Tag Archives: gadgets

Ingenious Bathroom Ideas

via house to home

An organized and efficient bathroom is a beautiful thing, and choosing the right bathroom accessories can go a long way towards achieving this.  The trick with adding anything new is that in the average bathroom there is often very little space to work with. Here are a few ingenious bathroom ideas that don’t take up a lot of space, but will add plenty of fun, efficiency and organization.

Aqua Notes

Aqua Notes

I always do my best brainstorming in the shower. As a mother to a toddler the shower is often one of the few places where I get to be alone with my thoughts, and I don’t know how many times this product could have been helpful. Aqua Notes are a waterproof note pad that let you jot down your ideas while you’re still showering. Brilliant! This could also be a fun way to leave messages or reminders for other family members.

floris hovers via coosandahhs


Eco and green toys are everywhere these days and this make-your-own-sailboat kit is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s called the Flessenboot and it’s made by designer Floris Hovers. Using an empty shampoo or conditioner bottle as a base you can make your very own tub-worthy sailboat.


Sink Toilet Combo

If space is really in short supply in your bathroom you may want to consider the sink-toilet combo pictured above. Not only does it take up a minimal amount of floor space, it also conserves water because the water from the sink drains into the toilet tank. This could be a fantastic option if you’re thinking of putting in a second bathroom but don’t want to take up too much square footage.

general robots via gizmine

Robot Toilet Paper Dispenser

General Robots created this adorable toilet paper dispenser that would make a great addition to a kids’ bathroom, but could also add a whimsical touch to the master bathroom as well. Well designed and fun to look at, it’s definitely a clever little accessory.

Soap Flakes Nathalie Stampfli via Swiss Miss

Soap Flakes

Nathalie Stampflii designed and created Soap Flakes as her graduate project for the Design Academy Eindhoven. The Soap Flakes dispenser makes pretty little flakes for washing up that eliminates the need to use liquid soap, which has a greater environmental impact than regular bar soap. So far the dispenser is just a prototype, but I would snap one of these up in a second if it was for sale.

Liz Marie via curbly

Mason Jar Bathroom DIY

Finally, here’s a brilliant DIY that looks easy enough to whip up in a weekend afternoon. All you need is a board, some mason jars (vintage or antique ones would be nice), pipe clamps and a couple of picture hangers. For full details head on over to lovely little details.  This storage idea could work wonderfully in an office too.

Posted in Design, Kitchen & Bath | Tagged , ,

Lemon Meringue Colour Crush

I absolutely have to try this mini lemon meringue pie recipe

Today’s post is dedicated to one of my favourite desserts and favourite colour combos, lemony yellow and airy white.  Sweet and sunny these two colours can brighten up any room and they are perfect for summer. Here are a few lemon meringue inspired items that have caught my eye lately.

Smile Pillow HoneyPieDesign

This pillow by etsy seller Honey Pie Design is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Giving your room a seasonal update can be as simple as adding a few new throw cushions to the sofa or bed, so why not start there. If you’re not digging the smile pillow they sell many other homemade pillows adorned with words, chevron stripes and more.

Russel Pinch via lovehousedesign

Russel Pinchs Mrs. B table designed for Benchmark Furniture is a cheery dose of lemony colour. The natural wood and the bright yellow were made for each other. Love those legs and the updated farmhouse vibe. I think this might be my ideal kitchen table.

vintage ice cream bowls WiseApple

Dedicated dessert bowls belong in every well-outfitted kitchen, and I am loving these ones from vintage seller WiseApple. With a great shape and colour they are sure to make summer treats feel that much more special.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

What better to go with ice cream bowls then an ice cream maker. This is one kitchen appliance I think I’ll be picking up this year, and in such a pretty colour I’d be happy to have it on my counter all summer long. I’ve already got my first ice cream recipe picked out; Coconut with Roasted Cherries, yum!

