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.
Sometimes I like it a little rough. I suspect in fact that many of you do. The latest trend in modern furniture is using reclaimed and less polished materials in contrast to clean modern forms to create an interesting visual tension. Feeling the olympic spirit, UK based James Henry Austin designed a range of furniture built from salvaged sports hall flooring (that a gym floor in case you wondered). The lines are simple and often even traditional but the execution and presentation are just right to make it modern and interesting.
James Henry Austin
Today in Park City hordes of social media mavens are gathering at the Canyons resort for the 2012 Evo Conference. I hadn't even heard of the conference until this year, and while it's not really my scene (lots of mommy bloggers) I am super excited to be involved. The Ebay Green Team (bet you never heard of them either) asked me to help do the interior decoration of a suite they have at the conference. It's been an absolute blast to source furniture from some of my favorite companies (Moooi, Tom Dixon, Emeco, Studio Dunn, Pablo, Blu Dot) and to bring in some epic MCM pieces from some of my favorite local stores The Green Ant and Now and Again. Some of my favorite vintage pieces include 2 Eames Lounge chairs, a rosewood Eames screen (1 of 500 ever made) Bertoia chairs, a teak bar cart and more. I even had a chance to make a reclaimed clothes rack (above) out of a piece of wood used during the construction of the Brooklyn bridge. I'm hoping to get up there and take some more pictures of the rest of the suite tonight or tomorrow night. Stay tuned for more.
Ebay Green Team
I finally broke down and bought a Nest thermostat a few days ago. I can honestly say that it's the first time in a long time that my expectations have been exceeded across the board with a new purchase. That's not to say that I had low expectations either. I had seen the Nest in friends homes, and I knew it was good looking. I wasn't expecting it to be so well thought out from beginning to end though. First off I ordered it from Apple.com and received it like 2 days later. Next came the installation which was super easy, the thing even comes with it's own multi tip screw driver. Setup continued to be a cinch, getting it connected to my wireless network and controlling it from my phone took all of 10 minutes to do. I honestly don't have anything bad to say about it at all.
Who else has a Nest? What's your favorite thing about it?
It's no secret that I'm a fan of steel and wood coming together to make beautiful furniture. It is surprising however that I have only mentioned Misewell before in passing lately, because they do wood and steel so well. The new Grain desk shown above is a perfect example of that. Solid walnut and black steel have never looked so good.
Misewell Grain desk
I can geek out on tech products just as much as the next guy, but what I really love is good looking and innovative product. I'm not sure how useful the BioLite really would be, but the concept is fascinating.
By converting heat from the fire into usable electricity, our stoves will recharge your phones, lights and other gadgets while you cook dinner.
Just make sure you have some matches handy.
With a reclaimed redwood face and a birch plywood body, these modern bird houses from Nathan Daniels are nothing short of, well, adorable! They're available in a whole slew of styles and color combos, so be sure to check out his Etsy shop for more!
Back when I was regularly obsessing over Japanese Ofuro bathtubs I did a lot of reading on hinoki, a type of cypress that is used in traditional Japanese woodworking. Ultimately I decided that making a tub out of hinoki wasn't affordable or practical for me. A tissue box on the other hand, is an entirely different issue. This hinoki tissue box is simple, beautiful, and it turns out very practical. Hinoki naturally has a wonderful smell (think cedar) and natural antibacterial properties. Just the thing for the next time you have the sniffles.
Hinoki Tissue Box $35
Earlier this month I posted about the clever Bote toy boat made of cork and white plastic. Today I have an even more simple idea that could make a great DIY project. Dutch design team Floris Hovers has this simple concept to turn any shampoo bottle into a bath time boat. I'm sure with a little handiwork, a sewing machine, and some rubber bands, you could whip up the same thing.
If you are fluent in Dutch, read about the Flessenboot here.
Otherwise, just make one and send us a picture.
