Objects of Desire: 100 Brooklyn Design Objects We Love
By Dominique Stewart
This is going to sound biased, but I think Brooklyn designers make some damn good things. Even though I am not totally sold on the idea that there is a definite Brooklyn aesthetic, each of the following designers managed to take a basic object—everything from a chair to a coaster—and made it into something special, and reflective of their own signature look. Sometimes that meant turning vegetables into pendant lamps or creating a functional clock out of two Band-aid-esque strips. And while it would be impossible to highlight every cleverly designed object in the borough, here are the 100 design objects that manage to combine the conventional and unusual in a very Brooklyn way.
Turquoise + White Geo Vase Rabbit & Dragon, $55
Anyone who thinks a vase should only be a cylinder has never seen these one-of-a-kind geometric vessels.
Cactus Chair Thislexik, contact for price The cactus chair, and really all of Thislexik pieces, is a functional art piece that is meant to strike a conversation for those who see it—and sit on it.
Odds & Ends Necklace LOCKHART WRKS, $50
Though the name and components—a brass spike, bone, wood, and horn—suggest something haphazard, this asymmetrical design is both unique and beautifully constructed.
Ladies Silk Scarf Leah Reena Goren, $60
The Pink Ladies get a twist, one that is less musical and more full-frontal, in this versatile silk-twill accessory.
Anna Pouch Gift Shop Brooklyn, $82–$98
Whether it’s dangling from your wrist or resting on your shoulder, this shimmery triangle pouch adds just the perfect amount of chic to your daytime or evening outfit.
Plant Hive Stephane Hubert Design, $900
You can never go wrong with a ceramic planter, especially one propped up with a stand made of repurposed Coney Island boardwalk planks.
Letterpress Glove Bookmark Sesame Letterpress, $5
Never lose your place again with this handmade illustration of a vintage glove bookmark.
Ngong Moyen Pouch Katrin Reifeiss, $79
Like the name suggests, this hand-dyed clutch gets its name from the Ngong Hills of Nairobi, Kenya.
Microplane Cheese Knife Chelsea Miller Knives, $350
Made from the spalted maple tree on artisan Chelsea Miller’s childhood farm in Vermont and high carbon steel repurposed from a horseshoe rasp, this cheese knife is perfect for all cheese cutting and grating needs.
Cradle Ear Cuff Lady J Jewelry, $68
Get cuffed in the right way with this bronze cradle hoop cuff earring that’s chained to a simplistic circle stud.
Black Walnut Sugar Spoon Herriott Grace, $125
The delicate shape and rich feel of these tiny wooden spoons will make adding sugar to your morning coffee a quotidian delight.
Mountain Tote Gold Teeth Brooklyn, $28
Carrying groceries and beach garb—and even your pooch—has never been easier than with this attractive, sturdy tote.
Brass Key Ring Milly & Earl, $15
Rings don’t have to be flashy to make a statement. Case in point, this brass key ring.
Speckled Pour-Over and Mug Set btw ceramics, $58
Sometimes you just need one cup of coffee to start your day. Keep this at your office to make your coworkers jealous.
Gego Hat Psyche Jewelry, $855
The Gego Hat gives the wearer the opportunity to wear a crown without looking like a self-entitled, pretentious snob.
Canvas Collapsible Water Bowl Found My Animal, $36
This collapsible bowl makes feeding and hydrating your pooch on the go a totally feasible reality.
Catalina Mouse Hazel Village, $45
It’s hard to pick just one of these adorable stuffed animals but Catalina Mouse is serving us Red Riding Hood meets 1920s Polish immigrant.
Brooklyn Wine Tote Maptote, $16
Sometimes you just need a nifty tote that lets everyone know you enjoy the nicer things in life, and that you’re probably going to booze out once you reach your destination.
Pickle Print Dish Towel The Neighborgoods, $18
This dish towel is the perfect gift for the chef in your life who is a big ~dill~ in the kitchen.
Oxblood All Over Deluxe Wallet TGT, $46
“Keep it simple and keep it tight” with a TGT wallet that encourages you to reduce the clutter from your pocket.
