Quirky Home Accents With a Story to Tell

Straddling the fence between fun and thoughtful design.

Despite threatening to give up the field in pursuit of something less material, Philippe Starck remains one of the most prolific and deepest thinking designers working today.

Starck explained in one of his many provocative interviews, this in Thought Economics: “design is the experienced manifestation of human ingenuity and imagination in the continual process of improving our lives (be that through better tools, scientific, economic, social and technological innovations, better furniture, cleaner vehicles, and so forth) and secondly, design is the aesthetic of humanity – the visual evidence that we exist.”

Wading into admittedly more shallow waters, these playful home accents promise more of a quirk factor than game-changing functionality. A mousetrap outlet cover is not going to save the world – nor is a chirping bird smoke detector going to prevent more forest fires (only you can do that). But what these objects possess in kitsch are evocative of something else entirely human: storytelling and as Starck put it, “the aesthetic of humanity.”

Here, haute design that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Ideas that exist merely because we do.

By Raw Edges, a collaboration between Yael Mer & Shay Alkalay, the Hole in the Floor shelving series offers an ending begotten quite unexpectedly.

These lamps from Estiluz look like being free-floating balloons, a wondrous reminder of simpler times when a balloon was the best possible (if not the most impractical) gift we could have received all day.

The Nepa Lamp by Giles Godwin Brown is, according to Brown, “a two-dimensional lamp silhouette that seamlessly transforms into a fully functioning three-dimensional task lamp.”

The LED birch lamp leaps from the wall like a good story leaps from its pages.

Comic Book Shelves, as designed by Oscar Nuñez and sold by Groopti, speak for themselves.

You fill with the appropriate volumes.

The Chick-a-Dee chirps life into an otherwise mundane object, and won the Mooi uit de brand design competition in the Netherlands.

The cutesy contraption calls out “chick-a-dee-dee” at the first hint of smoke, then gets more serious in the event of a fire.

Melvin the Magic bedside table by Elena Nunziata is a functional bedside lamp and “metaphoric figure of a night guardian.”

Proving that sustainability is not just a matter of materials, but the role it plays in captivating and sustaining our collective imagination.

Images: Bored Panda; Fresh Home; Estiluz; Groopti; Cool HuntingElena Nunziata

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.