05/02/16 11:54am
Socketbit

Scandinavian staples line the shelves at Socketbit. Photo: Regina Mogilevskaya

Nordic design, food and ways of living a cozier life have taken hold in a big way in recent years, whether you’re talking Marimekko for Target, the concept of hygge, or the Konditori on every corner in Brooklyn. Swedes, Danes and Norwegians, and their food and culture though, have all been part of the fabric of New York for much longer than the clog boot craze, of course. Here’s where to get authentic Danish danishes, intense Swedish licorice, bright housewares and even a Scandinavian folk dancing lesson.  (more…)

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11/14/14 8:54am
This storage bench, upholstered with reclaimed coffee sacks, is one of Recycled Brooklyn's signature designs. Photo: Levi Sharpe

This storage bench, upholstered with reclaimed coffee sacks, is one of Recycled Brooklyn’s signature designs. Photo: Levi Sharpe

When you start a woodshop in your kitchen, you have to make some sacrifices, starting with dinner.

“We were making dinner and building tables at the same time,” said Matt Loftice, 44, a thick-bearded former screenwriter. “It was a lot of dust, man—dusty pasta.”

Brothers Matt and Steven Loftice share a love for breathing new life into recycled materials by transforming them into furniture. After building pieces on nights and weekends for several years as a hobby, Matt gave the business a name, Recycled Brooklyn, and launched an Etsy shop in 2010. Steven, disenchanted with his career in advertising, quit his job and hopped on board full time, two months later.

Though their price point is slightly higher than entry-level Ikea–items start at around $180–it’s not far off mass market staples like West Elm and Pottery Barn, and their pieces are handcrafted. “I could never afford custom furniture, and most people can’t,” said Steven, 42. “That’s why at 10 o’clock in the morning the line at Ikea is half a mile long.” (more…)

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01/08/14 3:00pm
Kai-D-Utility

Need a parka for this Polar Vortex? Williamsburg designer Kai Fan has a few you can brave the cold in now and many winters to come. Photo: Kai D. Utility

If Jacques Cousteau were alive and looking to update his wardrobe, he would feel right at home inside Kai D. Utility on Grand Street in Williamsburg. Menswear designer Kai Fan has filled his new shop with workwear pieces for the explorer in all of us–even the ones without a Y chromosome (it’s an ideal place for a female shopper to pick up oversized knits and work shirts other than her boyfriend’s closet). Expeditionists aside, Fan’s store is quickly becoming the go-to place for the city’s creative class who are looking for classic menswear pieces that won’t come apart at the seams at season’s end.

Fan’s designs are functional with military and utilitarian influences-he’s reimagined timeless wardrobe staples from the turn of the 20th century, like waistcoats, trousers, leather-strap suspenders and ties that are modern in cut and tailoring–slim fitted with clean silhouettes executed in rich fabrics (Italian wool and cashmere, cotton twill and moleskin).  Fan says he designs with the New American Artisan in mind, a muse he devised after completing a photo project of the same name.

Kai-D-Utility-porter-navy-blazer“Basically, I sought out people who were doing their own thing–that could be creating a product or mastering their craft,” he explains. “I sought out interesting people I could photograph in my cloths and put together a look book. I had a conversation with them, found out their story, then I asked them to put together two outfits from my collection. It turned out, every single person was from Brooklyn.” (more…)

12/03/13 2:00pm
Sun December 8, 2013
Shop at the Bazazas holiday market between now and Dec. 10 and a portion of your purchase price will be donated to the Red Cross for its recovery efforts in the Philippines. Photo: Bazazas

Shop at the Bazazas holiday market between now and Dec. 10 and a portion of your purchase price will be donated to the Red Cross for its recovery efforts in the Philippines. Photo: Bazazas

Four holiday bazaars are happening this Sunday, with the goods to get your holiday shopping going. There’s the Holiday Artisan Bazaar at Williamsburg’s b. conte  boutique, where 25 local designers and artists will be offering everything from pillows to prints to supple leather pouches, in addition to the store’s already impressive inventory, with wine and hors d’oeuvres while you shop. The Wythe Hotel is also getting into the holiday shopping spirit by hosting Of a Kind’s Holiday Spectacular, a two-day market (it starts on Saturday) where 14 of the curated e-commerce site’s favorite fashion designers will be selling their wares. Further south, Brooklyn Exposed is having its first annual annual Holiday Bazaar at the beautiful 501 Union, where, in addition to the 30 local vendors vending, you’ll get complimentary Fairway coffee, Brooklyn ARTery’s workshops in the DIY corner and a DJ. And finally in Park Slope, make sure to stop by Bazazas, a pop-up shop that’s taken up residence in the back of a deli on the corner of 7th Avenue and Garfield until Dec. 10.–part of the proceeds from each sale goes to The Red Cross for disaster relief efforts in the Philippines.

10/16/13 4:44pm
VintageMediaCabinet_KatySkelton

This Vintage Media Cabinet is a signature piece by furniture designer Katy Skelton, who recently opened an online shop to sell her wares. Photo: Katy Skelton

Yesterday we discussed the struggle local makers face when it comes to showcasing their designs in our story about Floor Factory–a new furniture design market, opening this weekend in Industry City, that puts locally designed furniture more in reach than ever–but more frequently today, indie designers like Katy Skelton, looking for something more permanent than a pop-up but with less overheard than an actual store, are finding better luck connecting with customers by opening online shops.

“Having an online-only store keeps my overhead low and allows me to offer my furniture at competitive prices,” says Skelton who lives in Crown Heights and moved to Brooklyn two years ago from Georgia. “I also sell directly to the end consumer, cutting out the middleman, which also takes out an unnecessary markup from a third party.” (more…)

07/23/13 4:00pm
Sat July 27, 2013
West Elm Etsy Dumbo

DayGlo paper goods, cutting boards shaped like continents, ceramic planters, accessories, knitting and needlepoint are among the offerings of 13 Brooklyn artists being featured in an Etsy pop-up shop at West Elm in Dumbo this Saturday. Photo: West Elm

Over the past few years, the DUMBO-based designer Tina Roth Eisenberg has launched enough successful side projects–everything from temporary tattoos to an international lecture series for creative types–to exchange her day job for her dream one. She regularly updates her blog, swissmiss, with new objects from other designers she admires, which might explain why it gets a million unique visitors a month. This Saturday, July 27, she’s curated a pop-up shop with West Elm for which she’s selected 13 Brooklyn Etsy artists to sell their wares at both West Elm on Front Street and West Elm Market on Washington. Expect everything from home goods to stationary to jewelry and more, plus a chance to talk to the designers offline and in the flesh. You can find a full list of local artists here.

07/19/13 7:42am

The 1871 Design of Music Island and Prospect Park. Photo: Courtesy the Prospect Park Alliance

The 1871 Design of Music Island and Prospect Park. Photo: Courtesy the Prospect Park Alliance

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park was designed for idyllic strolling and losing oneself in the wonder of nature, but even its architects, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, recognized that park visitors would also want places to gather for amusement. So the landscape architects set about imagining their park’s only formal setting–Music Island.

Check out a full photo gallery of the newly restored Concert Grove and Music Island on our Facebook page>>>


An innovative marvel when it opened, Music Island was radically altered by the addition of Wollman Rink to the park in the mid-20th century, and spent the last 50 years in a state of disuse. Now an ambitious plan has restored the island and the area around it.
(more…)

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