Lumio Book Lamp is a beautiful, portable LED lamp disguised as a book – $160
It looks like an old book with wooden covers and it’s a thing of beauty even when closed. But when you open the book up there’s no story to read. Instead, you’re greeted by a bright, warm light as the book transforms into a stunning LED lamp.
Lumio is powered by a rechargeable battery so it can be used as a portable light source wherever you need it. It can be opened to form different shapes, and the included leather strap and the built-in magnet lets you use it in an unlimited number of situations, places and ways. As with many other products featured on this site, Lumio started as a Kickstarter project. It left the crowd funding phase about a year ago and the company now has an online store up and running. My own Lumio is currently making its way over the Atlantic Ocean and I can’t wait to start using it in my home.
Photos don’t do the device justice so be sure to check out this video presentation:
SlatePro Desk is a sleek bamboo desk with built-in air vents and multiple device docks – $368-698
If you’re looking for a new, feature-packed desk for your home or office then you might find what you’re looking for at Kickstarter right now. iSkelter just launched a new crowd-sourced project called SlatePro and this isn’t like any other desk you’ve seen before.
I’m actually writing this sitting down in my couch with their previous Kickstarter project Slate Mobile AirDesk in my lap. The AirDesk is a bamboo slate with large air vents, a built-in mouse pad and a carved out dock that fits a phone or a small tablet. It was successfully funded by me and 1107 other backers on Kickstarter and it shipped a while ago. I’m very happy with the final product and I think it’s only natural that they take this a step further with the SlatePro.
The SlatePro is a real work desk with hand-crafted steel legs. It shares all the nice features of the Mobile AirDesk, but it also has some new features added. The bamboo is now covered by a layer of protective acrylic and there are holes ready to keep the cables coming from your computer and display organized. Instead of one device dock there is now three available, and a few other new slots and stands have been added. They even carved out a special place for your cup of coffee or glass of water, which I think is a fun attention to detail.
Check out the Kickstarter presentation video below and head on to the project presentation for more pictures and information. I think this desk looks incredibly useful.
Hario Skerton is a beautiful, high-quality ceramic coffee grinder – $34
If you have any ambitions to make coffee that actually tastes good then you need to buy freshly roasted, whole coffee beans and grind them yourself right before you brew your coffee. There are no shortcuts available here so just do it and enjoy a whole new level of coffee experiences. There are many other factors that you can experiment with to make better coffee, but fresh beans and a grinder is the absolute best way to start out. I’ll leave it to you to find good coffee beans that suits your own taste but I will recommend a few good grinders here on Pixels & Objects in the coming months.
When you start looking for the right coffee grinder you have a few options to consider. The first one is whether to get a burr grinder or one that cuts the coffee beans using metallic blades. The answer is always to go for a burr grinder since they produce much more evenly cut coffee particles and this results in far better coffee. The second choice is between an electrical or a manual grinder. Electrical grinders are fast and easy to use but they also take up a lot of space. Manual grinders are often nice design objects that are easy to store and pack when traveling, but they do require you to put in some work every time you use them.
The first grinder featured on this site is Skerton, a manual, ceramic burr grinder from the legendary Japanese glassware manufacturer Hario. Skerton is a beautiful piece of hardware that you probably don’t want to hide in a kitchen drawer. It lets you grind approximately 80-90 grams of coffee at a time which is enough to brew 5+ cups of coffee. You will have to put in a lot of manual work to grind that much coffee beans and my recommendation is to use it to make smaller batches of coffee. It’s perfect for brewing 1-3 cups, either as your main grinder or as a less noisy alternative to your electronic grinder when you don’t want to wake your family up. It can also be very useful while traveling or at a place where you simply need an extra grinder, like at work. The price is also pretty attractive compared to almost any electrical burr grinder available.
Hario Skerton is made out of metal, plastic and glass and all parts can be disassembled very easily if you want to perform some serious cleaning. It comes with a plastic lid that you can use on the glass container if you want to store some grounded coffee, but that’s not something I would recommend. Use a scale to measure exactly the amount of beans you need for your brew and you’ll get better tasting coffee every time.