Adesign classic sounds like it should be something expensive and elitist but of course it doesn't have to be. There are lots of innovative designers around who are bringing their vision to everyday household accessories and making the ordinary extraordinary, and at accessible prices. They might not be recognised as such right now but many of these are future classics. For those looking to inject some clever design into their living space, an Irish online store that opened recently, Ubode.ie is offering a carefully chosen selection of interesting brands, including Joseph Joseph, Cabanaz and Angelpoise.
Gary Tiernan, who set up the site, graduated as a furniture designer and spent years working as a buying consultant and adviser to some of Ireland's biggest retailers. The ethos of Ubode, he says, is to offer a choice of well-designed and quality products at keen prices. Here are his picks for 10 design gems that make the everyday a lot more exciting.
Founded by twin brothers Richard and Antony Joseph in 2003, this British company is known for its brightly coloured products and innovative design. This storage case containing four chopping boards is colour-coded and labeled so that you avoid food cross-contamination. "This is great if you love cooking," says Tiernan. "It's the ideal space-saver in which to store your chopping boards and it's so clean and simple and compact and functional, especially if you live in an apartment. I think every home should have one of these."
The Angelpoise dates from the 1930s and its practicality and stark beauty have made it an enduring and covetable lamp to this day. "It's a great light which works in a living space, a bedroom or an office so it works whatever room you put it in," Tiernan says. "It's just so functional. When I'm designing I can bring it close for when I'm working in detail or push it back if I want broader light. A lamp that has that level of flexibility is amazing."
Price: From €115
A favourite with architects and design magazine editors, these clocks are quickly achieving iconic status, Tiernan says. There are three versions, available in a variety of colours and shades. The company is a small, family-run one in Italy. "They take time to make, but the quality is really good and they have perfected laser cutting on metal, so they can get really good detail and have great colours," says Tiernan.
Price: From €44.95
The American design company Umbra's guiding tenet is that everyday objects can become a source of pleasure when function is combined with technology, stylish design, colour and wit. "This is just one of those beautiful architectural pieces that you put in the centre of your dining table when you've friends over and it creates a talking point," says Tiernan. "It self aerates the wine and has a great shape that just invites people to pick it up."
Another product from Joseph Joseph and typically vividly coloured, this collection of practical kitchenware is very ergonomic. The range includes mixing bowls, measuring spoons, a sieve, strainer and juicer that can be stacked together. "If you've a small kitchen and you like to bake, this is the set you should have. And everyone needs some colour in their kitchen," says Tiernan.
Price: From €19.95
This award-winning Danish design company has a typically Scandinavian approach to creating things that combine the cleverly functional with the aesthetically pleasing. "These are great space-savers: the detailing is delicate but the impact of the product is strong," explains Tiernan. "The dustpan and brush is designed out of a single piece of plastic that's folded to create a handle and the brush sits into this and you can hang it on a wall. It comes in five different colours but it's the most simple and clean design that you'll ever come across."
While Tiernan admits that he finds it difficult to single out any one Irish designer's products over another, he says that Orla Kiely's blankets are especially eye-catching. "They're a little expensive but the quality and feel is amazing. I love the grey, poppy pattern, which is beautiful. It's so contemporary and engaging, especially if you are into textures."
This, says Tiernan, is an essential in his daily life. "I like different flavours and consistencies to my coffee. For a nice brew I will use a Brazil, especially if I have people around. The Brazil is a great redesign of the classic Bodum Chambord coffee maker and it's funky, trendy, functional and very colourful. It's also a very good price ? cheaper than the Chambord ? as well as being
Price: From €19.95
Tiernan sourced this desk lank from the Netherlands and they come in black and chrome. "It's like the Angelpoise but it's more refined and simpler in detail," he explains. "Whereas the Angelpoise is that little bit bulky, the Icon is just a bit more elegant, beautifully finished and beautifully designed."
Price: From €99.95
"These are just fun and very playful," Tiernan thinks. "They're great for taste and flavour and warmth. You could have boring brandy glasses that sit on the counter but you don't interact with what you're consuming, the way you do with these. They're also perfect for whiskey or liqueurs ? you could happily use it for Baileys.
Price: From €39.95
Get off to a profitable sports betting start today at sportsbetting.co.uk