September 30, 2008
Feel Good Designs
In case you didn't know, September is National Baby Safety Month (I would think Baby Safety would be a year-round cause...).
Child-safety can be a slippery scope in terms of toys and play equipment, especially with the occurrences of lead paint and toxic materials popping up. Then there is the issue of sharp corners and shoddy craftsmanship. With these very legitimate concerns, many parents and educators of young children are hard-pressed to find safe toys.
Feel Good Designs have created more than 250 individual pieces for their PLAY+SOFT line. Each made from their patented ecosoftx® fabric, an eco-friendly materials free from PVC and rubber latex, the pieces are soft, easy to disinfect, and fireproof.
Pictured: Weave Sphere, Smell Tunnel, Puddle
Readers Weigh In on Modern Lighting
Help! I've been casually looking for a chandelier to dress up my dark and dreary dining room.
It's open to the living room and its gigantic crystal thing I never would have bought but which has been here since the house was wired for electricity, and isn't leaving now.
So on the left, the living room. On the right, sad little dining room that needs some love (a rug, new chair covers, window coverings, color...). The rooms are next to each other with pocket doors separating them, so each picture was taken while I was standing in the other room. Does this make sense?
OK. Well I think I found the pendant that wont set up a visual argument with old Bessie there. It's the Deco pendent with linen shade by Lights Up! This thing is fairly easy to find around the web for about $240. (Check Design Public for a wider collection from the line.)
Here it is:
I think it's a good way to recognize the past but bring it into the present. The shapes work together and it's so much more minimal. Now you've got to picture it with a little more life happening in the dining room too.
September 29, 2008
Bailing out on new home decor?
Fall is here and I'm ecstatic. I love Fall. And I really love decorating for Fall. A funky wreath to adorn my front door. A new modern door mat. A few potted mums in various hues. Fresh top soil to make my new plants pop. Some funky throw pillows in rich reds and oranges. And of course, a pumpkin scented candle for each room.
I love to decorate for the seasons. Fresh colors. New textures and patterns. However, it can be costly to redecorate every 3 months. The price has gone up on just about everything! Not to mention the gas I blew through searching nurseries for mums in the "perfect" shade.
With talk of the Bailout Bill on every channel, and our nation's precarious financial situation seeping into all aspects of life, purchasing home decor products may not be on the top of your to-do list.
Sarah Palin's design style
It has been reported that Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin spent $50,000 to redecorate her Alaskan Governor's office. However, I have been hard-pressed to find any images of the redesigned space (with the exception of the one below).
Wave range hood
Every kitchen needs a focal point, and the Wave hood from Elica will certainly light up any space.
September 26, 2008
Blu Dot's New Modern Sofas
Minneapolis based design firm Blu Dot added three very different sofas this year to their already expansive and diverse line. One Night Stand is a their first ever sleeper sofa, and it is stylish yet practical. Swept is finely tailored, lean yet comfortable, with subtle stitching to emphasize its angled silhouette. Paramount is an understated yet versatile sofa adds a traditional touch to Blu Dot's normally modern aesthetic.
September 25, 2008
Modern Approach to Ancient Jewish Traditions
Without affecting meanings or symbolism, artist around the world have modernized ancient Jewish holidays in an easy, stylish way, and a market has risen around it.
While some Jewish families break out grandma's dishes during Rosh Hashanah or Passover, others will be reaching for more modern styles.
For Rosh Hashanah we like the Pomegranate and Apple Honey Pots, and the beautiful Anat Mayer Filigree Rosh Hashanah Set. All are available through ModernTribe for $45, $25, and $125 respectively.
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September 24, 2008
Nail It, Once
Creating multiple nail holes just to hang a picture may become a thing of the past thanks to a new contraption that allows users to ‘nail it’ the first time.
“The hardest part about hanging a picture is trying to figure out where to put the nail,” says Jeff Lombardo, who invented the WallMarker.
The WallMarker is a piece of chalk shaped like an arrow that has an adhesive side. It’s designed to stick on the back of the picture at the center, to allow the picture to be positioned and eyeballed. When the position is right, the picture can be pushed against the wall to create a chalk mark, which is the spot where the nail goes. And the job’s done.
“If you make a mistake the chalk will
easily wipe off the wall and save you from putting holes in the wall,”
says Lombardo. Which is a lot better than a hole.
And because the WallMarker can be used multiple times, the same device can be used again.
Lombardo says he came up with the idea after doing some work for family.
“My grandmother wanted me to hang a bunch of pictures for her in a straight line across the wall and I had to measure all the pictures to get them lined up perfectly,” says Lombardo. “I thought to myself that there had to be a better way.”
WallMarker retails fro $2.99.
Modern ceiling fan
I loathe ceiling fans. When we moved into our new house, my first mission was to dismantle all of the ceiling fans. They offend my eyes. They flat out bug me. But perhaps I just hadn't seen one done correctly...
The Artemis Ceiling Fan by Mark Gajewski.
September 23, 2008
Balans 'Kneeling Chair' Is Back!
That wonderfully, ergonomically-designed chair by Norwegian designer Peter Opscik is back in the USA. The Balans, designed in 1976 and manufactured by Stokke, hasn't been consistently available in North America for some time -- for a whole host of reasons. Which was really the pity. The design automatically pitches you forward to aligning the spine, which is a God-send for those of us tethered to our desks for long periods of time. I currently own two and wouldn't give them up for anything. The Stokke family isn't immune to squabbles and the Balans and its Variable siblings are now under the brand Varier after a split.
I spoke with Ed Miano, CEO of Varier-USA, who tells me that the sleek frames will be available in beech, stained in natural, cherry, black and mocha, or custom painted. Additionally, the pads will come in 5 different fabrics -- and more than 250 colors. The retail price is $495 -- but I hear rumors the company is sharpening its pencils to make sure their re-entry into the market is a success. Stay tuned.