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


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.


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 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 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

king’s blog design insights: V70


The new living colors lamp by Phillips. Using LED technology to help change the mood in any room for any occasion.


A boat box or deck box that has some additional functional appeal by Better Way Products. But there is probably some more room to grow in that regard. What would Philippe Starck do with this?


This website had probably the most bizarre collection of sweatshirts and socks you will ever encounter. Without the internet would a “store” like this stand a chance?


Stunning spaces created by blending wood, stone and water. This home called “Laurel Way” was recently completed in L. A. and designed by Whipple Russel Architects.


This team creates some very nice spaces. Intuitive, useful, simple forms applied in a peaceful fashion. Like a view of the landscape from 30,000 feet. Interior Design Magazines “10 Questions with Dennis Wedlick & Alan Barlis.”


There have been times in foul weather when I see the telephone lineman working from temp shelters and think “those look like they are built to last much longer than my Kelty”. The company IC (Improvements Catalog) is offering a series of these as pop-up storage sheds. What is nice about this is when they are empty, they could easily be moved, taken down or probably be put in place before your local city code police catch on.


Interior Design Magazine is featuring examples of what can now be done with printed ceramic tile. This facility is a “University Teacher Training College” designed by Ramón Fernández-Alonso y Asociados in Granada, Spain, 2012.

NW: Totale

EG: Wohnen

More “comfortable modern”… this retreat was created on a $20,000 budget by the architect Mathias Klotz for his mother. It is located in Tongoy, Chile.


Apparently inspired by “Gothic Architecture”, you would never guess that by perusing this slide show at dwell. Apparently the professional musician and his son like tall open spaces, which is true of Gothic, but other than that it’s a reach. One thing I found cool about this photo is a blatent embracing of modern with a tricked out mid 60’s Mopar in the drive. The house was designed by Tonic,  in North Carolina.


Nice little storage unit that could go anywhere in a room and be accessible from multiple sides. From A2 Designers.


What is a blog post without featuring a sweet watch that is just out of budget. This one is from Tudor who’s catch phrase is “watch your style”. This specific model is called the Fastrider, and is the timing partner for Ducatti.


New glass kitchen scale by Escali. Available in a ton of colors. I wonder it it would double as a cutting board?


The Eyn available through The Grommet.


This has actually been on the market for some time but it is so beautiful that I wanted to stare at it some more. The Leica D-Lux 6.


0jmaysretiring-002Ford announces the retirement of J Mays. This concept called the “Ford 49” is highlighted as one of Core 77’s favorites, but J Mays is also the brain trust behind the VW New Beetle, Ford GT and Mustang.

APPLREND00A friend of mine at the office shared this one with me. has released renderings and video clips of the new Apple WHQ. Designed by the famed Norman Foster Architect. Pretty amazing. As the article states presenting this to the Cupertino city council was the last public appearance Jobs made. This facility features orchards, underground parking and a subterranean conference center where all future releases will be unveiled to the world.


Dwell magazine now has a on-line store.


From the website unbranded design comes this concept. There is something so simple and obvious about it but new.


Ural Motorcycles. Period.

Key Bike Rack-1

A bike rack called Key from Landscape Forms.


Interior Design magazine is featuring this beach house by Robert Kerr & Haily Soren. This dwelling is a great example of blending natural and man-made materials with light and lighting, new but simple forms and fitting with the surroundings… southern California.


Yes I am starting to see a lot of seasonal posts on other blogs… the team at HGTV is casting votes on what’s gaudy and what isn’t.

Modern-Mezzanine-Design-2 has this article on mezzanines. As you will see they are not just for condo’s anymore like the one you rented in Aspen last February.


king’s blog: design insights volume 69




The Wiklandsbacke Project. Located in Kivik Sweden. I found this article at DesigMilk but the photo credit goes to Sotheby’s International to give you an idea of how much this place will cost once it is complete. Maybe that’s why the interior is so barren… the couldn’t afford the furnishings. The exterior material choice is a nice blend of options however.


New and growing clothing store: Frank & Oak. Interesting approach to the market. The first thing you do when you hit their site is provide them with your sizes.


Good ole’ Eddie Bauer. This simple animation explains “layering” better than most explanations I have seen over the decades that it has been utilized as a strategy. Bauer just keep plugging away in an industry full of giants that cast long shadows, making the need for their products perform even better.


Nice city-scape for your desk-scape by Sam Hecht.


Wool covered soap bars. We have pick up a few of these at various school craft fund-raisers. Great idea.



