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Branch – Sustainable Design for Living

Paul Donald and Tracy Brien, co-owners of Branch in San Francisco, CA firmly believe that products should be formed in the most environmentally-responsible way possible. This means that most of thier items are constructed from organically-grown fiber, recycled or reclaimed stock, sustainably-harvested wood, or from a naturally-occurring, renewable materials. Since they are so picky picky picky (and for good reason, duh!), they only work with artists who support their vision. Here are a few of my fresh finds from Branch.

Can’t you imagine this is a modern home? It’s a pure granulated cork cub children’s chair from designer Daniel Michalik out of Providence, RI. An unusual texture that’s as attractive as it is intriguing young children. $138 + free shipping.
Michalik also designed these alentejo cork bowls. He was inspired by the traditional drinking vessels that cork harvesters used to stay hydrated in the hot, arid fields where cork trees grow. Perfect for fruit, candy, keys, but not for cereal. (Only suggest putting water in them if you do add liquid. I would avoid altogether.) $88Here are some zesty lacquerware bowls that you can eat out of since they’re made of durable bamboo. Created by Bambu in Vietnam, they are available in 7 bold colors that would add a little zing to your modern kitchen. $15
I *heart* this woodland brown pillow because I love the deer, chicks, and rabbits… sweet! Designer Shelly Klein of K Studio, a mother-daughter company located in Grand Rapids, MI. Klein created it using 100% hemp, goose feathers, and down. Also available in natural. On sale for $83

And finally, your day wouldn’t be complete without feasting your eyes on this delish ultrasuede aqua modular scarf, crafted by artist Gayla Rosenfeld based in San Francisco, CA. Rosenfeld’s pieces are exquisite. In fact, some are featured in the permanent collection of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. $224 + free shipping.

(all photos from branch)

Posted in uncategorized on February 27, 2006

Annike Laigo

By Christine M. Liu, Guest Writer, decor8

I got note of this lovely estonian artist, Annike Laigo, from one of my regular reads: the completely addictive and girlgeekily cute Popgadget blog, personal tech for women. (it’s in my nature to fall for any design blog that highlights japanese robots, food technologies, and pink cellphones…)

I was immediately attracted to the image of the glowing carpet concept because my studies at MIT involve textiles, fashion, and technology. The rug seems like a treat for the eyes as well as the toes! It seems like a concept in progress, though I imagine that it’s made by either coating some of the fibres with highly luminescent coatings (like a very efficient glow-in-the-dark compound), or weaving small bits of electroluminescent panels within the piles.
I fell in love with the furniture pieces featured on her website. They seem very sensual and highly form-based, yet domestically tongue-in-cheek and a wee bit subversive. Some highlights:

The handtufted wool 3D stripe wavy carpet wins my heart, especially juxtaposed with the starck-esque martini chair. The colors are so vibrant, and it makes me want to smile and imagine the *tuft, tuft*.

A wool felt wall hanging/room divider is given the moniker ‘spy’, with visible peekage through petaled cut-outs. Is it not tempting to run forth and put your eye up close, curious on what you’d see on the other side?
‘Oh! This is me!’ is a black felt rug, emblazoned with 3000 rivets in a folk-art pattern. This design is so lovely and evocative!
One way to create a zen environment in your home is to artfully place the ‘kivi pebble’ furniture in your environment. (indoor sand optional.) I love these pieces, they delight me in the same way as candy that look like river stones. The utility of rocks know no bounds…
Not only does Annike (photo below) have adorable glasses, she produces amazing work. Hope we’ll be seeing more of her soon! (and discovering the secret of her glistening carpets…)
[photos above from designboom and annikelaigo]

Posted in Arts + Crafts, guest bloggers on February 27, 2006

coffee + cre8tive [feb 27 ’06]

I’m wild about Arctic Topo #2, my inspiration for today, because it’s an encaustic piece from Heather Patterson in the most gorgeous tones of green and gold with teal – lush! You can view her portfolio here (warning: wear a drool guard to avoid drip on keyboard.) Enjoy + Happy Monday to everyone

(I know, I know, it’s Monday… what am I thinking!)

(photo from hang art)

Posted in uncategorized on February 27, 2006


Watch for upcoming post from Christine featuring Estonian artist Annike Laigo!

Posted in uncategorized on February 27, 2006


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