bolkenstijn.nl, a designer's blog about cool functional items

I am Eddy Bolkenstijn. My blog is my archive and sharing point of remarkable design with an emphasis on design of functional items in everyday life, interior, graphic design, illustration, typography and photography. Eddy Bolkenstijn designer / art-director / observer

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8-bit DIY pop-up-cards

A bit of brilliance for all of us 80’s gamers out there who have extra time on our hands. Go surprise your friends and family with some homemade craftsmanship  :)  The perfect DIY gift; make your own Space Invaders pop-up card for free with these templates. Go cut now!

Free templates available here for download at www.minieco.co.uk

Posted on Sunday, February 16th 2014

Flipclock Calendar Twemco BQ20 Review Test White Amazon.de Amazon.co.uk Marktplaats.nl Price Preise Prijs Flipclock Alarm AP28 Review Test Amazon.de Amazon.co.uk Marktplaats.nl Price Preise Prijs Flipclock Twemco QT30 Orange Review Test Amazon.de Amazon.co.uk Marktplaats.nl Price Preise Prijs Flipclock Twemco QT30 Black Review Test Amazon.de Amazon.co.uk Marktplaats.nl Price Preise Prijs Twemco Flipclock Collection Review Test Overview Amazon.de Amazon.co.uk Marktplaats.nl Price Preise Prijs Flipclock Alarm Twemco AP28 Yellow Review Test Amazon.de Amazon.co.uk Marktplaats.nl Price Preise Prijs Flipclock Calendar Twemco QD35 Review Test Black Amazon.de Amazon.co.uk Marktplaats.nl Price Preise Prijs

Twemco flip clocks review; they are the real deal

A clock can be a boring item, but Twemco has been making design classics since 1956. So nothing retro or vintage about it, it’s the original flipclock. Who doesn’t love the airport or railway station flipping digits, an invention mainly manufactured on large scale by the Italian company Solari Udine, but since 1956 Twemco manufactures their variations for the home and office. And because I am in love, I am now official reseller in The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium. 

Of course I am prejudiced, so an objective review could be difficult. But that’s really not the case, I had my eyes on Twemco for a long time because of the design and finish. I have several at home and I really admire the industrial sober looks, the clean cut lines, which seem to be drawn with only straight lines and circles. The font could have been a little better, but then again real beauty can only be found in the imperfections. Something that’s perfect is quickly boring, because it doesn’t hurt anywhere ;)  

So what is also important to judge the quality of these clocks? The plastics used are high grade and the acrylic glass is superbly finished. The German quartz clock mechanism works like… uh… clockwork. My three Twemco’s are still not out of sync with my iMac and they are running for months now.

Only negative remarks could be with the alarm clocks. A flipclock next to your bed is not for everyone because on the hour you hear a light ‘click’ (but some people don’t mind, some of us like a constant ticking sound also). And these alarmclock have no internal lighting, so you really have to turn on your light if you want to see the time at night.

The Twemco collection come in a variety of models:

  • with or without perpetual calendar,
  • combined with or without large dial (with sweeping seconds hand),
  • in  sizes ranging from small to extra large (12 cm up to 70 cm),
  • different languages,
  • with or without alarm,
  • standing or wallmounted,
  • some are radio controlled and
  • there is a cool variety of retro colors.

So there is always a Twemco for everyone’s taste. Be it in your kitchen, on the job, in the studio or in your loft (you’ve got a loft don’t you?), this is one really one of the coolest functional items around  :)

Available now at my webshop called EDESIGN®, so they can be found here on Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, and Marktplaats.nl

Tip! A really cool free Mac OSX screensaver with a flipclock full screen can be found here; it’s called Fliqlo and works perfectly.

Posted on Sunday, August 11th 2013

Hard Graft Image Hard Graft Bag Hard Graft Logo Hard Graft Bag Hard Graft Bag Hard Graft Bag

It’s hard not to like Hard Graft

London based company Hard Graft has been producing handmade high end accessories based on wool, leather and waxed cotton canvas in Italy since 2006.  Just watch the detail and craftsmanship and you realize that real quality is still out there, and Hard Graft has it.

Watch this video how the leather looks in real life and enjoy Hard Graft’s products and website here

Posted on Sunday, October 14th 2012

Source hardgraft.com

Bordbar Cabinet Bordbar Cabinet White Bordbar Cabinet Black Bordbar Cabinet Bordbar Cabinet

Cool flight cabinets

Talking about a cool functional item; the aluminum flight cabinet called Box by Bordbar is certainly one of them. The association with aviation and traveling around the globe makes you happy everyday you see your own Bordbar. The details are superb; the handle on top, the rotating turn lock and double rubber castors.

And you can customize to your own taste… amazing. I was already configuring my own one for my home, but then I saw the total price. First thing I thought; I can never convince my wife to buy a small cabinet for such a large amount of money : (  Bummer…

Check out Bordbar’s site here

Posted on Sunday, October 14th 2012

Source bordbar.de

Gira Homeserver Gira Touchscreen Gira Interface Wall Gira eNet Logo Gira Interface iPhone

The ultime remote control?

I have a small remote controlled lighting system made by Jung, which works very well and is very easy to use. Jung uses the KNX standard, which is a universal communication protocol amongst manufacturers for home automation systems (for example Berker, Gira, Jung, Busch-Jaeger and more). 

For a long time the communication amongst switches, dimmers, sensors, lights, thermostats, blinds and more went by wire. Then came RF (radio frequency), which made live a lot easier. But now wifi has entered the arena and almost everyone has a home wifi network nowadays. 

