We could all get craftier with our rooms, warming them up with hand sculpted, woven and carved organic pieces that easily rival mass produced copies. By collecting unique pieces, especially products from free trade companies, you are supporting artists and third world countries rather than pumping your decorating budget into the bank accounts of corporate giants.
There are countless cool craft collectibles out there. Here are some of my faves:
The witty tables by Aspen, Colorado furniture maker Brad Reed Nelson (below) are rooted in nature and carved with an Asian sensibility. The round-top Gilligan Island side tables were sculpted from standing dead spruce ($60-$700) and look like distressed mushrooms gathered in a magical forrest. His Simplify, Simplify, Simplify coffee table ($3500) incorporates Zen pared down purity with a modern edge; and Three of a Perfect Pair wood coffee table ($3900) is so chunky and organic with great balance and porportion. All from The Artful Home. Nelson’s prices are up there but you have to regard these pieces as art investments. See more about the artist at his site boardbydesign.
Choose Fair Trade companies, such as Global Exchange for harvesting witty bowls and baskets, such as The Red Sardine bowl crafted of paper mache and recycled sardine wrappers, $30; The stunning Zulu baskets of palm fronds and plant dyes, $80; and the pretty Darfur basket.
Rugs, of course, can be works of art, too, such as the stunning handwoven, non-toxic wool rugs, naturally dyed by “Garuda Woven Art.” Bursts of color, pattern and personality emerge in Peacock, Green Suzani, Ningro and the Indian Woodblock designs.
All of these handcrafted works are big stand-outs in clean and moderne co spaces, adding just enough exotic spice to give the decor more flavor.