Product of Your Environment

I’ve reached a moment in my life that if I am going to add anything material to it, it has to meet a rigorous set of qualifications.  These include, but are not limited to, does it have purpose?  How much space does it take up?  Will it break easily? Do I really need it?  Will my children ruin it in 15 minutes or less?  Will my husband question it’s necessity ad-nausea until I no longer want it either?

Regardless of those first questions, the real test is if it is designed well for both form and function and is it fun?  That’s why I was so excited to come across British designer, Rebecca Chiddy’s functionally-humorous collection of products available at her website, Product of Your Environment.




With an intent of injecting humor and surprise into everyday items, Rebecca has created a line of products for the home that are completely functional, but don’t take themselves too seriously.  It is this playfulness while retaining respect for application that draws me into her work.  Whether a pie plate with a pie graphic (above) or a tea set with cocktail hour intentions (below), each piece thoughtfully challenges our ideas of usefulness function and design.

I especially love the irony of the classic name necklace re-imagined with darker messages (below).  Also available: Neurotic, Frisky, Available and more.



This playful jigsaw jigsaw puzzle is as beautifully crafted as it is tongue-in-cheek.



And who wouldn’t love a set of these frame-inspired pillow cases adorning their bed?


Lastly, as a mom of a kid who LOVES the beach and a wife to a man who hates clutter, I just loved this idea of a beach bucket turned planter.  Add to it the über-hip city scape and I’m definitely going to make this a product of MY environment.bucket-vase

Rebecca sells a wide variety of items through her website, Product of Your Environment, and for us US customers, she has also licensed some items to Fred and Friends.


Images via Product of Your Environment

Industrial Facility


Quick – what’s the most boring beauty appliance you use in the morning?  Ok – there’s not that many, and honestly, they all could use a design revamp. Luckily, the designers at Industrial Facility have done just that and no longer will be forced to make the decision of whether to keep the hair dryer on the counter, thus mucking up the lovely view, or stash it someplace hidden only to become a tangled couple with the curling iron and that weird, hybrid water-pick/straightening system someone gifted you for Christmas in 2004.

Their reinterpretation solves both the aesthetic problem AND the tangled cord issue in a stylish yet practical revamp that is sure to please.

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Even the one-note door stop has gotten the makeover treatment and with wonderful results. Simple, beautiful design?  Check!   Multi-functioning?  Check!





One of my favorite reimagined products they have lent their design prowess too is the ubiquitous paper cup.  By creating a cup that allows one to see the contents, they have elevated what is a practical and sustainable design to one of delight, amusement and sophistication.



Rounding out the product designs that most inspired me were these beautiful nesting bowls.  In the space of one dish, you can store up to five – it is the perfect solution for design conscious city dwellers the world around.


The website is truly inspirational and I encourage you to check them out further.  Whether is is the industrial or the really mundane (office cubicle anyone?), Industrial Facility has successfully treated each with a design point-of-view that will change the way you think about all of your household items.


images sourced:



Amy Whitworth – Qubis Haus

When I was a girl, my most prized possession was a Better Homes dollhouse.  It was a modern home with a contemporary design and the attention to detail – the kitchen even had ice cube trays and silverware – spoke to my 8-year-old sensibilities.

Now that I have children I always have my eye out for toys that are fun and functional.  And since I have a fairly small house, my sensibilities include multifunctional pieces with good design that will stand the test of time.


Enter British designer, Amy Whitworth’s QUBIS HAUS.  Constructed from birch plywood, this innovative take on the doll house is also a functional coffee table.  For those of us who live in small spaces, this is just the answer to large-scale toys that take up more room than they’re worth.

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The table comes with modular walls that can be inserted at various points to create interior spaces.  The walls feature beautifully designed graphics or you can create your own with the chalkboard option – which comes with its own chalk.

Qubis Walls



Going beyond the transformative nature of the entire piece, the most special feature has to be the modular furniture.  Each set is comprised of magnetized wood pieces that allow you to create your own custom designs.




With grooves for an iPad, the coffee table becomes even more functional – if you even thought that was possible.

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Rounding out a perfectly planned set of multi-purpose pieces is this chair/doll house.  What a perfect solution for a kids’ room that lacks in space.




A mom herself, Amy understands the importance of having these imagination boosting pieces in her home.  With such innovation at their fingertips, one can only imagine what her own kids will come up with someday!

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The Qubis Haus was a winner of the Southbank Centre’s Boost Product Design competition.
images via Qubis design and If it’s hip, it’s here.


One of my favorite things I get to do writing for this blog is share things that inspire me.  Sometimes, at the end of a particularly long week, I have go searching for inspiration. And sometimes inspiration just reaches out and grabs me.

That’s exactly what happened the first time I saw the work of Canadian artist, Todd McLellan.  And as much as I want to plaster images of his work all over this post for you to see, I want to honor his fierce protection of his work and instead direct you to his website where you can see everything there is to this amazing art form (just click the image collage below to access the site).


As you might be able to glean from the mini-preview above, one of Todd’s ventures has been to take ordinary objects and disassemble them and then lay them out using each piece, down to the tiniest detail, to create a geometric pattern that then becomes its own whole.  The end result is really quite fascinating and there’s a great video on his site detailing the process.

What artist is inspiring you these days?


I spy with my little eye…

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…FLOR’s Roadside Attraction rug!  Along with some gorgeous artwork; stunning window treatments; an awesome, blue ceiling and a sweet, chalkboard-painted tabletop in this amazing art studio.
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Check out the shelter blog, Chris Loves Julia, to see more of their inspiring home and projects – including a tutorial on that phenomenal tone-on-tone wall quote.