September 8, 2011

Swiss designers Luzia Kälin and Nicole Lehner created a clever solution for accommodating house guests called Stay At My Home. The kit includes all the basics needed for a comfortable night stay. These components are neatly stored within each other, which makes a lot of space-saving sense. The mattress is rolled under the nightstand, which in turn houses linens and a bedside lamp. The drawer can be removed from the stand and placed as a storage box within easy reach from the bed. The arrow-shaped rug completes the set. All pieces are lightweight, which allows the guest to move them around with ease. This design is kind to both receiving and visiting parties and perfect for a limited space.

August 27, 2011

A lot has been said about space limitations we face with urban gardening. But even if you have it all figured out with vertical systems and compact planter designs, there is still one more item you need to find room for – a watering can. It needs to be easy to store while holding enough water for your indoor jungle. This watering can by Japanese designer Kazuya Washio might just fit the bill. Called Bloccon (‘block’ + ‘icon’), the piece has a square lego-like shape, which allows us to fit it in tight spaces. You can even put it between your books! It is ergonomic too. The spout designed to produce controlled and steady flow of water. And its compact handle makes it easy to rotate while reaching those high up vertical planters. The product comes in a variety of colors and can be purchased here.


August 26, 2011

We, urban dwellers, are jaded for a reason. Population density, compact living arrangement, steady 24/7 activity on the streets, – all these things create noise. Constant, unavoidable, ubiquitous noise, day in and day out. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply eliminate the unwanted sounds around you (especially that loathsome leafblower-loving neighbor on a Saturday morning)? This concept by Emil Blanco is an attempt to do so. Called Hush, the device cancels out sounds, creating a quiet and serene bubble around you. The product mainly lives on the nightstand or bedside table but can be located in any area of the apartment were silence is desired.
It is also envisioned as a charger for your phone, media player, and alarm. Perfect item for an urban home. Can’t wait to see it produced.

Garbage disposal is an unglamorous thing, but unless it is properly organized – nothing glamorous is ever possible. And this minimalist trashcan by Hommin makes good organizational sense. Unlike the Cuum piece, I featured yesterday, the Clip trashcan is very low-tech. It consists of two interlocking wooden frames, merged with clothespins on their ends. The object is compatible with all types of  bags. You can use plastic ones for kitchen waste, and more elegant textile ones for paper. The Clip trashcan can also be used as a hamper. Smart stuff!

August 25, 2011

This concept project by Noon Studio made me gasp, that’s how clever it was. A stool that can also serve as a building block for a modular shelving system! Called simply Steel Stool, the piece is made from steel and oak. And if you put several of them together, you can get yourself a good-looking and functional bookcase; and when extra seating is needed – take your shelving unit apart in seconds. Thanks to its shape, the item provides storage even when used as a freestanding stool. Design that multiplies storage… I really like that.

This visibly simple trash receptacle has one hidden talent – it sucks in dust. Equipped with the vacuum in its base, the Cuum dustbin by Jun-se Kim, Yonggu Do & Eunha Seo performs two functions in one. It collects trash and inhales all the small dust particles swept in its direction. So no more fiddling with the dustpan. The device is powered by a plug-in, wall-socket-compatible cord and can be turned on by simply rotating the upper part. And just like a standard vacuum cleaner it requires disposable bags that can be easily changed when taking out the trash. The Cuum is a 2011 IDEA Awards Entry.

August 22, 2011

This piece from New York based artist and designer Sebastian Errazuriz reminds me of the Piano Hanger, I featured earlier this year. Here too, the simple and ingenious principle of a piano-like structure is applied to generate adjustable storage. The Piano Shelf folds flat when not in use, occupying zero space in the room. Once you need to store something – simply unfold the sufficient number of ‘keys’ to accommodate the item. Brilliant! The shelf comes in black and white.

August 15, 2011

We, urban folks, love our bikes. And because the space is scarce in city apartments, we try to store them vertically, which means making holes in our walls. Well, not anymore. This brilliant bike stand from Public allows vertical storage without the nasty wall mutilation part. It has the easiest installation process imaginable. Just lean the stand against the wall, and gravity does the rest. The piece provides convenient storage for one or two bikes and works with the most bike shapes and sizes. Genius!

August 5, 2011

Milestone is a clever minimal storage solution for those of us who park bikes indoors. Designed by Japanese trio Mile, the piece is made of marble and comes in custom sizes. Each made-to-order cube is fitted perfectly to a specific bike. And when you are not using it, Milestone can be displayed as a nice sculptural object or simply stored away.

August 3, 2011

Cordage clutter is the price we pay for cool gadgetry. But this nasty side of technical advancement doesn’t have to be so hideous. There are products out there, made specifically to help us take our wires and cords under control. This neat solution from Danish designer Søren Refsgaard is called Great Balls Of Wire (witty!) and designed to hold up to five feet of excess wire inside. Refsgaard explains: ‘I chose the round shape because it fits almost all interior surroundings — both lying on the floor and hanging from a table lamp on a shelf.’ His first prototype was made out of a tennis ball. In its current version the ball is 2.7-inch in diameter and comes in nine colors.