just five: v81

To go directly to the blog site, click here.


Colorfull kitchens via Dwell. When every car on the road or wardrobe is black, grey or white… this is a pleasant change. Learn more.


Mid-Century rehab in Portland. Very true to form and well done.

 USCourthouse-ThomasPhiferandPartners-Exterior1a_tcm20-2185463The new US Courthouse in Salt Lake City by Thomas Phifer & Partners. Learn more.

leatherman_tread_inlineThe new Leatherman “Tread” bracelet. Learn more.

 3041438-poster-p-1-how-to-be-a-success-at-everythinghow-smiling-changes-your-brainProof that smiling is good for your brain. Learn more.

By Jon King

king’s blog design insight site: v76

 To get beamed up to the actual site: click here.


One winner in the Best Architecture Photos contest. A stair case by Zaha Hadid. Freshome.com.


Leeo nightlight and alarm. Will sound an alarm when necessary and communicate with whomever via WiFi.


This is pretty cool… Terrance Conran plays match-maker. By pairing established designer with “upstarts” to create solutions for their own homes. Read more here at Design Milk.


New pellet stove  and matching case goods called MIA by Sara Ferrari.


A rare interview with Sir Jony Ive…in Vogue.


Laser engraved rolling pins by Valek.


Fun and seasonable stuff from Home Decorating Trends.


Levi’s re-introduces the Orange Tag 615’s. My all time favorite but now they cost $205.00


One of the common responses people have to the modern movement is that it’s “too harsh”. Yet in the same breath they will talk of a need to simply their life. This article at Dwell does a great job of 1) utilizing commodity materials in a beautifully appropriate way, 2) creating a ‘modern’ setting that is warm and comfortable.


Grazing Grill. One you can sit at, cook your meal the way you want it and dine with other chefs.

17-1Check out this architects web site. It’s crazy. Moon Hoon.

 b364fa16df6f995ae70693f5d4d31def.Remember Bob Villa?… roof top gardens from his site that make you say “why didn’t I think of that?”


Ya… so… I am a pet guy.

 item0.rendition.slideshowHorizontal.palm-beach-estate-for-sale-01-exteriorOn the market in Palm Springs. 6,500 square feet. $8.7 million.




I am not a big golfer. Or good golfer. I’m sure there is a correlation there. But this is a pretty sweet device. The new Vapor driver from Nike Golf. So new it’s not on their website yet.


Tool update. Chauhan Studio.


Stone pillows… pillows like stones?


Architectural Digest has this article on homes that inspired great literary works. “The hammer shape the hand”.

By Jon King

king’s blog: design insights v75


This concept is so cool, and I am not even a dog. Which is a matter of opinion I suppose.

Sweet idea - silly name. This WeMo Switch from Belkin enables you to turn this on/off remotely.

Sweet idea – silly name. This WeMo Switch from Belkin enables you to turn things on/off remotely. Like your coffee maker from bed?… or kids bedroom light at schoool and freak them out?


Pre-fab proto type and of course it’s located in the desert where there are no misquotes, winter or neighbors as it appears. How high can a scorpion jump?


According to the style police at BHG, copper is back!


In an attempt to expand into adjacent markets but same demographics…the Waldorf Astoria is now offering a “driving experience”. I wonder if this was a concept inspired by their valet service.


I could do this, especially if I didn’t have to leave the pool or paint the place. AD is featuring this New Hampshire home.


Vac form shoes of recycled plastic. A quick eco-cool option by Lou Moria.


New antique” (?) bar stool by Marcel Wanders.


Designer ice cream…this makes it even harder to keep your cake and eat it too.


KickStarter does it again… paper size based water jugs for your messaged bag. Would it be awkward to drink from one of these?… if you buy one let me know.


This German site sells these, several other great ways to deal with keys and their gnomes are on sale.


New line of dog beds… “shags”.

Block_Honeycomb_bModular Arts is adding a layered looking options to their vast offering.

 graphic-render-ollieApp operated robot. Amazing fun. But other than that I wonder is there if this had a live video feed on it would truly good it would serve the world?