New iPhone bluetooth head sets by David Stockton.


A senior center in Denmark. Although the structure is fascinating it stuck me as odd that this design would be chosen for a “senior” center. My experience is that most need environments that are less confusing, more straight forward. On the other hand I have met several seniors that do not want the stigma being labeled as old, so something young and hip like this could be good for their sole.


Flor’s blog Musing has this article on an “eclectic kitchen”… pretty good way to blend periods.

item10.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.october-estates-09-newport-rhode-islandFrom Architectural Digest’s “houses for sale”: this one is in Rhode Island and on the market for $19,000,000. It was built for the heir to a Denver mining fortune.


BH&G trend spotters compiled this collection of images on ways to decorate your gourd. We have a few cats so this one struck me profoundly, which is the idea at Halloween right?

20121119_ihome_016_webAn impressive portfolio: Linda McDougald firm covers a broad spectrum of vernaculars for clients all over the country. This image shows how they provided a successful blend of modern and traditional solutions into one space.


Color-caped shoes. Available various colors and sizes that fit the kid in all of us. From Brother Vellies.


A store that I have never heard of… C. Wonder.


So maybe the book isn’t so good but you love the art work in it? The Better Homes & Gardens Trend Spotting team has this article on different ways to display books.


The Long Distance watch by Kitmen Keung. Designed with two watch faces in one. Enabling you to know what time it is in a zone where your long distance love resides. Their website is incredibly stark and solely dedicated to this one watch. Pretty bold.


Mimicking the mermaid on the rock, this retail display is equally iconic, by BIG group.


The Nano Hi-Fi system. Snaps together for portability but comes apart to provide “big” sound with its bluetooth speakers. You can even get a carrying case for it at their on-line store.


This post’s “designer you should know something about” is Joey Ruiter. His exhibit “Objects in Motion” is opening at the GRAM (Grand Rapids Art Museum) tonight, and is running through January 5th.


This is a cool concept. Called iBitz, in the interest of exercise, tracks children’s movement through the day and rewards them in the form of a game by syncing with others.


Test drive of the new AMG A45 from Mercedes-Benz. Notice the driver is wearing a helmet.


The return of the teen entertainer? The new fuse ball table. As I recall this game can get pretty rambunctious. I wonder if the legs can take it.


 Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition video. No commentary from me needed.


Great article on using color accents to make a space more playful and light hearted.



This house is located in the mountains of Japan. It is presented as a mountain cabin. The article claims it is much more serene then your typical mountain retreat, free of mounted deer heads and monstrous fireplaces. My instant response was that the windows mimic boulders tumbling down the mountain side and the interior space is so chaotic that I believe I would want to get out as soon as possible. Perhaps thats the idea?


A dental clinic by Tato Architects in Kakayamate. This space uses familiar forms and materials that both blend and stand out against the white backdrop, to help ease client anxiety. Very nice.


Designed to help kids build forts in the wilderness, these Stick-Lets are made of silicone and come in many shapes and colors. What ever happen to the art of knot tying?



New “pill” shaped seating by Alexander Lotersztian. The forms are nice but what I really like is that from a distance they appear to be formed and color cement but there is a bit of “joy in the discovery” that they are actually a soft wool or felt. A good example of there being more depth and content reveled as a result of digging deeper. Perhaps this is metaphorical for a way to approach life.



Head or Tails by Nendo Studio. A versatile dog dwelling. And you can get a matching set of food bowels and chew toys too…the lucky handsome little devil.


Looking more like an over-exposed photo, the new Stuttgart library by Yi Architects.


The Adel desk. High gloss white workspace…like one giant Chicklett. Nice.


New birth of old father time. The Old Timer from CB2.



“Sommarhus Harlöt” (summer-house) by LLP Arkitektkontor (architecture). A space that would be so simple to reside in it would be like a breath of fresh air. Which to me is the purpose of a retreat. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up and watch the world wake up in a place like this?


One sweet and well disguised e-bike (electronic assist).

By Jon King

design insights: 68

0pretentiousbeerglassco-01The art of the perfect black & tan has just become easier to master.


Apple isn’t the only company flirting with the gold finish. We have been seeing hints of this making a return in the residential furnishings world for a about a year.

The-Living-Cube-Till-Koenneker-1Those of us that have been studying micro-enviroments for the last 25 years (or built your own dorm loft) have seen this concept a million times. But the “tree slice” floor covering is new and very cool.


