If you are guilty of systematically killing your greenery - this product might help. Moistly, a cute plant alarm, will notify you when your plans need attention. The device is stuck in the soil next to a plant. When the plant needs water, Moistly senses this and starts to bleep and blink by playing a short melody and flashes a green LED light to alert you. It looks unobtrusive and doesn’t take away from the beauty of the plant. I also like that there is no learning curve involved in using this product. No network, no configuration. Simply put it into the soil and walk away.
Tuamotu gas top by Norwegian studio Andersson & Voll is an elegant portable solution for limited space cooking. The solid marble base and cast iron details create a perfect combination of contemporary slickness and rustic warmth in one piece. I love how elegant and luxurious the piece looks, especially for a pragmatic space saving design. The Tuamotu cooking hob (along with the Good Morning moka pot, which is also a stunner) was shown at the Design Tide Tokyo exhibition as part of the Food Work, a collection of objects for cooking and eating produced by eight Norwegian designers.
Leading a sustainable life is a noble aspiration, but a tricky one to have if you’re living in a small apartment. Take compost, for example. Aside from being a messy process, it requires space we don’t always have. Luckily, designers do think about these things and come up with ideas. Here is one from London based design student Fanny M.E. Nilsson – a portable waste processor that turns your food leftovers into a liquid fertilizer. The piece, aptly called Re-Feed, is no bigger than a toaster. The idea is to throw the leftover food into the machine, close the lid, push a button and walk away. No fiddling with soil, no sacrificing units of space for bulky containers. “Inspired by lacking food waste recycling infrastructures in flats and high-rise housing in central London, the Re-Feed provides a simple alternative to sending waste to landfill or composting.,” – says Nilsson. When the fertilizer is ready – it can be fed to a plant through the convenient nuzzle. Re-Feed is fitted with the rechargeable battery, so it can be easily moved to any room. The piece is only a concept at this point. Can’t wait to see it produced.
There is something inherently ugly about multiple socket extension cords. Add to it clutter they create and the fact that there is never one to be found when needed… Not my favorite household item. But someone has been doing more than complaining. Netherlands-based designer Dave Hakkens has developed this brilliant item, called PlugBook. Made in the shape of a book which hides itself between your other books, the item is minimal and simple. PlugBook features 10 feet/3 meter cable, two standard sockets and two USB ports for charging iPhones, iPads, cameras and what have you. The cord automatically rewinds at the push of a button. Neat. Make a pledge on Dave’s Kickstarter page if you want to get yours.
When it comes to organizing your workspace, the smallest things can make you either happy or miserable. And we all know which emotion cables and USBs can be ascribed to. Luckily there are companies like Bluelounge, who turn dealing with cordage clutter into a mission. Their latest invention, called Sumo, is a little tool designed to be placed on a desk, tabletop or workstation to prevent cables from dropping off the edge. Not a very commonly addressed issue! Sumo acts like a paperweight for your cables and features high-tech Japanese micro-suction pads underneath for even further grip. There are two grooves for cables to be placed underneath Sumo. Run the cables along the grooves, place Sumo on the desktop surface, and voila. One less annoyance that can temper with your temper.
If you are a cat lover you probably know that the only way to preserve the integrity of your furniture is to make some alternative scratching arrangements for your claw-happy kitty. But the choices we often see in pet stores, although offering some fun for our cats, don’t always give us something nice to look at. The Sky Scratcher by Portland based designer Mike Estes combines both – joy for the pet and an an aesthetic pleasure for the owner. Inspired by Chicago skyline, this architectural scratching post will make a design statement rather than an eyesore in your home. It is quite clever too. The item is stackable, which gives you the option to change and renew parts. It uses no adhesive, employs sustainable and recyclable materials and requires zero assembly effort. Check out the Sky Scratcher Kickstarter campaign for more details. And to see the product’s usage (and enjoyage) in action – watch the video below.
Just as I thought that it was enough Kickstarter goodness for one year, I saw this cool thing. Hidden Radio by industrial designers John Van Den Nieuwenhuizen from Australia and Vitor Santa Maria from Brazil is a neat and intuitive radio and bluetooth speaker in one. It is buttonless and slick. You turn it on and control the volume by simply lifting the cap. If you don’t have a bluetooth device, a 3.5mm audio input plug is available. Compact, stylish and urbanist-friendly piece of technology. Also a thoughtful gift for a gadgeteer on your list. Check out the Kickstarter page to see Hidden Radio in action and perhaps consider backing the project.
I really heart this kitchen item, as I am sure you will too, if you are an iPad-loving foodie. Andrea Ponti‘s Bosco cutting board comes in two parts – one for business and one for pleasure. When the cutting part is in use, its base can work as a stand for an iPad (or any other tablet for that matter). You can socialize on the web, check recipes, watch movies, – all while cooking a meal. ‘The Bosco cutting board is not meant to be taken too seriously though. It’s meant to experiment with the relationship between technology and a kitchen tool that is often dull and flat but used daily,’ – says the designer.
San-Francisco based industrial designer Matt Day has made this quiet contribution to the war on cables – Stone hard drive. The piece features an external rubber molding, where the cord is stored when not in use. No more hustle with trying to locate the right cable, no more annoying knots of cordage under the desk, – just one streamlined and easy on the eye gadget. I really want to see this HDD produced.
The X-Grill by Picnic Time is a folding little thing you can easily assemble on any piece of outdoor space you happen to have. And because it weighs very little and can be carried around in a tote (included) – it is perfect for picnics as well. It looks quite elegant too. And since the item folds absolutely flat when not in use, storing it is a breeze. I just wish I saw it a tad earlier in the season… Available here.