Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

A Jump Start on Holiday Gifts — 5 Stylish Gifts Under $50

Becky

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So I was pretty sure Halloween was yesterday or the day before (mostly because I still have candy left over, which is some sort of Halloween miracle), but then I went into CVS and saw a bunch of Santas and candy canes. Yes, the early start of holiday marketing is ridiculous, and I wonder how many years it will be before we start hearing Christmas music in August, but at the same time, things are about to get hectic. We’ll be planning out Thanksgiving meals, putting on that show, getting the house ready for guests, decorating, cooking and before we know it, we’ll be rushing out the night before to get gifts. Hanukkah is only 5 weeks away.

So that’s my little disclaimer on why we’re starting to talk holiday gifts already. Click, order, receive it, stash it, and you won’t have to do the night-before-rush. While you’re at it, create a gift registry for yourself.  Here are five of my favorite things Design Public has for under $50.

Kontextüre VIKTOR Toothbrush/Razor Holders in 18K Gold. Why? Because his is something that unless you giftee is Donald Trump, it’s something that they’d love but never buy for themselves. That’s what makes it such a treat, and that’s what gifts are all about.

Modern-twist Mark-Mat (with 4 markers). Why? Because it doesn’t matter how old you are, coloring your placemat while you wait for food is awesome. And when you’re hungry it’s hard to think of what to doodle, so having stuff to just mindlessly color in is good. You can wipe ‘em right down and do it all over again tomorrow. And yeah, these are also great for people who have actual children.

Boskke Cube — Triple. Why? Because you don’t find a fresh basil plant all moldy in a plastic bag in the bottom of a refrigerator drawer. It’s cool to be able to pick an herb right off your windowsill and throw it in your caprese. Plus, this has this awesome reserve watering system called Slo-Flo that means you can forget completely about watering it for almost a month and the plants will live. Check it out:

David Weeks Guthrie Cubebot. Why? Because Cubebot is awesome, and when you’re giftee is feeling stumped at his or her desk, playing with Cubebot is a nice way to de-stress and get unblocked. Plus he’s a great conversation starter. Clients will bond over Cubebot, coworkers and bosses will forget why they were mad when they walked in because Cubebot will distract them. Oh, and again, kiddos like Cubebot too.

Lotta Jansdotter Large Tray Set (of 2). Why? Because not only are these pretty (without being all girly), they are super handy, whether serving guests, schlepping dinner to the TV room, to use as a hard surface on a soft ottoman for drinks or corral accessories in a bathroom or guest room. They’ll also accessorize a room with a splash of graphic design.

Check out more gifts under $50. Happy Shopping!

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Friday, October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Becky

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Here’s to a fun and safe evening this Halloween everyone!

Watching Claire and Phil from Modern Family arguing between scary insane asylum and “AwesomeLand” decorations this week got me thinking about Halloween decor. In my neighborhood it’s bananas — there are giant spiders scaling the houses, and webs, gravestones, walkers and skeletons all over yards and porches. People throw themselves into Halloween so much that it got me thinking of how to keep the fun spirit of the holiday alive year-round, in a way that’s not so scary. Here are some Halloween-inspired elements deconstructed and turned into playful decor.

1) Candy colors. These bright hues cheer up any room and add a big element of happy.

2) Skeletons. The mention of a skelton reminds me of a favorite David Sedaris story, where he buys his partner Hugh a full-size human skeleton model he’s been wanting, but deeply regrets his own generosity after Hugh hangs it in their bedroom. I’d use this soft skeleton shawl as a throw to add some personality to a room though!

Thomas Paul Shawl - Skeleton

3) Gourds. I love the organic look of gourds hanging from the trees, and spying my feathered friends enjoying them as a birdhouse or feeder. There’s a helpful DIY guide for making your own gourd birdhouse over at instructables.com

4) Orange. Call it persimmon, apricot, tangerine, or by some other mouth-watering name. It’s a color that enlivens a space. According to the interwebs, orange by any name is mentally stimulating and represents creativity and happiness.

"Baby" wallpaper by Aimee Wilder

5) Creepy dolls. Just kidding. This is whack. That thing’s going to come and get your while you sleep!

photo by Daniel Marbaix

Is any of your year-round decor inspired by Halloween? If so, please share it with us in the comments section.

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Monday, October 27th, 2014

Hardworking Desks for the Home Office

Becky

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Choosing a desk can be tricky. The best way to choose is to first assess your needs.

  • Are you someone who has gone paperless, or do you still require spreading out and using a stapler, files and a shredder?
  • Do you like a clean, minimalist surface or do you like to have lots of photographs, tools and favorite objects within sight?
  • Do you keep one favorite pen going or do you tend to collect scads of them?

Write down every activity you want to do at your desk and make a list of the tools and supplies they require. Think about where you would stash them as you look at different desks below.

