Whether a chic dog house (yes, those exist) or a carpet designed from satellite imagery, outrageously beautiful designs are all too often outrageously priced. It’s the downside of good designers’ insistence on using quality materials and thoughtful manufacturing. Here, 10 home products we came across in 2014 that we can’t pretend we don’t want, but also can’t pretend we can afford. Splurgy design snobs, break out the credit card.
Rosi & Rufus makes fancy furniture for the urban canine (or feline). With its first collection, the Danish company’s goal was to turn the standard doghouse, usually found in the backyard, into a piece of interior, contemporary furniture beautiful enough for a downtown loft or a brownstone. But you could rent a human-sized apartment for the price of this dog house: prices start around $1,500.
As an alternative to the rigid and unalterable pots that are in most of our houses, designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso has created the Fold Pot: a pot made of silicone that grows along with the plant inside it. Fitting your plant almost like a sock, you start out by folding the upper portion down over the rest of the pot like a cuff. As the plant grows, you simply unfold the edges to make the pot bigger and top it up with soil. Available in three colors—terracotta orange, white, and black—about the only thing you can say against Fold Pots is that they aren’t cheap: a set of three will cost you around $87.
Hem, the debut furniture brand spun off from the e-commerce site Fab, sells stylish, elegantly simple pieces. Many are customizable, and they can be assembled and broken down without tools. The 100-piece collection includes the Hai Lounge Chair, which collapses for easy transportation or storage. The legs of the Alle Table attach to the table top sans tools. And the Custom Shelf lets you decide how you want to distribute your shelving and storage space. By working directly with factories, Hem claims it can offer lower prices on furniture that won’t fall apart. But the prices are still fairly steep: the Hai Lounge Chair is $1,199, cheaper than, say, an Eames chair ($4,500), but still not as cheap as an Ikea chair ($29). The prices are most comparable to those of Blu Dot, the Minneapolis-based chain that produces slick contemporary furniture. See the collection here.
Interior designer Florian Pucher brings the sensation of flight to the carpet beneath your feet. Landcarpets start as satellite imagery, and then, following four weeks of hand-tufting New Zealand wool, become fuzzy, tactile carpets. The carpets are each available in limited edition quantities of 88. The 6-by-4-foot pieces start at $1,200. Larger and custom weaves are priced upon request. Learn more here.
Made by the German company Fifti-Fifti, the Backpack uses nylon straps and loops to tie shelves together, letting them hang on the wall. The shelf is easily transportable since very little of it is actually attached to the wall, and the nylon supports make it easy to fold the whole thing up and hang it somewhere else. A set includes straps and three shelves and starts at $400. You can add more shelves for $61 each.
Hooks: good for pirates, annoying for clothes. The hooks on clothes hangers get caught in loose knits, get tangled with each other, break off, bend, and do all kinds of other irritating things. But what if we could get rid of hooks altogether? Flow Design created magnetic hangers that could solve all those problems. Called Cliq, the hangers have no hooks, but instead are shaped like an upside-down V. At the height of the V, where the two arms meet, there’s a powerful magnet. So you just snap the hanger to the underside of the clothes rack. They cost €149, which is more than $200.
The Bloom Blanket, created by ex-Apple designer Bianca Chang Costanzo, is made of wool and cashmere and was inspired by origami and tessellations. The 3-D design is constructed by sewing woolen tetrahedrons together. The final result: a pleasantly bumpy spread of pyramids that looks like a paper fortune teller. Get it here for $300.
Boldly colored, strong, and light, Halo is a chair from designer Michael Sodeau made entirely from Hypetex, a carbon-fiber composite first developed for Formula-1 racing. It’s available in limited edition. Inquire about prices here.
Designed by MAP Project Office, a London-based industrial design studio, Sabi Space is a 13-piece line of storage and organization solutions for the bathroom, including towel racks, toilet paper rolls, hooks, hangers, and mirrors. One of Wand’s goals for Sabi Space was to make it as accessible to a 60-year-old woman as it is appealing to young apartment renters. The Space system is built around a common unit: a simple peg. The other pieces simply twist, or click via a magnet, onto the pegs.The Sabi Space line is available here from $30, for a wall peg, to $160, for a mirror.