A Week of Design Finds: Functional Fun

When a functional object is also nice to look at, it’s a beautiful thing. When it’s silly and it makes you smile, that’s even better.


We bought this for my daughter last weekend. She’s ten and excited about learning to cook, but the oven is a little bit scary because, well,  it’s hot. This handy tool helps pull out the oven rack and also push it back in, making her feel more confident about doing it on her own. She named him Bob. They made chicken nuggets together the other day and it went great!

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I love this tool not only because it gives my daughter independence, but also because it’s handmade in the USA of cherry wood. We found it at a local art festival, and I think I would have bought several more of their wide variety of gorgeous and smart kitchen tools if we hadn’t been in a hurry. They had lovely wooden tongs that folded flat for storage and flipped open for use  and toast tongs with a magnet in them so you can keep them right there on the toaster. (Another great tool for kids.)  There were also ingenious wooden spoons designed with a special notch so they rest right on the edge of the cooking pot – in both right and left handed versions.  Awesome gift idea! (Especially if that gift is for yourself!)

Jonathan’s Spoons, www.woodspoon.com

A Week of Design Finds: Handcrafted Beauty

There’s nothing better than something beautifully handmade. I spotted this table at an art festival this weekend and made a beeline right to it – gorgeous!

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My pictures cannot do it justice – it was beyond beautiful in person. The side detail looks like ribbons of wood that are draped rather than carved.

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I checked out the artist’s website – the matching bed is amazing too.



We interrupt this week of Design Finds because this just arrived at my door:

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That is a serious stack of paper – the 2014 Restoration Hardware source books. Apparently RH is moving to a model where they only do one mailing a year  – sort of like IKEA. Except this is thirteen catalogs, not one. (Which is funny considering that IKEA is a way bigger store than any RH I’ve ever been to.) It’s actually not even a mailing – this stack was so heavy it arrived by UPS!

In any case, it looks like I have some reading to do. Back tomorrow with more Design Finds!

On second thought, since we’re loving on Restoration Hardware, I’ll show you my favorite RH purchase so you won’t be completely without Design Finds today – our ship’s light:

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I think they actually call it the Royal Master Sealight. Regardless, it looks awesome in our living room.

A Week of Design Finds: More Lucite Love

I was totally smitten with this vintage wall unit – what’s not to love about lucite and white lacquer?



If James Bond (in his Sean Connery incarnation) were to stop by, you would be totally set, because this mirrored flip down bar cabinet is the ideal place to pour him a drink.




Spotted at: Modern Mobler, Kensington, MD, www.modernmobler.com


A Week of Design Finds

My apologies for a paucity of posts recently. I will make it up to you with a new Design Find every day this week!

I spotted these this weekend and loved not only the colorful prints, but also the fabulous 3D lucite frames:


I love the chunky hardware and how they can sit on a table or hang on the wall.


Spotted at: The Nest Egg, Fairfax, VA.

Not Just for Travel

There’s something wonderful about a vintage suitcase. I spotted this great stack of them last week:

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There’s a ton of fun things you can do with them – a stack of them makes a great nightstand or a side table next to a sofa and also provides great storage. Just one suitcase can also serve as a little table, too – just add legs! (A piece of plywood concealed inside the suitcase adds stability and provides an anchor to drill into to attach legs.) Legs are easy to come by on websites like tablelegs.com – I think their McCobb or Wegner legs with metal tips would look amazing in this application.

Or you could turn a vintage suitcase into a shelf!

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Just saw in half (ever so carefully – tape area to be cut with blue tape to avoid marring it!) and slip over wall brackets from the hardware store to hang. To give it more stability, add a wood shelf on top of the brackets and secure suitcase over it with a few small nails.

Spotted at:

Stack of suitcases: DC Big Flea

Shelves: Sage Style, Kensington MD


My love of chairs is well documented on this blog! Here are a few more fun ones I’ve spotted recently:

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This is quite possibly the coolest vinyl chair I’ve ever seen!

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Some fun color for the patio this summer. Would you mix and match or go with all one color?

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Although I think I’d change the upholstery to something more eye-catching, I love the lines on this vintage midcentury piece.

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While we’re talking upholstery, I love the bird detail on this one!

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Here’s another fantastic made-over chair – neon paint paired with simple but lovely linen upholstery, making a classic shape look wonderfully modern.

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And speaking of modern, I’m loving this square barstool with the red seat pad and the super thin frame. It catches your attention without being visually heavy.

Spotted at:

Vinyl Chair, Bird Chair: Sage Style, Kensington, MD

Midcentury Chair: Modern Mobler, Kensington, MD

Metal Outdoor Chairs: World Market

Neon Chair: Yves Delorme, Charlottesville, VA

Steelcase Barstool: Staunton Antiques Center, Staunton, VA

It’s a Sign

I’m going to hang it right over the spot where we charge our cell phones.




The sign itself is double sided with a flange that will make it super easy to hang on the wall. It’s porcelain enamel, and although I should have given it a quick clean before I photographed it, it’s in great shape. It came out of a bar in Brooklyn, New York. (I picked it up at the DC Big Flea this weekend.)

My 7 year old daughter thinks the sign is totally hilarious. She’s never even heard of a Public Telephone.


For Mod Kids

I spotted this book today and just loved the idea behind it – art projects for kids inspired by great mid-century designers and artists!

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There were lots of great ideas, but I especially loved the “Spoon Friends” project inspired by these Alexander Girard sculptures/toys – using wooden spoons rather than the carved wood shown below. Fabulous!

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Kid Made Modern by Todd Oldham, available on Amazon.com

Alexander Girard sculptures, Skandium, London