January is the perfect time to take a look at life and maybe make a few changes. I’m not talking huge life altering things, more like tiny refreshes with a focus on increased quality in life and home. I’ve updated The Marketplace with plenty of new goods to make your January refresh a reality. Plenty of new home goods, art, and more – here are just a few of my favorite pieces.
The Family of Things: Woodland and The Family of Things: Polar can add a bit of magic to your walls. A colorful geometric pillow cover packs a punch of color for your living room or bedroom. This navy dot cotton scarf is a great piece to layer with to keep out the chill. Use this cork bowl in the kitchen to corral all of that lovely citrus bounty. The understated Nebula Bangle will work hard all winter, then transition with your wardrobe to spring. Don’t forget about your skin – use this detox body oil in your bath and on your body. Make your time in the kitchen happier with this sweet hand block printed tea towel.
See all of or makers and their goods over on The Marketplace!
Click on each image to go to the project.
All photos copyright of their respective sites unless otherwise noted.
When it comes to kitchenwares I’m definitely drawn towards simple yet heavy duty pottery. These hand-thrown food-safe glazed jugs, bowls, and other homewares by Jude Allman all exhibit a modern rustic influence that could fit in nearly any household. I love the clean lines and simple aesthetic that each piece has about it.
New-to-me Toronto-based Mod Pieces is scratching my itch for color, in nearly every room of the house. All products made my shop owner Lia are unique and sustainable, going against the throwaway culture that seems to surround us on a daily basis. The hope is to create truly one of a kind pieces that are rare, unique, and irreplaceable. I can definitely back that notion.
When subscription boxes became an overnight trend a few years ago it was tough to separate the wheat from the chaff. There were plenty of smart ideas, but little quality in my experiences. I’ve remained true to Birchbox and Hatchery, and now I’m under the spell of Makrbox.
Their idea is to provide a collection of the best handcrafted home and kitchen goods made in the Pacific Northwest. Each of the 2-3 products you receive includes the story if its creator, their inspiration, and the process. A few favorite pieces I received are above – an ergonomic hardwood saute tool by Geoff Fisher, Flying Bird Botanicals Dreamcatcher Tea (a new obsession), San Juan Sea Salt, Pigeon Toe Stacking Thimble Cups, and a linen tea towel from Love, Daniella.
A few years ago my family switched to having a Christmas Day brunch in place of dinner. While I miss the big dinner with all of the trimmings, this seems to suit us all just fine. It’s always at my Grandma’s house, but if it were at mine it might go a little something like this. Lots of brights and metallics and an air of fun about it all. Lots of carbs to pick at while each person opens their gifts. And of course dessert and some alcohol to lighten the mood. Wanna come over? (Imaginary Christmas 2013, Imaginary Holiday Appetizer Party)
Adorn Wooden Ornaments // Christmas Scent // Decorative Sisal Trees // DIY Fancy Paper Chain //
Flaneur’s Pocket Geometric Wooden Ornaments // DIY Paint Chip Wreath // DIY Paper Pinecones //
Tinsel Tree Wall Decoration // DIY Paper Mistletoe Kissing Ball
Blomster // Branch & Twig Cocktail Picks // Cloched Greenery // Confetti Platter //
DIY Dip-Dyed Placecards // French Wine Glass // Glittered Cocktail Stirrers //
Pearl Place Hi-Ball Set // Red Birds Plate
Earl Grey Orange and Medjool Date Scones // Easy Breakfast Roll Ups //
Easy Fluffy Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls // Eggnog Steel Cut Oatmeal // Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes //
King’s Hawaiian Waffles with Pumpkin Syrup // Maple Molasses Muffins //
Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad // Vanilla Maple Baked Stuffed Apple Parfaits
Suite One Studio‘s modern handmade tableware is most definitely on my Christmas list. Owner Lindsay Emery uses high quality porcelain, handmade watercolor glazes, and hand-painted genuine gold to create her beautiful collections – I swear the glazes look good enough to eat! You can read more about her process over on Jojotastic.
I began following Redraven Studios several years before moving back to Pittsburgh, in fact I didn’t even know they were from my hometown at that point. Founder Amy Hamley and her husband Ryan create the prettiest porcelain pieces – I had their Good Luck Porcelain Horseshoe hanging above my front door for several years and it was always complimented. This holiday season I’m eyeballing the Porcelain & Gold Leaf Feather Ornament for my tree (and maybe a few lucky recipients) along with the Canyon Series Dinnerware that is forever on my Wish List.
