Category Archives: Design

We’ve Moved!!

Hello Lovelies,

I am sure you have been wondering what has happened to OfTheNow, it may have seemed that we have abandoned you, but I assure nothing could be further from the truth! OfTheNow is better than ever before with a new look and new address, yes that’s right we have moved! Please update your readers, RSS feeds and blog rolls to http://ofthenow.ca

We are much prettier now too…here’s a little peak at the new home page:

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Design is Everywhere, Bookmarks Included


Liquid Bookmark image via Kyouei

If something is designed to look like it is melting, bleeding, or dripping, chances are it’s going to tickle us pink at OfTheNow. You saw it when we found French designer, John Nouanesing resin Love Me table and Fredrikson Stallard‘s Loversand It Can Happen Here polyurethane rugs in Drip, Drip Drop…Goes the Furniture? And we have found it again again in the Liquid Bookmark, which gives new meaning to the phrase “bloody good book.”

Each silicon Liquid Bookmark designed by Kyouei Co Ltd. from Japan is made by hand by the designer, and you know what that means, no two bloody/melting/dripping bookmarks are the same. We like that even more.

The Making Of A Liquid Bookmark Image via Kyouei

You can buy a pack of three for $29 USD including shipping (they come in red, white and grey) from Design Boom.

All Three Colours Image via Kyouei

Another fun bookmark is the Help! bookmark by i3 lab from Korea. It’s a cute paperclip style bookmark with two cartoon hands that jut out from the top of your book. You can get these guys from Design Boom for $26 USD including shipping

Help! Bookmarks image via Design Book

Kinda makes you want to head to the library and/or bookstore and forget your ipad or kindle!

Help! Bookmarks image via Design Book

ABC and All the Way Z–Drawers for Typography Fans…

© Kent & London

I found it. Every typography geek’s dream furniture. Well actually I didn’t find it, but a friend sent it to me, because I am one of those said typography geeks.

Kent & London have brought joy to all who swoon at bold typefaces and fantastic fonts with a chest of drawers. The “Alphabet Drawer” unit  was inspired by vintage printing blocks and has 26 drawers of varying sizes, each dedicated, you guessed it, to a letter of the alphabet. It is so simple, that it is nothing short of genius.

© Kent & London

Kent and London make each solid oak piece to order using traditional methods and beautifully finishes. And yes I said solid oak, which makes it rather heavy in terms of weight and prices…the units go for £2700.00, which translates to about $4,200 CAD.

No, it’s not cheap, but this isn’t Ikea kids. This is bespoke furniture, the kind you pass on to future generations. The Alphabet Drawers are what we call “a piece” it is that item in the room you do a double take when you see it, it sparks conversation, starry eyes and big grins, even from non-typography geeks.

© Kent & London

Besides just think of the fun things you would have to think up to put in the “X” drawer…

The Invited Peeping Tom: The Selby Is In Your Place

© The Selby

As some of you know I was in NYC a few weeks ago, and on my little escapade I picked up The Selby book, but what you don’t know is this is my kind of porn! The Selby book, as The Selby website does, plays Peeping Tom into the homes and lives of people we want to know about.

Now if I was in NYC a few weeks ago, why has it taken me so long to finally get to this? Not because I was avoiding, but because I wanted to take my time pouring over the pages and devouring as much as I could  of the over 40 homes and people Selby photographed before I turned it over to you lovely ones. Like I said, this is my kind of porn.

First off let me say, the first page of the book is a page of stickers, which equals an immediate 10 points.

© The Selby

The hard cover book titled The Selby Is in Your Place was conceived when fashion and interiors photographer, Todd Selby (bless his soul) started taking snaps of people in their homes, musicians, fashion folk, surfers, you name it, if they are interesting they are in the book.

But Selby doesn’t take the staged/propped shots magazines do when they profile people in their homes. He takes intimate shots of their tchotchkes, pets, gardens, shoes, closets, bathrooms with the toilet seat up, and basically all things that make them the individuals that they are.

© The Selby Helena Christensen in her to die for kitchen

But he isn’t taking photos of a la lifestyles of the rich and famous, it’s not a book filled with lavish boudoirs and hallways that seem to go on for miles and miles. The people and places are real, famous or not, rich or not, there is something mesmerizing about each and everyone of them.

This book is every voyeur and exhibitionist’s dream, it’s a true peak into the lives of others.

