April 23, 2014

The Motivo Tour – a new walking aid/mobility product

I'm proud to say that my friend/one of my favorite people ever, Wiz, is involved in marketing this new user-centered product – The Motivo Tour – "an entirely new type of walking aid, designed to provide greater independence, ergonomics and style."

It was designed by two Wisconsin product designers, Jeremy Knopow and Jennifer Harris – and idea and effort prompted by their personal experience with loved ones who required mobility products. They wanted to address the ergonomic and practical challenges of today's archaic walkers to create a safer, more comfortable, more usable product without sacrificing the portability of today's lightweight walkers. They quit their jobs and spent three years and hundreds of hours researching and testing their design. The result is a lightweight product that allows users to walk more upright (not crouched over), more easily and safely reach doorknobs and objects on counters and shelves (without stretching over the device) and maneuver in tight spaces. They even allow for customization of the product exterior for a more personal, stylish walking aid  -- not something you find with today's aluminum frame/tennis ball walkers.

To get the project moving as quickly as possible, they're crowdsourcing initial production costs and hope to launch in the fall.

I'm happy to back this one and spread the word. If you know someone who needs walking support, you might want to check this out and consider backing it as well.

The Motivo Tour | Indiegogo

April 14, 2014

Shiny shiny surface mount light fixture.

I am beyond in love with this little guy over at Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. Wishlisting this one.

Be sure to note: the complete set (fixture, shad and bulb) is $165, and you'll probably want to buy some spare bulbs to have on hand. Aesthetically, putting a CFL bulb in there isn't really gonna fly.

Northwestern 2.25" Surface Mount Light Fixture | Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

Dot & Bo stacking tables.

These stacking tables hit my sweet spot of adorable and functional. And they're on sale for $200. Love. 

3-Pc. Stacking Tables - Dot & Bo

April 10, 2014

A few eyecatchers on Fab.com today.

I'm nose deep in furniture and lighting research lately while I'm renovating my baby condo/hotel room, so something has to be really unusual to even register with me right now. These two pieces definitely did. Lovely.

ICARUS LIGHT by Tord Boontje for Artecnica – $112

FORTUNE COOKIE STOOL by Po Shun Leong for OSIDEA – $495

April Furniture &Lighting Picks on Fab - Fab is Everyday Design.


April 07, 2014

Lightbulb Moment Edison Bulb Lamp.

SO cute.

Bring the speakeasy style into your home with the Lightbulb Moment Lamp.
Made from an upcycled vintage Kodak Brownie Six-16 box camera and
illuminated with a 40W Edison bulb with hairpin filament, the lamp ups
the cool factor of any interior space it lights up. Accepts all standard
bulbs as replacement.

Lightbulb Moment Edison Bulb Lamp - Dot & Bo

April 06, 2014

Neil Stevens Print Shop

If you like cycling, travel or music, you might want to stop by Neil Stevens' shop. Gorgeous retro-modern prints to be had.

Cassette Print 01
Iconic Jersey - Millar
Flight Tag Prints - NYC
Neil Stevens Print Shop

April 04, 2014

Nelson Mid-Century Modern Clocks at MYHABIT

If you haven't checked out MYHABIT yet, you might want to. They have some amazing deals. I got this Nelson clock for $55 today - with free shipping. (Sorry, I got the last one, but there are other models.

They have clothing and accessories as well, but pffft. You can get that anywhere. Cheap designer home decor is where it's at for this lady. (Yes, I have a serious house-y stuff addiction.)

MYHABIT is a private fashion sale site offering up to 60% off hand-picked selections from designer and boutique brands. Founded by Amazon.com, MYHABIT sets a new standard in convenience, offering free, instant membership; fast, free shipping on U.S. orders as well as fast $25 international shipping to 50+ countries. The site also offers shoppers a complete fashion experience including 360-video shot on models, lavish photography and editorial segments.

MYHABIT – Designer brands by Amazon.

Why do you hate your job?

What's not to love?


Forbes: What To Do If You Find A Lost Drone

What a weird new world we live in.