Drake General Store is a traditional hotel gift shop, a classic general store, a flea market stand, and a museum shop all rolled into one. They have the biggest and best Canadian pride and love supporting homegrown artists and designers, making them a perfect match for Design Crush and our sensibilities.
Please tell me you took 1.5 seconds to read that graphic, because we’re giving away a $1,000 prize pack! Drake General Store is my favorite shop north of the U.S. border and I’m pumped to be partnering with them for the second December in a row to give you all a HUGE something awesome. I’ve cherry picked my favorite pieces from their classic, modern goods that are a mix of sensible (socks, throws, kitchen pieces) and not so sensible (tarot cards, incense, wind chime) and everything in between.
Metsa Birch Box Set ($40) // Gold Screw Studs ($24) // Cross Enamelware Stockholm Measuring Cup ($29) // Cross Enamelware Copenhagen Side Dish ($29) // Oval Marble + Wood Cheeseboard ($68) // Ladies & Gentlemen Aura Bell Chime ($135) // Held In Common Snowflake Socks ($14) // Cozy Ceramic Camp Mug, set of 4 ($48) // 3 Mast Brothers Chocolate Bars ($33) // Shared History Macho Man + Elizabeth Robes ($128) // Arborist Long Janes, trees ($29) // Blackbird Incense ($34) // Public Supply Notebooks ($15) // Arborist Getaway Blanket ($29) // Arborist Getaway Pack ($29) // Wild Unknown Tarot Card Deck ($45) // Wild Unknown Tarot Guide Book ($24) // Engraved Keychain ($15) // Hockey Thermos ($38) // Earth Coasters ($42) // Pinch Pot with Spoon ($28) // East Coast Throw Blanket ($99) // Oslo Bowls ($39)
I KNOW! So many well designed pieces and so many little luxuries to help get you through winter. You could either go the Happy Holidays to Me! route and keep it all for yourself or the My Shopping is Done! route and dive up your winnings as gifts for everyone on your list. Either way it’s a win. (But if you do spy something you’d like to gift know that Drake General Store has worldwide flat rate shipping!)
I’ve always been fascinated by single-serve coffee systems, but vastly underwhelmed by what’s on the market. The ability to cater to your family’s or guests’ preferences, especially during all of those holiday get togethers, can be such a lovely touch when entertaining. But when the coffee itself tastes unimpressive and the machine has a working life of maybe a year… well, what’s the point?
When Nespresso reached out about trying out their new VertuoLine I was hesitant, but what changed my mind was that Nespresso works in coffee. They aren’t just some brand who’s decided to create a new machine and outsource the main ingredient. VertuoLine is an intuitive system that uses Centrifusion technology and barcode reading (cup size, rotation, temperature, flow rate, and brew time) to brew 8 oz cups of coffee and 1.35 oz espressos.
The VertuoLine’s hallmark is the incredible crema – the foam formed on each espresso top – it creates with every cup. And honestly it really is impressive. Once I got my hands on the machine itself I couldn’t believe that this was a cup of coffee that I’d made in around a minute in my own kitchen.
I also got to play around with an automatic milk frother, the Aeroccino+. With the push of a button I had perfect hot milk and froth (it can also warm milk without the froth or froth cold milk). It’s basically my favorite new kitchen gadget of 2014.
The VertuoLine comes with a sample box of their eight coffee and four espresso blends. And after trying nearly all of them I decided to create a few coffee drinks and put it all to the test.
• Melozio capsule
• 2 oz skim milk
• 1 Tbsp honey, plus more for drizzling
Place Melozio capsule into the VertuoLine and brew into mug. While brewing, pour 2 oz skim milk into Aeroccino+ along with one tablespoon of honey. Press button to froth. When finished, gently pour milk into coffee, then spoon froth on top. Drizzle with honey. Drink up.
• Odacio capsule
• 2 oz eggnog
Place Odacio capsule into the VertuoLine and brew into mug or heat-safe glass. While brewing, pour 2 oz eggnog into Aeroccino+. Press button to froth. Pour eggnog slowly into coffee to achieve that great separation. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I received product and compensation for this collaboration with Nespresso. As always all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that help keep Design Crush going!