Simple. Warm. Wooden walls. 10 good  (9 in my opinion) examples of how using a material thoughtfully and with intention can make all the difference from being a gaudy “me too” to simply making a space one that expresses who you are and more rewarding.


Just about all of us if we are honest have technology, machines and even clothing that is designed to do so much more than we will ever need (how many of us wear Patagonia to the grocery store?). This little add-on light series enables us to use the flashlight feature on our iPhones that much easier. Sure, you have to spend more to use it but…



The iconic shape of a home. Scaled properly can be used to define a home within a home for your favorite side-kick. Made from plywood with nothing concealed, this dog house by mPup is as honest as it’s occupant.



A new wireless speaker by Libratone. I honestly have never heard of this company before but I love the little singing bird logo they have… “and the caged bird sings”. And it’s ribbon “tweeter” (sorry) and bass base driver are arranged within this pillow to fill a room and eliminate the need to have two speakers. And it will stream from several internet channels on its own.


BH&G has this article on a cottage that is all white, I mean ALL WHITE! If ever you have wondered what your place would look like if you did this, here is your chance to see the home of someone who did. It’s ether a cop-out or very bold… I’m not sure.



The Taree Sideboard. It took me a while to figure this one out. This might be a case where the form got ahead of the function. Puzzling isn’t it?

visser-van der ende-residence-houseboat-interior-kitchen

We have talked about this a bit in previous posts… here is another example of “comfortable modern” as highlighted in the article from Dwell… “trending, comfortable kitchens”


This company: Trestlewood… reclaims and repurpose otherwise spent timbers. Amazing, admirable and profitable I’m sure. Being a big fan of timber-peg construction this approach is very appealing in many ways.


I can’t determine if these are real or not but this new twist on the popsicle by KYL21 that is potentially pretty cool. I don’t know if they intended to do this with the design but the form would lend itself to being “broke off” in controlled, manageable chunks rather than random shrapnel destined to ricochet of your white shirt before landing in your lap.


More “pure white”.


Budnitz Bikes. Belt driven titanium. How many bikes should a guy own?…. just one more.


This key chain add-on called the GDC (Gerber Daily Carry ?) by Gerber, could save your life. In an emergency it can be used to cut yourself free from a safety belt, snagged clothing or strings. The Macgyver of key chains so to speak.


The new Fiat 500L (Lounge). It used to be the car looked tiny…now just the wheels do.


Winning a Gold for interface design, this new watch series by Ttmm after Time is also an app.

duravit_kiora_02 highlights these new segmented sink line by Duravit. This one redefines flush mount.



Modern-retro-Memphis-camo cycle by ART-TIC.



TrendHunters is featuring the house that was “snapped” like a bean.


Architectural Digests “on the market” property for this post: Bridgewater Vermont @ 1.8 million. All that’s missing is me and a 1968 Jeepster.


Dated idea, dated materials… but somehow they look new here. Shelving by Outofstock.


Looking more like a weekend RV show at the convention center, this new concept for a hotel is pretty unique. Each renovated camper is a “guest room” and thus a indoor campground.


Something about this design by OLI13 is so appealing. Maybe that it provides a means to organize without dictating specifically how. Allowing you to straighten things up but also allowing you to do your own thing. Like a chair that is designed to let you sit in it anyway you want.




Domus by Alexey Lysendov. Sometimes you encounter an item that just generates a feeling of peace in you. Wether it is the item itself, what it represents from our past, hopes for the future or maybe they are just fun. And that moment of fun is a mini vacation from our day-to-day world.


The Paper Patchwork collection by Job Design. Named as such like paper, there are endless things you can do with it. A catchy blend of historic references, childish colors & contemporary volumes.


Consolle system by Zucchetti-Kos. A bio-resin sink but looks like it is pure porcelain and if so, amazingly thin for that material. Which creates a bit of mystery and intrigue and draws the consumer in.


Uni-sex parka by Pierrepont Hicks. Of course.


So your night stand is to crowded with the night-light on it… so why not turn your night stand into a night-light?


Gymnasium by ateliers O-S architectes. Embellishing the inspirational attributes to a gym, this structure is serving as the article states as a “community beacon”.

By Jon King

design insights: 67

tumblr_msvnoqy9n71s8rodeo1_500Kohler has redesigned their blog to include a new “home ideas” page which is very Pinterest like but focused solely on home thinking.


Dwell hosted a modern house tour on Fire Island this summer featuring houses like this one originally designed by Horace Gilford in 1963.

an-american-bookshelf-in-london_0Designed by a Russian Architect to illustrate his love for America.


