Tag Archives: design twists

Phony Plastic Party Glasses

As I’ve mentioned before, I do like things that aren’t what they seem. These wine glasses are designed to look like disposable plastic cups, but their glass stems make you look again.

Plastic Cup Replica Glass - Up To You Toronto

I reckon you’d get the same naughty thrill drinking out of one of these as you do from drinking wine out of a mug. Or is that just me?

They are $50 Canadian dollars each from Up To You Toronto plus postage, so they’re definitely a treat but I’m hankering after them nonetheless.

What do you think?

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Wedding Tea Towels

When we got married last year our wedding invitations reflected how me and the Mr met. We both work in safety & ‘Mr & Mrs Safety’ is how we are known, to his friends particularly.

Mr & Mrs Safety - Our Wedding Invite

I bought an image from Getty, designed them myself and had them printed by a friend at mates rates, they were cheap and cheerful and did the job. But if I’d seen The Original Wedding Tea Towel Company when I was getting married I would have been very tempted.

Instead of a card, invite your friends using a tea towel or bag that can be used and kept forever. Perfect for a save the date, an invite, favour or instead of a thank you card.

Choose your design from the Penny Friendly all black design at £40.

Penny Friendly - Wedding Tea Towel

Or a design from the Classic Collection for £50, like this Spring Hill design.

Spring Hill - Wedding Tea Towel

Or you may like one of the Boutique designs at £85. You can also create your own bespoke design for £160.

Wedding Postcard - Wedding Tea Towel

Once you’ve chosen your design, count how many you’ll need to see the full price. Delivery is free in the UK and it will cost you the price of a large letter to post them out to your friends and family.

For 100 guests including artwork from the classic collection you’re looking at around £325, which is about the same as some designed paper invites and certainly less than a lot of traditional favours and your guests’ reactions will be priceless.

Even though I’ve got no use for them I’m still hankering after them. So if you’re going to use them for your wedding, can you invite me so I can at least have one? Pretty please?

The Original Wedding Tea Towel Company can also do tea towels for birth announcements. If we’re blessed with another baby hankerer, I’ll definitely do that.

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Zincwhite

Continuing my theme of reusing things from earlier today, I wanted to tell you about another shop that’s had me hankering recently. Zincwhite reuse, recycle, remould, remodel and reinvent items to create brand new things for you, your home and your kids. I love their strapline:

‘Where discarded objects become desirable again’

These scatter cushions are like the building blocks you had when you were a kid. Regress to your childhood when you get bored watching telly by building cushion houses and Godzilla-ing them to your heart’s content. They’re £65 for the set.

Building block scatter cushions - Zincwhite

Zincwhite have taken artists’ old paintbrushes and turned them into pretty and unique necklaces. You can also get them from Designers Makers. They come with details of who donated the paintbrush which is a really nice touch and they’re under £25 each.

Paintbrush necklace - Zincwhite - Designers Makers

My favourite piece from Zincwhite is their personalised musical television. They take a clockwork toy television and turn it into a moving story using your own pictures. I really, really want one. Go to their website to see the moving image. The price is on application.

 Personalised Moving Television-Zincwhite

What story would you put on yours?

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A Little Light Reading

Books make me really happy. When I’m feeling a bit down, I like to seek solace among books.

Book shopping is one of the rare occasions that I favour physical shopping to online shopping. I have a method. I work my way round the shelves alphabetically gathering books as I go until I’ve got a nice stack. I read the blurbs of each of them again, compare them in my mind and put a couple back.

I delve inside the remaining books and skim a paragraph or two to taste the flavours of the writing. A couple more books will find themselves nestled back on the shelves. Finally, and I know I shouldn’t, I’ll look at the covers and naughtily judge them before reading the blurbs again.

I can lose hours whittling my pile down to the one or two books that I will eventually buy. It gives me the same pleasure I used to feel as a child choosing my weekly sweets in the newsagent on a Sunday.

I blame my mother, the librarian. She brought me up to love and cherish books, as well as instilling in me the importance of alphabetisation. So when I see products made from books, I can’t help but flinch a bit. It seems wrong somehow but they’re so often very beautiful. Like this Light Reading Chandelier.

Light Reading Chandelier - Lula DotBut Lula Dot make an excellent case for upcycling disused books. For example, I had no idea that there’s no infrastructure set-up to recycle books because of the low-grade paper and the gluey spines. When you consider the huge number of books that will only end up in landfill sites it seems such a terrible waste not to make something beautiful out of them instead. Especially when the result looks like this…

Light Reading Chandelier close up - Lula Dot

The Light Reading Chandelier is by Lula Dot and sold for £340 for delivery in the EU or £440 for international shipping. I’d love to have a peek through some of the pages and see what books have been used.

Have a look at Lula Dot’s project on book partitions, I’d like a corner of my house set up with a couple of these, a comfy chair to curl up in and my favourite book to read. What’s your favourite book?

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A Lightbulb Moment

In my opinion designers don’t tamper with light bulbs enough. If you’ve got a really amazing light fitting putting in a standard bulb can ruin the effect a bit. On the flip side, if you haven’t got a light fitting it wouldn’t matter a jot if the light bulb hanging from the flex was a work of art itself.

Diamond Lights by Eric Therner is designed to look like a cut diamond, I imagine the light would bounce around beautifully in this bulb. To be honest I’d buy this for the Art Deco style box alone. This is £25 from Designers Makers although if you’re buying in bulk you can get four for about £80 from Eric Therner’s website with free shipping. Unfortunately this diamond won’t last forever, but will last for around 2000 hours.

