8 Perfect Home Items For Design Lovers
These carefully crafted items are sure to elevate your experience of the day-to-day.
The Marie Kondo theory of “joy” in objects has been overdone (and can one really find joy in every single item on their person or in their house, including the shower liner?). But I will say that items of quality design made by mindful individuals that are beautiful to boot really can make a difference, especially when it’s something you use every day. Below are eight pieces that fit the bill, from a cutting board to a wool throw to a leather rucksack.
Cultiver Linen Robe in Smoke Gray
I first fell in love with CULTIVER when I saw a photo on Pinterest of a styled bed that I wanted for my own—a mess of rumpled linens—a blush duvet, a light grey top sheet, and a charcoal fitted sheet, with of course, a Kinfolk magazine and a cup of coffee placed on top. Never before had I thought about mixing and matching colors in my bed like that. For one thing, it’s usually not an option. I went on to learn that not only are the Australian brand’s products stylish and effortless looking (and mixable) but the 100% pure linen, which is sourced from the best European Flax, is carefully woven, stone washed, and treated with an enzyme to speed up the softening process, making them extremely luxurious. In the last few years, CULTIVER has expanded their line of products to include items for the kitchen like tablecloths, napkins, and tea towels, which, like the bedding line, are available in an array of unique colors from Olive to Pinstripe. Their newest product, featured here, is a classic linen robe available in three colors: Blush, Navy, and Smoke Grey, but more shades are on the horizon. The cut is roomy, so size down for your most effortless but photo-worthy Sunday morning look. $140; cultiver.com.au.
Doug Johnston 250 Basket
Artist and designer Doug Johnston’s bags, baskets, and sculptural vessels are made by coiling and stitching raw cotton rope into a variety of shapes. Johnston, his wife, and a couple of artist friends (the number of which depends on the workload) sew every piece by hand in their 400 square foot studio space in Kensington, Brooklyn. The 250 Basket is the perfect introductory piece for the home—medium-sized, great for storing items like blankets or children’s toys, but not as large as, say, a hamper. The brand is named after the 250 feet of 100% cotton cord that is coiled and then stitched with heavy duty thread, meaning the basket is rigid enough to stand on its own without collapsing while still maintaining its softness and flexibility. Most pieces, including this one, are made-to-order so there are always slight variations in the color and texture, making each of them truly one of a kind. Various colorways are available, but my personal favorite is the beige and white. And if you fall in love and decide to incorporate Johnston’s more artistic pieces into your life, he’s currently working on commissions of lighted sculpture, such as rope-coiled pendant lamps.$225; shop.dougjohnston.net.
End Grain Walnut Butcher Block by Brooklyn Butcher Blocks
Nils Wessell started Brooklyn Butcher Blocks in 2010, after turning his low ceilinged art studio into a low ceilinged woodshop. He says that the designs for his cutting boards, including the unique brick pattern on this End Grain Walnut Butcher Block’s, are influenced by both the artistic woodworking he did at Bard College as well as the architectural construction environment he was brought up in (Wessell’s uncle and grandfather were woodworkers and DIY project addicts who built a family compound in Vermont, essentially from the ground up). Wessell and his team of four source all of their materials in the U.S., and commit to reducing waste by composting whatever they don’t use. Beyond the handcrafted, small business appeal, why buy a Brooklyn Butcher Block, and why buy this one? End grain boards mean there is less wear and tear on your knives because the wood fibers are pointed upwards, so you actually cut in between the fibers and not across them. “At home I use the end grain boards,” said Wessell. “We cook three to five times a week and do big batches of food, so the blocks are getting almost daily use, It’s nice to be able to do that but not have to spend as much time caring for the knives.” Walnut is also the sweet spot between Cherry, which is the softest wood and receives more cut marks, and Maple, which is the hardest and will remain looking new for longer but will dull your knives faster. But note that the board needs to be cared for properly—Wissell suggests applying a wax buffer, like Bees’ Buffer, every two or three weeks, which I find to be a worthwhile effort for such a beautiful, hardworking kitchen staple. $200; brooklynbutcherblocks.com.
Ezra Arthur Keystone Rucksack
Owned by four brothers and named after their grandfather, Ezra Arthur is committed to bringing back the small American factory specializing in skilled trade. Century-old equipment, which is used to handcraft lifelong keepsakes such as billfolds, belts, passport wallets, and leather notebooks, is housed in the company’s workshop in Phoenix, Arizona’s warehouse district. Each piece is made of strong, high quality U.S. leather without incorporating unnecessary plastic, rubber, glue, or lining, and is meant to develop its own distinctive patina, which develops with time and use. New this season is the Keystone Rucksack, a roll-top backpack which is Ezra Arthur’s very first bag, not to mention an extremely stylish accessory that could easily become your lifelong workhorse. Using Chromexcel leather, a combination tanned leather that the Chicago-based company Horween has been producing since 1913, the Rucksack is large enough to hold a 15” laptop and includes a smaller inside pocket for easy access items like a phone and keys. My favorite feature is the hidden front zipper and quick-release snaps on the top that allow you to get into the bag without unbuckling the hardware, which is a huge plus in an everyday item like this. As with any handcrafted piece, to maintain the look and life of your bag, Ezra Arthur suggests regularly buffing with a horsehair brush and occasionally treating with quality leather care. They suggest using Armstrong’s All Natural, made in Brooklyn and available in a convenient kit. $1,270; ezraarthur.com.
