Earlier this year Renato Bialetti died at the age of 93 in Ascona, Switzerland. Bialetti, who was born in the northern Italian village of Montebuglio, was the man responsible for bringing the Moka Express, the aluminium Art Deco designed stove coffee maker to millions of homes.
Invented in 1933 by Luigi di Ponti the Moka was acquired by an aluminium specialist Alfonso Bialetti. But it was Alfonso’s son Renato who later would be the main force behind marketing the product successfully.
There is thought to be a Moka in around 90 per cent of Italian homes today. The iconic design of the Moka has been celebrated in design museums around the world. Ultimately a Bialetti just looks snazzy on the stove and oozes Italian sophistication and chic-ness.
2. Weber Grill
In 1951 George Stephen Snr, a partner in a sheet metal shop in Chicago, came up with an idea for producing a new type of outdoor grill to improve on a brazier he had been using to cook with at home. Its simple but effective design of a rounded bowl with a lid on it was soon in high demand.
Even today with grills of all shapes and sizes the Weber is considered the kick-ass-bad-boy of charcoal grills. With a timeless look and practical characteristics, decent cooking space, sturdy lid to keep out the elements if needs be and cook quicker and even a handy in built thermometer.
In 1917 Years before Adidas and Nike gained dominance in the sneakers market the Converse Rubber Shoe Company would launch their shoe designed for elite basketball players. A few years later and American basketball player would tinker with the shoe’s design and become a major brand spokesman for what became known as the Chuck Taylor All Star.
In designing and developing new shoes the company were ahead of the curve in anticipating the trend of athletic sportswear for athletes to casual footwear for the more fashion conscious crowd. You can still see the popularity of Chuck Taylor High Tops today.
Designed in 1958 for the lobby and reception areas in the Royal Hotel, in Copenhagen, the Egg chair is an iconic design by Dane Arne Jacobsen.
The classic minimalist design of the chair is said to have hugely influenced furniture design and celebrated as a pioneer of modernism for more than 50 years.
Made from a polyurethane foam shell that is padded with cold foam and upholstered, and stands on a satin polished steel pedestal and aluminium base. Its bold design is striking and unusual with sumptuous curves creating a wrapping effect that oozes comfort and style, as if were enveloping you in its smooth lines.
Last year was the 30th year anniversary of the beautifully designed posh kettle for Alessi from Michael Graves. Sure you can pick up an electrical kettle that does the job cheaper and more efficiently but a proper cuppa just feels eminently more stylish when dished up out of one of these. A bit of an 80s throwback icon but we still think it looks great with its conical stainless-steel body with a plastic bird-shaped whistle at the end of the spout.
Sometimes it is the most simple basic yet striking products that catch your eye. We just love the functional Zen like elegance of the wood cube digital alarm clock. Definitely a smart new edition to your bedside cabinet or home office work-space.
7. Monbento Bento Box
Fast forward a few centuries and Emilie Creuzieux took the single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine of a traditional bento used to hold rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, and developed her very own Bento Box.
The result – best lunch box ever. Small, lightweight, very cute and an excuse to show off or impress when having a packed lunch. Yes, gone are the days when you had to get out your basic tuberware which reeked of sad lonely bastard or possible serial killer and now actually ooze a bit of style even if you are really a sad lonely bastard or actual serial killer.
Great practical design and Zen appeal with compartments and boxes to fill with as you please, microwaveable down to the pleasing way the two parts snap shut and air tight so liquids are safe. Lush.
OK history’s of lamp designs will usually point to George Carwardine’s 1932 conception of his Anglepoise lamp but we still love the Leaf LED table-top light designed by Yves Béhar and Herman Miller. The Leaf is an elegant yet functional and environmentally friendly personal light. Its planet saving value of LED technology has many benefits in terms of energy saving and efficiency.
On average, Leaf’s LEDs consume less than 12 watts of power, carry a lifespan of over 60,000 hours at full power setting, and cut energy use by 40 per cent compared to compact fluorescent lights. The Leaf is 95 per cent recyclable.
Stunning and unique looking it is more flexible than your average Yoga tutor and very pliable so can be twisted and turned to a plethora of angles. Attractive touch control allows the light intensity and colour to be adjusted, easily changing from a warm to cool tone to best suit a mood, task or location. Lights up quickly when turned on retaining previous setting.