11 Eco Chic Companies Found At Dwell on Design
Last week, the editors of FMM attended the Dwell on Design conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Why? Because we adore interior design. Of all the trade shows we attend, we find this showroom floor to be a beautifully curated experience, truly a joy to walk. The event was filled with incredible, innovative, sustainable and beautiful design solutions for the home, both indoor and outdoor, as well as products for the workplace.
We decided to highlight the best examples of cutting-edge design for the office because, let’s face it, it’s where we spend quite a lot of our time. (For more inspiration, you can look up all the talented exhibitors from the Dwell on Design show.)
Here are some of our top picks for products with stunning design that will make your workday (and the world) better:
1. Urbio: How many ways can you love a storage system? Urbio is both recycled and recyclable, made out of a light weight and durable polypropylene coupled with uber-strong neodymium magnets.
The storage containers come in a variety of sizes so that you can create original wall mounted arrangements for urban gardening and small space organization. The system is a collaboration between Beau Oyler, Jared Aller and the Enlisted Design team. Who could imagine buying a newly-manufactured product could be so eco-guilt free?
2. Whitey Board: By now, you probably know that visual thinking is one of the top business trends dictating the consumer experience economy. How can you visualize your company’s next steps into the public eye? Marketers, meet Whiteyboard. Whiteyboard is a hip, young company (with a recent capital infusion from Mark Cuban, btw) that makes eco-friendly white board solutions. The stick-on white boards come in a variety of sizes and can be cut into any shape you desire, but the clear whiteboard paint has to be our favorite. You have to watch the video to really get how cool it is.
3. Vintage European Posters: Even offices with the most modern decor need a little nostalgia and romance. We found the ideal purveyor of classic images at Dewll on Design–Vintage European Posters, a company that sells original prints of images from 1880-1960.We fell in love with the vintage art, especially Andy Warhol’s Chanel portrait. What more does a fashionista need for inspiration, really?
4. Breakaway Matcha: If you’re a regular reader of Inside FMM, you know that our editors love coffee. An editor can’t drink even the best brew all day, however, if she wants to keep her skin flawless. At some point, one must switch to water or tea, and when we need an afternoon kick, a premium green tea is just the thing. That’s why we were thrilled to find Breakaway Matcha at Dwell on Design. Founded in 2010, the Bay Area company imports the finest matcha from Japan in varying grades of deliciousness. Not only does the company bring you the finest artisanal matcha in the U.S., but they also designed their own ceramics line to prepare and serve the tea. Amazing.
5. Voz: This emerging clothing company knocked our socks off with great design, organic eco-conscious materials and a truly thoughtful, well-executed social mission. Voz is a fashion collaboration between Mapuche artisans and an international team of designers that blends traditional weaving craftsmanship with contemporary luxury fashion. The program provides sustainable education programs that promote ancestral art and provide artisans and their communities a way out of rural poverty. The clothes are made from finely-spun wool, alpaca and llama and dyed with plants, berries and clay using natural processes. Go Voz.
6. Modfire: Yes, Modfire is goregous, but that’s not what’s amazing about it. These free-standing modern fireplaces burn ethanol, so there is absolutely no odor while the flames burn. Winners of the Best Furniture and Accessory Design at the 2011 Dwell on Design show, the Phoenix, AZ-based company uses steel artisans to fabricate and hand-finish each piece to maintain the level of quality and design. In fact, the company now produces models that are safe for indoor use. Want a working fireplace? Here it is. P.S. It’s gorgeous.
7. Toto: I’m going to talk to you about something that may surprise you: the most amazing toilet I’ve ever seen. Yes, that’s right. Toto has brought cutting-edge toilet design from Japan to the U.S., complete with a heated seat, paperless personal cleansing system (water wash and air dry) and even a remote control that lifts the toilet seat so that you don’t have to touch it. This appliance is amazing for the environment: you will never again need toilet paper, never worry about your septic tank and you will never use an inappropriate amount of water when you flush. How many trees could we save if everyone had one of these miracles of modern design? Enough to keep us humans breathing for a good long while. Think about it.
8. MultiTable: Recently, there’s been a lot of press about the health risks of sitting all day long. Standing desks are an alternative, but that’s not necessarily good for you either. Experts say that you need variety, really. Well, hello MultiTable. This adjustable desk can be used for standing, sitting and even walking while working. It looked kind of daunting, but Michael Haynes, spokesperson for MultiTable, pro football player hall of famer and prostate cancer survivor, helped me onto the slow-moving treadmill. Even in my ALDO heels, typing while walking was a breeze. I could multitask with no issues. Easy peasy. This good-for-you workstation could really take a bite out of this country’s obesity epidemic.
9. E & K Vintage Wood: This is the perfect way to add vintage flair to your modern building using eco-friendly and non-toxic materials. Plus it just looks cool. E & K Vintage Wood specializes in reclaimed wood preserved from the deconstruction of historic buildings, including hardwood species from barns and other historical structures in walnut, oak, pine, maple, beech, hickory, redwood and chestnut. Clients include The W Hotel Eco Residences Hollywood, Casa Del Mar Hotel and Spa, Red Medicine Restaurant, Starbucks, Urth Café, South Beverly Grill, Juicy Couture New York, Zero+Cornejo Showroom and Junk Food Enterprises.
10. Vanessa Gade jewelry: We just love this clean, smartly-engineered geometric jewelry line designed by Vanessa Gade. Each piece is clean, contemporary and simple; with chains woven through geometric shapes that remind me of architecture on bridges. Gade describes her sensibility as a fusion of Japanese and Scandanavian, but we call it simply fantastic. My favorites are the polyhedrons, which you will find on her blog.
11. Drift Studios: For everyone out there who’s sick of Ikea storage solutions, let me introduce you to Drift Studios. Made from a high-grade 12mm thick Baltic Birch plywood, the customizable units can be imprinted with the pattern of your choice with an ink that permeates the wood, which is then finished with a clear-coat. You still have to assemble your unit, but Drift Studios provides you with all the hardware required. This smart storage system comes in several modular designs, but you have the freedom to create your own.
What’s your favorite new design from the Dwell on Design showroom floor? Was it one of the products listed above or something else?