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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tokoyo Flash Japan -- Clean, simple lines make a beautiful watch

I couldn't resist posting this beautiful watch by Tokyo Flash. Many of the other watches on this site are a little too busy for my taste, but this one (strangely called "Cranky") is just perfect.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cute Overload -- Cute handmade, indie goods at Shana Logic

Once Pixelgirl, now Shana Logic -- this online shop has a ton of cute indie items. Here are a few that struck my fancy:

{a} Limited edition bunny print from Ashley White-Jacobsen. I just love this little guy!

{b} Sparrow messenger bag

{c} Emotibud Earbud set. These flexible charms snap right onto your ipod earbuds.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

An Unhealthy Obsession with Dinnerware I can't Afford: Bodo Sperlein

I have an unhealthy obsession with dinnerware I can't afford. London-based Bodo Sperlein makes such beautiful and romantic dishware (and lighting), who can't help but covet these beauties.

{a.} White textured 5-piece setting
{b.} red berry dinnerware
{c.} sculptural flowers
{d.} black forest dinnerware
{e.} capsule de fleur light sculpture (drool)
{f.} Cylinder beaker, boa vase & candle beaker

Wheel-thrown Ceramic Vases from Emigre

I have been taking a ceramic class at Mother Earth Clay Arts in Sunnyvale for the past couple of months. It has really given me an appreciation for wheel thrown ceramic pieces. There is something nice about having something that was made by hand by another person. Quite a while ago, I discovered these beautiful ceramic vases from Emigre founder Zuzana Licko.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Aqua Creations: Organic Furniture and Lighting

I first discovered the work of Ayala Serfaty while doing research for Milton Glaser's class on restaurant design. I really like how inventive her pieces are. Ayala is the founder of Aqua Creations, along with her husband Albi. Together they create beautiful furniture, lighting and sculpture made of hand-dyed silk and other materials on a metal frame. The pieces, which have an other-wordly quality, are based on sea creatures and plants.

A) Satala Chair
B) Merkid Table Lamp
C) Morning Glory Floor Lamp
Check out more from Aqua Creations

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Contemporary Furniture Obsession: GamplusFratesi

I have an obsession for sneakers and stools. The sneaker habit I have almost curtailed (although I did recently purchase a new pair of the cutest Pumas ever). My love for pint-sized seating however is still rampant.

I have been lusting after the Luisa stool/side table (a.) from GamplusFratesi since I first saw pictures of it from the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City.

The inspiration for this beautiful piece apparently came from Enrico Fratesi's grandmother, Luisa, who wrapped all her furniture in plastic. The pieces are made from cut felt completely enclosed in clear acrylic.

As I was trolling through the GamplusFratesi website however, I also saw this incredible Lace Chair (b.) which recently went into production. The Luisa is available now at Design Within Reach.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Romp: Cool, Modern Baby Gifts

It might look like there is a theme going on here, but I swear there isn't -- I just keep finding all these really cool items for kids. Take, for example, the wallpaper menagerie from Romp -- each animal is hand cut from vintage wallpaper from the 60's and 70's. Also from Romp, this tiny and unique herb garden.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Brocade: The Return of Ornamental Furniture

Ornate Furniture

I love the idea of mixing modern furniture with more ornate pieces such as this tufted chaise from Brocade Home. Brocade, which is owned by Restoration Hardware, sports some beautifully romantic pieces ranging from chandeliers to furniture. This contemporary take on Rococo feels a little cold and unfriendly on its own, but when mixed with more modern pieces, it brings a much needed color to the antiseptic modern style.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Design for Babies

I spend an incredible amount of time researching baby gifts lately as it seems that all my friends are either pregnant or just had a baby. Here are a few designer baby gifts that are too good not to share.

Laurene Boym Night Light Baby Rugs
Designers Laurene and Constantine Boym known for their innovative product design created these colorful night light baby rugs. The rugs are made of 100% virgin wool and colored with vegetable dyes. Each rug has a built in floor lamp that lights up a baby's room with a soft glow. To order visit

Designer Baby Onesies
I stumbled upon a few cute designer baby onesies in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. Hayes Valley, which has seen a burgeoning growth in small designer boutiques is now home to four baby stores. The most notable are Lavish and sister store Fiddlesticks.

My favorites are the Red Cap Cards onesies which feature cute "Nightmare Before Christmas"- ish illustration and Jakc Designs (seen below).

Fluffy Designer Baby Booties
These baby booties have been a favorite gift of mine for two years running. They are soft, they come in a myriad of different colors and they are bigger than a newborn's head. Yo My Booties

Modern Seed Designer Baby Gear
Modern Seed has been a one-stop baby gift shop for me for a long time. I especially love these little chicken and egg mobiles.

