swank toy: moma modern play house

momdollhouse

I secretly enjoy many of Isadora’s toys: The smell of Playdough. The soft comfort of a stuffed bear. The endless possibilities of a pile of wooden blocks. But one of her new toys has got me tinkering nonstop. It’s the MoMa Modern Playhouse, a clever kit that allows mom and kid alike to act out their mid century home dreams. It comes with six colorful cardboard nesting boxes, eight pieces of chic furniture and several rug or floor coverings. There are also some vinyl stickers that look like Eames clocks and lamps, but I had a hard time getting them to cling. No worries! A matching kit with a dress up family keeps our imaginations active. Created by the smart people at Chronicle books, $19. — Angela M.

gaga for japanese design: mood humidifier & egg mold

moodhumidifier

eggmold1

We took a field trip to a mega Japanese supermarket, Mitsuwa in Edgewater, NJ the other day. It’s an enormous store complete with a food court, gift shops and a Wegmans-sized grocery store. It’s so big that it’s a little overwhelming, especially with busloads of crowds milling around. Luckily, after some Miso Ramen nourishment, we were ready to hit the aisles.

Two things made it home with us and they have already changed our lives. The first is a perfectly compact humidifier called Mood, $44. You attach a bottle of water on the top and turn up the dial — out pours a delightful mist. I’m never good with humidifiers. I hate cleaning them and never remember to change the filter. This little number should do the trick through the rest of the winter. Did I mention it glows? So cute.

My other new obsession is an egg mold. Our little girl already enjoys a hard boiled now and then, but having them shaped like bunnies and bears makes them even more appealing! To create, you peel the eggs while they’re still warm and then pop in the mold, close them, and let them cool down. My guess is it will make Isadora the star of her preschool lunch bunch. Love them! You can get your own on Amazon, for about $5.

Previous posts about Japanese inspired design.

Bento box art

Japanese Softee Kits

Japanese Masking Tape

r.i.p. eva zeisel, wonderful artist & ceramic designer

zeiselboat

My husband gave me (well, us) a wonderful gift for Christmas. A set of Eva Zeisel’s classic dishware to go with the gorgeous gravy boat and serving dish we already have. We’ve been coveting it for years, and have been making the splurge. It is so delicate and simple. Design at its purist.

This morning I read in The New York Times that she passed away, at the age of 105 (!) after a lifetime of doing what she loved and bring delightful objects into the world. We have written about our admiration for this remarkable woman and her work before.

Tonight, I’m going to serve some Swedish meatballs in this bowl, and toast the New Year in Eva’s honor. — Angela M.

Previous posts on Eva Zeisel:
A peek in Eva Zeisel’s studio

Ode Eva Zeisel

want it now: le creuset mug

letcrusetmugs

Not sure why we have coffee mugs on the brain this week, but these colorful numbers from our favorite French stoneware company have got us swooning. If Santa didn’t bring you the $350 French oven you’ve been wanting, perhaps one of these $12 mugs will satisfy the itch for now. Featuring the same non-porous enamel finish as the company’s cookware, they are built to resist odors, staining, chipping, and cracking. Not to mention their heftiness will help keep your coffee warmer longer. Get one at Uncrate, $12.

ready for the new year with a little tangerine tango

eamesorange

I love it when one of my style constants becomes a trend, like leopard print this season. That’s why I have a great feeling about 2012. One of my favorite colors — reddish orange — has already been declared color of the year by Pantone. They are calling it Tangerine Tango, but lucky for me it looks exactly like the color of the Eames Eiffel chairs we splurged on for our dining room last year. So for the next year our dining room will be THE place to be! Hooray. Imagine the fabulousness when I wear my new Jcrew Minnie pants in Vibrant flame and my Kat von T lipstick in A Go Go red. Yes, friends, I already have all these Tangerine Tango-ish shades at home. I am all set.

pantonemug
If you are not already a orange worshiper like myself, perhaps now is the time to start. I recommend picking up a Pantone color of the year mug, $25, and starting a new tradition. In just a few years, you’ll have yourself a vibrant set. — Angela

Will you be adding Tangerine Tango to your life? Let me know.