Archive for the ‘Cool Products’ Category

About 10 years ago, I did a screen-printing course with Kingy Carpenter at Peach Berserk. Her tables were covered in industrial felt that immediately caught my attention.  My tactile sensibilities fell in love with this felt and I started thinking of things that I could make with it. I do this with a lot of materials.  Then a few years later I started to notice felt products appearing in certain stores.  That’s when my love affair was reignited.  The products I found came from a company called FELT. Kathryn Walter is FELT Studio.

When I arrived at Kathryn’s new studio, I commented on how clean it was since I was expecting to see fluff everywhere from her recent project with Johnson Chou.  But Kathryn, ever considerate, cleaned it better than I clean my house! So organized! I was shown her wall of samples.  It was amazing to see how versatile the material is.

Wall of samples


Kathryn’s Studio

Kathryn comes from a long line of felt dealers.  In fact, her great-grandfather started importing felt from Germany, which makes it a 100+-year-old family business.  As a sculptural artist, Kathryn found that using this material was a natural progression to her career.

“Felt is sustainable. It’s a renewable resource, like wood and is amazingly durable”.

Kathryn’s work has brought her all over Canada and into the US.  Her small production items can be bought at MADE, the Textile Museum and online.  She works on large-scale commercial and residential projects as well.

On now, you can see Kathryn’s work at the Bulthaup Showroom, 280 King St. E, Suite 100, and at the Gladstone Hotel, with her Patchwork Exhibit.

Bulthaup Showroom

And you can purchase her beautiful felt products on her site here.



My favourite is the Briefcase. Nah! I love them all!



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Yes, you heard me.

“Snob”, which is one of my fave shops is having a fantastic Spring Sale, just in time for all of my friends who have just bought a house and are decorating.

“Snob” is a store that brings in amazing furniture and accessories from Africa.  No other store in this part of Canada offers these beautiful treasures. Read more about  “Snob” here.  I generally don’t like to list prices, but this sale is too good not to share.

These prices last until April 17 only!


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Last week was the One of a Kind Spring Show.  For those of you who aren’t aware of the One of a Kind shows, this show runs twice a year and is a consumer show highlighting Artisans and Crafters. One of a Kind Shows are in Toronto, Vancouver, Chicago and New York. It’s one of my favourite shows because I can find unique products that aren’t available in most retail stores. This is where I bulk up on birthday, anniversary and even Christmas presents. This spring, I was on the hunt for unique home décor products and besides the beautiful bedding by Maria Pezzano from yesterdays post, I found Foutu Tissu.

Co-owner Emanuelle Dion

From Montreal, Emanuelle and Isabelle create vintage inspired screen-printed fabrics and put them on pillows, refurbished chairs and sofas. Their first time at the show this year, they featured their limited edition ottomans or poufs at the show. My faves!

Check out their blog here for inquiries.

It helps if you read en Francais.

They plan on participating in the Christimas Show, so mark your calendars.


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Since last week I’ve been on a spring clean like no other.  I’ve made copious lists- Front Yard, Back Yard, Inside Paint touch-ups, Replenish List. I’ve decided, no matter how well you maintain your home you will need about $1000 minimum in upkeep every year.   That doesn’t include redoing your garden or replenishing your tools or towels or bedding. Here’s where I stop.

I’ve been in a kind of “Limbo” state or “Purgatory” as I call it and I’ve been wanting to redecorate my bedroom but don’t want to make the investment in a boring bedding set. Considering we spend 1/3 of our lives in our beds, it should be a place of serenity and beauty.  I want freshness, colour, and garden.  And frankly I can’t seem to find the colours I want without doing custom, which I could easily do if I weren’t in Purgatory.  See what I mean.  No?

Well, it doesn’t really matter because I finally found a bedding set that I love love love!  And it was at the One of a Kind show this past weekend.

I saw it, like a beacon amidst the crowds –  Colour !!

Maria Pezzano, an artist from Guelph, Ontario has partnered with Guildcraft, makers of high quality pillows and duvets, to bring you gorgeous one-of-kind prints.  Maria takes her large-scale garden art and reproduces it to be transferred onto excellent quality organic cotton sateen.  The bed at the show was so comfy I wanted to just lie there all day.

Maria’s stunning designs can be custom ordered by contacting her directly.  She will come over, help you decide which set will work with your décor, take measurements and have it made just as you like it. Now that’s great service!

Contact Maria and see her complete spring line.



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We know that anything Karim Rashid designs is colourful, playful and very cool.  And these 2 new pieces he designed for Italian furniture brand B-Line hit all the marks.

Snoop is not simply a stool in rotomoulded polyethylene, but also becomes a low table with two built-in pockets and can be stacked to form bookcases of various shapes and sizes.


And Woopy is a single rotomoulded polyethylene piece, that is a genereously sized armchair.  The Woopy comes in a high stool version with a chromium-plated tube serving as a footrest.

All pieces can be used outdoors.  Brilliant and always fun!


First seen on Design Indaba


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Finally, a brilliant design for a light bulb. Just as I was lamenting the other day about how someone needs to redesign the light bulb, (I confess that I do whine about bad design on occasion) voila! All over the blogosphere, the Plumen appeared.

Winner of the coveted 2011 Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award, the Plumen 001 lightbulb, is a collaborative effort of Nicolas Roope, cofounder of electronics company Hulger, and British designer Samuel Wilkinson.

As Nicolas Roope says, “It’s strange that the bulb, an object so synonymous with ideas, is almost entirely absent of imagination.” But the Plumen has changed that perception. And not only is it a thing of beauty but it uses 80% less energy and lasts eight times longer than an incandescent bulb.

Truly an amazing achievement, Hulger’s Plumen won over 90 submissions from all over the world.

Michael-George Hemus of product design company Hulger and the British Designer Samuel Wilkinson

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum said: “A worthy winner that is both beautiful and smart. It does away with the superfluous to achieve maximum economy of means. It’s a bulb that doesn’t need a shade and so goes a long way to make up for the loss of the Edison original.”


The Plumen is available now by on-line shopping at Hulger.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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Night Night

Do you have trouble falling asleep?  I know of maybe 2 people who can fall asleep with no problem and that’s usually because they’ve had a few drinks.

Well, Vanessa Hordies just might have solved one of my most chronic problems with her new night light.  Shaped like an hourglass, the sand is illuminated by a light at the base.  Once the light is turned on, a 15 minute (about the time for the average person to fall asleep) countdown starts.  It takes about that time for the sand to fall and then the light automatically turns off.  Brilliant! Love it! Want it!

Photo courtesy of ECAL

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