Archive for the ‘Homewares’ Category

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

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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).

Lighting design gets personal

Coral provided the inspiration behind this pierced sculptural light form

This prototype is designed to allow user input into the final design, so they can inject their own personality into the light as they take it from flat-pack to 3D.

The flat-pack bamboo blades slot together around any standard light fitting (pendant, lamp base or standalone with just a bulb on a flex) with a low energy bulb.  The light can be left in its raw natural state for a clean graphic look, or embellished with any wool/string/leather/thread or whatever takes your fancy.

"Coral" bamboo ply flat-pack light by bower & beyond

"Coral" bamboo ply flat-pack light by bower & beyond

"Coral" bamboo flatpack light with wool by bower & beyond

"Coral" bamboo flatpack light with string by bower & beyond

Pallet Pockets

Shelves made from recycled pallet

Pallet Pockets

This is a pallet full of pockets that I made to hang on the wall, the first edition in a series of recycled ideas that have been circling my head.  I envisaged recessed box shelves nestled into the rough-hewn surface, and took my cue from the shape of early TV screens to create a modern/industrial/rustic vibe.

The pallet had a grubby work-worn look when I picked it up from the roadside. I gave it a serious exfoliation to bring out the wood grain but left the surface raw, then sliced out the recesses with a jigsaw and inserted narrow shelves made of eco-ply off-cuts.

It’s the perfect home for wee precious things that need their own personal gallery space

Devil-Devil in da house

Devil Devil

My friend the Poetess recently gave me this wonderful Devil-Devil figure, handwoven in pandanus grass by Sarah Bidingal Ashley, an Aboriginal artist from Arnhem Land.  The legs reminded her of mine, but for me they bring to mind Pippy Longstocking – fun, feisty and stripey.  The figure is a Mukuy, a dangerous devil spirit;  Apparently you hear them playing didjeridu at night, and they can play with your mind and make you lose your way in otherwise familiar country.  This could explain some recent goings on around here.

The artist has bound the Devil-Devil’s arms to reduce the havoc it can cause. Sensible. I may try this with the kids.

 

Designs in the key of yellow

As the southern hemisphere spring kicks in, the air warms up and the magpies swoop, I’m enjoying these little rays of sunshine…

Yellow stripe oilcloth – a little bit of 1980’s Giorgio Beverly Hills – this table-cloth is the first line of defence in the ongoing saga of Toddler with Texta vs Table.  (Toddler held scoreless since application of tablecloth. Hah).

Bottled sunshine – I got busy with some gleaned (well, they weren’t being used at the time) lemons and preserved them to add some kick to future Moroccan lamb curries. (I also got busy with Photoshop and made the orange look a bit radioactive).

I unearthed this little porcine squirt of citrus on etsy.com at fruitflypie. Adore.

In an ideal world my three little monkeys would wear these fabulous little eco-cool booties whilst skipping around our self sufficient organic farm.  Back in the real world, they wouldn’t look so zesty after the daily grind of urban dirt/mud/sea water/spilled foodstuffs that my monkies would throw at them.

What a delicious combination of giraffe with sharp citrus notes.  I’ll hold down the giraffe, you skin it.

When life hands you lemons, make a Gin and Tonic.  Or when concerned about malaria.  But please, only with Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray. And only Schweppes tonic.  And none of your dodgy lo-cal weird tasting tonics either, go the full fat.

Minimalist vs MAXIMALIST

All children are born maximalists.  It doesn’t really matter if you are a minimalist – your child is not.  They’re looking for more, brighter, faster, louder, NOW!  They know your carefully painted magnolia walls look better with crayon and your cream carpet is incomplete without tomato sauce.

To cater to small people with big imaginations, I’ve been designing some costumes to be worn over the smooth and sleek lines of rokii, to turn it from adult-friendly decor into a pimped-out pet for small people.  Happily, the outfits can be removed and replaced when a new identity is required, or a return to simplicity is preferred.

1. Giddy-up: your small-person horse lover can now saddle up and ride off into the distance.

rokii ride on toy with horse costume

Giddy Up

2. Baa-Lamb: a woolly little addition to your flock, unlikely to stray and completely house trained.

rokii ride on toy in sheep costume

BaaaLamb

3. Ladybug: a sleek, stylishly spotted presence in your home.

rokii ride on toy in ladybug costume

Ladybug

The outfits can be worn whilst rokii is being ridden around on wheels, or when placed on the rocking base, depending on whether you want to rock or roll.

There are more characters currently in development, so watch this space.

Back shortly, I just need to duck off and have another baby. Yee Haaa.