Yeti coolers. Their motto says it all… “wildly stronger, keeps ice longer”. Where else can you buy accessories for your cooler? And they are made in Austin Texas, so you know they know something about need to keep things cool.

modern-concrete-dip-bowl-vido-nori-600x398Concrete dinnerware.  Are the design semantics right to this?


If you ever get the chance, try a pair of Sennheiser’s out. Designed and engineered by audio-phonics rather than rappers.


The Botanist bench from Design Lab. Available in several patterns and colors, even chrome. I hope it isn’t a button stealer.


A series of foot stools inspired by pet dogs. FYI: unless you were raised on a farm some of the options are a bit surprising.


Bosch Power Tools just introduced a 12v heated jacket for contractors.


A new printer concept that moves down through a stack of paper.

pola-rroll financial-crisis-survival-kit Doiy-Childrens-Landscape-Dinner-Set-1-500x394

This company Doiy has so many “happy design gifts” that I don’t know where to start.

Davide-Conti-Magica-slide-interna1What appear to be gravity defying chairs, the Magica2 & Magica by Davie Conti.


Hand made and carved from wood. Is it art or furniture? Does it matter?


Salt and pepper shaker… straw… things by DesignK. Not only do they store well, think how easy it would be to use these!


Audi (yes Audi) tunes in with Bosendorer to create their latest designer series grand piano.  Where are the trademark LEDs?

lux1539ex-640The “City of wine” complex by Frank Gehry. Whenever I see his work I can’t help but be perplexed as to how someone conceives a design like this and creates drawings for it that some poor contractor has to build from. Amazing. This particular article is on how to enter for a free weekend at this facility.


Wings for your camping pad from ENO (Eagles Nest Outfitters). If ever you have slept on one of these you might remember that one of the downfalls is your arms always fall off the pad and hit the hard ground kind of like the Eames Chaise Lounge.

bus-2An old bus becomes a country home as the result of a student project and some recycled (re-purposed?) wood gym floor. This is a far cry from the bus my old scout pack converted. Ironically the book “Into the Wild” was just returned to me from a friend I had lent it to… which also featured a bus that was a far cry from this one.

hermesbeverlyhills-2-thumb-620x464-67127The new Hermès store on Rodeo Drive.


According to Better Homes & Gardens trend team, customization for pets is a hot in new homes right now. An idea whose time has come.


It struck me as ironic that this “off the grid” house is packed full of grid based patterns… almost grid over kill.

db_view_from_on_high1This is pretty amazing. The whole house slides back to revel the super-structure of this dwelling called The Russell House Project.


Flip down bike rack functionally beautiful and beautiful when not functioning.

CARING-8.12Another non-fiction story hosted by our friends at The Container Store. You guys are making a difference. Thank You.

dezeen_resin_tables_Roel-Huisman_ss_1An entire table top made from one sheet or resin by Roel Huisman. The wooden writing pad slides open to revel a shallow storage bay. It would be pretty stunning to have actually seen things stored there in this shot.  Like ant’s frozen in amber. Good example of pushing a material to its limits but due to the cost of resin, I’m not sure what efficiencies were gained.

nikon-1-aw1-waterproof-interchangable-lens-camera-designboom01Nikon’s new AW1 underwater digital camera with interchangeable lens. They claim it is the first ever. Designed to be usable with or without gloves. Beautifully executed with its consistency in forms, and finishes, it would even look good sitting on shelf.


A coffee table that doubles as a play house.  A fantastic way to address the needs and activities of different family members simultaneously with one item, bringing just a little more unity to the families day.


Waterfall bath mat. Floor coverings are typically only used on horizontal surfaces. But this lady has devised several ways to create additional function into several alternatives. More art then truly functional but never the less it proves rugs can do more. Poor rugs, after all these years we finally acknowledge them for their contribution to our homes.


One of the winner’s of the Marvin Window’s Architects Contest, this home found in Colorado is an excellent use of restraint. Restraint in use of windows given it was sponsored by Marvin, restraint in use of unnecessary details, restraint in use of finishes and forms. A very warm and inviting combination of modern, transitional and traditional cues.


The JFK Flight Terminal designed by Eero Saarinen for TWA, has been purchased and is ear marked to be converted into a hotel. The facility has been predominately dormant for years but has been recognized as an architectural masterpiece since it was opened in 1962. It should be noted that Eero Saarinen attended design school at Michigan’s very own Cranbrook Academy where he met other students such as Ray and Charles Eames.

natural-chic-interior-modular-home-1-600x399While most of us keep our heads down and focus on business as usual, the modular home industry is really maturing. Now if we could get local municipalities to be more lenient with their codes and stop labeling them as mobile homes, the industry segment could really open the innovation valve.