Design Public Modern Baby Gear
For great designer baby gear also check out Design Public.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Green and Socially Responsible Design

It is a Brilliant Earth
I first heard about Brilliant Earth from a friend who went to business school with the founder. The company, located in San Francisco, exclusively sells Canadian Diamonds which are carefully tracked. Many diamond merchants, although they claim that their diamonds are conflict free, cannot actually be sure.

Conflict Diamonds, also known as Blood Diamonds are responsible for funding civil wars in Africa and for egregious human rights abuses that include inhumane working conditions, low pay, torture and even death. Brilliant Earth is a co-founder for the Diamonds for Africa Fund which was created to give back to communities harmed by the diamond industry. Brilliant Earth donates a portion of its proceeds directly to communities in Africa.

Brilliant Earth is also committed to sustainability practices by using only environmentally responsible gold and platinum. See Brilliant Earth website for more information.

Another option for conflict free and ecologically responsible diamonds is GreenKarat which sells recycled gold and synthetic diamonds. The synthetic diamonds not only look like mined diamonds but they are chemically the same as diamonds by nature.

Nau-- Socially and environmentally responsible outer wear
A percentage of every sale goes to support environmental or humanitarian efforts at home and
abroad. Nau strives to marry good, clean design with sustainability in every aspect of their business.

Tesla EV Roadster
Tesla Roadster is the first green car that is actually beautiful. The car runs on a 900lb lithium ion batter and gets about 200 miles per charge. The cost of the Tesla roadster is still prohibitive (around $100,000) but it gives us hope for the future. Perhaps we can finally see the day when evs are here to stay!

Organic invites
demonstrates that recycled, eco-friendly products can also be beautiful. All of Organic invites products are printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with 100% toxin-free soy and vegetable-based inks. Contact for samples

Fronch Fries, Fronch Dressing
French Rabbit Wines not only are they beautifully packaged, but they are also environmentally friendly. French rabbit wines are packaged in Tetra-Prisma containers. 100% recyclable, Tetra-Prismas reduce packaging by 90%.The French rabbit Tetra Pak container takes less energy to produce, transport and recycle. It takes 25 trucks to transport ordinary wine packaging, compared to just 1 truck for the same amount of tetra paks.

Organic Vodka?
Well, maybe Square One Vodka won't reduce a hang over, but it sure is pretty to look at. The label is printed on sustainably grown and renewable fiber sources and the bottle is produced in such a way to minimize the amount of chemicals required to produce traditional vodka packaging.The contents of the bottle are made from spring water and 100% certified organic rye.

Design Like You Give Damn!

I have been following the work of Cameron Sinclair since I worked as an organizer for the Art Center Design Conference when I was in grad school. Founded by Sinclair in 1999, Architecture for Humanity is a grassroots organization that seeks to use the power of design to improve lives. Sinclair and co-founder Kate Stohr chronicle their passion for benefiting humanity in the recent book "Design like you give a Damn".

Chez What?
A restaurant is probably not something you expect to see listed in a design blog, but Alice Waters' restaurant Chez Panisse deserves a mention. I ate there for the first time last Thursday (the restaurant is wildly popular -- it took us two months to get a 9 pm Thursday evening reservation) and it was truly an experience.

Waters, known for her activism for sustainable agriculture and support of locally-grown fresh ingredients has been credited with creating the genre of food known as California Cuisine. The restaurant serves a prix fixe menu that changes daily and each plate is a work of art beyond compare. The restaurant is pricey, but not pretentious in the least. The Art Nouveau-style decor makes it a beautiful and romantic spot for a special occasion.

Angela Adams Sustainable
I have always coveted Angela Adam's rugs -- their beautiful, yet simplistic forms serve to brighten any room. Angela recently added a new line to her collection aptly called "Sustainable" which features fabrics made of 100% post-industrial recycled polyester. The Sustainable collection features 11 different patterns.

Chair Couture -- Redressing the Fabulous

I love the idea of recycling old furniture and giving it a new look. Margret of Chair Couture does just that. She finds vintage French and Italian pieces and dresses them up to give them a whole new, bold look with stand out fabrics and paint. Vive la design!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cake Girls

Chicago-based Cake Girls takes baking to a whole new level -- who can resist a purse you can eat? The Cake Girls stunning designs range from the cutest Eiffel Tower you have ever seen to a monkey guarding a pile of bananas.

Launching a Design Blog

I have wanted to start a design blog for about two years now and I figured it is probably about time to get off my duff and just do it. If you have read my other blog Side of Sauce you probably know that I am obsessive packrat when it comes to my bookmarks (a number soaring upwards from 600 strong). I am constantly trolling the internet for new and cool design objects to covet and lust after which seems to me to be perfect fodder for a blog about all things design.