Flora and Fauna Twig Terrariums, $150
Bring the forest into your home with your own twig terrarium, equipped with your very own faux baby deer.
Brass Fringe Earrings Rama Rejman, $80
Influenced by the linear patterns of the Art Deco Movement, these elegant yet edgy earrings are the perfect accent to any outfit.
The Opal Double Olivia Kane, $245
So mood rings still exist, and our feelings about this news is a cross between blue (happy) and lilac (excited).
Rio Cuff Nettie Kent, $194
The turquoise in this cuff might come from the Kingman mine in Arizona, but you’ll feel like an Egyptian queen with a bracelet that even Queen Zar herself would wear.
Lightning Necklace Allison Van Dyck, $280
Frame your neck in this sculpted rose gold, silver and brass necklace.
The Potters Moccasin BU-KIN, $60
It seems kind of bizarre to put anything but socks on babies feet since all they do is crawl, but look how cute these are.
Book Bench Spacio Terreno, Email firstname.lastname@example.org for price
If you’re inclined to stack books in a corner without any structure or reason, like we do in the office [Ed. note: Don’t reveal all our secrets!], then you might want to consider adding the book bench to your unorganized life.
Moon Leather Coasters Leif, $38
The only crescent marks found on your table will be from these gorgeous leather moon coasters.
Double Pronged Bamboo Skewer AHeirloom, $20
Designed off the shape of antique hairpins, these bamboo skewers will have you making kebabs for a month straight.
Double Dutch Jump Rope Materiall, $175
Double Dutch might be old school and maybe you haven’t done it since you were in fourth grade, but Materiall is bringing it back with this limited edition jump rope set and we suggest your start jumping.
Modern Love Earrings Skylar Man, $4,400
A good pair of earrings should not only dazzle, but be able to double as a weapon. These fit that description perfectly.
The Crosby Mini-Clutch Maria Castelli Designs, $180
We don’t know why exactly, but mini-version of anything is always better. Case in point: mini M&Ms, and also this bite-size version of the Crosby Clutch.
Double Monkeytail Bracelet Scosha, $120
Look rugged and cool with this double wrapped, fishtail braided bracelet latched on your wrist.
Card Case Leather Abutilon, $45
Carrying your credit cards, dollar bills and Metro card just got a lot easier, less bulky, and far cuter.
The Frances Wallet Lolafalk, $108
OK, so having a brightly colored wallet is attention grabbing but crime is still low af so if you’re all about aesthetics then a Lolafalk wallet is worth the risk. Which, really, is pretty minimal.
Beacon Benches Stefan Rurak, Email email@example.com for prices
One positive thing post-Superstorm Sandy is these benches that were made from fallen sugar maple trees rescued after the storm.
Turntable Dub Box Goodwood NYC, $50
Amplify your music and your life with this wireless dub box that projects high quality sounds from your phone.
Honeycomb Tray Noble Goods, $295
Enhance your food presentation game with this unique honeycomb serving tray,
HIDE n SEEK Think Fabricate
It’s all smoke and mirrors when it comes to this mounted cabinet that cleverly conceals it contents in plain sight.
Mush-Lume Trumpet Pendant Danielle Trofe, $750
This mushroom-cum-pendant lamp is good for the fungus-lovers among us.
Wooden Beer Mug Brooklyn Butcher Blocks, $70
Drink like a Viking with these wooden Beer Steins that are designed to make getting inebriated way easy, the Viking-way.
Walnut Keepsake Box Brooklyn Bowls & Furniture, $950
When it comes to stowing treasured jewelry and mementos the capsule should be as elegant and irreplaceable as the items it carries. This fits the bill.
Vinyl Record Storage Cart Waxrax, $4,200
Mobilize your record collection with this polished vinyl cart.
Sitting Buddha Metal Tea Table GIN Art & Design, $850
Bring tranquility and ease into your home with this tea table that has a sitting Buddha hand cut along the base.
Strap Board w/ Handle Pernt Studio, $100
Whether it’s hanging from the wall or being used to chop vegetables, this strap board is a must-have in any kitchen.