This home, presented as one that revives your passion for living outdoors is not unlike many that you come across that apparently are built where insects do not exist. Or where climates would limit the time you have to enjoy your outdoor living room to 3 weekends a year. This particular house is in Perth, Australia. None of this is to say we should give up. I propose  there are great lessons about one’s self and the greater environment that can be learned by spending time outdoors. Us in the Midwest will just have to do with more screens then open air.


An interesting article that makes you think: 10 reason’s not to enlarge your living space. One of which is the additional wasted water it could lead to, or maybe that’s just my Great Lakes State thing seeping out.


Okay… to prove I am not in denial about the season’s changing, I will admit that I am starting to see Christmas decorations at various retailers in the area (today the high temp will be 72°). Orvis is featuring this pretty cool snow globe on its blog. “Lab in the woods” .


I should have posted this yesterday on “National Talk Like A Pirate Day” but… this is pretty cool. A CT scanner that Sponge Bob Square Pant’s would love.



“The bike of girls dreams”.  Sturdy, full fenders, headlight, comfy saddle and a glove box, step through frame… could be.


A floating Audi. Take what you are good at (advantage due to an understanding of technology) and apply it to adjacent industries. Brilliant. I wonder if I could get them to look at my 1965 Sunfish and offer up some suggestions.


Just to keep things clear. Think about the future but stay in the present and don’t dwell on the past. A watch that reminds us of where we are or should be.


Not just for TV show sets anymore. Book shelf wall paper. Just incase you don’t like the alternative of a wall sized jumbo jet poster.


New vintage toys. Playing with these would leave a lot to imagination, a lost art. A mentor of mine once said “if you want to see how creative your kids can be, quite buying them crap”.

By Jon King

insights 66


Finally. This house has hit the market for only $24 million. Located in Pennsylvania you might only get to use the pools during the summer, but you could use all 7 of the bathrooms year round. Designed by Edmund Gilchrist.


9 mm sheets of bamboo laminated to make a flexible stool. By Chen Min. And in a pinch you could steam it and have dinner.


The Better Homes & Garden trend team claims that refurbished bar carts are hot in this article.


This new flip book by Colibri can be yours for only $7,000. Being sold as kinetic art at the new museum store. Cost aside it would be pretty cool to have in your kids room or bathroom.




ORG Home has introduced two new finishes, Caviar (top) and Thoroughbred (bottom) along with several new creature comfort accessories to its offering. Proving that it can truly provide solutions for any vernacular or any area of the home.


Another successful KickStarter project, this little bench bookshelf concept is simply simple. By Strand Design.


This pitcher, part of the American Modern Dinnerware collection by Russell Wright is still available at Bauer Pottery Co. It’s original origin goes back to the 1930’s. This is part of a collection that you probably sold in a garage sale for $1.00… to bad!


Another fabulous Philippe Starck design for emeco is a stacking chair called “broom” because it is made from 90% recycled material that would have been “swept up and thrown in the dumpster”.


I can’t exactly figure this company out but I love it. Shinola is a Detroit based company that makes wonderful watches, bikes, leather goods and journals? Every little detail emits quality and heritage.


This simple little cork cap series by neo-utility turns any ordinary water-glass into a nice vase.


Sweet little cord keeper called “nibbles”. Get it? The website has several other species too.


Redefining the term wallflower, these oversized appliqués could brighten any room, no sunlight or watering required.


The Charles side table by weego home. Interesting pull choice given the overall style of the unit.


This complete line of outlets called “series 22” is available from the Canadian company Bocci. I don’t believe their electrical codes are much different then ours.


Custom steel windows. From Portella. I wonder if your tongue would stick to them in the winter?


Nice little deskscape available at


I already ordered one. And I don’t have an iPhone.


HGTV magazine polled over 2,000 people to determine which style of house they would prefer to live in. Check it out. The results might surprise you. Or maybe not, this is America after all.


The John Boos & Co. edge grabbing maple cutting board. If you have ever used a wooden miter box, you know how beneficial this lip-over-the-edge-of-your-counter (I made that title up) could be.


Trudeau’s new daisy timer. Must be my week for posting yellow stuff.


Sherwin-WIlliams just introduced a new line of colors for Pottery Barn.


Just in time for school to start. A keyboard from Logitech that can take it.


