Feather Your Nest

On our radar this season…Contemporary designers reference the past to create whimsical accessories; two books that challenge our notions of space and place; a funky antique chair; and a knife with a 10-speed grip…





Dutch Treat: Netherlands-based modernist Tord Boontje bucks the minimalist trend with swirly floral prints and darling woodland animals. Table Stories Plates, $21-$65, Koo de Kir, 65 Chestnut St., Boston, 617-723-8111, koodekir.com.

Convert This: Transforming a horse-tram depot, electricity substation, or ancient wine warehouse into a home looks easy in these projects compiled by an editor at Wallpaper* and a London–based architect. Recycling at its best, and an inspiration for anyone who thinks industrial can be cozy. Conversions by Emma O’Kelly and Corinna Dean, $40, Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, 617-566-6660, brooklinebooksmith.com.



Suburban Sprawl: Gas stations, split-levels, and road signs go high class on this twisted toile by Dirty Linens, from the mind of Long Island–raised (and MFA Museum School–educated) artist Avram Finkelstein. He got the idea when staying in a motel in Atlanta behind a 7-Eleven: “I thought the power lines were beautiful.” Suburban Toile utility blanket, $96, groovyq.com.



Little Wonder: A primer for the 1,300- square-feet-and-under set, here are mini towers, all-in-one house pods, and freestanding storage modules. With drawings, photos, and detailed diagrams. Contemporary Design in Detail: Small Environments by Yenna Chan, $50, Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-661-1515, harvard.com.




French Made: Proprietress Heidi Thiede goes to France several times a year to
snap up new Euro products and surprisingly fresh antiques, like this 1880s turned-walnut corner chair from Beziers. Perfect for a fireside seat in a Boston pied-à-terre. $550, Voila, 1315 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-1190, voila-inc.com.



Hot and Horny: Created by Brooklyn-based Jason Miller, who assisted pop-art icon Jeff Koons and Egyptian designer Karim Rashid before starting his own line, this white cast ceramic fixture modernizes an age-old standard. Antler chandelier, $6,500, Koo de Kir, 65 Chestnut St., Boston, 617-723-8111, koodekir.com.

Rest Stop: Jumping on the minimal-baroque bandwagon, Orange 22 designer Dario Antonioni keeps benchwarmers happy by mixing cutting-edge technology (water jets are used for precision-cut graphics) with nature-inspired floral designs. The tables come in brilliant colors with a hurricane-proof powder coat. Botanist Flora Collection bench, $1,450, Lekker Home, 1317 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-6464, lekkerhome.com.


Slice-Geist: In the private machine shop that neighbors his Cambridge abode, homegrown industrial designer Adam Simha welds, cuts, and mills all hours of the day and night. Over the years, he’s perfected a complete line of pro knives, featuring trademark bicycle grips that he gets from a company in Tennessee. A serious foodie, he counts Radius chef de cuisine Patrick Connolly among his sharpest ergonomic advisors. 10” chef’s knife, $225, Bliss Home, 121 Newbury St., Boston, 617-421-5544, blisshome.com.