Old School & Still Desirable Objects of Use

Objects of Use features beautifully-crafted vintage-style tools and furniture. Like grandma’s but more chic.

In this technicolor age where every conceivable item in your house and garden, from cleaning to tech gadgets to tools, comes in screamingly loud shades and busy patterns – and often (although, thankfully and increasingly less so) made of plastic – a bit of aesthetic simplicity and craftsmanship solidity come as a soothing tonic.

Whether it’s old-fashioned kitchen scales using weights, 20 different types of brushes (including one for cleaning the radiator and another for the computer), a Japanese planting trowel or a mid-century-style chair, Oxford-based website Objects of Use offers high-quality, highly desirable artisan products. Many are gorgeous and some downright unusual, like a vintage-style French soap dispenser and (below) stoneware berry bowls.

The retailer’s gardening section would impress any green-thumbed friend (yes, Christmas is still months away, but bookmark this site). We heart this exquisite set of five Dutch hand tools, but you might prefer the various shears, sickles, hoes, picks and pruners. Ever heard of a dibber? That’s a pointed stick for making a hole in the ground.

As the name suggests, these are not pointless, purely decorative knick-knacks; each has a specific purpose in mind. All are made using low-impact production methods and locally-sourced, natural materials like wood, bone and jute. You won’t find any plastic here. The useful objects of Objects of Use are built to last, not to throw away.


Fiona Flores Watson

Fiona Flores Watson covers Places & Spaces for EcoSalon and currently resides in Seville, Spain.