Friday, 08 February 2013 21:12

Beautiful Japanese Manhole Covers


I never thought I'd want to use the words "beautiful" and "manhole" in the same sentence, but here we are. These lovingly-designed manhole covers are all over Japan, and each region or town gets to design their own, like a personalized flag that has just a bit more function. Street art has just reached a whole new level. There are also whole Flickr groups dedicated to collecting all the different covers, and each is more detailed than the last. Scroll through for some of the highlights, and then go check out the thousands more on Flickr.

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51oS6fmyBFL._SS500_Rock the Shack: The Architecture of Cabins, Cocoons and Hide-Outs is a collection of some of the most cozy and inviting mountain cabins, farmhouses, and seaside cottages from all over the world. These quiet nooks, located somewhere between nature and nowhere, are the kinds of getaways you dream of, especially if you live in a busy city. The book will be released on February 25, 2013, but is already available for pre-order.

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Friday, 08 February 2013 15:35

Paper Magic by Eiko Ojala


Eiko Ojala is an illustrator and graphic designer living in Estonia whose work has often been featured in books and magazines. His artwork includes these incredible paper crafts, including one "portrait" that looks a lot like Ron Swanson, or his alter ego Duke Silver. Check out Eiko's portraiture and other work below, which put your pop-up construction paper projects to shame. 

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The Third Hand UpCycle collection by designer Momo Wang is equal parts fashion and environmental philosophy. Inspired by Derrida's "third hand" idea, Wang designed a collection entirely out of materials from secondhand markets in her hometown of Jinzhou. Photographed in rural China, the clothing evokes the sweet farmer's daughter who will always have a place in your heart, and the glamorous movie star destined to play her in a movie.

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Wednesday, 06 February 2013 17:07

Relax With A Flutter: The Butterfly Tea Bag


Everyone wishes they had a pet butterfly, but as I'm sure they all learned, insects aren't easy to control. With the Butterfly Tea Bag, designed by Yena Lee, you can have a sophisticated tea party or just unwind with a paper friend every time you brew. The butterfly rests on the edge of your mug and is sure to never fly away.

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Those who are strapped for money will be pleased with this design. I don't mean those who are broke -- I mean people who literally do not carry cash or coins with them. "Nothing Fancy" is the ultimate minimalist wallet, consisting only of heavyweight leather and rubber bands. They come in several designs: coin purse, passport holder and iPhone case. Designed by Chieh Ting Huang.

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From Japanese designer Yukio Takano, who designs for The Great Mushrooming (of course) comes a series of LED lights which bear an impressive resemblance to the real thing. Each kit is beautifully packaged and come with embedded battery packs. These would make a great gift for your botanist friends, your groovy chemistry professor, or maybe your vegan friends who really believe that we are what we eat.

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I can only hope that some day Christopher Guest will make another precisely-wardrobed mockumentary: a Eugene Levy and Parker Posey-filled film that centers around a car show. I bet it would future stunners like this one, the full title of which feels not unlike a titled member of royalty, the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Aprile Spider Corsa. This is one of those rare machines which is so carefully cared for that it seems to possess the bearing of a show horse. 

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As we've learned from Lauren Bacall's charismatic character in How to Marry a Millionaire, prime real estate is important. In other words, location is everything. Well, what's one to do when the perfect location includes the apartment next door? Why, knock down the separating wall and expand your own haven, of course. Oh, the life of a millionaire. Atop the historic Merchant House in Tribeca, the duplex penthouse is that haven, boasting six bedrooms spread over 6,800 square feet of space. It's so big that different parts of the property are referred to as the north and south wing. There are also 3,000 square feet of private gardens, a professional-grade kitchen, a climate-controlled wine cellar, and a direct elevator. In case you ever want to capitalize on the owners' non-existent buyer's remorse, you should know that the penthouse sold in early 2013 for a cool 15.8 million. 

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Would you like a slice of toast? by Tomoko Azumi

Italian Designer and Father Matteo Ragni grew frustrated that his children found toys disposable. As a lover of meaningful and well-crafted objects, Ragni wanted the children's toys to hold their attention for longer. His once minimalist living room was also overflowing with balloons and loose lego pieces. So he commissioned one hundred famous Italian designers to make unique wooden cars out of cedar. The zany collection was exhibited at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia in Milan this Winter. I wonder if he'll turn to the automobile industry when the children get driver's licenses.

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