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Tag "triangles"

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Hmmm, I guess it’s vintage ceramics week at Door Sixteen! On Sunday I shared the vintage Mexican nesting bowls I bought (thank you SO MUCH for all of the informative comments about their likely origins), and it made me want to take pictures of some of my other recent finds. I always seem to gravitate toward ceramics when I’m on the hunt, even if I’m just at the Goodwill.

Anyway, how about these espresso cups and saucers?! I bought them from the Etsy seller House of Séance, who have all kinds of great vintage stuff for sale. I love that the triangles appear to be hand-painted rather than silkscreened, making each cup unique. I think geometric designs look best when they’re a bit irregular.

(By the way, I wish I could remember who tipped me off to the Etsy listing for the cups. They sat on my Etsy wishlist for months before I went ahead and bought them, and in the interim I lost track. Thank you, whoever you are!)

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The cups and saucers don’t appear to have ever been used, and they’re in great condition—pretty much perfect, in fact. The bottoms all have intact ‘Design by Jonas Roberts; Made in Japan’ stickers on them. Searching for Jonas Roberts brings up loads of results for mid-century ceramics, and this particular design is either from the 1950s or ’60s, depending on whose information you trust. There’s also a teapot, sugar bowl, ashtrays, and even a lighter with this design—and it came in orange, too. Sale prices are all over the place, but I paid $55 for my set of six cups and saucers—$9/set seems like a huge bargain to me!

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Full disclosure: I made this cup of espresso purely for the sake of taking a nice photo. It’s decaf (ugh…), so I didn’t mind tossing it out after. I would really like to put the cups into regular use, but I want to test the glaze for lead first. This subject came up in the comments when I posted about the bowls the other day, so I thought I’d mention in this post as well. Vintage ceramics very often contain lead (as do some contemporary pieces from parts of the world where lead use is unregulated), and even if the glaze is in perfect condition, lead can leach into your food/drink if it’s liquid/hot/acidic, etc. Coffee is liquid, hot, and acidic, so it’s no joke! Even the porcelain glaze on old sinks and bathtubs can contain lead, which is part of the reason why we had ours sandblasted down to bare iron and powder-coated. As exciting as it sounds, I don’t want to take hot lead baths.

That said, not ALL vintage ceramics are lead-ridden, so it can’t hurt to test and find out. Sometimes the white glaze on the inside of a cup is fine, and the lead is contained in the outside designs only. It’s a judgement call, of course, but in that situation I’d be fine using the cup. I also have no concerns about using my vintage tablewares to serve dry foods (crackers, cookies, etc.). Obviously I make sure that there isn’t any glaze flaking off! If a piece is really rough, it’s relegated to display purposes only.

3M LeadCheck swabs are readily available, not terribly expensive, and seem to get the best reviews of the various lead testing kits out there. It’s not a perfect test, and you may get false negatives if the lead content in a glaze isn’t in contact with the swab, but it’s at least a starting point. When you live in an old house, you kind of just have to accept that lead will be a part of your life—but I think it’s worth being safe when you can. If these espresso cups do turn out to have lead in them, I’m just fine putting them up on a shelf and admiring them with my eyes instead of my tongue.

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IKEA’s 2013 limited edition collection, TRENDIG, is just now becoming available in the US, but we have another one to look forward to* soon: BRÅKIG. And ohhhh, it’s good. Lots of pale wood and bright colors and geometric patterns.

*UPDATE: Actually, if you’re in North America, you have nothing to look forward to, because BRÅKIG will not be sold here. Heavy sigh…

Designed by Danish art collective ArtRebels, BRÅKIG includes modified versions of existing IKEA pieces (the FROSTA stool and my favorite LERBERG trestles—that’s them above, re-imagined in COPPER [!!!] with a thin plywood top), as well as entirely new works.

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I’m in love with that wood rack/stand thingy, right down to the copper hooks. I have absolutely no idea what I’d use it for, but I feel like I need it in my life anyway. If I had a need to hang 20 dish towels and some mugs in one spot, I’d be all over it. (OK, I’m sure there’s an obvious, practical use for it that’s just not occurring to me. Blankets? But then what are the hooks for?) Anyway, it’s pretty. Those ice cream-colored FROSTA stools are pretty, too, though I think I’d only want the pink one. (Remember my FROSTA makeover? The FROSTA has been discontinued here for so long.)

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Cups! Saucers! Trays! A whole line of textiles! These triangle patterns remind me of IKEA’s own 2008 textile collections (I still have mine squirreled away), Eugen Trost’s Zebra ceramics, and of course Sven Markelius’s classic Ljungbergs Pythagoras pattern—not to mention more recent designs by House of Rym and Ferm Living. These elongated triangles have become a staple of Scandinavian design over the past half century, and I love seeing the theme continue through so many new designers’ works.

