If you live where it’s right and good to (this means the leaves actually fall from the trees), than you know that the branches are bare, the crunching beneath your feet is at its apex, and there’s Christmas music blaring from every street corner—which can only mean one thing: Thanksgiving, of course! Whether you celebrate your ritualistic repast with friends, enemies, or family; turkey or tofurkey, pilgrims everywhere can all relate to good design. This, of course, has different meanings for different people, and “best of” lists are like comparisons (“odious,” as Don Quixote says), yet I’ve got five favorites from the past year that definitely bear revisiting. The bottom line for all is that they each fit into my fantastic scheme for my dream house, which, in this world or the next, I’m bound and determined to inhabit.
1. Ernesto Gismondi’s Miconos
I never did figure out the meaning of Gismondi’s arcane sounding name for his collection of Cyclopian lamps, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten them. To the contrary, Miconos remains secretive yet ubiquitous, precious but perspicacious. I love the synthesis of purity of form and outright strangeness, and I’d love for Miconos to illuminate the walls, desks, and floors of my living laboratory.
2. Rich, Brilliant, Willing
Kudos to Rich, Brilliant, Willing for acknowledging that the genius of their name is that they are, in fact, none of the above (except perhaps #3). Well, it certainly takes a double dose of willingness and no small amount of smarts to have come up with their series of Bright Side Lights. And forgive me for including two smallish, glass-shaded lights in my Thanksgiving thanks-giving, but I just couldn’t resist. The series is lovely if not lavish—recycled, recyclable, and revealing. I’ll install these on the brighter side of my dream house.
3. Wouter Scheublin’s Walking Table
One might pair the extraordinarily inventive machination that is Dutch designer Scheublin’s table with the eerie camp of Miconos. This large and lumbering number is all bolts and heavy timber—a terrific recipe for a sturdy and handsome piece of furniture. Throw in locomotion and I’m hooked. The Walking Table delivers. It’s the only surface on which your food may literally walk over to you. Check out the Vimeo video to see it in action.
4. Mark Mothersbaugh Mutato Rug Collection
For those of you who think “Whip It” is only a movie about chicks and roller derby, I invite you to roll back the clock to 1980 and sample this seminal Devo tune. Lead man Mark Mothersbaugh helped to quantify “weird.” Who knew he’d parlay that rare talent into textiles? His bizarre and beautiful collection of graphic rugs navigates a singular aesthetic terrain—somewhere between R. Crumb and Tim Burton. If beautiful but bizarre is in your A&D vocabulary, these broadlooms of Bohemian chic are for you.
5. Zeitlberger for Marburg
This deliciously decadent wallpaper was bound to make the cut, even if on the strength of the designer's name alone. The gorgeous prints by goldsmith Thomas Zeitlberger (I love that!) are intricate introspections into decay’s assault upon order. The stunning beauty of nature unravels at the insistence of... the stunning beauty of nature! For my money, a good Zeitlberger is the best way to obliterate the shoddy seams of dreary drywall.