Category Archives: Furniture/Design

precious metals

I’ve had quite the affinity towards interesting and unique office supplies this past semester.  From my first Lamy Safari, to a Kuru Toga and a whole bunch of other Japanese exclusive leads and erasers, it’s a new hobby.  Discovering JetPens didn’t help, and I’ve still got my eye on the big dog Zebra Sharbo X:

I read a blog post a few weeks ago about a particular item I couldn’t believe I missed out on – a stainless steel Sharpie.  Everyone’s favorite permanent marker got an upgrade!

How does it hold up though?  The idea is a refreshing upgrade to the classic shape, and it features replaceable ink cartridges.  Did I mention this is a stainless steel Sharpie?

However, there are some downsides, starting with the weight.  I was surprised by how light the entire thing was.  I was hoping it would feel indestructible, and it didn’t give me that impression at all.

Another gripe is the fact that due to the replaceable ink cartridge, the bottom barrel screws off (where the black meets the stainless steel barrel).  Every time you try to pull off the cap, the lower portion gets a little loose.  You find yourself tightening the lower portion constantly.  Not a major problem, but why is it this easy to unscrew?  I don’t plan on refilling the ink after every use.

Overall, it’s a cool idea and concept, but lacks in execution.  The laser etching is a nice touch, but not something that redeems its other lacking qualities.  Still, at around $7, not a bad deal for the toughest Sharpie out there.

top 5 classic furniture pieces

I’ve got a habit of saving any pictures on the internet I like.  This wouldn’t present too much of a problem for most people, but I’m on the internet a lot.  And this means a lot of photos.  In the past year I’ve amassed over 2000 pictures of home interiors that I particularly liked.  I’ve got a bunch of ideas when it does come to finding furniture and decorating, but it’s a pain looking through all the pictures to find one.

What I’ve discovered is that any interior I like is usually based around a few key pieces.  I’m not exactly why I like these pieces or even mid-century furniture in general, but it seems the most timeless to me.  Here they are in no particular order:

Eames Molded Plywood Lounge Chair (LCW)

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I think the LCW chair might have actually gotten me into mid-century furniture.  Previous to that, my style was “whatever looks good”, and while I suppose that’s what everyone’s style is, I can now narrow it down a little better to styles/time periods.  I got a chance to sit in this at Design Within Reach and while it isn’t the most comfortable chair (it’s all wood), it’s absolutely stunning.  Palisander or walnut would be preferred colors (I believe palisander is pictured).

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Eames Hang-It-All

Screen shot 2009-11-14 at 7.54.27 PMMy wonderful girlfriend likes to poke fun of the fact that I like this because she claims it belongs it a kids room.  And I think that’s part of why I like it – it would work in an entryway, a kids room, pretty much anywhere.  Nothing really elaborate, just simple construction from steel and maple.  I imagine it working like this in a home:

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George Nelson Platform Bench

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Again, a very simple design.  When I was at one of DWR’s locations, you walk in, head up stairs and take a right at the top to see the rest of the offerings.  Placed right at the top was this piece, and had I not known what it was, wouldn’t have given it a second glance.  I really like that it could work as seating or as a coffee table.  However with my love for coffee table books, I might end up needing two if somebody wants to sit down.

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Emeco 1006 Navy Side Chair

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Noticing a trend?  Classic, and yet functional.  The 77 step process that makes each 1006 chair has remained unchanged since 1944.  The result is a lifetime guarantee on the chair and an expected life of 150 years.  And if you’re looking for something flashier, Phillipe Starck made a polished version as well as the brushed version seen above.

Eames Lounge and Ottoman

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Piper Building

Another classic piece from Eames.  Designed to look like a well-worn first basemans baseball mitt, there is nowhere else I’d rather be after a long day.  All the individual components are replaceable which means it can be repaired and restored for generations to come.

I’m no expert in design, but I do know what I like.  And these five pieces round up to me essentials in an apartment/home I’d like to live in.  And I know I left out some really great pieces, but I had to limit it to five.  The Barcelona Chair, Sapien bookcase, Noguchi table and Eames Management Chair were close seconds…

break it off

If you checked out Gary Hustwit’s latest film Objectified, you may remember a scene about toothpicks.  Andrew Blauvelt of the Walker Art Center explains that the Japanese toothpick actually breaks off towards the end, to signal that it has been used and also to create a rest for the toothpick.

As usual, Design Within Reach has got you covered.  While they don’t explicitly state that they are the same as described in Objectified, they do state that “he refillable holder comes packed with cedar toothpicks that have a decorative groove at one end.”  At $12 it might be worth it to pick up just for the Hinoki cypress toothpick holder.

Screen shot 2009-11-14 at 7.31.31 PMI really appreciate cultures that appreciate these simple, yet formal gestures.  Americans seem to always be on the go and very rarely do we enjoy relaxing after a meal with dessert or coffee/tea.  Regardless, any restaurant that offers these toothpicks to patrons is going to receive 5 stars in my book.

christmas 2009

A few people have approached me in the past with the request that they needed to buy a gift (usually for a guy) but had no idea what to get.  Commonly, people end up buying what they know – cologne, shirts, maybe simple jewelry.  All that stuff is well and good and needed, there’s only so much of it anyone can use.  So here’s a few (okay, a variety of) ideas for gifts this year.  It’s a compilation of things I’ve ran across on the internet in the past year that have remained relevant in my mind.  Take it for what you will – and even if you don’t decide on one of my picks, I hope you are successful in your Christmas shopping.  I know it’s cliche but spending time with friends and family should be the greatest gift of all…and it’s the thought that counts.