I know it's still a little cold to be thinking about planter boxes and spring time, but I'm quite smitten with this Element planter box from Planterworx. Each planter is hand made from powder coated aluminum in Brooklyn and available in three standard colors. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes as well. Pricing seems to be very reasonable considering the product.
Element Planter $157 - $327
p.s. In case you were wondering, that is a photo, not just a rendering.
Got a spare 1.2 million? Love modern and live in SLC? If you can answer both of these questions with a yes please contact me ASAP. For the rest of you, just come along for some wonderful eye candy.
This gorgeous 4,000 square foot modern home sits just above Salt Lake City on a 5 acre lot up Emigration Canyon. With a ICF construction, radiant heat, rainwater collection and a passive solar design this place is just as green as it is modern.
I haven't had a chance for a walk through yet, but from the pictures it looks like it has some great spaces and some absolutely amazing views.
For more info and pictures check out the 5860slc blog.
And the felt obsession continues. This time around it's piggybacking on my modern bird house obsession. While I have no idea how functional these would actually be, I love the idea. These bird houses are hand felted by a woman's NGO in South Africa. The micro co-op uses all natural dyes to achieve the dark grey, coral, dark jade and ochre colors. Available in small or large.
Hand felted bird house $49 -$58.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am in love with these felt coasters. First off, they are felt, and everyone knows I'm a huge sucker for felt. Secondly, they are orange, a color that I am unable to resist. Put the two together and it's a slam dunk. The fact that it's made from an old sweater and only costs $8 for a set of four is just icing on the cake.
Simple Felt Coasters $8 from Mary Zoom's Etsy shop.
I have a confession to make. I am a bag whore. Specifically a messenger bag whore. I have a couple that I cycle through, including two timbuk2 bags. So when Nau offered to send me their Motil Commuter bag to review I was all over it. At first blush what really sets the Motil (and all of Nau's clothes) apart from the rest is the fact that it is made from 100% recycled content, right down to the recycled wool felt on the shoulder pad. After a week or so of using it daily, I must say I am really impressed with the overall design. My only two complaints are that it's not as easy to adjust the shoulder strap as my Timbuk2 and the waist strap seems a little more clumsy. As a result, when I'm doing more than just casual riding, I'll probably grab my timbuk2, but for the rest of the time the Motil has won my heart.
Motil commuter bag $225 from Nau
Make sure you check out their Grant for Change page too where you can vote on what non profit should receive a $10,000 grant.
Wooden blocks. One of the most simple kids toys out there. What happens when you try and improve on the age old simplicity? Multiblocks happen, that's what. I love the story of these blocks almost as much as I love the blocks themselves. Designer Brad Singley recounts the origins of the "multiblock".
"I can still remember the frustration of playing with building blocks as a young child," Brad says. "I wanted to build BIG, but it was impossible to make a skyscraper out of triangles, semicircles, cylinders, and small cubes."
Brad's prayers were answered when his father made him a set of wooden square and rectangular cubes in four different lengths. Many years later and with children of his own, Brad recreated his favorite toy, updating it to include numbers and increments to encourage both mathematical and creative thinking.
Multiblock set of 42 available from Uncommon Good for $48.
I have been in love with the Emeco Navy chair ever since I found 6 of them for an amazing price locally. We have them at our kitchen table and think they are fantastic. That's why I was so excited to hear about the new 111 Navy Chairs from Emeco. Made of 111 recycled plastic Coke bottles they look to be just as durable as their aluminum counterparts, but they are now available in an array of colors! No idea on pricing yet, but the rumor is that they will be about half the price of the originals. More details will surface at the worldwide launch in Milan next week.
Available exclusively from DWR
Spring is the season to get your green thumb on. While there are an endless number of great containers to put your plant in, I am really liking this idea of using a previously loved book and converting it to a new home for a plant. The details of exactly how to pull it off are a little vague, but I'm sure a few of our readers that are handy with a whole saw could pull it off. If you do, report back and let us know how it goes!