English artist Felicity Irons’ hand-sewn creations are nothing if not versatile, appearing in upscale stores like Ralph Lauren, in the Ridely Scott film Gladiator, in exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Her latest, the Rush Matters mattress, adds texture and gravitas to the modern home and can be used on the floor or as bench seating. Composed of pure bulrush harvested from the Ouse and Nene rivers in northern England, the result is raw, unadulterated, and complexly beautiful; much like nature itself. $650, rushmatters.info
Tord Boontje’s lively interpretation of the traditionally stuffy chandelier isn’t just a coveted design-crowd accessory. Called Come Rain or Come Shine, it’s handmade by members of Coopa-Roca, a women’s cooperative in Rio de Janeiro’s largest shantytown. Artecnica’s Design With Conscience program helps build communities of artisans in developing countries, allowing co-op members to use their homes as workshops. The vibrant, textural chandelier has a metal core adorned with cascading cotton, organza, and silk flowers, achieving — dare we say it — humanitarian chic. starting at $450, artecnicainc.com for retailer
Hung in to Dry
Your undies have never looked so avant-garde: Netherlands-based designer Monique Horstmann’s pleasingly bulbous indoor drying rack derives its shape from typical items of clothing but adds a modern, graphic appeal to the traditional clothesline (think pants, shirts, and underwear outlines hanging from your wall). It’s also a stylish alternative to energy-sucking dryers. The Dry Line is made of water-heated tubes, so just place clothes on it, and any central heating system — or better yet, sunshine — will do the rest. $750 for over 3 feet, moniquehorstmann.com
This article originally appeared in Plenty in February 2008.
Copyright Environ Press 2008.