Illustration: +ISM via Wired.com
Gray Brooks had a drone crash land in his backyard in Washington, D.C. last year. He and his girlfriend were a bit freaked out by it but acted rationally. They held a piece of paper with their number on it in front of the drone’s cam… and then covered the drone with a pot so that it 1) wouldn’t fly away, or 2) keep spying on them.
Forbes: What To Do If You Find A Lost Drone

Canopy – amazon.com goods curated by and for designy types.

I love Amazon. I really do. But unless you know what you're looking for, it's overwhelming or a major time suck/rabbit hole.

Canopy is a place for designy types to recommend designy finds on Amazon. Count me in.


Shop - Canopy
(via Netted)

April 03, 2014

Uncomfortable design.

This seems like a good followup to my last post: The Uncomfortable Project by kkdesign. It made me laugh, especially the spoon.

Read more about the project and view more uncomfortable designs here:
kkstudio : Katerina Kamprani | portfolio

(via webdesignerdepot.com)

Clever design vs good design.

Scrolling through my Facebook feed last night, I saw this post – 30 Relatively Simple Things That Will Make Your Home Extremely Awesome. And I really don't want to be a troll, but, as a user experience professional, I couldn't help thinking about how these "improvements" would work in a real home environment.

1. Add outlets to drawers to keep clutter off of the table top.
Umm – and the cords go where? And how often would you run into the drawer while something is plugged in?

11. Buy a toilet seat where everyone can have their own tab.
I have to assume this is a joke. Instead of cleaning one toilet seat, you can clean four! Yaaaay!

16. Install your outlets underneath your cabinets so you don’t ruin your backsplash.
Again – a cord hanging in midair is better? Wouldn't a better wall solution be more usable?

20. Instead of bunk beds, install classy murphy beds for your kids.
For a tiny space where kids need to play and sleep, this might make sense. Or if you have one child and want a nice guest bed, a murphy bed could be a great addition. But in a normal room, how often would these actually be folded up? And kid's spaces are very important to them – what message does this send about their space in your life?

Okay. To be fair, there are some viable design solutions in the post as well.

A sun tunnel for dark rooms? So cool. Stainless steel contact paper for appliances? I had no idea this even existed.

I can't help thinking, though, that a lot of these solutions are for very Type A people who can't stand clutter and probably don't need anyone to tell them to put away what they don't want to see.

A good design – vs a clever design – takes into account the context and circumstances in which it will be used. If you want to design your home to meet your needs, be honest about what you need and what design can do to make your life easier or address the things that drive you crazy. If you hate outlets and cords, find a way to cover them or hide them in a wall. If you hate clutter in your child's room, find better storage solutions so you can quickly toss their toys in a bin or a closet. Or it's time to simply accept that you have a child. Kids are messy.

And, finally – if you are so worried about your family's germs getting on your bum – well, chances are your problem is bigger than your toilet seat.


Amazing Oasis: Here Are 30 Relatively Simple Things That Will Make Your Home Extremely Awesome

April 02, 2014

Apartment Therapy – Moving Downstairs: Thinking About Design as We Get Older

This is the first time I've ever seen one of my favorite design blogs address the issue of living space design for older adults. Because my mom is in her 80s, this really struck home. It's an absolutely wonderful conversation starter, and something I'll be munching on for awhile.

Photo credit/props to the absolutely lovely Swiss organization, Senior Design Factory, that teams up younger and older people on creative projects
From the post by Maxwell Ryan, the Founder of Apartment Therapy:
We, as a family, have just started to think about this and talk about it, which is difficult but nice. In a few short conversations with my mother and brother this weekend, beyond the tip toeing and fear of being stuck like this forever, there were a few bright spots. I was surprised and delighted when [my mother] greeted the thought of moving out of her house (with the stairs) with a little excitement. She had a vision of a new space that would contain her art studio, be more comfortable and closer to us. Or there was undertaking a long talked about, but never done renovation which could reconfigure everything and create a far better insulated home, cutting down on the big heating bills in winter.
Suddenly we were talking about options.
Apartment Therapy – Moving Downstairs: Thinking About Design as We Get Older 

April 01, 2014

Freezing and boiling simultaneously.

