I am not into gadgets or appliances: I don’t need to have the newest iPhone or iPad. And my 5-year-old desktop computer works just fine so there is no need to buy a faster, newer, slicker version. But there is one electrical product that I do get excited about. And that’s … a good vacuum cleaner! With a dog and kids running around the house a powerful vacuum cleaner can be a game changer. I discovered this a few years ago when I decided to spend a bit more money and bought a more expensive, better vacuum cleaner. But after a year of intensive use it got broken and unfortunately that particular model was no longer available. I never managed to find a vacuum that was equally powerful. I did look at Dyson vacuum cleaners as they get raving reviews but I was hesitant to actually buy one because I was not sure if it was worth the price tag.
So I got very excited (really!) when I got to test the new Dyson Cinetic Big Ball vacuum. This new model is the only vacuum that self-rights when toppled. Dyson engineers made this possible by assembling the vacuum’s components in a spherical array, with the heaviest nearest to the floor. Placing them inside a curved body with a low centre of gravity means that whenever the vacuum is displaced, gravitational forces will automatically return it to its upright resting position. Handy!
Another important feature of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball is that it does not use bags or filters. Usually vacuums get less powerful with time as the filter needs to be cleaned or changed after a couple of loads (most of us tend to forget this including me). Also, bagged vacuums lose suction because the bags’ pores clog, blocking airflow. And most bagless vacuums use inefficient cyclones to separate dirt and dust from the air. Dust that isn’t captured passes onto the filter – clogging it. Dyson claims that because of the Dyson Cinetic technology the machine will maintain strong suction power for its working life. I was curious to see whether the Dyson would maintain its strong power even after weeks of intensive use. And I pleased to say that it did! After four loads (which is when usually a vacuum with filter loses strength as the filter needs to be cleaned) the suction power remained the same with the Dyson picking up the tiniest bits of crumbs and dust.
I love the beautiful ceramic pieces created by Malinda Reich. Malinda is a ceramic artist who lives and works in San Francisco. Her one-of-a-kind wheel thrown and carved pieces are functional as well as decorative, both rustic and delicate. Many of her bowls and vases feature hand-carvings inspired by her Scandinavian roots and her love of good food and cooking. As all pieces are handmade and high fired, there will always be a slight variation in color and shape. Malinda’s little works of art are available from her website but also from online shop Quitokeeto. I have been trying to get my hand on a piece but her work is sold very quickly!
Loving the colors of these beautiful cups by Studio Arhoj! The Sip Cup is a small hand-cast and glazed porcelain cup for the quick espresso, creamy cortado or small evening tea. It can also be used as a pot for tiny plants or as a container for small items or foods. Located by the harbour in Copenhagen, Studio Arhoj is a Danish interior & design studio run by Anders Arhoj. Originally founded in Tokyo in 2006, Studio Arhoj is now based in Denmark. In addition to exploring the visual relationship between Scandinavian simplicity and traditional Japanese culture Studio Arhoj is interested in keeping alive traditions and knowledge about old crafts such as wheel throwing and glaze construction.
It isn’t cheap but isn’t this children’s set beautiful? The Peter’s chair (around 500 USD/EUR) and table (around 600 USD/EUR) were designed by Danish furniture designer Hans J. Wegner as a present for the baby son of Wegner’s friend and colleague Børge Mogensen. In the war years quality furniture was hard to find – so he made his own.
Door and window furniture (in Dutch: deur- en raamkrukken) should not only be functional, it is important that they are visually and aesthetically pleasing as well. After all, these fittings are the finishing touch to a home. This is why Dutch manufacturer Intersteel has collaborated with well-known designers to create a collection of high quality door and window furniture that will look beautiful in any home. Together with Intersteel I would like to introduce you to three of these designers, their work and their design philosophy.
Designer Erik Munnikhof (image above) has collaborated with various international brands such as Casala and Kembo. His work is characterized by a clean design. Erik is always looking for, as he puts it, “the optimal mix of aesthetics, ergonomics, ecology, economics, design and functionality.” For Intersteel he designed ‘Dock line’, a collection of door and window handles that is modular which enable the customer to choose between the warmth of walnut, the modern look of stainless steel or the soft feel of synthetic material. The Dock line has recently been awarded with a Goed Industrieel Ontwerp (= Good Industrial Design) award, a Dutch design award that is similar to the American Idea award and the German Red dot award.
Johanna Gullichsen is a textile designer from Finland. With her label Johanna Gullichsen Textile Craft & Design she offers an extensive range of woven textiles for modern living. Bold and simple patterns, natural materials, a down to earth sensibility – the entire collection is all about comfort, colour and ease-of-use. Johanna describes her approach to design: “Handweaving with the loom is my inspiration for exploring techniques and patterns. That’s how most of my designs are born. Craft is a living design tool for me, always included in the narrative of my textiles. I am especially interested in the construction of fabrics and I am drawn to technically challenging designs, even though the final product might seem simple. The ready-made products that I design are defined by the fabric itself; by its material or by its pattern.”
Online shop Little Upside Down Cake (LUDC) has some gorgeous ceramic pieces and other homeware items in their collection. The owner of LUDC: “Every single peace is unique and handmade with love. Every single imperfection is due to be celebrated. Every single peace has a place in my hart and I hope it wins place in yours also.”. One of the brands available through the shop is MF Ceramics. Each piece created in this ceramic studio is unique and totally handmade with care and patient. MF Ceramics has been inspired, most of the time, in the kitchen atmosphere and in all that is relatively to this basic need of life – food and cooking. The interest in collect objects from the past, that designer Margarida learned with her grandmother, has influenced and enriched her craft production. Beautiful!