© The Selby. Photographer Retts Wood in her houseboat in London, which happens to be Todd Selby's favourite home in this book

It’s as if Selby isn’t even there, like the photographs somehow magically took themselves and they just are. He also annotates the photographs with little hand-written notes and drawings about what things are, where they were found, or who made them.

Another fun little peak into the lives of others is the mini-hand-written questionnaires Selby gives his subjects, with questions like “What are your 8 favourite things to collect?” and “Who is your favourite Garbage Pail Kid?” Not so typical questions, but this is not your typical interiors type of book.

© The Selby

When you read through it and devour the pages like I did, prepare to spend countless hours day dreaming about Todd Selby in your place, or dreaming you lived in the homes of people like potter/interior designer Jonathan Adler and Barney’s creative director Simon Doonan (they have a brass Hermès sign above their toilet), or model/fashion designer Erin Wasson (her dining room table/desk will have you salivating at the mouth),or uber cool Purple Magazine editor, Olivier Zahm‘s collection of books and colgne.

© The Selby Jonathan Adler and Barney's creative director Simon Doonan's home

© The Selby. Erin Wasson in her living/dining room

I could keep naming amazing people with amazing places in the book, but I won’t, because you should just go out and get it!

Oh and Todd Selby, sorry I couldn’t critiques the book, I just love it too much.

PS If you happen to live in Toronto and love this as much as I do, Todd Selby will be signing books at the Bloor St Holt Renfrew June 16 from 12:o0 pm-1:30 pm.

The New Drake General Store is Open

Photo by Connie Tsang

Have you ever wanted to cook for caravaners or needed an emergency one once shot? Well Joyce Lo and Carlo Colacci have you covered. The duo is the driving force between the all three of the Drake Hotel General Stores. One beside The Drake Hotel, one in Rosedale and now one at 82A Bathurst St, just south of King.

The store is full of all sorts of goodies that will make the foodie, design lover, and just about anyone else smile with delight. Lo and Colacci have taken the time to scour antique fairs in Boston and suss out vendors in New York to fill the store with a well thought-out mix of vintage and new pieces. Take for instance the vintage cook book “Cooking for Caravaners” or the mini flask key chain.

“It’s one ounce, so it’s your emergency shot,” says Lo with a laugh.

Image from my iPhone

Image from my iPhone

The new general store is also more focused on the Shared t-shirt line Colacci and Lo produce together. Shared also donates part of its proceeds to various charities and collaborates with local artists and musicians on limited edition shirts, and they are pretty cute too.

Lo was wearing one of the latest Shared designs when we went by for the go see. It’s called “Magic Hands”

Image from my iPhone

The store also helps promote local talent and carries lingerie from local Fortnight,  jewelry from Jaime Sin and Biko and many others. You would be hard pressed not to find something you love. From Levi’s to the Momofuku cookbook to the limited edition Harrow Ladies Luncheon Plates you can’t really go wrong.

Image by Connie Tsang

The newest Drake General Store gets an A+ in our books, and it’s not because they gave us a the cutest bag ever with soft t-shirt and yummy chocolate chip cookies, sorry I ate most of them before I took the picture!

Image from my iPhone

Drip, Drip, Drop…Goes the Furniture?

A few years ago, I was working for a design magazine and I somehow stumbled upon the work of Fredrikson Stallard. The design firm blew me away with its controversial designs. The ones that really grabbed my attention were the rugs.

Now I know what you are thinking, how attention grabbing can a rug be? Well these rugs were made out of polyurethane and are pretty literal statements on industrial/developed society.

“It can’t happen here, but then it did” could not be a more perfect statement for what is going on in the world. The black shiny pool is made to look like an oil spill happened in the middle of the room. This rug may have been designed in the early part of the 2000’s, but it’s message rings loud and clear with the recent BP oil spill.

© Fredrikson Stallard

Next up is the “Lovers” rug. Sounds romantic huh? Well, not so. The Lovers rug is two conjoined puddles of deep red polyurethane that look like the aftermath of a murder scene. No coincidence here that pools of red consist of the average volume of blood in a human body. Creepy yes, but poignant as well, and unfortunately not as shocking as it should be. We are almost numb to the violence we see, and Fredrikson Stallard put it right in front of us.

