There are a few things that, when combined right, result in undeniably good design. Authentic materials like wood and copper, thoughtful design and craftsmanship. Throw a triangle in there somewhere, and you have a home run. Damm Designs Theorem lamp scores on all accounts, and like all of their lamps, it's handmade in the USA.
I've never heard of a French-Mexican furniture company before, but if this is really a thing, and it's as good as the designs by León León, count me a huge fan.
León León was started in Mexico City in 2011 and draws inspiration from the classic Acapulco chair. The collection includes furniture, lighting and some fantastic bright pillows. The designs are heavily influenced by color and pattern, and each piece is handmade and has a wonderful modern / folk feeling. Alexander Girard would be proud.
ICFF 2013 is just around the corner. Unfortunately this year I won't be able to make it, although I will be sending a friend in my place. In the meantime, all the exciting ICFF news is already starting to fill up my inbox. Volk has always been one of my favorites, and this year they are doing some exciting pieces that incorporate hand painting.
I've been a big fan of the guys from Furni for a really long time, so it's exciting to see that they still have some great new products coming out. The latest is this gorgeous Kendall Portable Speaker. This thing may look old school, but it's got bluetooth, and an accessory audio jack, lithium batteries or a wall plug, and 2 shielded speaker for your favorite tunes. Coming April 1.
Some Kickstarted campaigns are just destined for success from day one. Okum Made's Everyday Objects is one of them. With 24 days to go it's only a few thousand dollars short of it's modest 17K goal. Along with the backers there has been no shortage of positive press in the blogosphere (ugh hate that word) with sites like MoCoLoco, BLTD and Cool Hunting praising Okum. Well let me just go ahead and throw my hat in the ring too.
Okum and his products show a understanding of the material they are designed in. They are simple forms (hooks, salt and pepper shakers, trivets, bowls), made of simple materials (walnut, hard maple, aluminum) but they manage to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Simple, beautiful, useful. What more could you ask for.
The best part is that you can be part of helping this designer become a success, which enables him to make more beautiful things. Do your part. Chip in. Support good design. I did.
As you know I like to feature up and coming companies that are making quality beautiful products. RX Made manages to pull that off with ease, and adds to the list of accomplishments by locally sourcing the majority of their material, and even heavily utilizing reclaimed good in their products.
Born out of a Chicago based non profit called Rebuild Exchange, RX Made pairs local job program trainees with the design expertise of Chicago based Strand Design. The end product is an attractive group of products ranging from bottle openers to benches.
It's clear that RX Made is doing good things and making a difference, and you can make a difference too by supporting them. They are launching their products on Kickstarter as we speak. You can help them out for as little as $1or for $25 you can get the handsome bottle opener above. Check out some of their other goods below, then head over to Kickstarter to watch their video and pitch in.
What more do I need to say, it's Micklish. It's great to see Touch of Modern featuring smaller indie artists like this. Rest assured that when you buy you are not only getting a great deal, but you are also helping out a small design studio.
Butler shown above.
Who doesn't want a personal butler to greet them at the door and take all their personal things away for safe keeping? It seems like at least once a week you can’t find your keys, or wallet, or …, so the Butler was created in an attempt to solve this little predicament. In addition, it eliminates go-to items from just just laying around.
"The Butler is made to fit your wallet and keys in the top sleeve, your iPhone on the side slot with a concealed space for your charging cord, and glasses/hat/scarf, (or other go-to item,) on the slide out walnut piece. The backside includes a routed out section for your charging cord and extension cord." - Curtis Micklish
— Note, the iPhone, charging cord and extension cord are not included.
I mentioned in my last post that my life is full of changes lately. One of the harder choices I've made was to leave a business I have been part of for the last two years. I started Modern Union with my friend Jaren a couple years ago and together we set out to make a name for ourselves building gorgeous modern kitchens and custom furniture in Salt Lake City. Truth be told, the vast majority of the actual work was done by Jaren, as I was still working a full time job on the side.
This sycamore slab table is the latest work to come out of the Modern Union studio, and one of the first things done without me being involved at all. It's a bitter sweet moment for me. My gut reaction is to be disappointed that I didn't have anything to do with it. It's so gorgeous I want to pretend that I'm somehow associated with it. Mostly though I'm just glad to see Jaren getting great commissions and still making absolutely flawless works of art.
