Design


BENDIt will come as no surprise to you that I love the wire chairs of Bend.  My grandmother had a set of wire chairs on her summer porch when I was a kid.  They looked like they would be painful to sit in – but they were remarkably comfortable.  Those chairs are long gone, but I have often thought about them and wished I had them.

Well, all these years later I have found a modern twist on the old wire chair available from Bend.

About Bend: “Bend is a furniture and product design house. What inspires us? Just as lines are written to create a story, our lines are designed to create structures inspired by our lives. Our wire chairs are made up of intricate arrangements of wires or lines through a hand crafted method of shaping and spot welding, a process we like to call ‘bending.’ Each bend is carefully arranged to ensure structural strength, while the angles of the back, the curves of the seat, and the closeness of the wires are designed to encourage relaxation and utility.”

tropBend has many great designs in their wire furniture collection

…but you just gotta love the Lucy and Ethel chairs: “The Lucy chair is the proverbial zany redhead (also comes in white and black). A force to be reigned in. Ethel, the voice of reason, is her reliable, stately counterpart.”

See all the great wire chair designs of Bend here.

While you are there – don’t miss Bend’s wonderful line of “Geometric Animals Trophy Heads.”

LONDONBUSI love when two or more of my interests collide in the perfect application of something truly awesome.  As an unabashed Anglophile and lover of modern design, I have to say that I adore the new design of the iconic red London double-decker bus by the elite design firm Heatherwick Studio.

About A New Bus for London by Heatherwick Studio:  “In January 2010, Heatherwick Studio joined the team leading the design of a New Bus for London. The project marks the first time in more than 50 years that TFL has commissioned and overseen the development of a bus built specifically for the capital.  Working alongside specialist bus manufacturer, Wrightbus, the external design has been developed to reflect the functional requirements of the vehicle. A long asymmetric front window provides the driver with clear kerbside views, while a wrapped glazing panel reflects passenger circulation – bringing more daylight into the bus and offering views out over London.”

This New Bus for London is a great example of how function and design can come together for something that is just perfect.  I am told there are a couple already on he streets with a few more to be released to coincide with the London Olympics later this month.  I can’t wait to see these babies on my next trip to London. 

By the way, Heatherwick Studio (which “exists to make extraordinary projects happen“) was established by Thomas Heatherwick in 1994, and is known for great design projects large and small.  I am just a fan.

See the New Bus for London and other projects by Heatherwick Studio here.

GH1I have been finding all sorts of places to help me in my quest to make a nice nest for the winter – which I have been sharing over the past few days.  As I have mentioned, there is no shortage of great stuff out there and plenty of places to purchase them.

I wish I came across Gracious Home sooner.  Gracious Home is a New York-based purveyor of home furnishings.  There are a few Gracious Home shops in New York which feature all the great products they offer, but lucky for us, they also have a website where you can browse and purchase all of the goods for your home.

About Gracious Home“In a city renowned for exceptional specialty shops, Gracious Home is truly legendary. Launched as a modest hardware and housewares store in 1963, today Gracious Home is celebrated for its superb hands-on service and its vast, in-depth selection of merchandise. Through decades of dedicated one-on-one customer care, Gracious Home has evolved into an indelible resource for New Yorkers and for customers worldwide.”

A trip to Gracious Home or a spree on their website can be all you need to furnish any room in your house.  I was drawn to their great collection of blankets and throws, which are on my list of things I need to ensure I stay warm this winter.

See all the fine household goods Gracious Home offers here.

We don’t know much about art and design – we just know what we like. But we can also appreciate those who have an eye for these things and create a place to help us all make sense of it all. This is the case with Velocity Art and Design founded by John Tusher in 1999. I loved poking around the Velocity Art and Design website and would love to visit the store in Seattle .ca_dalek_spacemonkey[1]-01

About Velocity Art and Design: “Velocity Art and Design believes that the positive influence of art and design extends beyond shelter and encapsulates an entire style of life. We are optimistic about the impact this belief can have in both the present and the future. We strive to do the right thing in every opportunity. By partnering with designers and suppliers who support these beliefs, we are further able to provide enriching experiences and inspiring products to our customers.”

There are so many great items collected here – everything you may need for “modern living” from art work, bedding, furniture, and toys to pet supplies and watches.

You have to love a place that offers this Space Monkey by Cerealart. The Space Monkey Figure is available in grey, blue and pink and even comes with an “extra accessory eyeball that fits into stomach hole, or the hole in the back of the head.” Very cool!

Take a peak around the Velocity Art and Design site – it may not be all to your taste, but I think you will appreciate the idea behind it and support the effort to bring a collection of products together that “encapsulates an entire style of life.”

kirkHere is something that you would never think you would want because it is something you would never imagine existed. But as soon as I saw this, I needed one as soon as possible.

Who needs a red acrylic flower vase you ask? Well, that’s just the point. If the good people at Kikkerland thought it was a good product to sell, who am I to disagree.

Actually I think this is fun and funky and provide a much needed splash of color in the right setting.

Visit the Kikkerland Shop here.

