Balance, Design, Products
November 22, 2011
The sunset at 4.20 today on the West Coast! It’s time for some color in the home office to help ward off the winter blues. Here’s 5 ways to bring the quatrefoil indoors.
1. The Quatrefoil Pink Pillow by Maharam, $150.00 Perk up the place with this cushion by noted colorist and textile designer Alexander Girard, who helped build the Herman Miller Textile Division beginning in 1952. Get it: Velocity Art and Design
2. SomerTile Porcelain Mosaic Tile, $88.99 for a pack of 10 This lantern-white tile can be used indoors or out. Get it: Overstock.com
3. Fallon Rug, starting at $73.00 Designer Jill Rosenwald’s simple, geometric pattern is available in six sizes and thirteen color combinations. Get it: jillrosenwald.com
4. 2012 Weekly Planner 2012, approximately $41.63 Keep your whole year organized in this old-school paper planner. (Bonus: it contains a world map and an address registry.) Get it: Nauli
5. Quatrefoil Blank Notecard, $3.50 Say thank you (or just hello) to a favorite client using a memorable card like this one printed on ivory cardstock from a hand-carved linocut. Get it: Cursive Arts
June 24, 2010
“We were speaking with a friend last week about their recent iMac purchase. We had serious sticker shock when he revealed the price. He got a lot of bang for his buck, and had a legitimate argument for spending so much. It got us thinking though, how far are we willing to go with tech purchases?
Our friend spent over $2,000 on a new iMac. Of course it was top of the line, so the price was justified and his argument was certainly reasonable. The way he looked at the large purchase was this: if he got the absolute top of the line, each maxed out component adds extra years onto the life of the machine. There will be no reason for him to need a new computer for at least 5 or more years. There won’t be any extra little upgrades he’ll have to do here and there, because those have already been taken care of.
So, we got to thinking — do most people practice this method? Obviously having the funds available is extremely helpful in this situation, and not everyone does. Do you save your money until you are ready for the go-for-the-gusto purchase, or do you buy low and keep upgrading every few years? We know people that have kept their computers for over 10 years, but that required regular upgrades. When all of those upgrades are added up, we imagine the two different approaches equal out. So, how far are you willing to go? Are you a go big or go home, or an upgrade over time purchaser?
By Kristen Lubbe”
This story appears in partnership with Unplggd, a site for people who embrace technology and design in their home.
June 8, 2010
With Father’s Day and Graduation season here, I thought it would be fun to talk about a long-lasting gift. Having been the recipient (and admittedly the giver) of some bad gifts, I can tell you that a nice fountain pen will last someone a lifetime and become a prized possession that they either look forward to using every day, or that they cherish and use for special occasions. Here are a few fountain pen suggestions to help you pick just the right one:
First up is the Lamy Safari, which is a very simple and understated fountain pen, but one that is durable and well constructed. It has an all plastic body and stainless steel nib (the nib is the fancy term for the pointy part that you write with) that makes for a pen that is comfortable to write with and that also puts down a nice smooth and consistent line. The Lamy brand is known for its quality German engineering, and the Safari is a hugely popular pen. Great for everyday use, especially in an environment where it might take a bit of abuse. $25 via Amazon.
The Aurora Ipsilon Satin line of fountain pens represent a more stylish choice. Being that this fountain pen is made in Italy, the comparison to a fancy sports car is a hard temptation to resist, but no worries, this fountain pen won’t set you back six figures. Much like a nice Italian sports car, this pen comes in a limited range of colors. You can go with the classic blue or black, or the “hey look at me” bright orange. Regardless of the color, you will find yourself with a well made light-weight fountain pen that will be sure to make other people jealous while they toil away with their .99 cent ballpoint pens. $88 via Amazon.
Next up is the Pelikan M215 Tradition Series. This is a another pen from a highly respected German manufacturer. With its twist off cap, shiny black lacquer finish, and silver accents this fountain pen has a very clean, neat, and professional look. There are a few different bodies to choose from, with slightly different stylings on the silver accents, and even one with a hint of blue. They always say you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have, so consider this pen an extension of that wardrobe that will take your Dad or Grad to the next level. $120 via Goldspot Luxury Gifts.
Then there is the Visconti Homo Sapiens (pictured top). This fountain pen is forged from the volcanic lava of Mt. Etna in Sicily, Italy and is probably one of the most unique fountain pens you can buy right now. Using the lava as a base for the body of the pen makes it virtually unbreakable, able to withstand extreme temperatures, and also helps to absorb sweat from the hand while writing. I had the chance to write with one of these pens at the recent National Stationery Show at the Javitz Center in NYC, and that experience had me drooling over the thought of actually purchasing one for myself one day. The palladium nib gives it a bit of flexibility that lets the user drastically change the width of the line with slight amounts of pressure. Bottom line though is that this pen combines the cool factor with incredible writing performance. $595 via Goldspot Luxury Gifts.
Illustrations by Jordan Awan
May 18, 2010
1. Scissor Paper Knife, $36.54 Employing this sleek, black-plated steel opener made of a scissors branch might make you wish you got more mail. Get it: Culture Label
2. Half Moon Letter Opener, $40 This award-winning design of satin polished stainless steel makes slicing open your bills a bit more bearable. Get it: Canoe
3. Paper Knife, $16 Produced in Japan by Hayashi Cutlery, this unfussy opener is available in three basic hues. Get it: Emmo
4. Envelope Opener, $12 Designer Singgih Kartono’s quest to achieve functionality and absolute simplicity shows in this handcrafted piece of mahogany and sonokeling wood. Get it: Areaware
5. Benbecula Paper Knife, $86 Created in 1961 by Enzo Mari, this stainless-steel letter opener is a prime example of the Italian master designer’s skills. Get it: Nova 68
Images linked to their sources within the numbered text