Ever have those days where you can't find something important in your bag and you look and look and it's not there?You search the whole house and finally you find it, when you check your bag again.
Or, is your place too small to have a table by the door and so you don't have a consistent, convenient place to leave your keys, sunglasses, etc?
Elefunction's newest products will take care of that for you; their tagline is Design That Never Forgets.
The Elephant mounts on the wall very easily and can become your command center to corral your things.. The strong cord holds glasses, sunglasses, phones, mail, and other small items, while super magnets embedded in the 'trunk' take care of your keys (even if you're a janitor, I've seen it in person).
Available in walnut or ash, and with or without an edge color, these products are all handmade in Colorado.
If you like to check your hair/teeth, or throw on some last-minute lipstick before you run out the door, the Echo mirror allows you to do that and has the same organizational function as the Elephant. Echo comes in walnut or ash.
Keeping your keys and glasses in one dedicated spot like this also keeps your keys from scratching the lenses of your glasses, which can happen easily in a bag. Plus, most importantly, you don't run around like a chicken with its head cut off looking for things when you're trying to get out the door to work or to meet friends.
Designer Brad Reed Nelson, founder of Board by Design - who I first met when I fell for his fabulous rockers at the AD Home Show a few years ago - initially started Elefunction as a way to keep track of his sunglasses. The product, the I Wear rack, was a simple board and tension cord (it and earlier iterations are still available). In the process Brad found that what they were doing was creating better relationships because people were happier, less stressed, more prompt, and more pleasant to be around all because they weren't wasting time looking for their things.
It's pretty powerful when a simple product can do that!
images via elefunction
I've been thinking for a while about trying to switch us to a shoes-off household. We mostly end up barefoot while we're home anyway, but coming and going we have our shoes on and track in the usual dirt and leaves. We usually let friends leave their shoes on, too. In our last house, we had the perfect entry space to accommodate a bench but my inability to decide what bench I wanted was holding up the process. It was mostly about trying to find a fabric that I loved and that I would continue to love for a long time.
We don't really have the space for a bench now, but we really need something near our garage entry for putting boots on and taking them off. It's going to end up just inside the kitchen so it can't be too large. Since the slush and snow don't seem to be going anywhere and we need a place to take off our boots, we're looking more seriously again at benches. Do we want one with storage, and how do we keep the inside from getting junky? Should I pick something neutral that can go with potential future decor in the next house we live in, or just buy something I like now and find a way to make it work later or reupholster it?
I love this reclaimed wood and powder coated steel bench from ABC, but it doesn't quite fit into my budget right now. Here are a couple options I'm looking at. I have to keep practicality in mind since two little kids will be using it, too.
I have this compulsion to buy all kinds of storage bins. I think that each bin is going to be the one that finally gets my kids' toys, papers, or random clutter organized. I've already come to terms with the fact that I'm a piler, not a filer, but I still get self-conscious about people coming over and seeing the disarray.
I love love love this fluorescent pink modern toile storage bin (which comes in three sizes) that I found at ABC Home. I'm a big fan of mixing colors and patterns in unexpected ways, and when designs rooted in tradition are presented in a modern way, I'm generally hooked. I'm fascinated by the idea behind toile, but I usually find the traditional scenes a bit old-fashioned (and sometimes strangely suggestive, as evidenced by a shower curtain my sister had at her old apartment).
In the past I've been really into modern interpretations of toile (see: Timorous Beasties, Historically Inaccurate, and Sheila Bridges) and this pattern is so whimsical with the paper airplanes, wildflowers, animals, cityscape, and fashion-forward (superhero!) figures strutting across the cotton canvas.
If the fluorescent pink is too much for you, these charming bins also come in water green and honey.
images via abc home
When I was younger, I was a voracious reader and tore through several books a week. Oh, to have the time for that again. It helps when you are also an insomniac starting from a young age (although, now that my 4 year old is following this pattern, I'm not sure how great it is). I also loved to make up stories about people and what they did and where they went. For better or worse, I have a vivid imagination.
So when I see the Brownstone Bookcase from The Land of Nod, all I can think is: amazing dollhouse. Yes, it looks great with some books and toys, but how fun would it be to style at least some of this piece as a dollhouse? Decorate some of the shelves, grab some dolls and stuffed friends, and you (or, you know, your child…) could entertain yourself for hours creating lives for the dolls and imagining their interactions. I would have a ton of fun making up stories with my daughters about the apartment dwellers within. At least one shelf would be an Auntie Mame-style penthouse with revolving decor.
On the practical side, having the option to close the doors and hide away the toys and books when they're less than neat is a nice plus. The modern design certainly goes with what we have in my house, and I like that it has the natural wood tone as well, so it wouldn't feel overly matchy-matchy with my daughter's white bed and dresser. It is pricier than a simple bookcase, but if your kids are interacting with it on a level beyond organization, it could be worth the additional cost. I love that it could serve more than one function, and of course, I'm partial to anything city-related, so I think it looks super cute.
Brownstone Bookcase, $599, landofnod.com
images via the land of nod
A couple of years ago at the NY gift show, I discovered then-new home accessories company Pehr (pronounced pair). I immediately asked founder Jennifer Kelly to borrow napkins and table runners for an entertaining story I was working on and carried them right off the floor on the last day of the show.
Jen and childhood friend and partner Rebecca Perren are based in Toronto and their designs are bright, modern, and easily mix-and-matchable. Since that gift show they have introduced additional patterns and expanded their product offerings to include other home items beyond the table linens they began with.
Now comes the launch of Petit Pehr—a collection for the younger set—inspired by their own growing families' needs and demand from customers and retailers. Bedding, swaddles, and storage come in three color ways: blue/red, pink/citron, and grey/yellow with complementary patterns mixed in. A sampling of the new collection:
The products are all available at Hudson, but check out their online catalog, if only for the sweet illustrations of snuggly animals (see above). Parents will appreciate that all of Pehr's products are made of natural cottons and linens, and better still, are machine washable.
Now that I work out of my house full-time, and most of the house is chock full of kids' goodies, I have to be very conscious of my workspace and try to stay as organized as possible.
My space is part of the living room and there are shelves, but they're not yet dedicated solely to my work.
I purchased a couple new magazine files (Nate Berkus for Target, not available online) but, it never seems like I have enough, between the magazines I keep for my portfolio and the ones I read for work/pleasure. Unfortunately, there are never as many of one style as I need at the store when I'm shopping, so my mag file boxes are a bit mismatched.
I've liked these from Office Depot for a while now, I've been really feeling the little polka dots lately, especially in black & white, which I know is big right now (when isn't it?).
I happen to have a memo mousepad from Galison, not this design though. I started with two and I've somehow made them last for a long time, even though I do rely on their convenience quite often. If you need to jot something down quickly, like a phone number or a time and place, it's right there. When you run out of sheets, a soft foam mousepad remains. If I didn't write on my mousepad, I would upgrade to a beautiful handmade leather mousepad from Susan at Freshly Picked.
Poppin's desktop set is great for separating notes, research, and business receipts. The accessory tray could hold the recorder I use for in-person interviews and my washi tape.
I just bought a white board calendar with a magnetic surface, but it only came with two magnets. I really like the colors and detailing on these hand-painted butterfly magnets from Ballard Designs. Ballard often has great magnets and pushpins, so even though they're not really an office store, they're always a great place to check for accessories like that.
Because it sometimes feels like all the cardboard storage boxes are the same, I like these tromp l'oeil containers carried by ModCloth. They fold flat when they're not in use, and of course, hide papers, product samples, and, sure, even toys when they are in use.
#checkout this blog with shop-themed puns
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