Stanley Limited Edition Bottle 1.1 Quart

43325_1I’ve been using a thermos recently for water and while a lot of my friends think it’s stupid, it works well for me.  If you fill the thermos with ice cubes and water, you’ll have a drink that stays colder much longer.  It also isn’t another plastic bottle in the landfill because it’s refillable, and unlike Nalgene and other water bottles, it can hold tea or coffee just as well.  There’s also regular versions of the Stanley thermos and they all come with lifetime warranties.  Available from Blackbird.

Hand Blown Oil, Vinegar and Dressing Bottles

ichendorf_2lgMost oil & vinegar and salt & pepper shaker combos are either a little too playful or way too expensive for my tastes.  These bottles range from $24 to $28 and look good to be sitting out at all times.  Available from Abodeon.

TI$A x Starter Hats

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Show your love for your favorite teams come playoff time with this collaborative hat between Starter and Taz Arnold’s brand TI$A.  They’ll cost you more than a New Era, but you won’t see anyone else wearing one of these at the game.  The Spurs and Lakers are some of the best – yellow corduroy?!?  Email TI$A (tisavisiononline@gmAil.com) and check out the rest of the hats here.

Bell & Ross BR03-92 Phantom

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If you were waiting for the big guns to be pulled here, here it is.  “All black everything” on a watch made by Bell & Ross.  Simple and devoid of extras, it’s functional and still stunning.  This particular one is limited to less than 200 pieces, and carries a fitting price tag of nearly $6,000 on eBay.

Help I Need Help Kits

Screen shot 2009-11-07 at 7.07.03 PMThis was a concept that had blogs on fire towards the middle of the year.  Great for stocker stuffers and much better looking than Tylenol or Advil containers.  If you’ve got a lot of problems you can also pick up all six for only $28.  Available direct from here.

Rock Pillows

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Such a cool concept – soft cushions that actually look like rocks.  The largest is 13” x 25” x 25”, and you’ll need a few in each size to create the illusion of rocks, but it’ll be fun for all.  Not sure on pricing but you can contact the manufacturer Ronel Jordaan.

Kiehl’s x Kaws x RxART Creme de Corps

_5948557One of my favorite artists, Kaws, teamed up with RxArt and Kiehl’s to create this limited edition label.  Inside is Kiehl’s famous Creme de Corps lotion and 100% of the net profits are going to RxArt which is, “a nonprofit national organization committed to fostering artistic expression and awareness through the challenging yet rewarding task of engaging young patients through contemporary art in pediatric hospitals.”  Do some good this Christmas season.  Available in three sizes from Nordstrom.

Filson Pullman Bag

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If you aren’t going to go with a luxury bag, stick with a quality and go with the Filson Pullman.  Measuring 22” x 15” x 9” this will more than cover you for a weekend.  And the best part of all, this bag will get better with age which means that receiving a well-used Filson from a relative may be even better than getting a new one – But you’ve got to start somewhere.  Available from Blackbird.

BMW M3 GTS

Hey, I can dream, can’t I?  450 bhp, carbon fiber roof, 7-speed M-DCT tranny, and out of reach for most at $170 grand.

a recent obsession: the lamy safari

Blame the information overload available at Superfuture, but I recently was on the hunt for a premium writing device.  I’m not much a fan of the classic or traditional look, so Mont Blanc and Cross were both out.  I was looking for a high quality, well designed and functional product.  And while I wasn’t on a Bic-product budget, I also wasn’t looking to spend $100+ on a pen.

What I ended up with was the Lamy Safari, designed by Wolfgang Fabian.  The first Lamy I saw was the Safari fountain pen, but I was really looking for a mechanical pencil.  Luckily, the Safari line includes a fountain pen, rollerball and ballpoint pen, as well as a mechanical pencil version.  Regardless of whether or not you want a pen or pencil however, the styling is very similar.

Screen shot 2009-09-08 at 4.35.14 PMThe Safari line all feature the iconic brass clip, are made from ABS plastic and have been in production since 1980.  I received my Lamy Safari mechanical pencil last week and I couldn’t be happier.  It’s a bit pricey (I got mine for about $23 shipped) but the German engineering and quality is evident.  It is more comfortable and just “feels” right.  I do agree with most reviews I’ve read, however, that the eraser isn’t anything spectacular.

It even comes with it’s own warranty.  Here’s my actual pencil with it’s packaging and the warranty card.

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Another thing I like about the Safari line is the limited edition colors.  Right now, you can pick up the Safari line in pink or safari orange.  I think the orange color is an addition to the permanent product line, but pink is available only for 2009.

Overall, if you are looking for a durable writing instrument, give the Lamy Safari a try.  It’s pricey compared to your normal pen or pencil, but it’s a noticeable step above in quality, looks and durability.  A majority of the line can be found directly from Lamy’s USA website but Amazon, eBay or a local art store are good options as well.  Lamy even has a “Where to buy Lamy” section to help with your search.

covered up

Natalia Brilli is at it again, this time covering a bottle of Absolut – the Rock Edition:

This is at least more usable than the skateboard.

Via High Snobiety

love at first sight

Some random (and old favorites) things that have caught my eye recently.

Mortimer Bust Candle:

Visvim FBT Bear Folk (Yahoo! JP sighting):

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The Big Lebowski Cross Stitch:

Personal Effects by Hiroshi Fujiwara:

The Wiggle Stool by Frank Gehry:

First Aid Kit:

Ambush Beeeeethoven Ring (in black):