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Square, Rectangle, Trapezoid, Tetrizoid!

Why did someone finally start manufacturing proper Tetris tiles? The right answer is “Why not?”

tetris tiles

These custom-made tiles from the UK are crafted from Italian ceramics and are suitable for indoor or outdoor use, meaning you can tile just about anything with them. I have to say I do prefer the actual Tetris piece shaped tiles — with the Tetris pieces, you could base your layout on random choices, making decorating very much like actually playing a game of Tetris — rather than the Tetris mosaic, but that’s only because the mosaics don’t immediately look like Tetris pieces to me. Maybe, however, that would be a selling point for some who would prefer a subtler video gaming reference in their personal space.

If you’re anything like me, you’re lusting after these pretty hardcore and wondering just how much they cost. Prices are based on the size of your order and possibly your color choices — Tetris Tiles can be matched to most Pantone-colour references — so I have no idea whatsoever.

Stirring the Pot(ties)

The lovely Glinda of Teeny Manolo thought y’all might like to see some, er, unique commodes. Designer toilets, really. The LA Times put up a photo spread entitled ‘Glamorizing the toilet: Designers take on the most utilitarian fixture of all,’ which featured toilets as envisioned and created by designers like Stefano Giovannoni, Wiel Arets, and Troy Adams.

strange toilet

The plum tree design of silver branches and vivid flowers represents spring in Toto’s Miyabi collection. The LA Times also mentions that plum tree blooms were often used in Japanese poem manuscripts. What this has to do with going to the bathroom, I don’t know.

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Everybody Must Get Stoned

Wait, you thought I meant it like that? Moi? Nooooo. I’m talking about stress relief… the kind of stress relief that comes from surrounding yourself with somewhat overpriced bits of nature. Specifically in the bathroom, where thoughtful designers have thought up sorts of cheeky ways to make river rocks into visual stress-soothers.

Stone Hook (single)

For example, here are (admittedly lovely) stone towel hooks. Here is how Viva Terra describes them:

Elements of nature unite to create this clean-lined multi-purpose hook perfect for towels, robes, or clothing. Carefully selected from rivers and beaches of New England and gently rounded through years of tumbling, each stone is unique. And we particularly love that for every smooth stone collected, a rough stone is “planted” for the water to tumble into smoothness.

New England? I live in New England! I think I’m sensing an upcoming DIY project…

Gifts For the Home: The Under $30 Edition

Now that the whole black Friday and cyber Monday craziness has come and gone, it’s time for the slightly less serious shoppers — or should I say less zealous shoppers — to begin looking for their holiday loot.

Here are six suggestions, all of which cost less than $30 and can be purchased easily on Amazon, ensuring that no one is trampled and everyone is satisfied.

mod wall clockstriped towelschip tray
bird's nestmodern chair posterglass wind chime

As always, you can click the pics for more info. I’m rather partial to the mod wall clock and the Ethan Harper chair print, in case I’m on your shopping list.

NOTE: Stay tuned for the Gifts For the Home: The Under $20 Edition

The Super Toilet

Yesterday, the mysterious machinations of fate brought me to the ‘toilets in Japan’ entry on Wikipedia, and I was reminded of the three seashells in Demolition Man. Many have speculated as to the correct usage of the three seashells, and the Poop Report even claims to have figured it out. That great quandary unraveled, I believe that the Poop Report should now help us all understand the vagueries of the Japanese toilet.

Japanese toilet

This interface looks fairly straightforward, though I have never experienced the urge to shower in my toilet. If a shower isn’t a shower in this context, what precisely is the difference between the shower function and the bidet function? Never mind…one would hopefully figure it out without spraying one’s trousers. The following interface, on the other hand, requires a lot more thought, along with a thorough knowledge of Japanese.

Japanese toilet controls

All right, so I press one button for a gentle spray, one for a stronger spray, one for a special spray just for ladies…and I press the last button for what, a strip of crispy bacon? Now that’s a toilet.