Photo by Chris Everad found via designismine

This room shows how well yellow and cream can go together. I like how they have chosen to use wallpaper as a framed print rather than covering the whole wall with it. This is a great idea if you’re a little paint-shy or live in a rental, and the same could be done with fabric.

Jetson Approved Kitchens

We recently moved and we have a wonderful kitchen. We don’t know how we managed before. We’re enjoying an open concept, tons of cabinetry, a dishwasher (!) and the most glorious island. Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t leaf through design magazines and drool over the latest appliances — indeed it’s part of the job. If you’re planning a kitchen reno and have money to burn, here’s what I’m talking about:

Elica Range Hoods and Air Purifiers

Stunning crystal light fixture that will add opulent drama to your kitchen?  Yes.  A range hood, with air purification ability too?  Yup!  Elica is an Italian company specializing in high end range hoods with architectural and sculptural qualities.

Aga Ranges and Cookers

For swoon! Aga ranges and cookers have enchanted me ever since I happened upon their Toronto boutique a few blocks from an old apartment of mine.  I’d just go and peer in the window during late night strolls.  The dual fuel professional model pictured above bakes, broils, steams, stir frys, roasts and boils all at the same time.  While the cooker below isn’t a new technology – around since the 1920s- it has made such an impression in the UK an entire sub-genre of family saga literature has come to be known as Aga Sagas (apparently the “older sister of sex and shopping romances”, if The Times description is to be trusted).  The cookers, beautiful to look at, have recently come under fire for the fact their fire never goes out.    Totally energy inefficient, though they do last for 50 years and are made of recycled materials.

Smart Fridges

LG Smart Appliances

There have been many false starts for the Smart Fridge.  Ten years of promises for an appliance that will track the contents of your fridge,  helpfully text message you your grocery list, pull recipes up based on what you’ve got on hand; even let you and its maker know when it isn’t feeling well and have repair service done remotely . The future is now, says LG who unveiled prototypes for their line of Smart Appliances at the CES (Consumer Electronics Association) this year.  To market, to market, this year!


For the beer connoisseur in your household, ASKO’s HomePub may be for you.  A fridge, freezer, and high-end beer tap may actually be a terrible idea, depending on how frequently you want to host summer barbeques, game nights, among other social events. Guests may never leave.

And here’s one that won’t require a second mortgage:  the Quooker

Goodbye tea kettle. Hello special faucet that pours water heated to 100 degrees C.  Very energy efficient, using 55% less energy then boiling the kettle;  it also doesn’t waste water as you pour only what you need.   The Quooker promises to change the way you cook and drink (think how quickly you could boil potatoes or cook your pasta!).  It installs easily on your counter, with a discreet tank that fits neatly under your sink.  Also it’s childproof and insulated to stay cool to the touch.  I almost wonder why this hasn’t come along earlier!

Yanko Designs’ Kitchen Gadgets

This week we launch Foodie Tuesdays.  Every Tuesday look forward to posts covering all things food – from preparation to serving, we’ll offer up everything from recipes to reviews of kitchen accessories, tips for entertaining and inspiring kitchen design.  Bon appetit!

Yanko Design, an online design magazine was founded in 2002 by Takashi Yamada.  As a publication they’re a not-to-miss site, featuring innovation in the form of ideas and their materialization, from architecture to product and technology design.  They rely on designers themselves to submit their inventions, in a bid to help some of them make it to the conveyor belt.

One of yesterday’s posts was on the Braille Punch Sticker, a Braille label maker by designers Kim Joonmin, Kim Seonil & Lee Eunjoo. Accessibility is an area of interest (and aggravation) for me and I am always excited to see products that address the issue (and am stunned at how many don’t).

In addition to featuring these protoypes, they also have the coolest online store.  I am totally digging some of their kitchen accessories and tableware.  They all marry form with function in thoughtful ways, work with a range of decor styles and are super for space challenged kitchens. Here a few products and the designers behind them:

Magnetic Spice Rack by Zevro

A space-saving and attractive spice rack designed by Zevro has a sculptural feel.  It’s specially designed to preserve the freshness of your spices and also boasts an ergonomic design for easy one-handed use.