A pressure drop in this flask causes the liquid contained to hit a triple point where it exists as a solid, liquid and gas at the same time.

What Happens When A Liquid Freezes And Boils Simultaneously - Digg

March 31, 2014

Shawn Huckins Paint Chip paintings

I confess, I was hoping these were on actual paint chips, but I like the full size paintings as well.

Shawn Huckins | Art Soul

March 29, 2014

It's just temporary.

My previous blog template wore out its welcome quite awhile ago, so I've dropped in a new one until I can actually do a proper redesign. In the meantime, enjoy some blue skies. Blue skies are good.

My post-a-day challenge with Tasty Mayhem.

Like me, food blogger and Facebook pal, Jennifer, is feeling neglected-blog guilt, so she put out a challenge -- "Anyone want to join me in a posting challenge? Once a day?" A little healthy competition might provide some much-needed incentive for both of us, so I took her up on it. It's on, Jennifer. At least one post a day.

To see if we keep each other honest, hop on over to her lovely food blog:

Tasty Mayhem
Tasty Mayhem | Eating since 1967…

Draw a floorplan with your phone.

This may come in handy while I'm renovating my condo. What a brave new world we live in with our crazy space-age, handheld phone computers.

It's not a bad idea to measure a room before you go out and buy a bunch
of new furniture. And if you've got an iPhone, that becomes less of an
ordeal because you can trade your tape measure for this slick app called
RoomScan. It automatically generates floorplans by simply tapping your
phone on every wall.

Gizmodo: Just Tap Your Phone On Every Wall and This App Will Draw a Floorplan (via Lifehacker)

Sriracha Sauce Bottle by HermanMarie.

The folk art and chicken lover in me is definitely feeling this Sriracha bottle standup painting. Ahh-dorable.

Sriracha Sauce Bottle by HermanMarie on Etsy
p.s. I'm not sure why everything I like lately is red. I think this long, grey Wisconsin winter has taken its toll. I NEED MORE COLOR. 

March 24, 2014

SALE: Tivoli Frost White Collection Model One Radio

I now own two Tivoli tabletop radios and absolutely love them. I wish I needed another because I'd happily buy this gorgeous red and white one for $119. It's a good deal.

Tivoli Audio - Frost White Collection Model One Radio

March 20, 2014

Barbie Medieval Armor by Jim Rodda.

I think I've already grumbled about my miserable experience of trying to buy Barbies and Barbie accessories that portray Barbie in a positive, strong, smart, realistically career-oriented way -- so I won't grouse about that again. I'll just give this Kickstarter campaign some love.

I can't pony up the $200+ dollars to actually get the final product, but I'm throwing some money at the campaign in the hope that Mattel will notice this guy's effort to create bad-ass Barbie gear.

Also - this suit of armor is awesome and wicked lovely.

Finally - Jim Rodda, the designer/creator, is from Wisconsin, my home state. This makes me very, very happy.
The inspiration for this armor came, indirectly, from my four-year-old
niece. I wanted to print something unique for her next birthday, and so
decided to design and engineer a pair of My Little Pony-compatible
glitter cannons. (Note to self: next Kickstarter should involve My Little Pony-compatible glitter cannons.)

Moving parts and springs can be tough to do at this level of 3D
printing, and after a few test prints I became frustrated and fell back
on my usual method for generating new ideas: drinking three lattes and
taking a hot shower.

Midway through my fourth latte, the idea to create 3D printed armor for Barbie sprang from my head, fully formed. 
Faire Play: Barbie-Compatible 3D Printed Medieval Armor by Jim Rodda / Zheng3 — Kickstarter  (via Incredible Things)

March 19, 2014

Build your mall around my house.

I'm not sure why I find this story as uplifting as I do. Maybe because it's so absurd. Maybe because the house has a balloon hat. Probably because it's a nice reminder that maybe, if you have a 108-year old farmhouse in a major city and you're happy, you don't actually need a million dollars.

Good for you, Edith. I hope you're resting in peace in an equally lovely place.