Wikipedia has this to say about so-called super toilets:

Other features may include a heated seat, which may be adjustable from 30°C to 40°C; an automatic lid equipped with a proximity sensor, which opens and closes based on the location of the user. Some even play music to relax the user’s sphincter (some Inax toilets, for example, play the first few tunes of Op. 62 Nr. 6 Frühlingslied by Felix Mendelssohn). Other features are automatic flushing, automatic air deodorizing, and a germ-resistant surface. Some models specially designed for the elderly may include arm rests and devices that help the user to stand up after use. A soft close feature slows the toilet lid down while closing so the lid does not slam onto the seat, or in some models, the toilet lid will close automatically a certain time after flushing. The most recent introduction is the ozone deodorant system that can quickly eliminate smells.

The mind boggles!

Stylishly Squeaky Clean

handmade_soap

With the Thanksgiving holiday’s imminent arrival, it’s time to think about taking care of house guests by stocking up on toiletries and linens. Here’s an idea: Pamper your mom or sister (or best friend) with delicious handmade soaps from Naiad Soap Arts…just don’t be surprised if they stick around for longer than expected because they can’t get enough. You can get around this predicament by buying a few extra bars of soap so your guests can take some soapy sweetness home with them.

Green With Envy — Four Ways

I’ve always been a fan of white bathrooms, simply because white says clean to me. Unfortunately, white only says clean when it is clean, and white bathrooms show every tiny speck of dirt mere minutes after being scrubbed down from top to bottom. As much as I love the look, circumstances — i.e., not being able to clean the bathroom three times a day — have forced me to choose other colors in my own domicile. Green is one of my top second choices because it brings to mind the sea and all things natural.

Green-bathroom

I adore the shading variations in these glossy and matte sea green Heath Ceramics tiles because they add depth to an otherwise small space.

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Goodies From Cath Kidston

Every so often, I get a hankering for pretty things…girly things, even. One of the best sources of feminine (but not quite frilly) accessories for the home is Cath Kidston, with her vintage inspired prints and whimsical kitchenware. Her gorgeous retro fabrics are to die for, and her playful baby gear is cute enough to leave out on the shelf even after junior is a little old for cowboys.

Cath-Kidston

If you have any trouble ordering from the web site, never fear — there is a smallish selection of Cath Kidston bed and bath accessories on Amazon.

Cath Kidston beddingCath KidstonCath Kidston bath

All you have to do is click!

Strange Combo

I keep telling myself it shouldn’t be strange. The water from the tap is obviously not going to be water coming from the toilet bowl, but for whatever reason my mind creates strange associations when I look at this toilet-sink combo.

Toilet sinkToilet sink

It’s actually the realization of a really cool idea — saving space and saving water at the same time.

Profile™ is the first of its kind to feature a unique, dual-flush push button and spout arrangement that saves the water normally used when hands are washed in a separate basin. The flush cycle activation controls the flow of fresh water through the basin spout, allowing time for thorough hand washing before the same water fills the cistern tank. Award-winning Smartflush® technology is also built-in for ultra low 4.5/3L flushing.

I’ve lived in some flats that would have felt a lot less cramped with one of these in the bathroom, but…but it’s so odd.

(via LivingHome)

Colored Tiles, Big Efforts, and Imperfect Perfection

We’ve all looked at something in a shop or in a magazine and thought to ourselves, “I could do that!” In fact, I think so highly of my crafty skills and home improvement chops that it’s rare for me to look at a project and think, “I couldn’t do that.” But when illustrator Christoph Niemann decided it was time to renovate the bathrooms in his Berlin home he and his wife Lisa threw themselves into the project in a way I have neither the time nor the patience to match.

You’ll never lose your way

The couple began by breaking down images they liked into mosaic form to find the inspiration they needed. They tried a lot of combos before settling on Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box for the shower, Judith Samen’s Die Fettecke for the tub, and a NYC subway theme for the kids’ bath.

Sound like a lot of work? All is not lost! There are plenty of places that sell colored tiles — like Amazon, of all places — and you needn’t create a perfect masterpiece of art and practicality. Let’s say you’d optimally like to mosaic-ify a beach scene in your bathroom. Instead of knocking yourself out trying to recreate your favorite vacation pics, grab a bunch of tiles in colors that strike you as beachy, like so:

And put together a casual, abstract design using either whole or broken tiles. That’s the nice thing about DIY — it doesn’t have to be perfect to be perfect, if you catch my drift. Trust me when I say that while you may always see the one off-kilter tile, the people in your life will almost always see the 99 tiles that are placed just right.

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