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little-luxuries

I recently opened the Japanese Trash shop on great.ly because I wanted to have a place where I could offer up quality items that fall into my masculine design aesthetic for those of you who are interested in bringing a bit of Japanese Trash into your own homes. From time to time I will feature one of the shop’s sources–or, as great.ly calls them, makers–so you can get a closer look at what’s on offer at the shop. Today’s maker is Dana Brandwein Oates, of Sharon, Connecticut.

Dana creates a full line of home wares, but it’s the pieces that exemplify her ethos of elevating our everyday lives with “little luxuries” that have captured my attention. Here are three that I feature in my shop:

Bear Crossing Pinch Bowls:

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Here’s a unique two-piece set featuring a bear walking across two diminutive porcelain bowls just perfect for setting out salts on the dinner table or for holding your spare change on your nightstand. Each piece is hand cut, stamped and formed then glazed with a very neutral grey and white matte finish. Order HERE.

Mineral Cup:

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This masculine hand thrown porcelain cup is hand painted with a highly reflective deep green metallic glaze The glaze drips into the cup over the rim to create unique subtle patterns. Use this to hold the little stuff you need at hand on your desk – or for a hot cup of joe or a cocktail. Fired to over 2200 degrees makes this strong enough for everyday. No two are alike. 3″ x 3″ Order HERE.

Burl Curve B&B:

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A terrific side plate, dessert plate, bath tray, desk plate… you get the idea–this guy is very versatile. Wood grain is rolled onto thin slabs of porcelain, then each piece is hand cut and formed and glazed in this gun metal color called Mussel. No two are alike. Approximate size: 4″ x 8″ Order HERE.

I hope you see something you like–and want to order! See more from Dana Brandwein Oates and all of my hand-selected makers on the Japanese Trash shop at great.ly.

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It’s the height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and here in Austin the temperatures are reaching triple digits. I’ve always been a believer in letting our surroundings help set the mood in our lives, so, if you’re like me and would like to feel a cooling ocean breeze these days, you might want to think about adding a surfboard to your abode and let the waves crash over you–figuratively, at least. It can be as simple as propping a board in the corner, like in the Madrid home above. Throw in a moody moonscape and the classic Bertoia Diamond Lounge Chair, and you’ve got yourself one stylish set up.


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Take the island feeling into your workspace by including a graphic board there. You can picture yourself on Australia’s surf coast where this home is located.


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Why not add a surfboard to the bedroom? Get in the laid-back beach mode from the moment you open your eyes. By the way, isn’t this Brazilian surfer’s home amazing?


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Boards come in all kinds of sizes and designs, so you can choose one that’s just right for your taste and interior design style. This one even comes with a bit of history.


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Think your style is a bit too sophisticated to throw a surfboard against the wall? How about this one from Peter Walker, master artist and surfboard designer/builder. Yes, it’s a real board that can be used in the water, just like all the others shown here. But there’s no denying it’s also a work of art.

So, how about it? Are you ready to add some surfer cool to your space?

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