The writer’s best friend — Gus Modern Finch Desk. This desk is great for those who mostly work on a laptop or who like to sit and write old-fashioned snail mail letters, invitations and thank-you notes. The truss shape leaves plenty of legroom and places to prop your feet while you ponder. The drawers have plenty of space for writing utensils, notecards, stamps and your address book.

The space saver — MASH Studios LAX Wall Mounted Desk. If you square footage is a premium in your place, a wall-mounted desk can slide in just about anywhere, like the living room, your bedroom or a guest room, without feeling obtrusive. It only sticks out 20 inches, and you can keep your chair or yoga ball tucked right under it. There’s plenty of room to stash your laptop, notebooks and other supplies, and the aluminum door can slide right over anything unsightly. Speaking of unsightly, there are two holes in the side for stealth wire management.

The keeper of the household — Blu Dot Modulicious Power Deskette. This desk is great for keeping all of your household files together in one place. The bottom drawer can handle legal or letter size hanging files, the top drawer has plenty of room for all of your supplies. Keep all of your personal finances, warranties, tax records and home-related documents at your fingertips. In terms of looks, the piece is fully customizable. There are several finishes to choose from for the main body of the desk, and you can choose from a range of colors for the drawer front panels.

The minimalist — Brave Space Design Delta Desk. At first glance, this sculptural piece looks like all it has to offer is a simple work surface. In fact, the wings off the sides will hold any clutter. The desk comes in beautiful walnut, maple and bamboo (shown) finishes.

Built for two — Steelcase Turnstone Bivi Table for Two with Back Pockets. This hard-working table was designed for two to sit across from one another, perfect for family members who need to work at the same time. It’s also a great option if you see clients at home. One of the best features is the  cable trough down the center, which will keep pesky wires neat and organized.


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Friday, October 24th, 2014

Introducing the MILK Grande Desk

DesignPublic.com

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Get to know The MILK Grande Desk. Designed by Søren Rose and manufactured by Holmris, it has a sleek minimalist look, but is very high functioning and serves several purposes. The fact that it sits atop a pedestal means it can be used as a large workspace for one, but can transform into a mini-conference table and has room for up to four people to pull up and work at once.

Photograph by Kristian Holm

Since health experts have recently called sitting all day “the new smoking” in terms of danger to your health, having a standing option is optimal (the adjustable column is an option). Whether you like to sit in an ergonomic desk chair, perch on a yoga ball or decide to get some standing,  squats or ballet poses in while tapping away on the keyboard or drawing, the MILK Grande Desk can accommodate you. The height is adjustable to suit all of your needs.

The desk is crafted of MDF beautifully finished with high gloss lacquer. Get to know all of the secrets the MILK Grande Desk is hiding — check out this 360º look at all it can do. As for storage, the desk has seamless built-in cubbies for tools, pencils, tablets, folders, notebooks, charging accessories  and even cord management. This keeps the clutter well contained and easy to reach so that you can concentrate on the task at hand.

Options like these cubby lids are sold separately.

Like what you see? Learn more about the MILK Grande Desk and decide if you want to buy it.

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Monday, October 20th, 2014

Blu Dot Sale! Save 20% Through November 9th

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It’s that time of year — Blu Dot is 20% off now through November 9, 2014! If you’re not familiar with Blu Dot, chances are you’ve seen their work around and just didn’t know it. Two best friends, John Christakos and Maurice Blanks founded the Minnesota company in 1997 and it has taken the design world by storm ever since. Founded on the simple concept that Good Design Is Good, creating pieces that are practical and just plain cool.

If you haven’t checked them out, Blu Dot is one of the best companies to follow on Pinterest, as they apply their discerning eyes to all good design and share their creative collaborations. They also ran a two-week swap meet, where folks could propose trades for their products. Successful fans proposed trading Blu Dot products rendered in cross-stitch, carrying a Rook Table Lamp around Boston for a week and even learning a ukelele song to in turn, dedicate to them.

Plus, their product shots always inspire and awe. This one for their Nook Bed is one of our all-time faves:

Their Strut Tables remain one of the most popular items, whether in coffee table form as seen here, dining room table size or console table:

Here is the Rook Lamp one fan was willing to take everywhere with her for a week. Sounds worth it, but personally, I’d rather just save 20%:

No deer were harmed while photographing this shot, which includes a Strut Dining Table,  a 4-Drawer Shale Credenza, a Delta Rug and a couple of Real Good Chairs in Copper:

The best thing about the philosophy that Good Design Is Good is that these pieces are timeless. They aren’t something yo’ll chuck during a move, but rather, something you’ll hang on to and treasure for decades. Blu Dots pieces slip into not only contemporary and modern rooms; they work with traditional, transitional, collected and rustic rooms too.

You have a few weeks to ponder which pieces you’d like to invest in, but do it while you have a chance to save big.

Shop all Blu Dot

Blu Dot photos by Dan Monick

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