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This season, choose pieces that make a personal statement, like a an old-timey speaker horn for your iPod or handcrafted mirror that acts as functional art
New technology has a penchant for sleekness, but for all its ingenuity, it sometimes lacks character. Inspired by a 1920s Magnavox speaker horn, Restoration Hardware’s Gramophone for the iPad and iPhone fuses old-world charm with 21st-century electronics. Without any extra plug-ins or technology, the player funnels the music through an internal channel that connects the iPhone speaker to the horn for a sound all its own. $249 for iPhone, $299 for iPad
A home without any Ikea furnishings is an anomaly these days. To refresh your tired – and even discontinued – favourite Swedish furniture pieces, visit Bemz for custom covers. They’ve got everything from armchair covers to bed skirts in a wide array of fabric choices.
This stately wingback chair supplants the grungy armchair that graces many living rooms. Manly doesn’t mean mangy when good design and sophisticated fabrics are part of the equation. Urban Barn drew its inspiration from the sharply dressed man when designing the Graduate chair, giving the arms elbow patches and choosing a tweed-like upholstery that could easily blend in with one of your father’s sports jackets. Don’t hide this beauty in the man cave – place it in a prominent spot where it can be enjoyed and appreciated. $699
If you’re brewing tea with loose leaves, you appreciate the finer points of beverage preparation. Dreamfarm’s Teafu tea infuser makes it as easy as scoop, steep, squeeze and stand. The long arms of the infuser open at the click of a button, letting you dip the silicon compartment into your tea leaves. Once you’re done steeping, the ball flexes to squeeze every last drop out of your leaves and avoid messy, residual drips. It is also those two magical words we love to hear: dishwasher safe. $14.99
The monogram is nothing new, but Anthropologie has a fresh take on this old favourite. Their brass tree monograms take a playful approach to showing off your initials. The whimsical design is a great fit for kids’ rooms and is a clever way of adding the ABCs to a nursery. These tiny trees are also suitable for the master bedroom; try using the branches to hang jewelry or hair accessories. $24 each
Vancouver industrial designer Alex Henderson refers to her creations as “works of art disguised as objects of design,” and rightly so. She makes her wooden hand mirrors from North American black walnut or alder and finishes each one with natural oils.
The simple, classic design gives the mirror a timeless quality and an esthetic worth your wall space. The hole in the handle allows the mirror to be hung, making an interesting accent for your bathroom or bedroom. Henderson will customize hand mirrors at your request with engravings on the handle or the back of the mirror face. $150
Originally published in BC Home & Garden magazine. For regular updates, subscribe to our free Home and Garden e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the magazine.