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Globes as Decor

I’ve been scouting for globes for a few months now because I’ve always loved having a quick view of the world to keep things in perspective plus I love to travel and they remind me of how excited I felt as a child when I first saw one in school, fascinated to find out that America was not the world, just a very small part of it (I think some adults still need this reminder). So I’ve been looking for the perfect blue sphere to add my credenza at home, but not a brand new one… Something vintage and a bit worn. And it must be blue. Like the one in this photo.

So I went where everyone heads when they need a blast from the past, eBay. And get this, I won a tin globe last night, it’s from the 30’s in excellent condition, measuring only 10 x 7 so it’s perfect for the spot I’m looking to place it. I was up against 25 others biddings on it so I was scared to lose because eBay collectors can be a bit psycho. Then along comes a non-collector like me and I won. That’s the beauty of the auction. I can’t wait until it arrives, do you like it?

I like that the stand appears to be a gorgeous saffron yellow. I’m really excited to see it in person. Here are some globes on eBay if you’d fancy owning one yourself.

Look at all the globes in this collection, aren’t they gorgeous? I found this photo on Happy Mundane where stylish Jon mentioned that globes may very well be the next trend. That image above is a picture from BH&G magazines taken in the beach home of a Boston couple (Aug 07). Maybe he’s right, because I’ve been looking for globes since Spring and now I’m starting to see them popping up more and more, but not large old school globes, I’m finding smaller ones and even those without stands to pile in a bowl.

Here’s a few I found just in case you’ve been looking to add a nice globe to your decor. But I’m not so sure about these, I’m way more interested in the vintage ones with the blue spheres. Here’s some Parisian globes from Anthropologie (in black or cream), and a set of three globe spheres and a tabletop globe from Ballard Designs. If you find any blue reproductions, let me know. Otherwise, I think we all need to hit eBay for the vintage gems. They’re so pretty!

And if you aren’t into globes, vintage maps make for beautiful art or use several to collage onto a wall to mimic wallpaper. I’d love to see someone wallpaper an entire wall with blue vintage maps.

(top image:, others from ebay, happy mundane, ballard designs, and anthropologie.)

Posted in trends on July 27, 2007

Reader Q: Italian Design Blogs?

An email came arrived from a reader in Italy and I wonder if you can help her because I don’t read Italian design blogs, so I can’t point her to one that I’d suggest. I find a lot written about Italian design at MocoLoco, Cool Hunting, Design Spotter, and Core77, but none of these blogs focus solely on Italian design. Hmmm…

“My name is Silvia and I’m writing from Italy (Venice). I really love your blog and I read you every day. I appreciated so much the post about Swedish blogs and I was wondering if you could do the same for Italian blogs. I did some search but I haven’t found anything. Thanks for your help and for your work. Ciao, Silvia”

Can you help? Any suggestions for Silvia? I’m thinking that once I have a good amount of design blogs gathered, I’ll categorize them on a separate page under “International Design Blogs” because I think it would be fun to be able to locate them all in one place.

(image from Oliver Wide-Swensson)

Posted in Bloggers on July 26, 2007

Blue Ribbon Stationery

Kimberly owns Blue Ribbon and wrote to me today about her oh-so-feminine letterpressed cards. I thought you’d like to see them and since I feel like sharing her pretty papers… Here you go! :)

Psst: Don’t miss some of her new designs for Fall ’07.

Thanks Kimberly for saying hello!

(images from blue ribbon)

Posted in stationery on July 26, 2007

Nora de Rudder Lighting (Belgium)

I read the BBC news online along with my other daily reads, the Brisbane Times,, and the The New York Times (House Stalkers?). They expose me to news that I may not find in my daily hop around the blogs I enjoy, like this article about a kitty in Providence that can accurately predict the death of patients in the nursing home where he lives. I mean, these are things we need to know about (smiling). So I’m reading the BBC today and was very excited to find Nora de Rudder, a Belgian artist that uses natural objects in new and exciting ways, taking birds wings and oyster shells to create chandeliers and table lamps, for instance.

I find this fascinating, as I think many are afraid to explore other mediums, scared of the results or that if they aren’t mainstream, they won’t be able to earn a living through their work. I have so much to say on this subject, hours of conversation really, but I believe that we all need to design from the heart, not for the mart. I know we need to sell what we create, but you know what, money or function or popularity just can’t be the driving force behind all design because we need to leave something behind for our great grandchilden someday.

Imagine a world filled with dollar store plastic everything and McMansions, what will they think of our generation? That we were gluttons for filling our lives with sale items and poorly made garbage? Whenever I visit flea markets, I think about this. What are we creating now that will leave a positive impression in 100 years on the kind of generation we are today? Will they be inspired by our work in the way that we are inspired by Charles and Ray Eames?

This is precisely why designers like Nora de Rudder stand out from the rest for me. Her lighting is impressive, expressive, unique, and skillfully made. I may not own it because the wings do freak me out just a little bit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it. And is her lighting being sold by the millions and marketed all over the world? No. Is she a household name? No. But did you know that the design museum in Gent, Belgium purchased 2 Wings table lamps for their permanent collection? Or that Philippe Starck ordered 6 Mussel chandeliers and 3 Wings chandeliers for the interior of the VIP lounge in a Beijing business club? So she is making a living. She didn’t go after the mainstream market, she is targeting the luxury and to the trade only markets since her collections are more couture than common. That’s what designers need to take a chance at and decide early on, which market they want to compete in and for what reason and of course, consider all the risks.

Rudder’s lighting is available via Cameron Peters in the UK if you are interested in learning more, but think for a moment about what Rudder will leave behind. Isn’t that something important to consider when we design – the impact is has on others?

I know, all this after posting about Martha Stewart products at Macy’s. But it shows you that I’m torn like so many of you are about what to support through my purchases and what not to support. And it’s hard. So for me, I try to live as balanced I can within the constraints of my budget. Yes, I can bring a canvas bag to the grocery store for food, I’ve been doing it since 1999, it’s no big deal. And yes, I can shop indie or for one of a kind products, which is why I find the affordable goods at Etsy so appealing. And I buy paintings from galleries to support artists that I’m fond of. And when I have extra money set aside, I’ll splurge on something like a Rudder light or something created by my artists friends in Germany. It’s all about balance and making sure that at least half of what I own could be passed on and appreciated by others. Make sense?

What are your thoughts on all of this?

(images from nora de rudder)

Posted in Objects on July 26, 2007


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