Pie slice clock revels the hours in a new way as the minutes tick by. Found at design  And yes there is a yellow one.


A nice personal desk named “Tide” by the brother design team of Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. Designers you should know something about. Not only is the height adjustable but it creates a nice little enclave for you to nestle up to.


Do you have a fuzzy little K9 at your side? This new toy called a JW Whirl wheel is a Frisbee and tug of war toy all rolled up into one handy, easily cleaned chew toy. From


De Festa Aglow Lantern. Wonderful if lit or not. From Olive & Cocoa. Patina on some old copper and zinc. As if found in an old barn.


How is this for a living room view? A barn conversion project ends with incredible, warm-modern results in Washington State. The title of this article is “Until the cows come home”.


Interior Design Magazine has this article on an airfield that was converted to a daycare center. Wonderful spaces for learning, creating and enabling the growth of an interest in learning. Apparently the have dandelions in Germany too.


This product called “the flying carpet” is wonderfully designed in the sense that it enables what is natural behavior for teenagers. I wonder how they ship it? By

By Jon King

insights 65


More proof that we love our pets. Or maybe this is where this family keeps the toxic stuff?




Wonderful compound style retreat. Simple yet warm and familiar materials and forms. Clean yet inviting.


I don’t know. Something about the self illuminated house number caught my eye. It’s not in a spot, it’s not neon but it is very easy to read.


Craftsman kitchen update in Minnesota. This pantry closure is a great way to allude to the things stored there but also maintain the clutter.


HOT NEWS… one of our brands: Easy Closets, just introduced a series of media centers. These KD units are available in three styles, dozens of configurations, scalable to fit your space and ship rapidly for free. These were designed, developed and brought to market by our own internal teams and are manufactured in the USA.


Ralph Lauren celebrate’s his 30th year in the business with a new eclectic collection of furnishings.

101660019.jpg.rendition.largest has this article on small kitchens. Regardless, think about how having twin sinks in the kitchen side-by-side with their own faucets would ease the daily tasks. Now you can double task, mix drinks, wash vegetables, rinse hands, hot-to-cold, etc.




More fuel for the ongoing debate about the need for there to be some harmonious link between exterior, additions and interior spaces. The original structure here was originally a water tower.


Groovie Math blocks by Uncle Goose, a company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan (my home town).


This tiny pre-fab cabin took a lot of thought to design. Little events like a rain turn into something special with this center focus roof line that creates a down-spout into a bed of rocks.


Programs for 3D printing your own shoes. What else could be served up this way? Towel hooks, key racks, Christmas decorations, gift boxes, it’s pretty endless and could be a big business.



A Italian villa for you modernist.


Tiles serving as more than flooring, shower stalls and back splash.


I admit, this is hard to pull off in area’s other than cabins and cottages, but here is an article for the DIY’ers out there who would like to experience the true thrill of the outdoor shower.



This home named “Fire Fly Hill” is part re-purposed material, classic references and new design thinking.


This home is in Cleveland Ohio and over-looks the old “industrial flats”. I am becoming more and more aware of what the right lighting can do for a structure. Simple forms, minimal material changes, but I wonder what they do about window treatments?


This old-barn-become-home in California, is a great example of what I suspect is a style we will hear more about in the future: “warm modern”.


This Canadian company: Threepears has some pretty cool and long-lasting products for our youth.


Something so simple and nice here. It’s from a Canadian company but made of American black walnut. Vintage yet not.


The new Brita stainless steel water pitcher/filter. Perhaps by making this type of products a bit nicer (like this one) we would be more inclined to use them and reduce unnecessary plastic consumption in our life.


Amazing how a material that you would not expect forms from can be pushed to its limits.


The new Holly Hunt “out-door canvas” collection with Sunbrella. Clearly not your grandfather’s tent canvas anymore.


Modular, interlocking wall panels have come a long way, especially when combined with the right lighting. Any of you who have ever had to contend with “modularity” in your creation process knows what a challenge this can be.


Amazing, this is red cedar. A commodity material applied in a beautiful fashion. Another Gensler success.



Same point. both the above images are re-purposed “containers” if you think about it. These don’t feel like the force fit.


Although your dog might not like this concept, Orvis is now offering dog print kitchen hand towels. Remember those toys we had as kids with the silhouette of a face and chain nose that would change as you tip it? Think of the fun you could have by folding these in different patterns. Or combining different dogs!




Good article on how adding a little stone to your kitchen can suggest history and increase charm regardless of the overall vernacular.

By Jon King