One Deko, a home store just inside the grasp of Spitalfields Market in London, is way ahead of the curve. They have everything -- and nothing -- you need for your home. With a variety of deco and modern clocks, stainless steel kitchen items, an array of floor and hanging lamps, rugs, club chairs, sleek platform beds and more, you hardly need to hit another store. But the selection goes beyond the ordinary and into the realm of extraordinary with the Surface Tension entertainment/coffe table. With its fogged glass top and steel base, it's straight out of the '70s and looks like an original sit down Space Invaders video game, which you can play. But it also comes with a panel to control a variety of electronics, including video, internet, a wireless digital juke box, photos and more. Standing along, it's a conversation piece for the middle of your living room. At £3295 it's not cheap, but damn is it cool.
Last week, I had dinner with my friend, Matthew Malin, when he came to Chicago to introduce his amazing line of body products to a variety of sales people and local beauty editors. During dinner, we ran into my pal Nate, who recently had been turned onto M+G and was gushing about their lip balm. I mentioned how my lips are always in need of conditioning and Matthew said he would get me a sample.
Much to my gleeful surprise, a package arrived yesterday with an array of products, including the Lip Moisturizer, Peppermint Shampoo, Cilantro Conditioner, Eucalyptus Body Cleanser, Vitamin E Shaving Cream and my fave, the Grapefruit Face Cleanser.
While I'm already a fan of their products that focus on using natural ingredients, what I was most impressed with was the packaging they arrived in. Most consumer brands today don't take the time to realize that the first impression is usually not in the product but in the branding. (Malin+Goetz) have simple yet elegant packaging. The box was stark, save a branded rubber band and sticker sealing it shut. Inside, holding the creased paper lining the box was another branded sticker featuring the company's mission statement -- and of course a personal note. Nice touch.
I've long been a fan of Vessel's products -- first discovering them when I stumbled upon their genius Tissue Ring. Vessel has made major waves with their Candela rechargeable lights and now take things to the next level with the Luau. This portable and rechargeable lamp gives off the soft glow of ambient light. It's perfect for setting the mood at a dinner party, gathering on the back porch or creating an idyllic atmosphere on the beach.
Each full charge lasts 6-10 hours and the light can be dimmed to suit your mood. These lamps are elegant and understated but have enough charm and design wherewithal to complement any room -- and standing just over a foot tall, they don't take up much space.
Order the Luau online for $249.
Ok, so at first glance these might seem a little cheesy. But my friends showed me a gift they received from another friend who prefaced that she saw them, thought they were a little cheesy, but cool at the same time. And when I saw them, I thought they were pretty cool, too.
These are candles that look exactly like wine corks -- they even have the etching in them where a winery's name would go. And they sit atop of your empty wine bottle, giving you have an automatic candle holder.
I love Scrabble. I make no bones about it. I have a deluxe edition that spins, an old travel pack and the official Scrabble dictionary because I love to challenge. Sadly, I don't get to play as often as I'd like, but now at least I can boast about one of the coolest gifts I've ever received (and I can't believe I haven't blogged about it before).
Last year, Jack Spade partnered with the now-defunct Cargo magazine (may she rest in peace) to produce a limited edition line of travel Scrabble cases. With 30% of proceeds benefitting Book Relief, an initiative of First Book, the zippered case is made of camo waxware and comes with everything you need to Scrabble on the road (sans challenging dictionary) including a sturdy, built-in board.
Get it at Jack Spade for $95 -- 212.625.1820.
The City Boy Grill is a genius product for any urban dweller who doesn't have the space for a large grill. But it's also perfect for hitting the beach, camping, hanging out in front of your house on the sidewalk -- pretty much anywhere you get a hankering for grilled chicken, a burger, salmon patties (or whatever you want to throw on there).
Created by Finnish designer Klaus Aalto, its compact size is ideal for light travel, but it's the small gas canister that powers this little stove that makes it so appealing. Plus, when it's time for cleaning, the interior wipes clean and the grate can be tossed in the dishwasher or wiped down in the sink.
Made of powder-painted steel with a heat-resistant stainless steel and wood handle, the City Boy Grill stands only 8.7" high.
As far as I can tell, it's only available (for $300) at I.D. Chicago, which I've said has become one of my favorite home shops in the city.
The deodorant I've been using for about the last 10 years was discontinued (I hate when companies do that, btw) and I've had to figure out what's going to help keep me dry and stink-free during the day. I'm not a fan of the male-centric deodorants, where the scent is musky or leaves you feeling like you just left a locker room in 1965. The other day, I happened into the Kiehl's store and found their Superbly Efficient Anti-Perspirant & Deodorant Cream displayed in a bin on the counter. Out of curiosity, I grabbed a tube and have been pleasantly surprised with the results.
I've used sprays, dry, crystals, "invisible" roll-ons, but never have I used a cream-like lotion. I'm not sure why this works better than most other deodorants I've used, but it has orange, lemon and linseed extracts, moisturizes the skin, is scent free and has 24-hour protection.
Whatever it is, I'm sold on it. I don't even care that it costs about 3 times as much as my old stuff. It works better and lasts longer.
Design Within Reach recently launched a new line of stylish, high-end pet products at mid-range prices. For the pet enthusiast who has a desire for style and flair in their home, these are definitely up your alley (I was going to write some kind of play on "barking up the right tree" line but thought that a little schmatzy).
Their Bent Plywood feeders, Mija Lucite Bed and Pet Bunk are gorgeous. They're all done with a little bit of a modern touch. While most pets really don't give a shit where they're getting their food (seriously, have you ever seen a dog turn down a meal because it wasn't served in a fancy dish?), savvy pet owners should snatch these up.
I'm not embarrassed to say I don't know a tremendous amount about Japanese home decor, but I do know that when my taster of pan-seared nantucket bay diver scallops with a cucumber-citrus vinaigrette and Vatapa (jumbo shrimp, striped bass, okra and cashews with coconut milk-lemongrass essence) at Aria restaurant at Chicago's Fairmont hotel, came presented on this gorgeous white wave plate, I had to have it.
Sadly for you, I licked the plate clean so you'll just have to imagine the gorgeous presentation on the clean, white space.
Each plate is $48 from Korin.
Earlier this year when I saw some of the affordable home creations coming out of the Montreal-based Furni design studio, especially their desk and wall clocks, I immediately wrote them to find out if they were going to introduce a line of alarm clocks (at the time, none of the clocks had that functionality).
This morning, I got an email from designer/owner Mike Giles who informed me of their new project: Jacob, Jones and Brown, a line of high-end digital clocks made of only superior wood, which launched today.
Furni rolled out two JJB lines, the Gator SE (solid edition), which has two types of wood -- Murado and Walnut -- and Walsh (above), featuring teak and mahogany clocks with a larger digital face. While both styles will come with alarms, the Walsh line is still a prototype. When the clocks hit the Furni store this fall, they'll retail for US$288.
Another piece I particularly like is Furni's new Miller bamboo cutting board (below), part of their Hilo affordable modern line. Its raised, laminate surface has a hole that fits three interchangeable stainless-steel bowls, so whatever you're cutting can go directly into a bowl for stir-fry, sauteeing or serving.
I really dig Furni's hip, retro vibe, which permeates all their designs and website. It almost feels like the shop wishes it were born in Scandinavia in the '70s, but fortunately for us, they're here now.