Jaren is doing the exact work I'm wanting to promote on Grassrootsmodern. He's just one guy in a small shop. He's incredibly talented, and he's making amazing things. This particular table has some great heritage too. The 5 foot by 7 foot slab comes from a Sycamore tree that used to be at Westminster, a local college here in Salt Lake. I know from experience that it takes hours and hours of hard work to get the top perfectly smooth and flat. One large butterfly joint in the middle of the table not only provides a beautiful contrast it actually adds structural rigidity to and old crack in the middle of the slab.
I wish I could do more to support great local artisans like this. If you want to help support Modern Union, like their Facebook page, tell your friends about them, or even better, contact them and see what amazing thing they can build for you. Jaren has lots more slabs just waiting to be transformed
It's no secret I have been excited about brass lately, nor is it a secret that I'm sort of obsessed with geometric shapes, so it should be obvious that I like these brass mobiles from AMradio. This himmeli brass mobile is made from brass tubing and white string. Apparently it's based on a Finnish tradition. I'm just going to assume that tradition is being awesome, because that it was those Finns manage to do best. This 7 x 7 x 15 mobile is a great deal for $67. Other sizes and materials are available too and prices range from $45 - $170. Also, make sure you check out the rest of the goodies AMradio has for sale…
Just a quick shout out today for micklish. I posted about them a few months ago, and I'm totally stoked to see them on Fab today. This is really the heart of indie manufacturing in the US today. One guy designing and making beautiful products. Support your local designer and go buy some stuff on Fab.
I've always been a fan of quilts ever since I was a kid. For one Christmas I remember the only thing I wanted was to have my mom make me a nice heavy quilt. Lucky for me she delivered, unlucky for me I picked out a black and forest green flannel. Flash forward 20 years and my mom and I are still talking about quilts. Luckily our taste has evolved and there are some amazing modern quilts out there. If you haven't seen the work of Barbara Perrino you are seriously missing out. She was nice enough to recently send some pictures of her latest work my way. Check them out below.
I'm always thinking about good names for a website and/or business. The other day I was thinking about how much I like clean modern design but with age old hand made details. The name "Analogue Modern" popped into my head, and I was almost giddy to find out that the domain was still available. Seconds away from snatching it up, I started to wonder. Did I spell "Analogue" right? Yes and no. There are two spellings, and it looks like "Analog Modern" doesn't just exist, they are doing exactly what I had in mind. Despite the disappointment that someone got to the idea before I did, I'm mostly just excited to find another great indy shop putting out good furniture.
It's been a while since I have checked in on Double Butter, and I'm happy to report that they are still doing great. In fact they are doing better than great. They are continuing to add more and more great designs everyday and it sounds like they have a successful business model that is paying off. Hats off to you gents!
I've always been a huge fan of kids toys that are made of wood. Add a little color and creativity and you have a winner in my mind. Cubiciti, today's favorite Kickstarter project has all those things. It's getting off to a slow start, and has an ambitious $58,000 goal to be funded, but I'd love to see it happen.
Spread the word.
Over the weekend I got the first real taste of summer, spending some quality time on the back porch of one of my favoritelocal watering holes. Unfortunately I found myself lacking a quality pair of sunglass, something I intend to change soon. While the exact pair I get is still up in the air, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that they don't come in a case anywhere as attractive as this one by Tanner Goods. Made of Horween Chromexcel leather, they are burnished, dyed, waxed and stamped with their signature mark. Perfection
Equal parts art piece and useful kitchen utensil, Herriott Grace is making some of the best looking wooden spoons and kitchen utensils I have seen in a while. They definitely fall in the "not cheap" category, but that doesn't seem to stop them from selling.
Which is your favorite? How much would you pay for a gorgeous wooden spoon?
I mentioned last week my new found obsession for bags. I've been looking for a good leather or waxed canvas tote for a while now, and I was stoked to happen upon Bexar Goods Co. They were kind enough to send me a Black Aviator Carry tote last week, and I've been putting it to good use ever since. First impressions? I was really really impressed with the quality of the workmanship and the details. The copper rivets have got to be my favorite part of the whole bag. They look amazing, and are super sturdy and functional. The strap is just the perfect length to slip over your shoulder and the contrast between the black bag and the tanned leather handles is really nice. Overall, I couldn't be happier, and while it's not the cheapest bag, I'm betting it's the last tote I have to buy for a very long time.