Hay_CopenhagueChair-Desk.jpgOriginally designed for collegiate library application by the brothers team of

Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Hay, they have expanded the line to include a solitary dorm room options.

3035965-slide-s-3-frank-gehrys-colorful-biodiversity-museumA Ghery that looks like crumpled construction paper rather than silver fish in a bucket? This tribute to the Florida shoreline is featured in Fast Company.com.


Method does it again. This time the product is dispensed from pressure applied to the bottom and forcing it out rather than mixing it with compressed gases. Brilliant. Like toothpaste without the “after dinner mints” drying in the sink bowl.

 HEM-Debut-Collection-1-White-Shelf“High end affordable furniture” from HEM. Proof that great things can be designed with commodity materials. Like a nail, flour, 3 colors of paint or TFL (thermo fused laminate).


Ways to use a spent kid’s wagon. How many of you have one of those just sitting around. Next up is what to do with spent Little Tikes play cabins.


Trek’s new Lync 5. Designed just for the commuter. If only my commute was less than 74 miles everyday or is that just an excuse?


Design boom found this “tubed amp” for your mobile device. Those of you don’t know what I mean by ‘”tubed” need not apply.


I am not crazy about the setting this desk is in but the desk itself is pretty well done. Great for Jack & Jill. Mocoloco.com.


OK so we missed boating season but sledding season is just over the next hill. This Silver Sonic waterproof pocket from Orvis is perfect for that because you never know when you will launch out of a maneuver and land in the pool at the Aspen Ritz Carlton.

By Jon King

king’s blog: design insights v74


New outdoor clothing company: Aether.


Daylight savings time… time to think about time… time to give thought to how you track time. The Braun  BN0032. Timeless design. Stainless steel band, little red chevron on the date… orange second-hand as if the seconds are burning past.


Dwell has this article on innovative workspaces in the Chicago area.. some great ideas.


The Cookoo Watch. Not a smart watch but a watch that is connected via bluetooth with your mobile device and can do things like serve as a remote shutter release for your camera. And the box it comes in becomes a bird house when your done with it.


The money clip… that doubles as a bottle opener… right?


Magnetic coat hangers… wonder if they spin?… slide?… do with an aluminum rod?…

F5-Thomas-Overthun-IDEO-0-portraitFrom the “designers you should know something about file: Tomas Overton from IDEO. I had the pleasure of working with Tomas on the early stages of Steelcase’s Pathways program.


From an article at BHG.com on “porches we love”. I thought is article was on “Porsche’s we love” but it was pretty good anyway.

 MollaSpace-PaperPot-white-silo.jpg“Paper Pot” facial tissue dispenser… this cute little ball might be more fun to carry around under your arm if you are stuck at home with a honker than a sharp-edged box. Available at the Dwell store.


Odd mix of historic and regional foot-ware but it seems to work. These new scrubs from Beckett Simonon could be yours and then you could go hiking in your wingtips or wing it while hiking the urban jungle.

 Incurva-Wine-Rack-Formabilio-Mario-Pagliaro-1-500x355Wine rack? Magazine rack? Another great use of formed plywood from Incurva.


“Formwork” for Herman Miller. Designed by Sam Hecht & Kim Colin. Legos for those of us at a desk 73% of the day.


Sporting event freaks take note. Housing units that can be moved to a variety of excepting arenas. Taking modular living to a new level.


Starck does it again.

Barbara Hill's Dancehall/House in Marfa, Texas September 14, 2010 Misty Keasler

I know this would be to stark for a lot of you but can you image how freeing it would be to have access to this dwelling in Texas as a “retreat”?

By Jon King

king’s blog: design insights v73

c101LIT motors gyro cycle car thing. Amazingly stable.


Tombolo sectional for Hightower. Something so simple and pleasing about the forms, use of materials and on top of all that… access to power, which is great until someone comes up with wireless power.


Davis Furniture “Dots”. Allowing endless arrangement and expression of one self in a safe fashion… with a bit of levity.


Mamba Light Shelving by MDF Italia. Available at stores like this.


