The objects of my affection: wooden toys

October, 1 2012 10:00

Posted inProducts

I don’t think I will ever fathom why people have objects for the sake of having objects. I believe there is nothing worse than a cluttered shelf, unless it is filled with books and periodicals or one or two choice items. Displaying items on a surface because it happens to be there is so banal and commonplace. People do not stop to think about what aesthetic it is they are trying to achieve or what meaning they wish to convey. The worst offenders are the potpourri crowd. I can only ask why?

I feel it is important to curate every aspect of the space in which we live. We should consider what works well, what flows, what pieces are harmonious, what lifts a space and what adds context and character. I always make an assessment based upon the principles of good design (something that I often refer to in my work - see Dieter Rams: Still relevant at 80 as an example).


Objects add personality to a space. They provide a backdrop and ambience and help to tell a story about the individual(s) living there. I believe we should choose the objects with which we live. Just as it isn’t wise to buy clothes as a gift, I am of the opinion that we should not buy objects as a gift (unless you know the person intimately). In doing so, we run the risk of impressing our own taste upon someone’s space and potentially putting them in an awkward position - should they display the item or not. I have had to bin many unwanted items in the past. Even family heirlooms should not automatically find a place in your precious abode. If they don’t fit, they can live just as happily in a cupboard or loft space.

I find that whenever I want an object for my home, I look for something that I will have for life. It is not about the latest fashion or trend. I often look to Nordic design for my inspiration because it is classic, definitive and aesthetic. Nordic designs are often made to last, to endure and mature. They are timeless, uncomplicated and captivating. Their presence is both reassuring and gratifying. When looking for objects, I particularly cherish Nordic designs that are a little quirky and have their own personality. If you are like-minded, one good place to start is ARCHITECTMADE.


 Birds - All images © ARCHITECTMADE

ARCHITECTMADE makes objects that will ultimately be treasured and adored. Their products were designed by Danish architects from the 1950s and 60s, including Hans Bølling, Finn Juhl and Kristian Vedel. ARCHITECTMADE state that: “the architects design their objects through sheer passion for simple sophisticated aesthetics and functionality. This is where the appeal lies.” (Source).

  Birds - All images © ARCHITECTMADE

I am a huge fan of ARCHITECTMADE’s BIRD which is handmade by a small wood turner in Denmark using high quality smoked and natural oak. Tilting the BIRD’s head can express every frame of mind and I will often tilt their heads in line with how I’m feeling or how I want to feel. My BIRDs even have names.


Mermaid  - All images © ARCHITECTMADE

The Mermaid is ARCHITECTMADE’s newest product. It was designed by Hans Bølling who, in 1954, was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid fairy tale. The Mermaid represents Bølling’s own interpretation of the fairy tale and adds a minimal and elegant dimension to the character. I’m not entirely sure what I think about this design. It is somewhat of a curiosity and would certainly make an interesting conversation piece. Nevertheless it fits with ARCHITECTMADE’s passion for creative flair, simplicity, refinement of form, Danish tradition and longevity.

Wherever you look to find an object for your space, ensure that you understand what it is you want and what its function will be. Any object should ultimately be the object of your affection.

Other objects from ARCHITECTMADE:

Oscar - All images © ARCHITECTMADE

Optimist and Pessimist - All images © ARCHITECTMADE

Duck and Duckling - All images © ARCHITECTMADE