Artifact Uprising Brass & Wood Display Box
Artifact Uprising is the direct-to-consumer online photography shop that aims to get people everywhere to take photos off of their devices and put them back into their physical lives. Both hipster creatives and seasoned professionals have fallen in love with the simple, easy-to-use designs and quality materials, from single matte photos printed on acid-free, archival paper to “layflat” wedding albums to invitations and holiday cards. Since their launch in 2012, the Denver-based company has been sourcing recycled papers and wood products. Their commitment to giving these materials a second life can be seen in the products themselves—notes of gray and blue are in the wood of the pine boxes and calendars, a reminder that they come from the more than four million acres of pine trees that have fallen in the Rocky Mountains due to a beetle epidemic. One of Artifact Uprising’s newest additions is the Brass & Wood Display Box, the perfect solution for not only storing your square prints but also exhibiting them, one at a time. I love how unlike a glass frame you can change the photo whenever you like, choosing from the 50 stored inside. $55, artifactuprising.com.
Material Fundamentals Set
You can now buy prescription glasses, mattresses, and silk tops online without the added cost of a middleman retailer, so why not kitchen utensils? Material is part of the new wave of startups offering just this: quality kitchen products at a fraction of the cost, which makes these an excellent buy for your pied-à-terre. Let’s face it, not everyone can or even needs a $1,500 Shun set at their beach house. Material’s super-affordable seven-piece Fundamentals Set includes the must-haves—and only the must-haves—for every kitchen: a 8” chef’s knife, a 4” paring knife, a wooden spoon (made from either American walnut or European birch), a stainless steel spoon (with either a cool neutral or black handle color), stainless steel tongs with a one-handed locking mechanism, a slotted, beveled edge spatula, and an angular all-natural walnut or maple base equipped with a hidden magnet for storing the knives without damaging the blades. Fans include Athena Calderone, creator of the lifestyle blog EyeSwoon, and Kwame Onwuachi, a former Top Chef contestant and Executive Chef of Kith/Kin in D.C. $175; materialkitchen.com.
Diamond Brand Gear Belay Bag
Nowhere are quality products more important than in the outdoors. The American gear manufacturer Diamond Brand has been producing durable bags and tents for the military, the Boy Scouts, and outdoor enthusiasts for 116 years (in 1931, they made the first official Boy Scout backpack). Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, these expert fabric sewers have just introduced a customizable Belay Bag, an update to the brand’s original daypack, which was first launched in the 1980s. Constructed of 1000D nylon and 70D upcycled polyurethane coated canvas scraps from the company’s Free Dome tents, the bag features removable hip and shoulder straps, a padded back panel for ventilation, a daisy chain system for attaching gear externally, a leather lash tab, extra internal pockets with one large one for books–or God forbid, a laptop–and interchangeable shoulder straps (remove one and turn the backpack into a sling pack). The main change from its ’80s counterpart are the two large front pockets that are purposefully big enough to store 32-ounce growlers (or wine bottles, or water bottles for that matter). Not that you’re going to go backpacking with a growler, but you could certainly take it to a picnic or car camping, which I recommend highly. $139; diamondbrandgear.com.
Pendleton 5th Avenue Throw in Mineral Umber
Pendleton in Portland, Oregon, is a family-owned business that has been weaving tweed, flannel, and smooth spun wool apparel for over 150 years. They began making their Native American-inspired trade blankets in the early 1900s, and the designs have never gone out of style. In fact, the simple, colorfully striped Glacier National Park Blanket has become something of a hipster home staple (and Ace Hotels features Pendleton blankets in many of their rooms). But for the ultimate indulgence—and for the modern home—I’d go with the 5th Avenue Throw in Mineral Umber, which is made of finely brushed pure Merino Wool and is much more lightweight than the brand’s camp blankets, not to mention gorgeously soft. It is the most luxurious throw the mill has ever produced and begs to be utilized in all seasons and circumstances, whether it’s for an afternoon nap, for a stylish addition to your bed, or brought along for a self-made “glamping” trip. I love the understated design and the way the mix of colors match with any room—or destination. $179; pendleton-usa.com.
Originally Published by Departures: https://www.departures.com/lifestyle/how-live-well-curated-life-products#pendleton-fifth-avenue-throw