One needn’t spend very long on the Kaufmann Mercantile site to see that they’re serious about their product assortment. Everything is high quality, aesthetically pleasing and has a story—one that typically involves handcrafting or generational know-how. No made in China here.
Not only are the product summaries exceptionally thoughtful and informative, but the site’s Field Notes library is a treasure trove of succinct articles on everything from designer Arne Jacobsen to copper care to the history of salt. There’s even a fascinating look into the world of giant pumpkins! Yes, I’m a fan.
Here are some of my favorite KM items of the moment:
This collapsible cot is perfect for overnight guests. Line it with a few sheepskins, throw a sleeping bag over and voile—a cozy guest bed that can go anywhere you have an extra 28” x 77” worth of floor space.
Canvas & Aluminum Collapsible Cot, $159
Made in Italy, this Green Giant of staplers would command serious respect at the office.
Metal Plier Office Stapler, $34.90
These 3-piece nesting bowl sets are made right in Ohio. Their milky green shade is so much more alluring than clear glass or steel, as far as mixing bowls go.
Set of Hand-Pressed Glass Bowls (Jadeite), $64.90
Handcrafted in Japan, this crackle finish teapot is an amazing steal at just $34.95. A great gift idea for Mother’s Day or your next housewarming party invite.
Japanese Ceramic Crackle Glaze Teapot, $34.90
Wooden bath mats are an easy way to add spa charm to your bath—especially when made of fragrant cyprus wood like this one. Also made in Japan.
Japanese Cypress Wood Bath Mat, $29
Long before humorous tote bags were a thing, French net bags were the ultimate reusable market bag. Keep simple tradition alive, in classic natural or sleek black.
French Cotton Net Bag (Black), $10.95
I killed my Fab.com subscription a year ago due to excessive email clutter and never looked back—until last week. How they’ve grown! Their website has expanded from Gilt-like limited-time offerings to an assortment of quasi-permanent product offerings, furniture included.
I was surprised by their numerous high-ticket designer items, from a $1,100 Frank Gehry Wiggle Chair to a $10,850 Ronan & Erwan Italian Alcove Sofa. Fab is not the first place I’d think to go for an Eames chair, but any of these delightful lower-priced items would certainly fit the bill.
I’d stick this wire frame chair outside on a balcony. Or, if feeling crafty, I’d weave some fabric strips into the seat and back to make it cushy enough for the kitchen table. $53.99 each.
RETRO Chair by Gary Lin
This trim coffee table has a swing-out side drawer that’s perfect for hiding remotes and candy stashes. Just $77.
PLAIN Coffee Table by speziell
DIY lighting: Wrap the long orange extension cord around the included frame and voilà—you have a lamp. $105.
Coil Lamp by Craighton Berman
Made of reversible wool, the pattern of this rug is like ikat’s hotter, older cousin. Starting at $69 for a 2×3.
Cookman Slate Rug by Surya
No matter how many times I look at Twiggy, I simply cannot believe those eyelashes. This black & white photo may just help me get over it. $159.
Twiggy in Hollywood by Michael Ochs
This red Tam Tam stool is as cute as a button. Use it as extra seating when company calls or as a side table next to the sofa. $24 each.
Tam Tam Red Pop Stool by Branex Design
Our love of Kiosk is already well-documented here at FM, a love which glows even brighter during the holidays: This treasure-trove is a one-stop shop to find something perfect for half your gift list. Procrastinators who missed the online order cutoff needn’t fret—you can stop by the Soho shop up until Christmas Day (assuming you’re in NYC). Here are some of our recent favorites, all highly giftable:
At $38, these fleece-lined deerskin mittens are a true steal. They’re made in Vermont and perfect for the urban lumberjack in your life.
Buy a bottle of awesomely packaged Klosterfrau elixir for a nerve-wracked in-law. I used to use it when I lived in Germany and it is oddly calming (albeit medicinal tasting). I’d dump a spoonful in my tea, drink it while taking a bath and then mentally peace out. $18.