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The multicolored knobs on the BRÅKIG dresser are great. I’m surprised by how much I like this, though I can’t imagine having it in my house. Maybe it’s because the knobs remind me of the SNODD cabinet knobs I used in my old, old apartment kitchen—they were really nice, so of course IKEA discontinued them immediately. I hope whoever lives in that apartment now appreciates them.

And THE CHAIR! It comes in a couple of pastel shades, too, but I think the unpainted (birch?) version is nicest. I like that the back is cut from a single piece of wood. I kind of want to paint black “socks” on it, though, just to break up all the wood a little.

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These art prints aren’t available from IKEA, but I thought it would be fun to include them anyway. ArtRebels have put together a whole selection of artwork inspired by the BRÅKIG collection, and yes, they ship to the US. My favorites (clockwise) are these by Camillia Konradsen, Sara Gade, Kristina Green Bonne, and WAAITT. Hooray for discovering new artists and designers!

You can read more about the BRÅKIG collection and see pictures of some of the other stuff in the line on ArtRebel’s blog. The full collection contains 36 pieces, so there’s a lot more to come! IKEA doesn’t have anything on their site yet, but the products are due to roll out in Europe beginning in February. No word yet on when we’ll see BRÅKIG in the US, but hopefully soon—there are a few pieces I know I’m going to want to bring home with me. UPDATE: Unfortunately, the BRÅKIG collection will not be sold in North America.

And here’s the BRÅKIG line as it progressed, as presented in a fun video by ArtRebels

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Have you been sitting around wondering which box is the best box? Probably. Me too. Guess what? I figured it out! This box is the best box: KVITTRA from IKEA (specifically the “red” design), designed by Anna Salander. I’ve been noticing Salander’s name on a lot of nifty IKEA stuff for the past couple of years, but this box is just the best. It’s made of a sturdy cardboard that’s coated with a screen-printed paper. The paper has slightly embossed texture to it, almost like fabric. And the colors! Perfect.

I actually have two KVITTRA boxes stacked on top of each other here. They’re only $9, so I picked up a couple when we first rented the new apartment without really having a specific purpose in mind for them. Last night I finally put them together, and now they’re holding all of my extra buttons, pouches, cables and so on — all of the little things that have sort of just been floating around looking for a place to be stored. I could put them in a closet, sure, but they’re much nicer just sitting on the living room floor.

And yes, there are a few other things to talk about here, like the new rug (!!!), the credenza, the lion head…and the fact that I can’t stop painting walls with that Deep Space paint. I’ll get to all of that soon enough, but I just couldn’t wait to share this box! The best box.

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Winsome Brave Equilateral Nails

I’ve been meaning to blog about these gorgeous bronze Equilateral Nails for a while now, but now that I’ve finally gone ahead and ordered a box for myself, I have to mention them! They come from Winsome Brave, a Brooklyn-based design studio founded by Valerie Gnaedig and Annie Lenon. And they have triangular heads (the nails, not Valerie and Annie).

Winsome Brave Equilateral Nails

It probably goes without saying that these nails aren’t the kind you’d use for building furniture, but rather to use in place of a hook or pin to hang something on the wall in an extra-fancy way. I’m not sure what I’m going to use mine for, but I’m betting it’s going to involve a black wall and some necklaces! Right now my tiny collection of jewelry is just in a bowl in my bedside table, and I avoid wearing necklaces because I don’t feel like having to deal with detangling them.

Such pretty, special little things!

Last night I was sorting through one of the many “miscellaneous” folders on my hard drive (all of which are named with various numbers and shoved inside of another folder called “MAIN MISC” so as to create the illusion of being organized—I hate a messy desktop, but I’m a digital pack-rat) and I came across a folder called “jewelry 2.” Looking through the pictures inside, I realized they were supposed to have been used for a blog post about jewelry—Part Two in a series. You know when Part One was posted? April 2011. Sigh. I suck.

Happily, though, all of the jewelry designers I originally had in my post are still open for business! So I put together a new post with all of my favorites among their current work, plus a couple of shops I’ve discovered more recently.


Voz Collective
Black Stained Wood Bangle
Custom Set of Skinny Bangles

Vox Collective is one of those more recent discoveries. I first saw their wooden bangle bracelets when Lisa was visiting and wore one with neon pink (of course!) triangles. I still have a hard time wearing bracelets because I work at a computer all day and I can’t stand hearing them clunk on the desk, but I’m smitten with these. I especially like the way the skinny ones look in multiples.


(of)matter
Simple Triangle Studs
Brass Bar Ring

(of)matter were featured in Part One, and I’m still a fan. I just ordered a couple of sets of the triangle studs in black and brass. Perfect for me, yes?! I have a million (OK, ten) piercing holes in my ears, but I haven’t worn anything in eight of those holes for years. I want to wear a bunch of tiny triangles at once!