Custom 3D-Printed Vase fahz, $65
You know what’s missing from this vase? Your face, and three other faces in this customizable black 3D-printed vase.
ADAPTABLE AVANDI, $700
This series of triangular tables make it possible for you to turn your coffee table into individual end tables that can be scattered around the home.
Reclaimed Barn Wood Chandelier Urban Chandy, $1,050
Give your space a rustic glow with this one of a kind chandelier that is made from salvaged barn wood.
Truss Chair Uhuru Design
We aren’t sure how Uhuru Design constructed the Truss Chair, but we like the idea that we feel like we’re floating on air when sitting in this plush seat.
Boulder Collar Uhuru Fine Jewelry, $16,000–$20,000
This stunning scorched collar is the manifestation of when metal-meets-rocks on the Red Hook waterfront.
Tuck Bed Horizontal Casa Kids, $2,000
It might not be bunk beds but this foldable bed provides so much room, you know, for activities.
Early Bird Pendant Light Perch!, $120
The early bird catches the worm, or rather shines a 25 watt candelabra bulb over you, waking you up in the morning.
Serving Trays Asher Israelow Studio LLC, $200
You can never have enough serving trays, especially with the holidays in full swing.
Mock Rock Flavor Paper Pricing will vary
Thanks to the folks at Flavor Paper, you can know have that rock wall you always wanted without ever having to tear down those plaster wall.
Carafe Clam Lab, $280
While you can use the pitcher to pour wine, we think that the carafe with its smoke and ash exterior is better used as a display.
Incense Burners Species by the Thousands, $46
These incense burners are the perfect addition to creating a tranquil, good-smelling surrounding.
Buy Local 2016 Calendar Tea Towel Claudia Pearson, $16
Everyday is Small Business Day with this tea towel calendar for the new year.
Icelandic Owl Claw Necklace Kria Jewelry, $330
One silver and one brass claw from the Icelandic owl brings together this beaded necklace.
Everyday Square/Blush Grid Don’t Worry Baby, $72
With sweater weather, comes scarf weather aka a reason to wear this oversized silk scarf all season long.
Black Scribble Crossbody Bag Thread & Paper, $46
This handmade silkscreened bag is perfect for the person on the go.
Wedge Lamp Lean-To Lights, $190
We’ve grown tired of the basic lamp with linen shade and pole, and that’s where the wedge lamp comes in with its solid maple triangular shape that gives us a break from the traditional.
Spike Small Planter Little Bear Pots, $78
We’re not going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t plant in this spiky planter, but the prickly features of cacti complements its design really well.
Ferns Tea Towel Amelie Mancini, $22
This might be a stretch but since this tea towel is printed with a moss-green ink and moss, the plant, acts like a sponge, does this mean that this tea towel is perfect for soaking up messes? Sure, why not. Also, it’s pretty.
Santa Fe African Yoga Bags Xnasozi, $36
You aren’t a serious yogi if you aren’t carrying your mat in a xnasozi tote.
Spirit Eye Dish Demetria Chappo Ceramics, $40
Your keys, jewelry and spirit is safe with this hand-sculpted porcelain dish.
Bizarre Injuries Left Field Cards, $25
Find out how Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs strained his back, and how nine other baseball players got hurt in unusual ways in these collectable baseball cards.
Slasher Tumbler Young Alexander, $38
Drink in style with this simple yet stylish tumbler.
Hexagonal Brass Wall Hooks Light + Ladder, $180
Hanging up a coat or plant never looked so good thanks to hexagonal brass hooks.
Bouquet Apron Coral & Tusk, $76
So chances are you won’t be gardening anytime soon, but come spring this garden apron will be as essential as the seeds.
Key Chain 8.6.4, $48
Your set of keys are starting to resemble a janitor’s chain. Try adding some flair with this tassel chain.
Incense Burner Amelia Brooklyn, $7
Let your incense burn on these cute stoneware burners.
Cable Staple Earring beroep, $72
We love how simple and elegant this staple earring looks in the ear.
