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I thought I was being organised and bought my daughter’s school bag and lunch box for the new school year a few weeks ago. I’m sorry I did so because I think these Yubo lunch boxes are the most adorable ones I’ve seen in a long time. I love the fact that the faceplates are interchangeable, so you can switch up the look of the box as often as you want. Last year we had a fabric lunch box which was tricky to clean, so I also like the fact that these are made from polypropylene, a recyclable plastic that is BPA and phthalate free and should be wipe-able and easy to maintain (all pieces are top-rack dishwasher safe).

Image: David Stark Studio
I love the colours and the feel of a dark, warm room with a pop of bright colour like this one which is designed by David Stark Studio. The entire flat is very eclectic and beautiful but this is my favourite of all of the rooms. It actually puts me in mind of an earlier post on this site which you can see here
Image: LivingEtc.
I have had bad experiences with wicker in the past and vowed never to have the old-fashioned, 80s style wicker furniture in my home - you know the kind that screams we're having cocktails on the lanai, Golden Girls style - however I have always loved the way the juxtaposition of a little wicker can add texture and warmth to an otherwise sleek and modern style. I love the way these unfinished, over-sized wicker pendants hanging above the counter bring a warmth which the room would otherwise lack. It proves that the material can be reinterpreted and used in a modern way.
Image: Swell
Some men enjoy shopping while for others, it is a fate worse than death. I am married to a man who is of the latter opinion and as a result I can find the experience of shopping to be quite difficult for him and torture for me. It becomes a very frustrating experience for everyone involved, resulting in quick purchases which, once taken home, ends in buyer's remorse, disappointment with the item purchased and its quick and sure relegation to the back of the closet. 

I do most of my shopping online; it's convenient and I enjoy being able to compare different items from different retailers easily. There is no pressure from salespeople and you can take your time to decide about your purchase over a few days or weeks if necessary. If you are careful you can often find fantastic bargains and the sales are great. As a result I recently decided to make some purchases on my husband's behalf, one of the items being a pair of casual shoes. Being quite particular but eclectic in his choice of summertime footwear, we have been finding it difficult to buy is suitable pair of sandals. As an alternative I have decided to try what I view as the modern take on the espadrille. I have seen a few men wearing them and I think they look good with jeans and other casual trousers.

Initially I considered purchasing Toms shoes as I like the idea that for every pair you buy, a pair of shoes is donated to a needy child in a developing country however after comparing them to some other shoes on the market, I settled on Sanuk which have a more structured look. Like the shoes by Toms, these are also environmentally friendly and are designed to leave the smallest production footprint possible. I hope my little experiment is successful and he is happy with the choice.
Image: island * atelier
I love properties which are full of character particularly properties which, while being old and perhaps even culturally significant, have been revamped, remodelled and modernised. 

We previously lived in one such property which, while being updated, had not been renovated to a sufficient standard and was not terribly comfortable to live in. Another similar property from roughly that period, is this one situated at Dockyard in the west end of Bermuda.

Dockyard was in the 1800s the centre of a vibrant and bustling shipyard and boat building industry. Subsequently the boat building slowed and eventually ended leaving majestic warehouses and other buildings, some of which were built by prisoners of the Boer war, abandoned. Over the last few decades, the area has been revamped and today consists of, amongst other things, a cruise-ship complex, an historical museum and a shopping mall. A few years ago some of the unused buildings were converted into the homes you see above.

While I have not had the opportunity to see the renovations firsthand from the inside, the exterior of the buildings and the landscaping which has been done are tasteful and beautiful. I have seen photographs of the interiors as the buildings are available to rent from time to time and they have come onto the market. The interiors also look as though they have been sympathetically remodelled. I hope this is true and that many of the historic details remain. I particularly like the fact that they appear to have internal courtyards or private gardens which I think is a necessary feature as the properties are quite public. As well as being beautiful, they are quite convenient; a ferry docks mere meters away from the front door and it's a twenty minute commute to the capital. I rue the fact that we've never rented one of these properties. Who knows, one of them may come onto the market again in the future.
Image: The Bamboo Bicycle Company
I think this is a fantastic idea. Bamboo is one of the world’s fastest-growing plants and this makes it a highly sustainable material. It’s strong (with a similar strength-to-weight ratio to that of steel) and lightweight and would appear to be the perfect material for a bicycle. Imagine if the use of bamboo as a material for transport as caught on in developing countries? A large sector of a population with access to a low-cost, sustainable method of transportation could miraculously transform an economy. No wonder bamboo bicycles are now being heralded by bikers, environmentalists and social entrepreneurs alike. DIY manuals on how to build bamboo bikes are popping up all over the web and entrepreneurs like The Bamboo Bike Studio are getting in on the act by holding workshops and providing mail-order kits. 

While bamboo bikes are being considered as essential tools for transport in developing countries, in more developed regions, the emphasis is on street-cred (high-performance bamboo-frame bicycles don’t come cheap ranging from $3,000 for just the frame to $10,000) and design with some frames being treated as a form of art. 

