Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Kevin’s Green Heroes

Put up your hand if you like Grand Designs?
Put up your hand if you love Kevin McCloud?
Kevin has just chosen our rokii rocker & ride-on in his top 10 “Green Hero” products, celebrating “the very best and latest in Australian eco design and innovations.”
rokii will be showcased at the Grand Designs Live exhibition in Sydney this weekend, and Melbourne 25-27th October.
The exhibit is “designed to not only excite and inspire but to identify new trends, talent and concepts, and celebrate Grand Designs Live’s wider message of environmental friendliness and sustainable living.”

Yippeee.
You can put your hands down now.

Kevin McCloud

rokii won the silver!

We’re seriously excited rokii has just won the silver award in recognition of design excellence in the Design For Asia Awards.  The DFA gongs were hotly contested with thousands of entries from around the globe competing alongside our rokii 3-in-1 rocker & ride-on.

rokii is looking forward to rocking the medal podium at the awards ceremony, collecting some silverware for the trophy cabinet, giving an effusive speech thanking the international judging panel, then wearing said bling to the after party for a little celebration session.

Meanwhile, back at bower & beyond HQ, we’ll be taking care of business. Somebody’s got to.  Might have to take turns wearing that medal when it gets back home though…

DFAA

we heart rokii

we heart rokii

we heart rokii

We’re delighted to be featured in Olive’s world, a blog for super stylish mummies & cool kiddies by a blogger who happens to live just around the corner from me, Katie. It’s a lovely little escape from the everyday, perusing beautiful images and wondering if you could really rock those sequins & heels on the school run.  Maybe one day, when I’ve had more sleep?

In Katie’s own words, she describes “…an incredible product from Bower & Beyond called rokii. Rokii is a contemporary, sleek, innovative product of design and functionality. Its starts off as a rocking egg for your newborn and grows with your child into a gorgeous ride-on or rocking animal which can be used through until pre-school. Sophie the creator of Bower and Beyond has come up with an incredibly stylish product with
long lasting value… love it!”

Thanks to Katie & Olive.

megarule

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Our megarule bamboo folding height chart was featured in the StyleLab interior styling project at LifeInStyle recently (that’s it, snaking across the floor in the shot above). It has been so popular it has currently sold out, but our bamboo elves are currently working up some more.

A few years ago I moved home and left behind on the door jamb the carefully recorded heights of my first born, that I’d marked in pencil. I told myself I’d get out the baking paper and trace them before I left, but somehow after trying to pack up the house into boxes faster than my toddler helper unpacked them, I forgot.  The new house we moved into had heights of the previous occupants marked up a door jamb, stretching over a decade.  Each time I walk past this door, I think of them and wonder if they remembered to take it with them?

It got me thinking that I needed a permanent solution for marking my family’s height history – and the only permanent solution is a portable one that can follow you from home to home, where ever you may roam.  So I designed the megarule.

Made from sustainable bamboo which is light but sturdy so it can last for years, jointed so it can fold up easily, and in neutral wood tones so it plays nicely with the other decor.  I loved the simple beauty and utilty of my grandfather’s old fashioned carpenter’s rule, and from there I just blew it up into the 2 metre megarule,  capable of measuring all the megafauna in our household.

If you’d like to measure some megafauna of your own, you can order it online here.

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megarule bamboo folding height chart

It’s all happening.

 

In just a few days time I’ll be welcoming my fourth child into the world, which brings the total count to four little monkeys under 5 years old.

A couple of weeks later, the first shipment of our rokii rocking egg & ride on animals is arriving, along with our debut baby + home collection.   So things are going to get a bit hectic around bower & beyond HQ as we manage production and delivery logistics for our backlog of orders, continue to push forward new product developments and try to keep 4 little people as contented as possible.

This follows years of careful product development, safety testing, retesting, redesigning, reworking, perfecting, planning and waiting and hoping for it all to come together, culminating in a design award and business launch.  I just didn’t expect to be also managing a newborn, 1 year old, 3 year old and 4 year old at the same time.

There may be delays.  There may be tears.  There may be temporary insanity.  But something tells me it will all be worth it in the long run.  It’s just going to get a bit messy in the short term.

Wool felt cushions: 100% comfort and joy

A cheeky little nubbly-textured 100% wool felt cushion

I’ve been cooking up a new range of cushions using softly textured, hand dyed 100% wool felt, and they got a warm reception from homewares boutiques and design-led stores alike at the recent LifeInStyle tradeshow.

The cushions have an appealing, nubbly surface texture and well stuffed interiors for total comfort and joy.  The cushion inserts are made from 100% recycled PET bottles, so you are saving the planet whilst lounging.  Marvellous multi-tasking.

Why 100% wool?

There are cheaper synthetic felts which are widely available, but their carbon footprint is alarming when compared to natural fibres, and the dyes used are full of nasty chemicals.  But it is the look and feel of 100% wool that made up my mind. Synthetic wools just don’t feel right. They have a slippery, non-breathable character that isn’t conducive to snuggling up to.  Wool is also more hard wearing.  The synthetic types just can’t cut it after a while – they produce pills – little balls of fluff that congregate all over the surface and end up looking ragged.  And any fibre that can naturally repell dirt, thereby requiring less cleaning, is a favourite of mine. Clever, clever little sheepies.

Why hand-dyed?

The hand-dying process produces a subtle variation in texture and colour that isn’t achievable in factory produced fabric.  The hand-dyed felt has a character and depth that is both tactile and visually appealing.  It also means I can use non-toxic food-safe dyes, a good alternative to industrial processes with nasty side-effects.  If the dye is safe enough to use for icing kid’s birthday cakes, its definitely nice and safe to lay your head on. (It’s also lots of fun standing over a boiling cauldron, pulling freshly minted colours from the richly coloured potion).

Why use recycled cushion inserts?

PET bottles are uniquely suited to a second life as cushion stuffing, as they produce a soft but hardwearing stuffing.  They function better whilst also using less resources than newly manufactured synthetic fibres in typical cushion inserts.  Win win.  Each 35cm square cushion saves about 9 plastic bottles from landfill.

The pillows will be added to www.bowerandbeyond.com in the next month, and are available for wholesale orders now (the wholesale order list is available – just drop me a line at info@bowerandbeyond.com).

Best in Show

Just back from the LifeInStyle trade show, where we launched rokii and our first home + child collection. We were delighted with the response – huge enthusiasm for rokii and lots of great new stockists.

Highlights:

1. The lovely ladies at KidStyleFile declared rokii Best in Show. Woof.  They said “The combined functionality and aesthetic of rokii make it one clever package, and we absolutely love it.  The rokii wins our vote for best new product at the show.”

2. The über stylish design maven Terri Winter fell for rokii, so the little beastie will be rocking and rolling into Top3byDesign in early October.

Lowlights.

1. Standing on concrete floors for 9 hours a day whilst 8 months pregnant, showing people your product collection can be really quite tiring. (As can explaining that it’s actually your 4th child, so you already know that you’re going to be rather busy). At least the people were incredibly lovely and I didn’t go into labour.

2. Who knew a trade show could have such awful coffee?  Aren’t there laws against that in Melbourne?

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