Have you heard of Edith Macefield? This old lady turned down a million
dollar offer to sell her home to make way for a shopping mall in
Seattle, Washington. Without Edith’s land, the developer had to alter
the building’s plan so that it would meander around the small, two-story
house. At 84 years old, Edith become a folk hero. And if you think her
house looks familiar, it’s probably because it looks amazingly similar
to (and could be the inspiration for) the famous flying house in Pixar’s animated film UP.

Edith Macefield: The Old Lady that Refused a Million Dollars and Forced a Shopping Mall to Meander Around Her House | Inhabitat

Planet Pasta.

When my friend, Gretchen, emails me something with the subject line, "OMG CUTE," I know to pay attention. (She's not one to forward kitten or puppy pics, though she will send me adorable photos of Ian McKellan.)

This NYT op-ed slideshow by Nicholas Blechman -- about his trip to the Barilla pasta factory in Parma -- is absolutely wonderful. If you want to add a smile to your morning, check it out. If not, move along -- nothing to see here.

Planet Pasta - NYTimes.com  (Thanks, Gretchen!)

March 11, 2014

Plastic soda bottle = invaluable light for thousands.

Honestly, this is one of the most remarkable stories I've read in quite awhile.

From Inhabitat.com:
We posted about the amazing MIT-designed plastic solar bottle bulbs that have literally changed the lives of 10,000 slum dwellers in the Phillipines, and now we're happy to report that the My Shelter Foundation has expanded their "Isang Litrong Liwanag"  campaign with the goal of bringing one million of these dirt cheap "liters of light" to homes in Manila's slums. Hit the jump for a look at the non profit organization's video, which demonstrates how a plastic bottle filled with water and a touch of bleach has  transformed thousands of dark shacks into saner, safer places.
If you have a few minutes, I strongly encourage you to watch this video and be amazed.

"A Liter of Light" Aims to Illuminate 1 Million Homes With Plastic Solar Bottle Bulbs | Inhabitat

March 10, 2014

March 05, 2014

Water Tower Combo.

These are really fun. They're made from 100% recycled materials and an excellent alternative to decorating with similarly-priced items like this.

You can't park a cab indoors or leave an authentic NYC hotdog sitting on your desk (for very long, anyhow), but luckily this set of water tower model kits lets you bring a little bit of your Brooklyn love indoors –– without risking your health or sanity. It's made to represent the many water towers that dot the skyline –– don't fill this one with water though (trust us). Instead, perch it proudly atop your desk, shelf or nightstand. 

Water Tower Combo Pack | Boundless Brooklyn

February 28, 2014

secret.rar – jan huijben

A wonderful piece exploring the balance between safety and accessibility of private information/data.

Secret.rar wasn't initially about encryption, but about the question of whether it's still a secret if you can never find out what it is. I like the political connotation that comes with it, though. It's an important issue in a time when individual privacy is being eroded by an increasingly secretive state apparatus. – Jan Huijben

With 'Secret.rar,' Artist Jan Huijben Goes to Absurd Lengths to Protect a Secret | Motherboard

Artist's site: secret.rar – jan huijben

February 26, 2014

I bought a hotel room!

Actually, I bought what's known as a "condotel." It's an efficiency apartment in The Knickerbocker On the Lake Hotel, a charming little hotel not too far from where I live here in Milwaukee.

As you can see from the photo below, it needs some SERIOUS love -- so, over the next few months, I'll be fixing it up. When it's done, I'll put it into the hotel rental pool, and it will be rented out as a regular hotel room. My hope is that it will pay for itself in the long run. And, in the meantime, I get to decorate a hotel room. I'm seriously design nerding out.

I'll keep you posted on my progress. If you have any experience with this sort of thing, I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts.

Pointe Chest of Drawers by Steuart Padwick.

 Utterly gorgeous. Total furniture porn.

The Pointe 4 Drawer Chest of drawers features solid oak and oak veneer construction in a beautiful satin oil finish, offering a rich and updated feel to its retro mod styling. Offering the same timeless touch as the bed frame, this clean and contemporary Chest of Drawers is the perfect addition to bedrooms seeking a new, current aesthetic. Two + two roomy drawers on soft close runners provide plenty of storage.
Pointe 4-Drawer Chest of Drawers | Steuart Padwick | HORNE