Brooklyn Designed: A Day in the Life 


8 am
Wake up under your Soft Map quilt by Dumbo-based textile designer Emily Fischer. She makes quilts featuring maps of Brooklyn neighborhoods including Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Fort Greene/Clinton Hill and Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill available in two sizes and five color schemes.

8:30 am
Enjoy your cereal/yogurt/oatmeal/fruit salad in Jason Miller's half-convention, half-avian Seconds bowls from Williamsburg's Areaware. Don't forget to grab a banana from Harry Allen's banana-shaped Banana Bowl (also from Areaware) before you start your day.

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9:30 am
Kick back and dip into one of the local art zines you purchased at the Brooklyn Art Library, marveling at the sophistication of the borough's artists under the light from your old-school white enamel industrial ceiling fixture from Moonriver Chattel. Be at peace.

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11:30 am
When you're done reading, you can just put the book back into your set of Star Trek-looking Helical Shelves, a radical reinterpretation of boring old shelves by Dumbo's City Joinery (more interesting than half the books they're storing, no doubt).

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12 pm
Lunch time! Cut into your deliciously gooey grilled cheese with Steve Butcher's dismembered flatware. Yes, it may seem impractical to have two tines missing from a fork, but it looks really effing cool. (Available at Spring.)

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12:30 pm
So much cheese and bread! So sleepy. Time to nap under your totally awesome “topographical” blanket from Iceland! Which depicts a volcano erupting between two glaciers! Seriously! (Available at Scandinavian Grace.)

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1:30 pm
Time to get up. How can you tell? By checking the coolest wall clock you have ever seen, the Rock Paper Robot Turn,” a re-engineered hourglass that, well, turns slowly on your wall, freaking out your houseguests (you can even get a customized moose head version, if you want).

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2 pm
You haven't done much today, but you still deserve a drink. Crack open a cold bottle of Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve with the absolutely awesome carved wooden bull bottle opener from A and G Merch. Maybe it's the beer talking, but these are possibly the best objects EVAR.

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2:30 pm
Dude, your windowbox herb garden is blowing up—YOUR BASIL IS MAD LARGE. Time to trim that green back with your dope-ass secateurs from Brook Farm General Store. That's right, dope-ass secateurs.

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3 pm
Do you ever wish you looked a bit more like a WWII Dutch resistance fighter? Yeah, us too. There's one easy solution: purchase a serious Dutch bike from serious Dutch bike store Rolling Orange in Cobble Hill. May we recommend the ATY by De Fietsfabriek? This black warhorse of a bicycle has the rack capacity to carry 250 pounds. (If Samuel Beckett rode a contemporary Dutch bike, this would be the one.)

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3:30 pm
Now that you're ready to tour the borough, pedal your way to the Gowanus Canal and let your imagination take over (after you've gotten off your bike). You see, the Gowanus is getting a bunch of Superfund money, and Gowanus By Design has put together a contest looking for ideas on how to remake the “stinkiest canal in America” into “a nice place to live.” Floating container pools? Pirate ship/bar? A thousand tire swings? Sure, whatever you want. (Contest deadline is May 1. Visit for details.)

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4:30 pm
Head over to the Brooklyn Museum, designed by legendary New York architecture firm McKim, Mead & White (although only one sixth of the project was ever built). Their glass-ceilinged Great Hall has just undergone an ”imaginative makeover” by Brooklyn-based firm Situ Studio, and the new exhibition Thinking Big (through May 29) showcases the latest acquisitions in the museum's design collection.

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5:30 pm
Hungry again? Go grocery and wine shopping (and, come October, grab a drink and see a show at Radio Bushwick) at the Wyckoff Exchange (22 Wyckoff Avenue), a futuristic building by Andre Kikoski Architect with a movable façade of LED-embedded Corten steel that looks like the Death Star's docking bay.

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6 pm
Of course, you'll need to carry your groceries in something: how about a Brooklyn Skyline tote (by Colleen and Eric)? Or if it makes you feel sheepish to be biking around Brooklyn with an image of the Brooklyn skyline on your bag, you could always send one as a gift to your favorite out-of-towners—they are really beautiful.

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6:15 pm
Back from your trip, you hang your bike on one of Made in Brooklyn's fantastic Bedford Avenue Bike Racks, custom fit out of ply and veneer to hold your conveyance just so, on the wall.

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6:30 pm
Sit down to dinner around your dining room Pi Table of recovered wood by Williamsburg's Scrapile (under Joy Detergent Bottle Lamps by Dumbo's T.O.M.T.) in your Standard Chair, a combo of found wooden chair backs and steel and aluminum elements by Red Hook's uhuru furniture studio.

7:30 pm
Making plans for tonight, whip out your phone sheathed in one of the sleek, retrofuturistic EXOvault iPhone cases designed by Brooklyn-based artists Jonathan Schipper and Amelia Biewald, available in wood, brass, aluminum and bronze.

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7:45 pm
Back out into the world, people. Head into the subway—with its award-winning 1979 map and graphic designs by Manhattan firm Michael Hertz Associates—but forget about fiddling with your purse/wallet; grab your Metrocard from your Metrocard Belt Buckle ($150) by Greenpoint-based metalworks group Total Metal Resource.

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8 pm
See a dance performance at the Center for Performance Research (361 Manhattan Avenue), Brooklyn's first L.E.E.D.-certified building, designed by Dumbo-based Gregory Merryweather Architect.

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10 pm
You've taken in a lot in today, so now you need to reflect. Let's assume you're the kind of person who actually still has a desk (you know, a place to sit when you're writing letters, balancing the checkbook, and consulting your atlas). The desk you want would be the Snug It, by Brooklyn's EcoSystems, a 100 percent sustainably produced, recyclable object that also happens to be incredibly beautiful.

11 pm
The business of the day now done, stir yourself a cocktail with a brass twig spoon ($16 each) by Brooklyn designer Masumi Hayashi (aka Lio & Linn) and pour it into the Surreal Cyclist tumbler (2 for $40) by Gowanus-based ceramics studio Take Me Homeware.

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12 am
Time to sleep. IN THE AWESOMEST BED EVER. Brooklyn-based designer Andre Joyau's Naoki Bed, made from solid walnut and feature various wood grain accents, is so beautiful we can't sleep just thinking about trying to sleep in it.


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