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Kontur Vase

wall exhibit of kontur vases

kontur vase

Everyday items can be pretty and functional. First created as an experimental organic vase, the Kontur vase is more than a flower vase. It can become a cool storage container for the bathroom, the office or the kitchen.

versatile uses of kontur vase

You could store small bathroom essentials, or transform it into a pen holders for your home office, or hold crayons in a kids playroom.

wall exhibit of kontur vases

But the part that inspires me the most is this bird eye view of many vases. It gave me the idea of creating a wall installation. It would look amazing indoor or outdoor. Mette Kargo Hvid designed Kontur for Normann Copenhagen. It is made of silicone.

+ Kontur Vase $35 USD at 2Modern


The Joy of an Uncluttered Home | Getting Ready for the Baby

unclutter your home

unclutter your home

Two weeks ago, I found out what are the must-have items that you need before you deliver your baby. I am amazed by the amount of new things that we need to care, educate and entertain a newborn.

The first thing on my list was to make room. My husband and I sorted and packed all weekend. By splitting the work, we encouraged each other. He did the main floor while I worked mostly upstairs. We separated things into four categories: donation, furniture for sale, recycling and garbage. I tackled a big closet that was filled with things that we do not use anymore. Big closets can be sneaky. I was surprised by how much we hide there over the years. Now, I got the space to hide our photo albums and the beautiful things that should be kept out of reach during my child’s early years. Everything is neatly organized on the shelves. Looking at my well organized storage space makes me feel good.

Uncluttering your home can seem cumbersome to many. But once you see the results, it is worth every minute on it. Getting rid of unnecessary things removes weights from your shoulder. It’s a soothing experience! I know that you are all busy before the Holiday season. But why not take one weekend or a few week nights to gather the things around the house that you do not use anymore and donate them to a local charity. They need more toys, clothes, food and housewares during this time of the year to prepare their Christmas baskets.

As for us, we still have a big way to go until we see the end of the tunnel. We will continue to pack so they can proceed with some renovations all over the home. I wish to do all these little, and not so little, projects before the baby arrives. This is part of child-proofing my home. I will show you the results once everything is done.

Lastly, have a look at these beautiful kitchen linens. After your hard work, you are allow one indulgence.

+ Vintage Kitchen Scale $45 USD at One Sidney Road
+ Kitchen Apron by Studiopatro $68
+ Tea Towel Sets $42 for 2 assorted tea towels at Studiopatro


Missing Sock Bucket

Missing sock bucket by inklore

Missing sock bucket by inklore

What a brilliant idea from Sam, the San Jose block print artist behind Inklore! I wish I thought about it because we constantly run into the lonely sock problem at home.

You could use any container but the Missing Sock Bucket is so pretty that it will bring a smile to your face when you handle that boring task. It would make a unique and desirable housewarming gift.

canvas cafe aprons and napkins by inklore

Other nice Inklore products for your home or to bring as an hostess gift are her natural Checked or Striped Napkins ($28 for 2) and her Canvas Cafe Apron ($45).

+ Missing Sock Bucket $36 USD at Inklore’s shop


Organic Blanket and Throw by Heather Heron

hand knotted beach blanket from environment by heather heron

hand knotted beach blanket from environment by heather heron

Canadian-born, LA-based designer Heather Heron proposes exquisite blankets that will sustain a day or night at the beach. Developed with the surf culture in mind, her Environment by Heather Heron collection is luxurious in look and feel.

organic Fringe Throw :: environment by heather heron - lifestyle collection

You want to to snuggle under her organic throw and blanket. The Fringe Throw is made from organic hemp and flax woven together to create this beautiful homespun pinwheel pattern. The Hand Knotted Beach Blanket revives an age-old craft of hand knotting that is rarely done these days in the United States. They are not cheap but with proper care, they can last a lifetime.

