Our Favorite Things Volume 12

by Maggie Flickinger

Our Favorite Things Volume 12Factory Made celebrated their official opening just down the street from our studio last Friday.  Purveyors of locally produced modern / artsy furniture, home goods, and jewelry, the shop also boasts “factory” space for woodworking, pottery throwing, digital media, and clothes making.  For now, their website is actually a Tumblr feed, so online shopping isn’t an option.  However, if you’re in the neighborhood, head into the shop for a healthy dose of inspiration – and maybe something new and handmade for your home!   Welcome to the neighborhood!

Our Favorite Things Volume 12In less temperate climes, building sustainably often revolves around the heating / cooling conundrum.  In Japan, where many homes lack central heating, the priority shifts from heating the space to heating the person inhabiting the space.  Enter the Kotatsu, an ingenious low table with integrated efficient electric heater.  The thick overhanging blanket traps the heat, keeping those sitting on cushions or legless chairs around the kotatsu nice and cozy.  Working, eating, and socializing can all occur at the kotatsu, making it somewhat akin to the ancient concept of “hearth as heart.”

Our Favorite Things Volume 12Terra Cotta floor tile is warm underfoot and effective as a passive solar thermal sink, 100% organic & natural in makeup, highly water resistant, and its handcrafted living finish patinas over time.  However, the traditionally florid ochre and orange colorways are often at odds with modern homes.  Not so with Allicante black terra cotta floor tiles, available in a variety of sizes and naturally colored with dark earth.  If they weren’t manufactured in Spain – greatly expanding their carbon footprint – these modern interpretations of a traditional tile would be even higher on our wish list.

Our Favorite Things Volume 12David Trubridge, an English designer who has made New Zealand his home for the past 20 years, creates kinetically evocative lighting and furniture with cultural underpinnings and DIY appeal.  The “Free Design” section on his website offers designs for lighting and a birdfeeder that you can make yourself out of scrap paper or other easy to find materials.  Test your origami skills with the birdfeeder and create a warm welcome back to our feathered friends as spring approaches!

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