bolkenstijn, 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 such as interior, graphic design, illustration, typography and photography.  Designer / art-director / observer

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Triumph Bonneville T100 Black

Unfortunately I don’t have my motor driving license and… fortunately I don’t have my motor driver license. Because I would hang posters above my bed of the Triumph Bonneville T100 in black. And that’s a little disturbing at my age  ;)  And the wife would;t appreciate it I think.

The soberness of the T100 is intriguing, the shining metal contrasting the matte black finish and not an unwanted piece of decorative detail in sight. Beauty in it’s purest form. Too bad they have put a rather cheap looking T100 sticker on it though. More info on the T100 can be found here.

Posted on Saturday, August 2nd 2014

Never mess up again with your Messograf

Everybody knows this pen, but how is it called? It’s the Messograf produced by the Cleo Skirbent Company in Germany. It’s kind of a legend because it has been around since 1945. It is made of solid brass and has a matte silver chrome-plated finish. You can use it as a ruler, it has a caliper gauge with vernier scale, a thread scale and a tyre tread gauge. Oh! And it’s also a retractable ballpoint  ;)

A practical tool for just about everyone and should be in any (designers) toolbox. You can find their website is here.

Posted on Tuesday, May 27th 2014

Smartest wallchair

Now this is clever thinking and nicely done. Putting on your shoes in the morning couldn’t be easier and more stylish with the Skagerak Cutter Seat from Denmark. Clever man that Niels Hvass, compliments. I just hope those aren’t his pink Converse in the picture.

There is a whole series of Skagerak Cutter furniture to complete you interior, you can find it here on their website.

Posted on Thursday, May 22nd 2014

Industrial Styled Seletti Stack Lockers

I like the way of thinking of Seletti, because they probably have seen the succes of the IKEA locker styled PS cabinet. And on top of that the succes of the modular stacked bookcases of many furniture brands. Combine those, add some colour and you have the Seletti Stack series. Brilliantly functional design.

There is something to admire about the unpretentious industrial looks of a locker; the straight lines, the ventilation, the locks, the weight it has and the way it can adapt to any room. I think the Seletti Stack can be a classic that appeals to a broad audience and I am one of them  :)

There is  a stack composer where you can customize a stack that fits your room, the Selleti Stack Configurator. And you can find their official website here

Posted on Thursday, May 22nd 2014

How the light enters the room

Even though I have only been to the Algarve and Lissabon (a must-see!) you can sense that Portugal is an upcoming country. You feel the creativity of the current and new generation.

So what do you do when you combine Portugal with architecture, the sun and functional design? Yes, great open houses made from concrete, steel, wood and glas.

E348 Arquitectura created this two-storey Miramar House in the port town of Vila Nova de Gaia. Beautifully executed and what strikes me most is the way the owners can adjust how much and how the sun enters the house with apparently simple wooden shutters in clean cut lines.

You can find the architects here.

Posted on Thursday, May 22nd 2014

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 flipclocks; 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 with the appropriate charisma. 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. 

Of course I am prejudiced, so an objective view could be difficult (especially since there aren’t many reviews around). I had my eyes on Twemco for a long time because of the design and finish. I have two 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 (although not really heavy) and the acrylic glass is superbly finished. The German quartz clock mechanism works like… uh… clockwork. The true Twemco test is in my two Twemco’s; they are still not out of sync with my iMac and they are running for months now.

Only negative remark could be with the (alarm)clocks. A flipclock next to your bed is not for everyone because on the hour you hear a ‘click’ (as loud as the click of a DSLR camera). I don’t mind by the way, I love the natural authentic charme of a mechanical clock. And only the beautiful AL30 alarm clocks comes with a button for internal lighting, so you can turn on the 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 (surely you live in a loft don’t you?), this really must be one of the coolest functional items around  :)

For sale at Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk

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