Regard by Nurture (Steelcase). Wonderfully designed, subtle, superbly executed details, representing a well understood process of waiting. Very nice.


This might not seem like such a big deal… but if you have ever used a bundle of markers or pencils, spreading them out to find the one you want, it usually requires that you take them out of the cut and let the sprawl all over place… this device designed by Elise Gaberiel @ L’atelier D’exercises simplifies that process but just removing the rack from the wall.


The Cindy lamb designed by Ferruccio Lavini for Katell. The return of chrome… done tastefully.


Sorry, but this the first time I have seen this… a Frank Gehry addition to the top of Frank Llyod Wright’s Guggenheim. Not sure how I feel about that. I admire both but mixed?


Architectural Digest has this article on a quite getaway to Rio.


One sweet Porsche 63′ 356 (and Patrick Dempsey… isn’t he a movie star of something?).


Lego tops the list according to FastCo. But we knew that… who can forget the sound of someone digging through a stack of these tiny gems… or the sound of one getting sucked up into a vacuum cleaner.


Although it is on the water… it is definitely not a “van down by the river.”


Just my prediction… but if you look at all the men’s grooming products at any given super-store, and all of these men’s stores popping up… I am predicting that 1st world nations are climbing the bell curve of a men’s movement. Trunk Club is a good example.


Capturing the opinion of many… especially their design of early automobiles… this article titled “Japanese Over Design” is fairly accurate… but it is still cool to “witness the process”. And in sea of commodity, this little detail is probably a deal breaker for most.


A nice way to deal with shades of white… this bedroom make over by famed blogger Erin Loechner.


Formed from a shed in England… this is probably considered modern due to its use of space and application of materials but yet… very warm and inviting. I want one. Designed by Weston, Surman & Deane.


If this blog had a center fold… this would be it. Audi matte Daytona grey Avanti RS6. I want one of these too.


Fits right in… like it grew there. The Haffenden House by Para-Project. Said real fast ironically sounds like “half hidden house”. I wonder if…


From Dwell’s “houses we love”… inside the remodel of Peter Fehrentz flat in Berlin. Featuring the Papa Bear chair… my all time favorite designed by Hans Wegner. Seeing is believing… but sitting in one is theraputic.


The Container Store… once again keeping it light and lively. The grand opening of their Tampa store featured a traditional dance that even the V.P. of New Stores partook in. What a riot!


Water Falling Estate in Hawaii is now on the market… only $26 million (or highest bidder).


From Ovis… the pet sky box safety seat. It might contain the fur too.


HGTV‘s list of ‘modern filing cabinets’… for the need to store printed documents!


Even though we have had a brutal winter… this dwelling still looks like it would address the need to escape in a way that would linger months aftewards. Designed by CS&P Architects it is built in the Canadian woods.


It was her Maxima… it is in Russia… and I don’t know what else to say.


And yet another crazy Russian design. Let’s hope this isn’t a parking lot to a WalMart. I think a few friends of mine and I tried this when we were 19… right after the summer we lit tennis balls on fire and threw them around the park.


Cool Hunting has this feature on lighting designed by Gino Sarfatti for Flos. Most of which has been updated slightly to take advantage of the latest technology.

By Jon King

king’s blog: design insights v71

Evan Robinson Photography

Evan Robinson Photography

Evan Robinson Photography

Over the Thanksgiving break I had the pleasure of meeting one of the co-founders of this company: Of Mercer. It is a new start-up with a very clear and unique mission of providing simple, comfortable, timeless, affordable “work-wear” fashion to a market that appears to have overlooked this immediate need. Based out of NYC with goals of domestic fabrication, I am sure that they will do well.


Taking your classic “pedestal storage” to a whole meaning. I think this was in a hotel but not sure.

idx131001_giants24Coming in at 22 on the Interior Design Magazine’s “Giants” list: Rottet Studio. Who, under the category of hospitality did this ship for Viking Star Cruise Lines.


“Shift” modular furniture. Manufactured in Germany.


I guess they really do exist. Hobbit Homes.


