The Jielde lamp. Few have heard of this French pinnacle of industrial lighting design. But highly sought after by those in the know. Designed in the late 1940's by Jean-Louis Domecq (hence the initials and name JLD) as a factory or work lamp, the Jielde came into production in the 1950's. The ingenuity of the design is both amazing and timeless: No wires extend through the metal articulating arms! They come in one arm, two arms, up to 6 arms or more. Both the arms & the heavy ball joint conduct the electrical circuit to the light fixture, so no wires to worry about. The bulbous lamp shade has a 'crash guard' that is used to pull the lamp into position- no toasting your fingers on the metal lamp shade. The base is quite small as it was designed to mount to a wall or screwed to a workbench. Today, disc brake rotors or similar shapes are used as a stable base for use on a desk. The Jielde is still made today. And is very expensive. But the vintage lamps are where its at. On the recent Two and a Half Men sitcom, Walden had one on his desk!
I love wooden toys and puzzles. They are generally either very simple, and in many cases very ingenious. The 3d wooden sphere puzzle falls into the later category. The puzzle has three separate planes connecting four chambers filled with colored wooden balls. It works much like a rubiks cube, in that if you make a change in one chamber, it will effect another. Besides being a great mind bending puzzler, it is also good looking and affordable.
I have featured a couple of piggy banks here on GRM, and they have ranged from functional to whimsical. The Volcoino bank designed by Karim Rasid has got to be one of the best looking. Made from chromed aluminum, this little coin bank has a small slot at the top where you put your coins in, and a rubber stopper at the bottom to get them out. It's attractive enough to put in any room in your house, and priced at $22 you might even have enough change in your old piggy bank to buy it.
Tissue boxes aren't always the best looking things in the world, and while some have been getting better in recent years many people still want to cover them up. If knit tissue box cozies aren't your style, and you are looking for something a little more modern, you should check out the Wooden Tissue Box over at Molla Space. Designed by Yamato Japan, these simple bent ply tissue boxes are simple and attractive. I can't quite tell from the picture, but it looks like you would just slide the actual tissues, sans box, into the holder. While it would probably be hard to try a DIY version of this in wood, a plastic one could be quite simple.... Available from Molla Space for $20.
I love it when someone takes a simple everyday product and makes it beautiful. Muji has been doing it for years, and although their prices range from affordable to expensive, this Tape Dispenser is definitely on the affordable side. For only $2 you can have a great looking tape dispenser from the MoMA store. It will probably cost you more than $2 just to ship it, but you will still have a great looking tape dispenser for cheap.Available from MoMA Store for $2.
I love Muji. They have a way of simplifying everything and making it look good at the same time, something that is not always easy. This acrylic calendar is no exception. It features a grid and acrylic numbers that can be moved around depending on what month you are in. Sure, it's going to take you a bit more time than flipping the page on the calendar your insurance company gave you, but I guarantee that it is going to be much more rewarding too. It comes with a stand so it can be conveniently placed on your desk. On sale at MoMA store for $12.
I stumbled across this magazine holder a while ago, and while I thought it was cute, I didn't think it was a show stopper. I happened to look at it again today, and realized that it was part of a website called amplesample.net. The whole website is devoted to using carpet samples to make interesting furniture among other things. The idea of getting free samples of carpet and making tasteful accessories for your home is quite appealing. If you are looking for more ideas check out the other 2007 winners over at amplesample.net.
Some times it's the little things that are hard to find. A prime example is a coat hook. Seems like it should be easy to find an inexpensive nice looking coat hook right? Well not as easy as it sounds. David M from Seattle looked all over until he found this Duet Hook for the entry way of his house. The design is simple and unobtrusive, and at $5 the price is right. To make things even better, looks like they are made by a local company called Three By Three who has all sorts of other goodies. Modern, affordable and local, looks like a winner to me.Available from Tiny Living for $5. Thanks to David M for the tip!
We haven't had a doorbell in a house since we have been married, and honestly with our dog I'm not sure we need one. He assumes it is his duty to bark at anyone who even thinks of approaching our house. If I were in the market for a new doorbell however, I would definitely have my eye on this wireless doorbell designed by Jacob Jensen. It's a classic example of hi tech meets Danish design, and it makes for one of the nicest looking doorbells around. It features 5 different polyphonic bell noises and can be wall mounted or freestanding. The range is 150 meters which should be plenty for just about everyone. The price is a little steep at $150, but good luck finding anything else that looks this good.
