~ perfect little stand to charge the iPhone, light the room, and control my music from it as the phone streams to speakers over airplay… so iphone charging DJ lamp? Take a peek at more of the silliness on the next page!
Composting offers a great way to turn your kitchen waste into something useful. Depending on your setup it can even be easier than doing the dishes. There are a number of strategies for working it into your life even for those without a lot of time or space. Today we decided to round up some of the interesting composting techniques and options we have today ~ from giant rollers, to worms doing the job for you, to magical Bokashi cultures, and the gorgeous little incognito kitchen counter contraptions you can use… see it all on the next page!
Sneak peek in to Alessi’s Fall/Winter 2011 product line ~ two grabbed my attention in particular. Eero Aarnio’s Diva watering can, is both elegantly simple and sassy all at once ~ in black, green, and a creamy white. And the Anna Gong is a nod at Mendini’s famous “Anna G” corkscrew and legendary folding cake stand “art.898”. Take a peek at closeups and more details on the next page.
Having just touched back down in LA after a week of NY time ~ i must say, i do love california! And there is something strangely awesome about the shape of our state for a desk of coffee table apparently! Just discovered this new line of California Desks and Tables by J. Rusten Furniture Studio in my inbox. Aren’t they lovely? You have to see more of the details on the next page… and i’m tempted by the coffee table! I imagine leaving a pocket knife on the table with an invitation to all my california friends and companies popping by to etch their names where they live… though the clusters around the big cities might be a bit dense, there must be a fun way to turn this wooden map of a table more interactive! Or imagine if you had other states as well that would interlock nicely to turn from desk to US conference table? Anyhow ~ detail peeks on the next page… will keep dreaming up more ideas.
Popped by Dwell on Design in LA today ~ highlight? CHICKENS! Particularly mod wooden chicken coops by 100xBTR and Chicken Co-op. Fun, playful, and perfect for your modern rooftops and yards ~ i love the seeing designs that enable more and more folks to expand their sustainable hyper-local/home grown possibilities… (without sacrificing their innovative design loving tendencies). Read to see the chickens and more of the fun little details (and full views) of these pre-fab chicken estates? To the next page!
Le Creuset Two-in-One Pan ~ lusting after these in almost every color… while they have always been gorgeous, the multipurpose nature of the Two-In-One set has won me over. See more pics on the next page!
I’ve always been terrible at sitting normally in chairs ~ i end up cross legged, legs hanging off the sides sideways, sitting backwards… and sure, i’ve probably flipped a few chairs in my time. Haven’t we all? Well… given that, when presented the opportunity to try the Knoll Generation ~ that claimed to support ANY way of sitting with its tagline “The first chair that lets you sit how you want.” Challenge, accepted! They are even collecting up pics of HOW people are sitting in them at MyGeneration! So in true NOTCOT fashion ~ here’s a big unboxing on the next page ~ and a peek at my favorite details… from the mesh, to the wheels, to the bendable back that screams office-slingshot…
So many choices! And only two hands… not that we are often using them all at once, but it really is SO easy to have special glasses for just about everything… i have cabinets full of glasses in the kitchen, yet somehow always manage to acquire more! Two of our favorite categories that are pretty versatile (yet still have SO many gorgeously, unique options) are definitely for Beers and Scotches. So if you’re ready for the roundup of fun ones (and a few favorites that are in my cabinet at home even!) head over to the next page!
Just in from the UK ~ Justine just checked out Clerkenwell Design Week!
I never knew i could do strawberries upside down! Justine’s pics of this display have me inspired to try it… they have some impressive yield even! And get so lovely and bushy looking! Love this display of Boskke Sky Planters in the House of Detention, an installation from Theo, the re-branded retail/online side of Thorsten van Elten at Clerkenwell Design Week. Take a peek at close ups… and views UP into the strawberries on the next page!
Buying and owning is really only half the battle… responsibility… whatever you want to call it when you are talking about all the clothes and other accouterments we adorn ourselves with. For this post, Leo and Marcia delved into the world of laundering and objects that help us care for the clothes we love that are worth showing off like a gorgeous piece of furniture. From laundry baskets to ironing boards that look like works of art ~ to unusually dressing/hanging stations and convertible furniture! Take a peek at it all on the next page!
There’s no denying that Kindle Living has some of the nicest heat lamps around. In fact, its surprising that there aren’t more designs that make better use of people’s natural tendencies to cluster under heat lamps… love that these are beautiful designs (though a bit alice in wonderland with the HUGE scaled traditional looking lamp look), more functional than purely heating - with the ability to provide lighting, cocktail tables, and even customized shades and more. But what’s most fascinating that i just discovered, is HOW they are actually assembled. When researching heat lamps for my friend’s patio, we started reading up on all the details, and discovered the assembly guide filled with pics! Surprisingly easy, i’m tempted now… even though it doesn’t get THAT chilly here! Take a peek on the next page!
I’ve never grown mushrooms before, but having been hearing about mushroom kits for some time now ~ though often they look like they are growing out of a less than appealing pile of goo in a bag! The Back To The Roots Mushroom Kit just arrived, and i love their box design! So simple and pretty and ready to sit on your kitchen window sill! Back To The Roots is the brainchild of two UC Berkeley students, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora back in 2009 during their final semester ~ they went from investment banking to full time urban mushroom farmers! Most unique about their kits: their oyster mushrooms grow in 100% recycled coffee grounds! So, while i have no mushrooms yet, having just popped the box open today ~ consider this an unboxing look at the details on how it all starts!
Gorgeous! And so simple, minimal… just found this Schwenkgrill Rohstahl (Raw steel pivot grill) and Feuerschale Rohstahl (Crude steel fire bowl) over at the awesome German, Manufactum! While the fire bowl is beautifully tempting on its own already ~ when you add the grill pendulum/pulley set up above it ~ with controllable height, much like work out equipment… it becomes EVEN more interesting and functional! Take a peek at closeups on the next page!