Polar Ice Tray by Jackie TC Wu of Taiwan

A unique ice tray allows you to form crystal clear ice by removing opaque white ice. The design is inspired by the form of a smooth pebble and intended to reflect the principle of natural purity and simplicity. Cubes come from a single cracked block, so each shape will be irregular.  For a decorative effect, freeze flowers or fruit within the clear ice.  The designer also suggests using the ice block as a decorative serving tray for sashimi.

It also comes with an Inukshuk mold because who wouldn’t want their own Inukshuk ice sculpture?

Hug Salt and Pepper Shaker by Alberto Mantilla

It’s not easy to embody cute and chic at the same time.  But this ceramic pair – geometric, ergonomic and sentimental – do just that. This would make a lovely valentine’s gift, for me anyway.  I’m easy like that.

Champagne Flutes by Alissia Melka Teichroew

These Dutch-made flutes are an awfully stylish modern take on your run-of-the-mill vessels.  The double walled glass are handblown and insulates your drink, keeping it colder for longer.  Plus there’s the added benefit of being just slightly harder to topple should you consume too much bubbly.

Smart Space Food Dispenser by Zevro

I’m a fan of buying in bulk, but canisters as lovely as they can be in ceramic and glass and aluminum, just take up too much cupboard and counter space.  These wall mounts, smaller versions of what you see in the bulk store, are a good alternative. One ounce equals one twist and the measuring cups fit on the unit too.

Can’t wait to see what else they come up in their magazine and store!

All images via Yanko Design

5 Better Ways to Leave a Note, Love or Otherwise

Chalkboard messages

Text messaging and instant messaging — don’t get me started on the impending doom our post-literate future promises (the commodification and degradation of our language makes me cringe everyday in new and unexpected ways). Sometimes we need to step away from the gadgets and engage in some more thoughtful communication, even if all we need to do is leave a simple note. But while I love me some ink and paper, I also recognize the inherent nag factor of the post-it.

Here are a few cool and fun ways to leave a lovely missive, even if it is about picking up the drycleaning:

1. The Medium is the Message

Message toaster/printerThis is the best toaster I have ever seen. Users write their message on the screen on top to HAVE IT BURNED ONTO YOUR BREAD IN YOUR HANDWRITING. Taiwanese Inventor/Heroine Sasha Tseng’s site is totally worth a gander. Sadly no information on how to procure your own…. Yet.

2. Digital Video Memo Fridge Magnet – it’s all in the name

Magnetic video message recorder and playerHa! Think of the one-upmanship that would ensue as you and your partner/kid/roomie/dexterous pet try to out video message the other every morning with this dandy fridge magnet video camera and player! Amazon (the US version) is selling these for thirty bucks. Hello stocking stuffer!

3. Many paths to the top of the mountain; the path to his heart however is through his stomach

Cookie message stampsThese Williams Sonoma cookie cutters come with premade messages as well as letters to make your own words and messages. Brevity is key, I bet; alternatively lots of patience. Perfect for the embarrassing mea culpa (the Lemon Sugar “You Were Right” and Ginger Snap “I Was Wrong” cookie paring for instance) or super sappy note, as the evidence will be eaten.

4. Chalkboard Art

Mug message

Now that’s just sweet. PJs covered in chalk dust… I bet you could make your own mug! Just wash it carefully.

Dog in front of a chalkboard cabinet

For the wordier among us, refinishing an unwanted piece of furniture with blackboard paint, or an entire room like the amazing kitchen pictured above, give you and your guests a chance to be creative on your walls.

5. I Foresee a Big Hug in your Future

Note in a fortune cookieBe a total sweetheart and bake up a batch of personalized fortune cookies. A sentimental gesture to mark those milestones in a loved ones life.

If this has inspired you to save the text message and/or drop the post-it note habit, may I suggest this site for ideas on how to repurpose all those unused post-its? You have time to create an installation art project, non?