Sticker Clock Good Thing, $10
Like a sticker, the Sticker Clock adheres to a wall with two fabric strips without leaving behind an adhesive residue.
Bark Ring Carrie Bilbo, $200
Tree lovers rejoice, you can now carry a piece of bark with you wherever you go. One, we must add, that wasn’t stripped off a tree. So you can still feel environmentally friendly!
New Moon Studs Claus Jewelry, $195
Celebrate the next new moon, which is December 11, with these minimalist studs.
Cora Cradle, $75
The Cora ring is a must-buy for those of you obsessed with the stackable ring look.
Ceramic Spoons CorPottery, $18
If you’re not using these ceramic spoons for all your serving, ladling and coffee needs, then you’re not living right.
Whirlpool Pendant Consider the Wildflowers, $50
Whether it’s rested in the front or draped along the back, this whirlpool necklace is both delicate and elegant.
Un Casado Aloha Girls: De Islas, $136
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t pretend you’re somewhere tropical.
Cuyo/Nomad West Long Tamika Rivera, $160
Made with new, repurposed, and recycled material, the Nomad West Long necklace is ideal for those who are looking for a unique, layered necklace.
Mint Rug AELFIE, $249
Is it weird that we want to curl up in this fluffy sheepskin throw? Nope! It isn’t. Cozy is always cool.
Todd Snyder x PF Flyers Rambler Hi The Brooklyn Circus, $160
Ouigi Theodore, owner of The Brooklyn Circus, is the epitome of cool. So we can only assume that you can get a shred of his likeness in these PF Flyers.
Kitten Mitten Supreme/Rose Gold Catbird, $390
It isn’t a secret that we’re obsessed with Catbird. So while we list this beautiful kitten mitten, we really think you should just shop their entire collection.
Watercolor Temporary Tattoos Lovewild Design, $6
You don’t need to get Brooklyn tattooed across your forehead to show your love when a temporary tattoo of the borough would also suffice.
Jenny Chain + Blush Jade Headpiece Kerry Ann Stokes, $92 Why hide your glow behind your bridal veil, when you can radiant on your special day with this elegant headpiece. And, honestly, you don’t need to be getting hitched to wear this around. It’s just that beautiful.
You’re My Everything Bagel Poster Fishcake Design, $25
New Yorkers and bagels go hand in hand. And what better way to show the connection than a bagel pun?
Jules Throw Caroline Z Hurley, $140
From table cloth to wrap dress, this throw can be anything you can think of.
Swatch Jumpsuit Dusen Dusen, $282
Are you really into design if you’re not wearing sections of different swatches on your clothing? Nope. So wear this with pride.
Red Outline Key Target Bower, $65
Never misplace your keys again with this magnetized target.
Ovis Hanging Chair Ladies and Gentlemen Studio, $2,800
This reinterpretation of the classic sling chair combines metal, wood, cotton, and leather to make a clean and sophisticated hanging chair.
L Vase Saint Karen, $56
Putting flowers in a Saint Karen vase will make you forget that sunny and warm weather is behind us. Because, like, it’s also in front of us!
Gloriosa Vase EyeBodega, $125
This wild, bright yellow and crimson glaze pattern vase is a flawless replication of the petals of the gloriosa lily.
Private Parts Rug Cold Picnic, $264
We couldn’t decide which Cold Picnic rug was our favorite, but we’re pretty satisfied with out choice.
Twin Peaks Hat Lola Hats, $310
It can be hard to find a flattering hat that makes you feel confident whenever your wear it, that is, if you haven’t worn the Twin Peaks hat.
Throne 1.5x Brooklyn Watch Throne, $500
The founders of Throne understand the hustle it takes to live in Brooklyn that’s why they made a sleek and bold watch to support that lifestyle.
Bound Necklace Sight Unseen, $180
When it comes to statement pieces we believe that you don’t need to go over the top to stand out, a detail that Sight Unseen not only understands but has perfected.
Cracked Moon Necklace Butternut Brooklyn, $45
Usually when things crack or break they lose their value, but that’s not the case for this chunk of beautiful finished walnut, which adds inestimable worth to this beautiful and affordable necklace.