Travel thread makes a thoughtful gift for a globetrotting acquaintance. The bracelet-like kit packs away flat and lets you pull out individual strands when needed. $11.
Travel Thread Kit
I love Wooly Willy. Always have, always will. Know who else loves Wooly Willy? Kids. Perfect for your little niece or nephew. $8.00.
The Citra Sipper turns oranges into juice boxes—a thoroughly unique stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift. $6 each.
Who wouldn’t want a historical nail sample set made by America’s oldest nail manufacturer? $30.
Tremont Nail Sample Set
I recently met up with a good friend visiting from San Francisco. We covered all the usual topics—work, travel, mutual friends—and then she mentioned that she finally got around to buying a new kitchen table. It was the Verona from World Market, and she was a big fan. World Market what? There aren’t any retail locations in New York, and I only knew them through online ad imagery that, quite honestly, conjured bad Pier I Import flashbacks.
I trust this friend’s judgment, as well as her low tackiness threshold, so I decided to conduct some online investigation of my own. From what I can tell, they offer some pretty stylish pieces, and at absurdly low prices. So low, in fact, that I can’t imagine being heartbroken were I to order something and what arrived turned out to be only so-so. Here are some pieces that caught my eye.
The Jackson Dining table, with metal legs and a solid wood top, is quite a steal at $329.99.
Jackson Rectangular Table with Metal Base
I imagine this Lime Penelope Spindle Stool looking quite at home in a bathroom, where it could function as a perching spot for towels, candles or books. $89.
Lime Penelope Spindle Stool
Frame your flat screen and hardbacks with this crafty Easel Media Stand. $179.99.
Easel Media Stand
With shapely turned legs and soft upholstery, the Ravenna Chair has the makings of a beloved bedroom or entryway chair. On sale for just $139.98.
Goldenrod Ravenna Chair
The nailhead detailing and muted upholstery on the Hara Screen would add polish to any space in need of some dividing. $199.
Hara Upholstered Screen
This Distressed Gray Metal Pendant is perfect above a kitchen table or island. $89.99.
Distressed Grey Metal Pendant
Made in Kenya, the Black + White Soapstone Platter would make a great catchall for keys and mail. $19.99.
Black and White Soapstone Dot Platter
I want this White Canvas Horse. I have no idea what for, but I do. $29.99.
White Canvas Horse Decor
Pardon me if this 1-year-old company is old news to anyone, but I’m just finding out about it! So, I’ll assume that some of you Frugal Materialists are, as well. While walking to Housing Works Café for a day of book browsing, a vibrant storefront window on Spring Street stole my attention. What is “C Wonder?” I wondered. A day later, in the Time Warner Center, there it was again. I decided to have a look. To say I found more in C Wonder than expected would be an understatement. From winter jackets to dog bowls to roller skates (YES), C Wonder gives traditional, polished prep a funky, artistic makeover. With patterns like eye-candy and such reasonable prices, C Wonder’s home accessories are so FM-friendly that I couldn’t help but share.
The store’s displays prove how mixing patterns and bold colors is always a Yes. Items on these three shelves range from just $8-$38.
How smart would these more monochromatic accessories look in your study or home office? Prices from $28.
If you know me, you know my love for some great throw pillows. C Wonder’s received an audible (and honorable), “Oh, yeah,” while I snapped a photo. Their $34-$48 price tags make them even better.
And then I decided C Wonder was my favorite… These bright bikes are a steal at $249. Top it off with a matching helmut for $49 and a pretty patterned water bottle for $9.
If you liked what you just saw, there is oh so much more where that came from. Go online or to any C Wonder in your city to see what else they have for you. Be sure to take advantage of their 30% off All Sale Items, until 12/6 (so hurry). They’ve also put together some fun “Gifts for $25 and Under” & “Gifts for $50 and Under” tables for the holidays. I know, it’s a lot. Aren’t you glad I went in?