Shelving System by Artifox

It’s not often that Facebook advertisements make me look twice but, in this case a simple little shelving system had me clicking away. With it’s minimalist design and endless configuration possibilities made possible by a few well thought out accessories the aptly named “shelf” by Artifox is ready to go to work out of the box. It will hold your books, plants, keys, electronics, and even your dreams because you can write on the damn thing. Familiar materials like maple, walnut, and steel are all sourced and put together right near St. Louis.

Available from Artifox.

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Vacuums by Simplicity


There is definitely something simple about these vacuums that remind me of 80′s industrial design and Hal from “2001: A Space Odyssey” all in one machine that doesn’t come from Malaysia. Inside these machines is a whole heap of love for engineering with models that fit any budget and any task. There are lighter ones like the Freedom that weighs 9 pounds and then the all out heavy duty Tandem that can shine in homes with all kinds of pets. Each model has some form of HEPA filtration and all are molded, painted, assembled, tested, and packaged in the Simplicity facility in St. James, Missouri.

Rise Outdoor Collection by Edwin Blue

If you need a place to perch solo and read in an afternoon breeze or accommodations for a dinner party at your cabana then the Rise collection will meet any of those needs beautifully. While you go about feasting or reclining there will be hand picked, planed, and sanded FSC certified cypress planks plus hand brushed stainless steel supporting you. Enough to outlast many occasions and built to last for any occasion weather decides to throw. Not to mention the sleek unified design and of course the fact that each piece is built to order in the Edwin Blue studio.

Available from Edwin Blue.

100%Materials and labor all American.

Clothes Drying Rack by Best Clothes Drying Rack

Sometimes old-school is modern.

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There is some combination of simple functionality, materials, and shapes that make this clothes drying rack extremely useful while adding a different dimension of warmth to any modern household. Made of just maple and corrosion resistant steel in small batches, this rack is durable enough to hold a couple of loads of laundry. It folds down to an 8″ diameter and 27″ height making it compact to store away most anywhere and can then spread to a 52″ diameter or half that if you chose to create a semi circle from the retractable drying rods. Best of all this will save wear and tear on your expensive threads and energy by simply air drying. Greg and Julie Baka are the owners and creators of this lovely device and are based out of Columbia Missouri where they are made.

Available at Best Drying Rack.

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100%Materials and labor all American.

Sam Thompson of Kivi Did

Handmade with a little help from some robots.

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CNC…Shopbot…whatever you want to call it, the computer numeric controlled router has revolutionized woodworking making way for faster production, incredibly precise cutting, and new forms. With these machines becoming more accessible and affordable furniture makers and designers are able to put them to use on smaller projects. Industrial designer Sam Thompson has done just that letting the robots do the rough shaping and detailed work leaving him the dirty work of sanding and hand assembly. I should say that the robots just dont have the heart and soul needed to finish the collection of warm household items that Sam has designed. Each starting with a canvas of a solid block of maple or mahogany.

kivi_did_traykivi_did_trayPerhaps the most interesting examples of this human and non-human pairing are Thompson’s trays and bowls that have delicate smooth curves. The “45°” trays and “Big Square” bowls combine modern shapes and lines with a simple mineral oil finish to bring out the beauty of the wood and to bring beauty to any table top.

kivi_did_bricklightkivi_did_bricklightInspired and made from a solid block of mahogany resting near Thompson’s desk, the “Brick Light” also features the natural beauty of wood and a little more of the CNC machine’s accuracy with perfectly placed holes for decorative illumination. Above is a picture showing the process from start to finish and a look at the interior fitting for the light.

kivi_did_matchlightkivi_did_candlebarAdding onto his simple and functional objects built for illumination, Thompson has also built a task lamp inspired by a match stick aptly named the “Matchstick” light. Like an ignition fuse, the bright red power cord is tucked away in the light maple body and shows just enough to give the piece a pop of color. The “Candle bar” is made of two pieces of maple machined to snap together and neatly hold four tea lights.

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Thompson has even taken control of his packaging by screen printing the box that houses his Matchstick light. His objects are available directly from Kivi Did and at their Esty page.

100%Materials and labor all American. Even the robots.