While they may be strong, my main concern is for their durability. Being produced from natural and biodegradable material must certainly limit the longevity of a bamboo bike, but with material that can be so easily sourced and replaced, perhaps that is a minor consideration.
Image: Alice Supply Co.
Now I am at home and the lion's share of the housework falls to me, I will confess that I take whatever steps I can to make the whole process a more enjoyable experience. It may seem like a waste, a frivolous extravaganza, however we all need to do what we must to get by. 

Therefore when I came across these beautiful but utilitarian designs for common household items I immediately fell in love. The items are produced by Alice Supply Co. and their website can be found here. Items range from the mundane to the sublime including brooms, buckets and garden hoses, in short, anything that you might need to look after the house and home. What sets these items apart from the ones you might purchase in a supermarket or hardware store is that all of these items have been redesigned with bold splashes of colour and graphics which I feel would make even the most mundane and boring of tasks a joy.

Image: Target
Target will be releasing three new and exciting collaborations in September and October: Tucker, John Derian and Mulberry.

As a precursor, in conjunction with GILT GROUPE, a limited number of the designs were made available for purchase this weekend. By the time I registered and checked their website however all of the Mulberry bags had sold out. It was interesting to get a preview of what will be on offer and I have marked the dates of the general release on my calendar.

You can have a look at the designs here. Registration is necessary.
Image: Target

As mentioned in my earlier post on the collaboration with Isabel and Reuben Toledo, which took place to commemorate the opening of its first store in Harlem, Target also worked with Stephen Burrows to produce a small line. I have posted above a picture of my favourite dress in the line which is full of vibrant colours and lots of colour blocking. The items have been available in store since the end of July and online since the beginning of August.
Image: island*atelier
Last week I was able to view one of my favourite properties in Bermuda. The property is called Sea House and it consists of a duplex apartment over four floors. I toured Sea House East. It is situated in an easterly parish and has views of the north coast in one direction and agricultural land over the other.

It is easily one of the most unique properties I've ever seen in Bermuda. A beautiful, solid front door opens to reveal a landing area. Short staircases with glass balustrades lead down to a den/bedroom with en suite wet room and up to the open-plan kitchen and dining area. Off the dining room is a small bonus room and french doors lead from the kitchen to a small walled-in outdoor area. More stairs lead to the next level which is a large, open-plan living room. I was surprised to note that although there are chimneys on the exterior of the property, there was no fireplace. French doors lead to a tiny balcony facing farmland off the living area. Another flight of stairs leads to the top floor, under the sloping roof and there are two bedrooms and two bathrooms, the master being en suite with the most amazing tub situated under one of the many circular windows which are a feature of the property.

It appears however that while the three lower floors were beautifully completed and outfitted, the top floor was inelegantly converted into two bedrooms and two bathrooms and therefore completely ruined my love for the property. The fact that there is absolutely no outside space (of which I was aware before viewing the property) and the state of the top floor would make it very difficult, but not impossible, for me to live there. There are some lovely water views though most of the townhouse faces agricultural land, a result of a major road abutting the property between the house and the coastline.

Being so close to the sea I also noticed signs of wear (rust) throughout the property. Considering it was built no more than three years ago, I also thought that was highly disappointing. The property is well within our price range and had it been in better condition I would probably have sacrificed the lack of outdoor space just for the pleasure of living in such a uniquely designed space.

Above is a picture of the beautiful master bath that I took during the tour as well as a link to an earlier review of the property which was posted here.

Image: Apple

Those of you who follow this blog may, or may not, have noticed that the entries have been pretty sporadic over the past few months. This has been due to the fact that my trusty laptop up and died on me and I decided to take the plunge and replace it with an iMac. It's sleek and modern and functions quite well but as I had never used a Mac before the system has required some getting used to, almost like learning to walk all over again. While it has taken several months for me to feel as comfortable with the system as I used to be with Windows, from now on I hope to get the postings back to their usual frequency. I was a real Mac sceptic before but I like to think that I'm now totally converted to the Apple way of life.

This was a highly anticipated (by me) Target collaboration. Earlier this month, Target opened its first store in Harlem and to commemorate the occasion entered into a collaboration of limited designs with Isabel and Reuben Toledo as well as the designer Stephen Burrows. Some of the items are quite interesting, in particular I like the towels and this one shouldered swimsuit. At first I thought the items would only be available in store, however some items can be purchased online.  

I've also just seen that Isabel Toledo will be collaborating with Payless Shoes on a new line and I'll post more on that collaboration shortly.
Image: Roxy

Following on the heels of Cynthia Rowley’s designs for the L.A.-based brand Roxy (which I loved and will be featured in an upcoming post), Roxy is teaming up with British, slogan-loving designer Henry Holland. The collaboration is scheduled for an October release and currently will only be sold in Europe.
Image: Designartist/Shawn Soh
Designer Shawn Soh’s Tree Bookshelf was featured at this year’s International Contemporary Furniture Fair and would definitely add a touch of whimsy to any child’s room. The hand-made bookshelf is made of steel, revered for its strength, durability and recyclability and unlike a regular bookshelf, Tree Bookshelf’s branch-shaped shelves mean books do not have to be put away neatly and are perfect for storing toys and trinkets.