© Fredrikson Stallard

Now, why do I reference these designs from so long ago—early 2000’s is a long time ago in the design world. Is it because Fredikson Stallard won 2010 Red Dot award? Or because the Financial Times listed one of its tables as one of the 10 best designs of the decade?

To answer simply, no, that’s not why I reference the firm. Last week I stumbled upon a table designed by French designer, John Nouanesing and it conjured up thoughts of Fredrikson Stallard’s rugs. Nouanesing’s table is seemingly dripping/melting  blood or paint to floor and the long streams. Some of those streams end in the table legs.

© John Nouanesing

When I got ahold of Nouanesing he let me know that the table speaks about love and how it makes you happy or sad.

“The glossy red surface shows an almost alive product that seems to be melting of love, and demands you to love it, as it is suffering of that,” explains 26-year-old Nouanesing. “My psychoanalyst would say that the idea came up when my girlfriend left me and broke my heart few years ago.”

That’s what we call dealing with your grief positively!

The Love Me table is made of resin and it should be soon availalble from the french manufacturer Domeau & Pérès Pre-orders and complete information can be taken at info@domeauperes.com.

Industrial Design Made Fun aka The Dutch Way

© Oooms Design

Ceramic dildos decorated with Dutch blue milkmaids, 14-carat gold staples and a carpet made to look like the scene of a spattered fox are only a few of the pieces that make up the Oooms design portfolio.

Not exactly everyday necessities, but they are definitely conversation starters.

“We just like to make you smile while you use our products, that’s all,” says Guido Ooms, co-founder of Oooms design. He and partner Karin van Lieshout, don’t take themselves too seriously, they like to have fun with their work and push the boundaries. But that doesn’t mean they don’t work hard, they just like what they do.

When van Lieshout was in school she was fascinated by how something awful could attract and keep attention. This odd behaviour inspired her to create the Road Kill carpet. It is in effect an ode to rubber-necking…or as the website description states “A continuous struggle between attraction and repulsion. It’s a warm, soft, cuddly carpet that attracts you to take a nap on it. But at the same time it’s a repulsive image of a car-flattened, bloody fox.”

© Oooms Design

Obviously all Oooms designs aren’t for the faint of heart, but for those looking to add a little fun to their abodes, Oooms might be just what you are looking for.  The designs all have a playful, but smart side to them.

If cocktail parties and entertaining friends reign high on your list of priorities then Oooms most definitely has a few products for you. The Glassbulb Light is a fixture made out of numerous wine glass shaped bulbs that give off a soft soothing glow, making it perfect for an intimate dinner for two, or dinner party among friends. The LED lights will last for 30,000 hours or 10 years, yes we call that bang for the buck.

© Oooms Design

The Puzzleboard is another example of smart and fun design for entertaining. It’s made up of different pieces that fit together to make one long cutting board, but if you separate the pieces they become handy little serving plates for your guests, with a secure spot to hold a wine glass. Genius.

© Oooms Design

Another top selling piece for the design duo has been their Wooden USB stick. Basically it’s a USB shoved into a piece of tree branch. The nature versus technology debate is at its best here. This unusual little piece is great for corporate give aways…just ask Adidas.

© Oooms Design

“I am a computer geek, so I love to fiddle around on mine,” says Ooms. “On the other hand, I love working with my hands and getting really dirty in the workshop.”

The workshop is in a former Philips building, which houses variety of artists, painters, web designers and ceramists, designers and musicians.

“This affects us in a positive way,” states Ooms. “Some of the other people in the building work for us, or we for them, so it really is a vibrant place.”

The creative energy of their environment is a driving factor in duo’s quirky work and it’s not hard to see why they have garnered top clients like Paul Smith, Adidas, Hugo Boss and the MoMA, to name but a few.

They have had some unusual…but fun collaborations as well. Last year Oooms Design was contacted by TotalJoy to design a series of vibrators for the company.

© Oooms Design

“It was very interesting to dive into the world of porn and ugly rubber dicks!” says Ooms with a laugh. “It was a lovely time and I think we succeeded in our goal of make them more ‘cute.’”

So after succeeding in the vibrator market, what more could this duo have to accomplish? Some might say not much, but not Ooms and van Lieshout. They are brimming with ideas for future products and projects.

“We’ve been asked to do a workshop in Mexico in June. It’s something we wanted to do for a long time, so I think it will be a blast. We love to teach to students and we love to travel. Here it all will be combined!” says Ooms.