About the Collection

She collaborated with Environment Furniture to produce her lifestyle collection. Heather described it in those words:

I designed a collection for Environment Furniture to celebrate the art of living … spirit filled, minimal + adventurous … whether it’s island living or city living …

Heather Heron stayed true to her signature materiel, hemp. She specializes in handcrafted bags and scarfs made with organic hemp textiles, reclaimed vintage U.S. Military textiles, surplus Japanese denim. The products of Environment collection are handcrafted in California.

Her lifestyle collection is available at Provide in Vancouver and at her online store.

+ Organic Fringe Throw $295
+ Hand Knotted Beach Blanket $395


A Book, a Magazine Box and a Blanket | Fall Essentials

Pia Wallén crux blanket :: felt box with handles :: the lost symbol by dan brown

Once the cold has arrived, I like to read a good book, browse my favorite magazines or explore the Web on the couch with a blanket on my legs. My everyday dark charcoal blanket from Caban is getting old. Therefore, I started to look for a replacement.

The black and off white Crux blanket by Pia Wallén is gorgeous. It is hand woven in Sweden and made of 100% wool.  If you are looking for more color options, head to Pia Wallén’s Web site. You will find there the Crux blanket in 4 colors: Redorange/offwhite, black/offwhite, potato/offwhite and green/offwhite. Sadly, this museum piece is over my budget for a blanket that I used while reading on the couch.

+ Pia Wallén Crux Wool Blanket £379 at Cloudberry Living
+ Pia Wallén Crux Wool Blanket 4400 SEK (this is price shown on the cart)
+ Box in felt with handles 1250 SEK
+ The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown $16.17 USD


New Whimsical Products at Fred & Friends

fred & friends stone cold ice tray :: loose leaf doorstop

Almost 30 new whimsical products were added. Out of these 29 additions, five caught my attention. I deemed these 5 to be the more practical.

+ First, Stone Cold, the icy icons from Easter Island is fun. This is another fun silicone ice cube tray that would look great in any tropical drinks or a mystery party. In fact, this could be an original theme for an Halloween party if you mix it with astronomy and astrology.

+ While you at it, get a Loose Leaf to stay a door open. If would be fun to watch people facial expression as they try to casually remove the leave from  under the door.

cookeys key caps by fred & friends

+ If I had kids, I would buy a set of Cookeys to identify their house keys. This is yummy! It may even encourage them to drink more milk.

fred split salt and pepper shaker

+ The Split shaker can save you time if like by pouring salt and pepper at the same time. For the less adventurous, you can divide the Split shaker in 2 and used each side separately. Hidden magnets keep the 2 halves together.

fred table saw for cutting cakes and slicing lettuce

+ Finally, the Table Saw does double duty. It can be used to cut cakes at parties and the rest of time, you can slice and dice your lettuce without discoloration. And if you have young boys at home, I am sure they will be pleased to help you in the kitchen.

+ Fred & Friends Stone Cold Ice Tray $7.95 USD
+ Fred Loose Leaf $10 USD
+ Cookeys $5.95 USD for 2 key caps
+ Fred Table Saw $7.99 USD


Housewares for Fall at Habitat UK

housewares at habitat UK for fall 2009

Every season, I check what is new at Habitat. I still hope for the first North American store. Fun everyday items caught my eye. They are coming later this fall. This post is about laundry, a good cup of coffee and cute serving trays.

It is not everyday that a laundry bin made it to At Home with Kim Vallee. Especially, I do not enjoy the laundry duties. I imagine this laundry bin in a kids bathroom. Spinit is a collapsible laundry bin with washing machine print on the front.

geometric and floral pattern mugs for fall 2009 at habitat

When I tell you that I do not like do the laundry it is not exactly true. What I do not like is the folding part. It is always easier with a good cup of coffee. Each of these 3 mug series is available in three complementing patterns.

Habitat is also home decor. They usually carry superb modern vases. Fall proved to be a good crop. I am inspired by the combination of the ORIGAMI collection with large yellow BALTA. POMPEII set of lacquered trays is available in two color schemes.

