Friday, February 26, 2010


FAO Schwarz has been offering a Make Your Own Monster Kit for a while but today I discovered the Toy Travel Agency and thought they were the perfect match. The FAO Schwarz kit costs $249.99 and provides all the materials to design your own stuffed animal. Simply mail the materials back and your 20" monster will return in 8-10 weeks. On, I discovered a nice complement to your unique friend where a small fee will get your stuffed animal a full-fledged vacation. The trips range from $120 - $200 and photographers capture your pet at some of the world's most famous landmarks. Whether you want to pay extra for the incense and candle massage is up to you, but by this point you've probably spent about $400 on your animal so you might as well go all out.


A long time ago I was looking for some black flatware to post on the website but I could find any I liked. Last night I was browsing the Design Within Reach website and came across their Almoco Flatware Set. With a simple design, matte black finish, and only $60, the set is an modern economical substitution to traditional silverware. Picture was retrieved from Chow's Winter Gift Guide.


As I was getting coffee today to help jump start homework, I saw a commercial for the new Delta faucet that features their Touch2O technology. For those times that you want to wash your messy hands but not the handle afterwards, you can tap anywhere on the spout or handle to get the water flowing. Also convenient when your hands are full, it allows you to use your arms or wrist, also helping to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria. When washing dishes, it makes it especially easy to conserve water by providing an easy on/off that reduces the incentive to letting the water flow until done, even turning itself off if you forget. Also available, and better-looking in my opinion, is the Venuto Smart Touch kitchen faucet from Brizo. Like the Delta faucet, the Venuto faucet uses touch technology to make kitchen work that much easier.

[caption id="attachment_1913" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Pilar Kitchen faucet with Touch2O Technology by Delta"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_1914" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Venuto Smart Touch Kitchen Faucet by Brizio"][/caption]


The Stone and Charcoal Water Pitcher is available at Design Within Reach and contains stones from the mountains in Kanazawa, the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast. Lasting up to six months, the eco-friendly water purifer uses specially prepared Binchotan charcoal that helps deodorize water and Iouseki stones to create filtered, mineral-rich water. The pitcher runs $85 and comes with one set of filters. Additional filters can be bought for $20.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Celebrating a history of great design, Curves of Steel showcases the beautiful progression of automobiles, much of it encapsulating the art deco (a.k.a. my favorite) era. The 192-page book was found on and is available on Amazon for less than $50. Photographed by Michael Furman, the 22 cars featured come with histories and information on each designer. If you're looking for another good coffee table book, check out Creature by Andrew Zuckerman.

Sometimes you need to spend money to save money - as is the case when buying a nice new wallet or safe - but Tiffany's Rocket Ship Bank is a reverse hybrid of the two, not nearly as convenient as a wallet nor secure like a safe but redemption is found in craftsmanship and design. The sterling silver bank measure 9.5" high and makes a great present for oneself or another if you have $1,975 to buy a house for your coins. The bank was found on, a neat website dedicated to embracing "the fantastic aspects of spaceflight, as well as the realities."


As my past watch choices have shown, I like simple black and white watches albeit pieces that often come with hefty price tags. The latest is from Patek Philippe, of which no watch collection would be complete without. Patek Philippe & Co. has gained over 70 patents since it's 1851 inception and dominates luxury auctions worldwide with record-breaking bids. Unlike the multi-million dollar timepieces that show up at Sotheby's and Christie's, the Calatrava “Clous de Paris” (Ref. 5116G) can be found for less than $20,000 and is an absolutely beautiful wristwatch that would complement any outfit, if not take center stage. For those who have never noticed, timepieces using roman numerals usually use IIII in lieu of IV, and while no unanimous reason exists, there are multiple theories listed here. For more timepieces, look at A. Lange & Söhne's Lange 31 and Cartier's Tank Francaise.


The Philip Stein Wine Wands use naturally occurring frequencies to enhance wine and speed the breathing process. Instead of waiting your wine to reach its best aroma and flavors, you can use the wine wands to get you there in less than five minutes. Using encapsulated glass jewels, the wands "replicate the natural frequencies of air and oxygen and speed up the aeration process." Found on, the wands are available in different colors on the Philip Stein website and run from $325 - $525.

I want an SLR but its bulky inconvenience will keep the camera at home on most occasions. In pursuit of the perfect camera, I found the Pentax Optio I-10 on For $300 the Pentax brings retro styling into the modern 12.1-megapixel camera. Available this month, the camera features a leatherette front panel and a 5x wide angle optical image stabilized zoom. Its abilities aren't spectacular but if you want an inexpensive option that sets you apart, the Pentax has it all.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Although I featured a series of modern fireplaces in the past, Planika Fireplaces mix modern design with an additional element of uniqueness. Fused into tables, the fireplaces have mobility unseen in wall fixtures and easier to incorporate into your home. According to Planika, it only takes 10 minutes to start enjoying a fire after receiving the product - all you need to do is fill the container with their special fuel and light the fire with their custom lighter that features an extended tip. The first fireplace is the Coffee Fire Long and the second is the Groundfloor Fireplace.