Before Kip Kotzen started neo-utility, his Brooklyn-based design sales agency and distribution company, he worked with the Eames family in California as well as with Vitra and Areaware. Since 2009 he’s been applying his excellent taste to smaller goods for the home and office, like the To:ca Alarm Clock (which is, by now, a modern icon), the beautiful handmade wooden toys by Miller Goodman or the minimal, purpose-driven desk accessories by ANYTHING that make me want to spend my last paycheck on an office makeover.
Among neo-utility’s 2012 product line up is the clever/cute Chick-a-Dee, a bird-shaped smoke detector and the Mini-ELEFAN, a small table top fan with an elephant trunk-like duct you can use to adjust the direction of the wind and control in three settings – strong, weak and rhythmical. Since the blades aren’t exposed its ideal for children, and it can be charged with a USB cable. The filter is washable, too, and it even comes with an optional aromatherapy attachment.
We also love the Recycled Sky Planter, by Boskke. Upside down planters make it possible for apartment dwellers to maximize their interior green space without cluttering up every available surface, and Boskke’s line of planters are, as their name suggests, made from recycled plastic. A float-stick indicates the water level so you know when to refill, and starting at $18, you can easily afford to cluster them in groups.