+ Small black ORIGAMI £31.20
+ Large white ORIGAMI £100
+ BALTA vase £49
+ Spinit £34
+ POMPEII Blue Trays £29.60
+ ADA Candle in a Cup £6
Red HERBERT Mug £6
+ Yellow floral YUTO Mug £6
+ DANI Mug Square pattern £6
+ DANI Mug Circle pattern £6


Found Travel Memories and School Themes at Poppytalk Handmade

travel art prints by matte stevens :: vintage note pad :: blackboard coasters printed with equations

Poppytalk handmade is a great online market place where you can to fall upon unique finds. You can find original pieces like these illustrations by Matte Stevens. It happens to depict two places I have been to.

+ Gramercy Park NYC illustrates a stunning area. It is unbelievable that a fenced-in private park still exists in New York. There is another private park in Queens. Gramercy Park is open once a year to the public. Otherwise, it is only available for the residents of the few buildings that share this property. 8.5 x 11 print $35 USD
+ Canal Street New Orleans $85 USF for a limited edition 16 x 20 print.

+ From Solstice Home, I like the idea of Take a Note or Two for your home office or to keep in the kitchen. Sold on etsy from $18 USD.

+ Avril Loreti designed Blackboard Coasters with equations. Perfect for a back-to-school party. Thereafter, you can use the coasters in your office. $14 USD for 4 on etsy.

Check out the Back-to-school Theme compiled by Poppytalk Handmade as they are more great finds.


Cool Dutch Design Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

The Netherlands are a country where talented and creative designers flourish in a good number. Sadly, most of their design products do not cross the Atlantic Ocean. In fact, most of the Dutch products are exported when a dedicated retailer wishes to carry them and import the goods directly from The Netherlands. This is the case of the UK retailer Dutch by Design. And it is good to know that Dutch by Design will ship their orders internationally.

I was looking for cool and unique design products for Father’s Day when I thought of revisiting Dutch by Design online store. I like what I see. They have affordable stuff that will impress and please your dad. My favorite gift ideas are:

+ Back in Time Radio/Alarm Clock $40 USD
+ Cheese Board $16.50 USD
+ Sandwich Bread Board $16.50 USD

More Gift Ideas for Everyone and All occasions

fun tree watercan :: love birds salt and pepper set at dutch by design

+ Tree Watercan $20 USD
+ Love Birds Salt & Pepper Set $21 USD


Postfossil at the DMY International Design Festivals Berlin 2009

postfossil at dmy berlin 2009

Today starts the 7th edition of DMY International Design Festival in Berlin. It runs until June 7th, 2009. The event showcases works by internationally acclaimed designers as well as revealing prototypes by young talent. The current edition focuses on design that makes a difference.

Postfossil is one of the designer group that will exhibit their work. One of the design products the visitors will be able to see is the Fireside companion set Souffleur Ramón designed by Christine Birkhoven.

postfossil souffleur ramon designed by christine birkhoven

Souffleur Ramón gave a modern form to the bellow. It is more ecological to use a bellow than to use firelighters. We do not use a firelighter at home. We use wood starters and I happen to have a bellow. But it is nothing as good looking as this modern style wenge wood bellow.

Doubleface by Postfossil

postfossil fruit vase and bowl

Another Postfossil creation that looks amazing is Doubleface, a ceramic and cherry wood Fruit Bowl and Vase. The item served double duty. For example, the wood bottom of the bowl becomes a cutting board. The groove that serves as a guide when assembling the bowl catches the fruit’s juice.
With the wooden top on the ceramic vase, you get a single flower vase. The washable ceramic base can served many duties as a container.

+ Allstarts at DMY Berlin 2009
+ Postfossil
+ Via Dezeen


Swedish Retailer Cosas Now Serving the European Union

A quick post to tell all my readers living in Europe that you can order online the unique products of Cosas. Based in Stockholm, Cosas works closely with designers and craftsmen to create their collection. I am too busy today to make my list of my favorite products but I put it on my agenda.

overview of cosas housewares collection

For us living in Canada and the United States, we can take pleasures looking at the nicely styled pictures. They offer a source of inspirations that we can integrate in our home.