Studio DUNN

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I fully admit to having a total soft spot in my heart for Studio DUNN. In fact they are one of few modern americana studio's that I actually own a piece from. As much as I love their furniture though, it was their lighting that first caught my eye. I'm happy to report that they look to be making a strong push back into the lighting world this year with two new designs. 

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The Radiata (above) was inspired by a jellyfish of the same name, and I think looks especially amazing with the smoked grey glass. The Sorenthia (below) is made of steel and brass, it's delicate arms look particularly nice when grouped together.

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PHLOEM STUDIO

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Portland based PHLOEM STUDIO is making their debut appearance at ICFF this year, and they are going big. I've always loved the stuff that they have made, but this year they look to be absolutely killing it.

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I'm especially fond of the Peninsula Chair that they collaborated on with Wood & Faulk. The leather sling and brass and wood details are spot on. It's nice to see some more bespoke details like that in the furniture world. 

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Needless to say, I'm expecting lot's of great things from these guys in the future.

Volk ICFF 2013

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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. 

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Furni Kendall

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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.

Furni Kendall speaker

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Aark Watches

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Watches are dangerous. Sort of like bags, shoes, bottle openers and so many other things that I just want to collect for no apparent reason at all. Aark watches appear to be extra bad, because I want one of each of them. While they do have quite a few very classic looking ones that I really wouldn't mind having, my eye was particularly drawn to these more playful colors. 

Aark Collective

Which is your favorite?

Egyptian Stool

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It's great to see so many wonderful mid century modern pieces of furniture getting re issued. The latest to be announced is this beautiful Egyptian Stool that was originally designed by Danish architect Ole Wanscher in 1957. Carl Hansen & Son has now acquired rights to the design, and for the first time since 1970 it will be available in the US again. I absolutely love the brass and leather accents agains the dark mahogany. Pricing is likely to be in the $1,400 range. Perfection doesn't come cheap.

Kickstarter :: Okum Made

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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.

Okum on Kickstarter

Okummade.com 

Ample : Solstice Floor Lamp

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According to Ample, the Solstice Floor Lamp is "the modern tripod lamp done right." I have to admit, it's pretty banging. As usual with any high quality modern piece, God is in the details. In this case, those details reveal solid walnut legs, hand made natural linen shade, cloth covered cord, and a solid brass socket. Icing on the cake? It's made in Seattle Washington. Ample has lots of other gorgeous pieces as well. Go buy some. If the $499 price tag is too much for you, save you pennies and skip a few dinners out. (short term lose, long term gain) Also check out the not as nice, but cheaper tripod I posted in the On Sale! section today.

 

Ample Solstice Lamp $499

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Kickstarter : RX Made

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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.

RX Made on Kickstarter 

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Touch of Modern : Micklish

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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

Product Details

— Handmade 
— Note, the iPhone, charging cord and extension cord are not included.

  • MaterialsAmerican Walnut, Baltic Birch Ply
  • Measurements9"L x 10"H x 2.25"D
  • OriginUSA

$136 Micklish Butler

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Modern Union : Sycamore Slab Table

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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

Modern Union

Modern Union on Facebook

Modern Union on Etsy

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Pilot Stool

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One of the obstacles to making furniture affordable is shipping. It's an easy obstacle to overlook as a consumer, but for designers it can be a major influence to the final design. Ikea is a master of flat packing furniture to realize shipping savings. A truly great piece of furniture will take what is a potential design obstacle and make it into a beautiful part of the final design. That is what has me so interested in this Pilot Stool by QUINZE & MILAN. It uses a very old solution to the problem, a threaded wooden leg. I think it looks as good disassembled as assembled. The bonus is it makes for a beautiful, simple connection, between the seat and leg, and it's easy to install. 

Pilot Stool $370

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James Henry Austin furniture

NewImageSometimes 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

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Please excuse me while I pay some bills...