No, these aren't the new iPod Shuffles, they are magnetic clips. Refrigerator clips to be more specific. They are basically just a high powered magnet, wrapped in silicone. The shape of the clip allows it to rock back when you push on the button area, similar to a normal refrigerator clip. The good part is that there are no moving parts to ever wear out. That, and these little guys are strong. They hold up to one pound each. I'm not sure just what one pound objects I would ever need to attach to my frige, but hey, you never know. Available from Endo, 3 for $9.
Everyone loves a rubber duck, but who said that they have to be yellow? Definitely not Luxury Ducks. Designed and produced in Melbourne Australia, these ducks are made from non phthalate plastic so they are completely non-toxic. Available in four different styles, there is nothing boring about these ducks. Each one comes packaged in it's own custom designed box that shows off the flair of these Luxury Ducks. Available from Elsewares for $8.
Here are some handy little goodies from PKOH NYC. First is the Earbud Clip, a handy way to keep your headphones from getting tangled when you are not using them. I have about 4 pairs of iPod headphones, and it seems like they are constantly getting tangled whenever I try and wrap them up nicely. PKOH sells a 4 pack of clips for $10. The next one is great for those who travel a lot. The silicone travel bottles hold 2 ounces of liquid, just under the allowed 3 ounces. As long as they are in a clear zip lock bag, you are ready to fly. A multicolor 2 pack is $20.
Modern Twist is a new California based company that has a beautiful product line. Most of their products are plastic based like the placemat shown above. They do have some very nice cloth products as well, like their traditional Japanese Hide Box. Modern Twist has a heavy emphasis in graphic design, and has gotten a team of San Francisco based designers to to help collaborate on the projects. Last, but certainly not least, the company has a "no sweat shop" policy, and is a member of one percent for the planet. Good design, good Karma.
I know that the holiday season is wrapping up, but I couldn't help but share this great wreath with you. It's stylish enough that you don't even need the holidays as an excuse to hang it up. Available from San Francisco based Kenneth Wingard, this powder coated steel wreath would look good on any dark colored accent wall. I especially like it with the dark chocolate wall pictured. Overall diameter is 16", price is $60. Available from Kenneth Wingard for $60. Comments? Post them here in our forums.
Every year my wife and I have bought a real Christmas tree, but this year we are thinking about getting a fake one. It just seems like such a waste to spend all those years growing a tree, cut it, and then after a few weeks throw it away. What I would really like is a white alpine Christmas tree, but apparently that is easier said than done. The only one I could find in my google quest was this one from ebay. I don't really care if it is prelit or not, in fact I think I prefer if its not. The $200 for this one seems a little steep. So what are you doing for a Christmas tree? Comments? Post them here in our forums.
Things are always better when they serve more than just one purpose, take these great cards from Thing Farm for example. Not only are they very stylish wood veneer, but the snowflake shape can easily be punched out and used for a Christmas ornament. They also promise that no two snowflake designs are identical, just like the real thing. The beautiful wood veneers are bound to heavyweight paper and come with a matching envelope and red tie for $6. Available from Thing Farm for $6. Comments? Post them here in our forums. Via designsponge.
Yep, now you Mid-Century Modern fanatics can even get you Kleenex in a new modern design. You've got to give Kleenex some credit for finally breaking out of the mold and doing something different. Not only do their new Kleenex Oval boxes come in some sweet modern patterns, they are, well, oval. Now you don't have to worry about hiding your box of Kleenex, you can display it with pride. Via Shelterrific Comments? Post them here in the forums.
One of my favorite bloggers, Grace, over at Design Sponge has posted two great gift guides lately. One focuses on affordable modern art, and includes everything from photographs to prints to books, all of which look great but won't cost you a fortune. Also as you are gearing up to do some serious holiday shopping, make sure you check out her under $25 gift guide. Plenty of affordable modern goods to be had there.
One of the reasons I started this website was to connect aspiring young modern artists/designers with potential buyers. The truth is nothing does this better than Etsy, if you have time to wade through all the non modern stuff. Today I bring you an up and coming designer from the Philadelphia area. Modern Equation makes some nice simple modern pillows out of one of my favorite materials, felted wool. Priced at $65, its not the best deal out there, but you are getting a product that is completely original, and supporting someone who is pursuing their dreams. Modern Equation also makes some nice simple felt iPod holders for $12. Available at Etsy for $12-$65. Comments? Post them here.
My wife came home with these lovely coasters from Bed Bath and Beyond the other day. They are made by Seattle based Tovolo, who makes a bunch of different kitchen stuff. These simple rubber coasters are just the thing to protect your nice wood tables. The colors are very nice in person. I especially like the fact that between concentric squares you can see the surface they are sitting. Of course the best part about them is the price. A set of six will set you back $5.