Diamond Light Bulb -Eric Therner

You may have seen Plumen’s award-winning light bulbs already, forming part of The Conran Shop’s Christmas window displays a few months back. These low energy light bulbs are so much more pleasing to the eye than the standard energy-saving types. They are £19.95 each in either bayonet or screw fittings. I love all the coloured flexes that are around too. These bulbs have a life expectancy of about 8 years.

Plumen - Designer low energy bulb

Is it madness to consider spending this sort of money on light bulbs when you can get them for so much less or does the design warrant it? I think I might be swayed to invest in one.

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Keyboard Brush

The British are notoriously bad at taking our lunch breaks, according to research Spar did a couple of years ago 70% of us don’t leave our desks for lunch. That’s a LOT of crumbs.

If you’re one of those 70% you might be hankering after something more refined than tipping your keyboard upside down and banging the back of it to minimise crunchy typing. So let me introduce you to the key(board) desk brush that will help to de-crumb your working area.

Keybrush - Present & Correct

Instead of metal teeth this key has bristles to brush your desk from crumbs. It is £12.50 from Present & Correct and is made by blind and visually impaired people in a craft workshop in Berlin.

This little brush is so simple, yet so brilliant. Add it to your key chain to increase your status at work (more keys = more important, right?) or if you’re important enough already, leave in your desk drawer or hang on the wall by your desk.

Oh, and make sure you take lunch today…

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Sequinned Walls

The magpie in me loves sequins but on clothes they can be hard to carry off. What about sequins on the walls?

Sequin wallpaper - SurfacePhilia

This wallpaper by SurfacePhilia (what a great name!) is beautiful. The sequins are illustrations of oversized gold, black and silver sequins layered over each other to create a busy but beautiful design. Here’s the close up.

Sequin wallpaper close up - SurfacePhilia

I think this is a really glamorous design that would look stunning in a hall or bedroom. I might be tempted to stick the occasional real sequin on but at £175 a roll I’d probably leave well alone.

Do you like it?

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Light Up Your Clothes

We’ve all got a favourite piece of clothing that, if we’re truthful about, we prefer to look at than wear. I’ve got several. The dress that is too fancy for my lifestyle, the one that’s a little snugger than I’d like to remember that I can’t bear to part with, or the one with too full-on a pattern to successfully wear.

Well, here’s a nifty solution.

Clothes hanger lamp - Droog

The Clothes Hanger Lamp is an acrylic clothes hanger with a low energy bulb attached (so it won’t set your clothes on fire). It doesn’t look much on its own, but when it’s illuminating your favourite outfit it could be marvellous. It’s £138 and available from Places & Spaces.

Clothes hanger lamp - Droog

Change the outfit when you get bored and as each material would diffuse the light differently it would be a beautiful way to change the mood at home. I think this would be a fabulous way to display a wedding dress instead of leaving it languishing in the loft for years after the big day. I sold my wedding dress but I have a beautiful kimono that a friend gave me for a birthday that would look fab.

What would you hang on it?

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Tea Cosy Handbags

Tea cosy handbags. Now that’s not a phrase you hear everyday is it?

Hands up who else can remember this ginger cat tea cosy? My love of ginger cats, the memory of my granny’s tea cosy like this and the fact that it has been made into a handbag make this hankering gold! I love its quirkiness.

Ginger Cat Tea Cosy Handbag - uoldbag!

Maybe you like this vintage patchwork tea cosy handbag more?

Vintage Tea Cosy Handbag - uoldbag!The contrast back and lining make this really interesting and special. I love this almost as much.

Designed by U Old Bag! They are both currently available at a reduced price of £65 from Culture Label. There are also some cracking upcycled vintage suitcases and vanity cases.

Which would you wear?

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Cardboard Chic

Cardboard is usually reserved for packing, carrying and storing. It is the workhorse of household materials that never really gets appreciated. Not these cardboard creations. They are the celebrities of the cardboard world that have been transformed from merely functional into beautiful as well.

This cardboard pendulum wall clock is stunning with its laser-cut curves and the brass hands and acrylic numbers add some extra class. It is $46 which is great value and even including the high postage outside of the US, it’s a lot less than many inferior clocks. As well as clocks Seequin also do some pretty cardboard chandeliers.

Cardboard Pendulum Wall Clock - Seequin

I love the simplicity of this cardboard radio from Suck UK. If you get bored with the radio playlists you can play your iPod or MP3 player through it too. It can be powered with batteries or a DC adaptor so you can take it out and about with you, eighties style. It’s £25.

Cardboard Radio - Suck UKNeed an ad hoc chair that you can fold away in between uses? Look no further than this cardboard chair from Paperpod Cardboard Creations. At just under £35 you could get a couple. I love the idea of decorating it, you could use it as a kind of furniture guest book and get a written message from everyone who sits on it. There are toddler versions too.

Cardboard Chair - Paperpod Cardboard CreationsThese cardboard shoes made from old Quaver boxes with parcel string laces are magnificent. Even if they’re not wearable they look amazing. Mark O’Brien will do custom orders too so if you want a particular style of shoe in a certain brand box he may be your man. The ones below are just under £40.

Cardboard Smart Shoes (quavers) - MarkofBrien

The people over at Kid Eco, have some fun playhouses for kids made of cardboard that can be decorated and painted. Choose from a playhouse, puppet theatre, teepee, rocket, castles, fortress, princess castles or my favourite, the igloo.

What do you think? Has cardboard got a little jumped up or is it the new eco chic?

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