Store Review: Kroom de la Kroom

Kroom is an environmentally friendly, Israeli company that designs and creates furniture and home accessories from recycled cardboard. Yes, furniture you can sit on and also book cases. I found it hard to believe myself, but they make beautiful furniture from strong recycled corrugated cardboard that looks really great.

To prove that it’s furniture you can sit on (also for bigger people):Recycled cardboard stool
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Finally! A Place for Etsy’s Weird, Weirder & Weirdest.

Most of you who like to buy handcrafted things online are familiar with Etsy. While there are some really great things on Etsy, I must admit, I have stumbled upon some, how do I write this? – OK, I’ll come out and write it – really ugly and badly made items that leave me thinking, who the hell would buy THAT? Someone who is more gutsy and expressive than I am has started a blog called Regretsy which has the byline “Handmade? It looks like you made it with your feet”. And that, my friends, is just the beginning.

I have been laughing my pants off reading this blog all week and admittedly though things some people make are totally off the wall and make me wonder about the human race, Regretsy took it a step further and the best thing about this blog is the hysterically witty commentary, which encourages readers comments thereby multiplying the laughter and enjoyment factor.

Here are a few items that made me cry laughing and that are also reasonably safe to view with kids around. (I said reasonably)

I call this one Patriotic Rock: Maybe they could do one for Israel as well, though the political message may be a little controversial.

Regretsy - Patriotic rock

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The London Design Festival 2009

Last month there was a very special design event in London, the London Design Festival of 2009. Although I didn’t attend (hopefully next year) I have been looking at all sorts of interesting photos on the web of some strange and wonderful furniture that was exhibited there. Here are a few pieces that caught my eye.

Firstly the chair arch, built by Wallpaper magazine in association with Ercol (a company that makes handmade furniture) at the V&A garden. Apparently in Victorian Britain it was common practice for unusual arches to be constructed from local commodities in order to celebrate the local industry. The chair arch installation by Wallpaper Magazine was inspired by the first Chair Arch which was built in 1877 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s visit to High Wycombe. Here is a photo of the modern day chair arch at night (courtesy of Susan Smart Photography).

Wallpaper chair arch
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Store Review: Studio Mesila – Unbelievably Green!

It’s amazing, ever since I decided I want to write about green design I have discovered a whole new world. There are stores opening up all over the place recycling anything you can think of into things you never dreamt of. It’s so inspiring to find so many designers out there turning trash into treasure. This week, I discovered a group of 3 designers Ifat Zvirin, Shlomit and Avital Levy that together are Studio Mesila. The name comes from the street that their store is on, Mesilat Wolfson in Florentine. Their designs are simple, elegant, beautiful and did I mention recycled? Here’s an view of the store:

Studio mesila

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Store Review: Tribal Trends at Gaporou

New stores and galleries are emerging like mushrooms after the rain in the midst of the Jaffa flea market. Among dusty shops packed with all sorts of ancient weird and wonderful goodies you will find shiny new galleries such as the Gaporou Tribal Trends Gallery which sells Tribal furniture, art and jewelry – some of which could be mistaken as furniture.  In the window of Gaporou I saw a family of adorable “over fed” Guinea fowl sculptures which I loved and reminded me of the Guinea Fowl sculptures from South Africa (where I am from), though the ones from home weren’t quite so well “fed”.

Usually South African Guinea Fowl sculptures look like this one, more or less (artist unknown).

South African Guinea Fowl sculpture

Look at the ones I found in the store:

Ginea Fowl

Aren’t they cute!
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Store review: Junktion

Junktion is another store in Jaffa that left me in awe of what can be done with all sorts of stuff instead of throwing it out. Their philosophy that there is enough stuff in the world and that you can create with what already exists is one that I share. The designers at Junktion take what you thought of as JUNK and create something completely out of the ordinary. They like to take things out of context and I am seriously wowed by their designs.

One of the first things that fascinated me was this bar stool made out of bicycle parts. They make several variations of it:

pink chair
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Store Review: Hasadna – Is it really Junk?

I got so inspired by these incredible designs made by the creative people of Hasadna. Hasadna, meaning “the workshop” in Hebrew is a fantastic shop you will find in the flea market in Jaffa. They take junk and make it into designer furniture and decor. Simple things that most of us throw out like plastic bags, yellow pages, old maps and even ice-cream spoons. These are the people who help keep that kind stuff out of landfills by transforming into treasure and I am filled with inspiration and awe at their creations.

Did you ever think that you can make a chandelier out of plastic spoons? Well, the crafty people of Hasadna did and they even made some:

red ice-cream-spoon chandelier

green-blue ice-cream-spoon chandelier

pastel ice-cream spoon chandelier

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Inspiration for Homeless Drawers

On one of my afternoon walks, I found 3 wooden drawers that must have been part of a dining room cabinet. There are these really great labels on the front, in German.

Drawers close up

I went to a German-English online dictionary to translate the labels for those who are curious:

Fischbestecke means Fish cutlery

Diverses means Miscellaneous

Theelöffel, Tischgabeln & Tischloffel mean Teaspoons, Forks & Tablespoons.

It saves time when you know what’s in the drawers, I guess.
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Office tour: 4 Architects in Jaffa

Since you may well have noticed, Jaffa is one of my favorite places for architectural/designer findings.

At 19 Ben Dosa street you will find 4 architects sharing a really great workspace. Dan Troim (whose apartment I posted about a few weeks ago), Yaal Zuaretz, Yoav Molho and Shelly Guggenheim share this wonderful work space. There are many great things about this space and one of them is that they moved in and didn’t redo everything. They used a lot of the existing walls, floors, gallery and even the ceiling and added some of their own elements to it.

Modern Office space with gallery

Great thing #2 about this space is the high ceiling, and the ceiling itself. It’s made of OSB which creates this warm, cosy wooden cabin feeling despite the height. I love the row of naked light bulbs.
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