No clog J-trap. Assuming it really works, it would be fascinating to actually be able to see what stuff is in there. Like if your 5-year-old actually did drop the hermit crab down there. PermaFLOW.


Now this is a Camper Van.

hiker_nat_2Hand sewn hiker by FEIT. $621.00. Probably worth it considering with this Swedish welt, they can easily be re-soled… so these would last a life time and just keep getting more and more comfortable. And gorgeous to boot.


Kartell’s Comback Chair. Seen here in the rocker version. Designed by Patricia Urquiola. The back is molded as one piece in a two-part mold. Very simple.


Alesse’s rechargeable LED lanterns. Somehow this works… the visual semantics of an old hurricane lamp with the latest LED technology… that’s one way to warm up what some believe is a cold, harsh light.


Filson Outfitters has introduced their own Jeep package called the AEV Brute. Reminiscent of the “Scrambler” but with four doors… actually runs.


I am not sure if this was inspired by Walter White or some Danish coffee maker… but regardless it is a fairly elegant, clean and simple water purifier. The product by SOMA is available exclusively at Treehouse.


Aahhh… the warmth of real wood and a tubed amplifier. Back at last.


This is not new to some of you but this “Granit” flatware set by Eva Zeisel is just simply beautiful. And this pure white color and finish seems appropriate for winter.


Polar awareness ice cubes by Mohos & Atushuiro Hayashi’s. Available at this A+R Design.


Architectural Digest features the home of Peter Gruber in this post. I liked the aluminum internally illuminated cases inset into the traditional wood library. Book & artifacts. A life’s story, a path that can be followed.



This article features some of the new ski resorts in the Alps… just incase you need a way to contend with the guilt you have from eating to many slices of the yule log over the holidays. Architectural Digest.


Something so clean and simple about this product line from Industrial Facility. I can’t help but wonder what it would look like with real humans and their stuff in it but still. The material, color, form and scale all come together to make a “contract” environment feel less demanding. The product doesn’t seem to match the company name?




This post’s “chump change” home is offered by Sotheby’s CA. Located on British Columbia it could be yours for $11,500,000.00. Operators are standing by.


In a world where ever action is policed by guidelines… this story from the Container Store warms my heart. Thanks for keeping your blog real.


This is pretty wild… these bird houses are modeled after actual dwellings that you can rent. Find out more at their site Airbnb.


An update on a classic… soap on a rope.


The Watt floor lamp from Blu Dot.


Under the protective armor of R2D2… now we know why it spoke so much jibberish.


Formed plywood and skeletal wire…still providing a stage for innovation after all these years.



Starbuck’s is on a roll. It’s first commuter train car/bistro. Makes perfect sense except that it isn’t in my part of the world. This one is in Zurich… don’t they just drink hot chocolate?


This cottage is featured in an article at Dwell.com. It is a stunning home like many in their publication, in fact almost to similar. But this shot speaks volumes about the power and calming effect of pattens and rhythms… and the importance of attention to detail. The power of strategic layering with backdrops and foregrounds each serving each other and serving a larger, harmonic purpose.


When executed right, even brass can be appealing. This LAX series from MASHstudio is available in a few other metal finishes as well.


There is something kind of disturbing about these “piggy banks” from the Dwell Store… maybe it’s that they look to real?


After the chrome bath pigs, I felt a need to find something fun and light-hearted. This is the “Yorky” lamp available at the Walker Art Center Store.


What to do with the corner space… ThinkFabricate suggests this concept.


Expressing the curtail structure as part of the design not only simplifies the result but is very efficient. Same is true for the Eames work. This shelving system by Souda is accurately called the “strut shelf”.



Another example of “comfortable modern”. This home in Minneapolis uses warm materials, familiar forms, human scale and lighting to shuffle modern thinking into a warm and livable home.


OK… the jury is still out on whether gnomes are elves or not… but this being the season of magic, I thought it would be fitting to close this post with a whimsical and seasonal note. The Gnome Napoleon Stool by the Dr. No of design… Philippe Starck.

Season’s Greetings. Keep it simple. Spend time with your family. Let it be rewarding.

By Jon King