Our buddy Chrissie turned us on Ork Posters recently by telling us she purchased one as a Christmas gift for a mutual friend.  We forgot to be mad that she wasn’t buying one for us when we fell in love with the poster featured on the Ork Posters website.

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“Ork Posters was born when I (Chicago-based designer Jenny Beorkrem) embarked on a search for a neighborhood poster that fit my taste for good design and typography, simplicity, and originality. My hunt came up empty. As a result, I designed the original Chicago poster in the summer of 2007 for myself.”

We love the look and style of Ms. Beorkrem’s work.  She has captured a great look for some of our favorite cities, including Chicago, New York and our hometown, Boston.  The mix of color options is fantastic and the possibilities on how to displace these very affordable works of art are endless.  They make a great gift for folks who love these cities and nice reminder of your own favorite places.

I can’t wait to see what the artist does next.  May I humbly suggest… London?

See Jenny Beorkrem’s cool city posters on the Ork Posters website.

No, this is not what we are planning for Christmas brunch.  Pancake & Franks is a shop that has great cards and stationary. 

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I know, we have heard from more than a few of you: “lay off the stationary” sites.  I wish we could, but we can’t, it is like an addiction.  We love nice stationary and Pancake & Franks offers the best.

“Pancake & Franks is a boutique studio specializing in elegant, modern cards and
wedding invitations. We’re inspired by paper and we’re fervent about letterpress.
A meticulous sense of design is the very heart of our concept.”

We love the collection of every day cards Pancake & Franks offers – including the baseball themed card featured here.  These cards are simple and elegant.   They also offer a nice selection of limited edition prints that would make a nice addition to a collection, and they have some nice boxed collections with 30 cards each that will last you for every occasion in 2010.

By the way, in case you are wondering, we are serving quiche Lorraine, fruit, and Caesar salad for Christmas brunch – with full pitchers of Poinsettias.

Check out Pancake & Franks here.

It’s true.  Don’t tell my mother.  But I like to have a few fingers of Bourbon, neat, every now and then.  As a result I have ended up with a few empty bottles.  Some of the Bourbon bottles, mostly Bulliet and Knob Creek, are too beautiful to throw away or recycle, so I have been saving them for years.  Seriously, it took YEARS to collect a few empties.

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Anyway, I have been saving the empty bottles hoping to be inspired to use them somehow.  Recently while trying to find a jar or other container to store some of the loose buttons from my mother’s enormous button collection, I came across an empty Knob Creek bottle and was inspired.  I filled the bottle with the buttons an instant piece of art and keepsake was born.

Everybody loves the look of my button bottle and I was happy to have a good way to have a piece of my mother’s collection on display in my home.  As I was preparing for the holidays I came across more of my empty bottles and was inspired to fill them with cranberries.  I loved the look and the splash of color and have made these cranberry bottles the center of my Christmas décor this year.

The Knob Creek bottles are great because they have flat sides and clear glass.  The labels come off easily after soaking in hot water to loosen the glue.  I love the old school look of the Bulliet bottles, and thought leaving the label on added to the appeal.

This is an easy thing to do.  Just take any clear glass jar, bottle or vase and fill it with something colorful.  The cranberries work great in these bottles, but for a large mouthed vase small glass ornaments are cool looking.  Or throw a bag of mixed nuts in their shells in for another great holiday look.

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Cheers!

Lost Cowboy contributor, Sophie, in town last week from London to celebrate the “uniquely American” holiday of Thanksgiving, is recommending we all embrace the new online magazine Lonny.

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We all checked it out and totally endorse Sophie’s recommendation.  We love Lonny’s mission of “reopening the doors of accessible design.”

The premiere issue of Lonny – Fall 2009 – is up now. Check it out.

It takes just a little bit of time to figure out how it works – but soon you’ll be reading it just like a paper magazine.  But it is the content that you will enjoy – Lonny has a great eye for design of all styles and presents it all in an accessible way.

Check out Lonny now.

You just have to love a website that calls themselves exactly what they are.  Such is the case with Cool Knobs and Pulls – they sell cool knobs and pulls.  Imagine that!51085-S

We love this site.  There is no easier way to spruce up a boring set of kitchen cabinets or a tired old bedroom dresser than just changing the door pulls or draw handles.  Even in apartments I have rented in the past that I did not own, I swapped out the generic cabinet pulls with ones of my own to add a little personality.  I just put the old ones back before I moved and brought my pulls with me.

You should consider doing the same.  The only problem you are going to have is choosing from  the many different kinds offered on Cool Knobs and Pulls’ website.  There are traditional pulls, knobs and pulls for kids, ceramic knobs and pulls, and much more.

How they describe themselves: “At Cool Knobs and Pulls.com, we believe that great hardware can improve your quality of life. Having the right cabinet knobs and drawer pulls can transform ordinary furniture and cabinets into an extraordinary expression of your fine personal taste! Kitchen cabinet hardware is our passion and our goal is to provide you with today’s latest and most popular styles.”

Check out Cool Knobs and Pulls.com

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