Friday Favorites 6/21/2013

June 21, 2013

Karin Lidbeck Brent, Contributing Editor 
As a stylist and designer, my eyes are always peeled for creative new products that wow me.

Yesterday on a shoot in Connecticut, a collection of fascinating objects, beautifully displayed on a dining room sideboard, grabbed my attention. On closer inspection, I realized they were actually clever wine stoppers. I love repurposed objects, and these antique glass and brass doorknobs fashioned into small. artful jewels are now up there on my list of favorites.

Starting with the most unusual vintage door knobs from around the world, often from famous landmarks like the Plaza in New York or the Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, artists Michelle and Jim Dodd then create hand-crafted wood bases that display and hold the stoppers, disguising them as fascinating works of art.

New England Stoppers: must-have collectibles that preserve a piece of history while being functional at the same time! To find out more go to newenglandstoppers.com or call (860) 265-1087.

Paula M. Bodah, Senior Editor 
A carpool friend asked if I minded a detour on our way home. She wanted to stop in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, at the Colonial Mills factory outlet store. I’m always game for a new shopping experience, although I had a pretty good idea that I wasn’t in the market for a braided rug. I pictured the traditional round rug that sat on the floor of the den when I was a kid…not quite my current style. What a surprise, then, to discover that at Colonial, a family-owned business that’s been designing and manufacturing rugs for three decades, braided rugs have taken a modern turn.

Colonial makes rugs from wool, wool blends, polyester, chenille, nylon and polypropylene. They make the classic round style we’re all familiar with, but they also craft ovals, rectangles, squares and runners, including stair treads. And the colorways have morphed from the old concentric circles in earth tones and deep jewel tones to a rainbow of hues and patterns suitable for every room in the house, and for outdoor spaces, too.

Tiburon, a polypropylene, stain- and fade-resistant reversible rug, would take a lot of wear in a family room while looking handsome in its shades of taupe, rose and brown.

Photos courtesy of Colonial Mills

Natural wool in a range of neutral tones is braided into a houndstooth pattern.

Chenille, nylon and polyester come together in Color Frenzy, a bright collection that feels soft underfoot but wears like iron.

Besides rugs, Colonial makes these roomy braided baskets that echo the patterns and colorways of the rugs.

Kyle Hoepner, Editor-in-Chief 
Our 5 Under 40 award winners past and present seem to be on a roll. Just in the past few weeks I’ve mentioned four of them who are bringing out striking new product lines, and now I’ve just gotten notice of a fifth.

All photos courtesy of FilzFelt

Kelly Smith of FilzFelt has just announced a new collaboration with designer Ayse Birsel, who has sliced and stamped the firm’s trademark heavy-duty, German-milled wool felt into colorfully graphic drapery, hanging panels and table and floor mats for home or office use.

It’s particularly impressive how Birsel managed to arrange a few very basic forms—circles and long rectangles—in ways that are simultaneously boldly modern and yet still redolent of profiles and patterns found in the traditional textiles of her native Turkey.

Another reminder of the almost infinite possibilities to be explored by gifted design minds.