ABYU Lighting

Meet Jerry the pig.

Jerry used to be a detergent bottle but now he’s gained new life as a kid’s nightlight… or, perhaps, as a whimsical conversation piece owned by an adult who hasn’t forgotten how to be a kid.  Isn’t he great?

Steven Wine created Jerry and his menagerie of companions as a diversion from his regular work as lighting designer for ABYU (And Bob’s Your Uncle) and its partner company, BNO Design.

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Stella Bleu Designs

William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

 And 19th-century architect Louis Sullivan proclaimed that “form ever follows function,” an idea that vastly influenced the modernist movement in design.

One can find much to uphold both maxims in the work of Stella Bleu Designs, where the creations of Mississippi-born designer Katie Katzenmeyer are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, elegant and sturdy.  In a word, useful.

On view at her website (along with her Etsy shop, here) are shelves and garment racks made from industrial steel pipe, reclaimed wood, and other salvage materials gleaned from local, family-owned salvage yards and demolition sites.  Everything is made from scratch in house. Read the rest of this entry »

Arts and Crafts with OTRA

Teacher: “Alright children, it’s time for arts and crafts.”

Kids: “Yay!”

Remember that moment?  The anticipation of color, creativity, and mess in quest of art?

That feeling came alive the moment I spotted these snazzy puzzle lampshades from fledgling company OTRA.  As part of a burgeoning upcycling movement in Montreal, designers Julie Ferrero and Guillaume Darnajou put their creativity to work and founded OTRA (On The Road Again) in February of 2011.

The workshop came to life through their shared passion to work towards sustainable development.  It is Julie & Guillaume’s belief that creative design offers “a new path” towards solving the environmental problems our over-consumptive society.

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Bunaco Housewares

Part of sustainability is simply making use of what’s on hand: the ancient art of sourcing from nearby bounty.

The founders of Bunaco understood this well.  For over fifty years the company, based in the Aomori region of northern Japan, has made use of the beech trees plentiful to its area.  From a base product line of lacquered tableware, the designers at Bunaco have continually expanded their vision and created a legion of useful interior goods.

Their most recent brain-child is the Faggio loudspeaker, which debuted just last month at the 2012 Maison & Object Show. Read the rest of this entry »

Miss Wool Lamp

I must have this…


Think of it… a lampshade you wouldn’t look half bad in if you party just a little too much during the holidays!

The lovely Miss Wool knitted lamp, with that charmingly feminine bow, is from Italian design company Doimo Decor.

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Nailed It!

Equal parts ethereal and threatening, this prickly looking lamp is by Amsterdam based product designer company Ilias Ernst.  By using magnetic fields to attract and hold nails to the lamp, the configuration of pendant can be easily manipulated, resulting in a completely unique piece every time.

I’m just not quite sure I would want to stand under it, you know what I mean? Read the rest of this entry »

Tom Raffield

Occasionally I run across something that defies description and leaves me grappling with words as one grapples with wet soap in the tub.  Look at this chair:

It’s a piece of furniture.  It’s a work of art.  So lovely!

But do you describe it?  For that matter, how do you describe much of what Tom Raffield produces in his workshop in Cornwall, England?  The gentleman’s website modestly labels his product “steam bent lighting and furniture,” but there’s more to the story than that.

This is art.

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Sometimes a company’s product is difficult to define: I had this trouble while browsing Tim Leefeldt’s RailroadWare website.  Is it rustic?  Industrial?  Modern?  Nostalgic?  Well, take a look.

You decide.

There’s simplicity in these glass and steel designs, a clean look, one that’s versatile enough to be used in any number of decoration schemes.  I think they would complement just about any setting.

As much as possible, the materials are reclaimed objects.  Old glass & ceramic insulators, traffic light lenses, and hardened steel parts – the clips, spikes, and random hardware so abundant along unused rail lines – all hand-gathered by the artist and repurposed into lighting, door & cabinet hardware, and home furnishings. Read the rest of this entry »

I Need a Coffee…

Last night we took a “zombie lawyer”(aka my son) trick or treating.  This morning, he woke up with either a cold, or a really bad Halloween hangover.  So home he stayed, and here I sit, trying – not succeeding – to get things done.  I need a(nother) coffee.

I might also need this lamp!  Created out of 300 of those classic “It’s our pleasure to serve you” coffee cups (though I fear they were not used), by designer Christian DuCharme, this fun lamp hangs at the Lafayette Espresso Bar + Market in New York. Read the rest of this entry »

Etsy Find(s) of the Week – Globetrotting Edition

I just returned from a brief (but fun) business trip to San Francisco, and once again I remember why I love to travel.  Seeing new places, making new friends, and getting out of my daily routine are so invigorating to me.  Now all I can think about are the places I want to go next!

Since I have such a severe case of wanderlust, I thought it appropriate to make this week’s “Etsy Find” a globe and map themed one.  Enjoy!

Map covered wooden chair by New Yorganize.

Collier’s 1935 Map Drawer Pulls by Sherry Truitt

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