Gira and Jung understood that it’s time to integrate, build a bridge between RF and wifi.  Et presto; eNet is born. One home server, which receives and sends data via wifi and RF. Which means you can control everything at home with your iPad, smartphone or RF remote. And now you can even check & control your devices when away from home. Even better, the eNet home server can also control devices at specific scheduled times; change the temperature, open and shut the blinds, switch lights on/off, anything you want.

Its nothing really new, but now it will be integrated in 1 system, hopefully at a reasonable price. Available in the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2013 I am looking forward what is will be like, but one thing’s for sure; this is the logical next step for many homes in the future.

Check out more here (Gira.de) and here (Jung.de)

Posted on Sunday, October 14th 2012

Source jung.de

Experience zero gravity

While I am posting this blog safely behind my Mac, you forget that there are people that jump of cliffs. Amazing. Watch this video and experience zero gravity as you jump of cliffs that are as high as 1800 meters. 

More amazing video’s from these skydivers & base jumpers can be seen here and here. And don’t forget to set it on ‘Full screen HD’, enjoy.

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th 2012

Habitco Day Maker iPhone Charger Front Habitco Day Maker iPhone ChargerTop Habitco Day Maker iPhone Charger Side Habitco Day Maker iPhone Charger Mini Habitco Day Maker iPhone Charger Colours

Habitco Day Maker iPhone Charger Alarmclock

Now that’s a product title that creates curiosity; and rightly so. The designers of Habitco recognized the same problem I have everyday; I love my iPhone, but charging it everyday, that’s really annoying. So these people have a solution; jJust pop in your iPhone (or 2) and it charges. Use it as your alarm clock (with free app). And enjoy the design of the iPhone charger that is cool and understated (Dieter Rams-ish).

Unfortunately their Kickstarter project needs $275.000,- and they are now at $14.700,- (only 45 days to go). So maybe the price is the letdown? $100,- is still a lot of money for something which has to work perfectly, or else every single day you will be annoyed with a  badly designed $100,- product. Hopefully they will get the money they need and create a perfect product, I really think the world will be a better place with this Charging iPhone Alarm Toaster ;)

Look at their project here on Kickstarter.

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th 2012

Cubit Regal System Examples Cubit Regal System White Front View Cubit Regal System White Side View Cubit Regal System Black Side View

Design your own; the Cubit Shelving System 

Following the interior trend of creating one big wall cupboard/closet/shelving system made out of smaller boxes, the Düsseldorf based company Cubit came up with an online system to design and order your own. Just configure your own composition and order it online. With it’s many possibilities, cool looks (I like the black edition), not too high price tag and easy assembly, it’s a great idea to buy this online.

There may be one problem for some buyers; bear in mind that not everyone is an interior stylist. If you take a look at pictures from customers you will see that these open boxes can also create a lot of clutter in your living room. Just remember that less items is really more with this system ;)

Find info here and take a look at thecustomer pictures here.

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th 2012

Cubby Coat Hook 1 Side view Cubby Coat Hook 2 Cubby Coat Hook 3

Award winning Kickstarter Project; Cubby Coat Hook

'Where the heck are they!' is one of my favorite phrases… Are you also always looking for your keys? You would expect me to leave them somewhere near the front door, because that's where I walk into the house. But no. The Cubby is probably created for 'Neanderthal organization problems' like me; and it looks as brilliant as it is simple.

Just put your wallet & keys in the appropriate space, hang your coat over, et voila. It won an award and it raised almost twice as much as they aimed for at Kickstarter. And for a good reason. Look at the Cubby here or the designers; Materious here.

Posted on Wednesday, May 9th 2012

Quote by Ronan Bouroullec

"I think it is most important to be able to question ourselves, while keeping our standards of quality high. To be able to - at any point of the process - stop and start over if needed." 

Ronan Bouroullec answers the question: “What is the most important factor that influences and/or inspires your design process?”

Posted on Wednesday, April 11th 2012

C2b On This Day Calendar Total View C2b On This Day Calendar Close 1 C2b On This Day Calendar Close 2

Daily Fact Calendar, by C2B

This one is great. A cool product with a low price, good for everyday use and… you can use it forever! This well designed colorful calendar is made of laminated paper on which you can write all of your appointments, schedules, deadlines, dates, birthdays and more one year long. And then you can wipe it all clean and start the next year fresh. 

Then there is a surprise; the paper is heat sensitive and every square has a historical fact to tell. So; cool item, great functionality, and only costs EUR 30,-

Buy it here at C2B (shipping to many countries).

Posted on Monday, April 9th 2012

Specialized Roll 1 Specialized Daily Specialized Live Ladies

Specialized bikes are cool

When I bought my first mountain bike Specialized was a big brand. Then - at least to me - it seemed like the brand gradually disappeared of the radar. Maybe it’s because Dutch bike sellers didn’t have enough interest, or their collection didn’t have enough to offer, I don’t know.

But since a few years they are also claiming their position within the market of urban lifestyle bikes. Fixed bikes, daily use bikes, speedy messenger bikes, it’s there. I like the styling, use of materials and the prices & quality are on par. And this American brand proves that not only Dutch guys are man enough to ride around with a basket on the front  ;)  

So, in the market for a bike? There are enough reasons to take a look at Specialized sublabel ‘Globe’ and you can find all the info here.

Posted on Monday, April 9th 2012