There are two fundamental problems with pet beds in small spaces – 1) they take up precious floor or counter real estate; 2) pets ignore them, giving preference to your furniture. As the result you end up with a bulky item, completely dissed by your pet and thus turned into clutter, plus you have to give up a piece of your own. Opposite of space-saving, if you ask me. But what if we anticipate our four-legged companions’ behavior and get furniture that accommodates both human storage and pet lounging. This was the idea behind Bloq, a clever pet-friendly unit by Binq Design. Thanks to its minimal cubical shape, the piece can be easily integrated into any interior and used as side, occasional, bedside or even coffee table. The bottom shelf features a pet cushion and is big enough for a cat or a small dog. And with 13 cushion color choices, it is easy to individualize the piece and blend it with the existing decor.
(HT The Designer Pad)
If you humanize objects (I do), you will be delighted by this piece. Listen to Your Hands desk by Sanghyeok Lee has just won second prize in the [D3] Contest during the IMM Cologne 2012. The drawers of the desk are connected, so if you push one with force – others will respond by moving. But if you are gentle – the drawers can be operated individually, without setting other parts of the desk in motion. Designer elaborates: “Listen to Your Hands looks at the most sensitive of human senses, touch; it communicates a whole world of information to us and it explores how we can create a relationship to an object, a sort of dialogue, through touch. A push of one drawer pulls out another as if in direct conversation with the action. A gentle closing of a drawer keeps the others intact thus communicating to us that we need to act with intention, we need to listen with our hands.”
This ingenious X hanger was created by Israeli designer Kfir Schwalb. Thanks to its cross-shaped design, the piece can accomodate two hanging options in one – a hook rack option and a clothes hanger option. The fusion of these two functions is what informed the idea of the piece. The X hanger is made from powder-coated, bent steel and comes in a variety of colors.
Inspired by placards, these unusual storage units, aptly called Sticks, are perfect if you need to break the pattern of unified storage. Designed by Netherlands based studio Castelijn Wonen, these one-legged cabinets come in four different heights, four different widths and a wide variety of colors. So, you can create a huge number of combinations. You can use them separately or put them in groups, mix and match heights and colors and really let your artistic flag fly. And they really do look like placards on sticks, put into harmonious and fun compositions.
This is just delightful. A bookshelf designed to be assembled like a game, with no screws, tools or indeed muscles involved. Created by Gonçalo Campos, the piece is a soaring example of elegant functionality. It is comprised of two parts that interlock via simple slots, providing for a sturdy construction. The ‘X’ part gives structural integrity to the shelf, whereas the ‘I’ part contributes to its dynamic look. I also love that the instructions are engraved on the piece itself – no paper to fiddle with or lose. Beautiful, no-nonsense approach.
This 1950s mid century modern Seattle home is only 600 square feet. But instead of increasing the footprint, this redo by architectural bureau Atelier Drome amplified usability of the existing space, which makes it so ingenious. The solutions included lots and lots of built in shelving in very unexpected areas, including one above the shower. I especially liked that these built in shelves do not project into the open area of the home, helping it feel larger. In order to open the space even further – similar materials were used throughout, providing the sense of cohesiveness. Another clever move was to eliminate the wall between the office/second bedroom and the main living space. This increases the feeling of space in the main living area, while providing a direct connection to the backyard. The large desk does double duty as a large dining table for family get-togethers, and the built-in shelves provide the necessary storage without creeping into the office. Additionally, a new sliding glass door was added to the exterior, harvesting every bit of the limited Seattle natural light.
These cardboard series, designed by Heikki Ruoh for Showroom Finland, satisfy my cardboard obsession completely. They are light, eco-friendly and very beautiful indeed. Made out of special kind of cardboard, these pieces can be recycled as paper, yet they are sturdy and functional. Water based adhesives are used to create the material’s sandwich-like construction, so it is perfectly safe and non-toxic. The items arrive to you flat, and can be simply folded into their shapes. No glue or screws required. Perfect for rental apartments or dorms.
I’m slightly obsessed with this website right now – Sydney based studio Evolvex created a cool online tool allowing you to build your own furniture. With this smart and intuitive online application you can upload images of your rooms and see what the piece will look like in its intended environment. And with the presented choice of components you can build an array of simple and elegant items for any room of your apartment.
These modular shelves by Gabi Malacha might look precarious at first glance, but don’t let this impression fool you. A well thought out shelving construction, comprised of several sets of L-shaped wooden components, is being secured in place by screws and rested upon wooden stands. So, in spite of its weightless looks, the unit can withstand a good load of books, DVDs, CDs, periodic marials and small items. And thanks to its modular stacking principle and intuitive assembly method, many configurations can be created, including beautiful tilted ones.
This project from Berlin based studio Ambivalenz is aesthetically pleasing and makes a lot of sense too. The collection of collapsible pieces – chair, stool and coat rack – can be stored completely flat. But here is the kicker – one side of each piece features artwork, so it can be displayed on the wall instead of occupying your closet. What a neat idea! I also quite like the string folding/unfolding mechanism that brings the stool and the coatrack in motion. The stool can be turned upside down and serve as a magazine rack. Plain white versions of each item are also available. The Ambivalenz collection is currently displayed at the Designers Fair 2012 in Cologne.