Stone & Honey
Arcos Earrings
Cannon Earrings

I follow Teresa from Stone & Honey on Instagram, and she shares lots of snapshots of her work in progress. Seeing how much tedious manual labor and skill goes into creating her jewelry is inspiring. I have a couple of her tiny triangle rings, and I think those black triangle earrings are next on my wish list…


Lila Rice
Deco Hoops
Pyramid Hoops

I only own four pairs of earrings (excluding the triangle studs I just ordered!), and three of them are from Lila Rice. My latest acquisition are the Deco Hoops above, which were a gift from Evan for my birthday. Lila’s work is incredible—large and striking and dramatic, but lightweight and comfortable to wear. I also love that she only uses gold-fill posts/hooks, since that seems to be the only metal composition that doesn’t cause an allergic reaction on me.


Aoko Su
Hammered Gold Hoops
Arrow Ring

I discovered designer Ashley Jerman’s shop Aøko Su when I saw her Bauhaus earrings in New York magazine a few months ago. I love that her jewelry looks a little rough around the edges—the imperfections show the process. Whenever I get around to buying a pair of plain gold hoops, these are the ones I want. (Gold-fill, yay!)


Betsy & Iya
Redundant Chevron Ring
Addition Mission Earrings

I had a STOP THE PRESSES! moment when I saw Betsy & Iya‘s Addition Mission earrings in Jen’s Holiday Faves list yesterday. SO GOOD. They’re Anna-earrings! I’m sure I’ll be allergic to the silver ear wires, but I think I have to get them anyway. I can add my own gold-fill wires. Worth it.

Speaking of metal allergies: To those of you who suffer the same sensitivity to non-gold metals, how do you deal with earrings? The “coat it with clear nail polish” trick doesn’t seem to work for me. I know these plastic covers exist for posts, but what about hooks and wires?

This morning I woke up (in Newburgh…with electricity!) to a tweet from my dear friend and co-collaborator, Lisa Congdon, announcing that her new line of wallpaper for Hygge & West is now available for purchase.

I could not be more excited! You already know I adore Lisa and that I love love LOVE her work, but I’m also a fan of Hygge & West. I have their wallpaper (the now-discontinued “Pieces” pattern by Julia Rothman) in my hallway, and I love what Christiana and Aimee have been able to do with their company in the past few years. I have wallpaper all over my house, and to have it be the work of some of my favorite illustrators is pretty awesome.

So how about that Triangle pattern, huh? Lisa sent me some sketches of the pattern while she was working on it, and I’m pretty sure my first response was, “Can you make sure it’s available in all-black so I can put it in my kitchen? And also gold and pink.” So I’m just going to pretend that all of this is for ME and my happiness. And believe me, I’m happy. I’ve been putting off working on my kitchen for…um, about 6 years now, and of all the possible motivators there could be for me to get going already, the prospect of being able to use Lisa’s wallpaper in the project is really all I need. I am so ready to do this.

I’m mostly likely going to go with the all-black option, but the gray/pink and charcoal/gold colorways (side note: I hate the word “colorways”) are super-gorgeous as well. Maybe I can find a spot for them somewhere else? I’m running out of places to use wallpaper!

Because I am who I am and I like what I do, I’m going on and on about the Triangle pattern, but Lisa also has two other beautiful wallpaper designs at Hygge & West, Ferns and Bohemian. To be honest, I love them all so much that they make me want to buy more houses so I can put more wallpaper all over everything. Or at least maybe convince my mother that she should put the Ferns pattern in black in her dining room, because it would be PERFECT there.

Congratulations on the new endeavor, Lisa, and thanks as always to Christiana and Aimee for their vision (and great taste!). The full collection is amazing. I can’t wait to use some of it in my home.

Apologies if this is old news, but I haven’t checked in on those amazing Danes at Ferm Living in a while, so it’s all new to me! I have wallpaper from Ferm in my dressing room, studio, bathroom and pantry, so you could definitely say I’m a fan. I keep looking for more things that I can wallpaper just to have an excuse to use more of their patterns. I wasn’t really aware of all of the other non-wallpaper housewares they’ve added to their line, though! Obviously I need to pay more attention, because apparently Ferm are just designing stuff for me. I mean…look at this collection! I kind of want everything.

When Julie saw that I’d bought this triangle-print day bag from Bookhou, she said, “If you were a bag…” And she’s totally right. Really, “old bag” jokes aside, this is me in bag form. Aside from the perfect print (which I blogged about in tea towel form a while back), the size is ideal. I have a reputation for dragging around huge, heavy bags that make my back feel miserable, so I’ve been looking for a smaller, cotton bag for days when I expect to be walking around a lot but want something fancier than a tote. This is exactly it.

Of course, now I also want the matching loop scarf (thanks to Victoria, who knows an Anna-scarf when she sees one!), and maybe also this beautiful pouch to store the iPad I don’t have…

Speaking of Bookhou, have you seen founders John and Arounna’s Toronto home in the latest issue of Covet Garden? It’s every bit as lovely as you’d imagine it would be.