My dish rack is rather old and boring. So I went onto the old Amazon.com to see what I could get. What I found was a surprisingly large community of people making and buying highly designed and creative dish racks.
One of my favorite sites Design Milk did a post a while ago on the subject, and of course, this lead me down a hole that I needed to share.
What I found that Design Milk didn’t talk about was, usability. If you have a large family or lots of guests, most of these will be useless. If you’re like me however, (living alone with the occasional girlfriend visit) you’ll want to get one of these. So let’s go down this unique (surprisingly expensive) hole.
This $25.00 two tier drier has a beautiful compact design. Plastic mixed with metal wires, looking sharp, easy to clean, and while you can’t say much more, at $25.00 it’s the cheapest on this list. The key here is simplicity and functionality. If you have a small apartment, I’m pretty sure it would fit in any space.
While one of the most expensive at $80.00, it is one of the most useful and feature-rich. Adjustable sliders for cups, a drain “slide” for excess water to go into the sink, adjustable racks for drying larger items like pots and pans, and a dedicated knife drainer. It’s a simple, clean design as well. Though I can see the white and clear plastic getting dirty and dingy pretty fast, it’s extremely useful. In fact, almost every review I read about this thing was just pure praise.
What can you say when the first “Product Feature” listed calls out; energy-efficient dish drying? At $28.00 it’s not as cheap as the 2 tier HDS model, nor does it actually hold cups.. it does however have an extremely compact design. So much that that most reviewers love the fact that it fits inside your sink. You can’t deny the simplicity, minimalistic way this thing looks.
Some of these on my list have more form than function, and the Forma Lupe by InterDesign is the poster child of that. I love this one, mainly for the retro style and unique color scheme. Customers hate it because, the water doesn’t actually drain and it’s too small for a family. That being said; for $27.00 (and 3¢) a little “lite” hacking can actually make this useful and a uniquely designed dish rack to your kitchen.
Almost looking like an architectural item rather than a dish rack, this is another form over function item. At $50.00 you’ll be able to dry items, but as reviewers put it, not many and not too heavy. Like most of these listed above, if you live alone or in a small place, this is a perfect item.
A beautiful minimalist bamboo design that builds function into the design. The slanted groved bamboo gives it a great design but also lets the water drain into the sink. While again not very large, reviewers have pointed out this is a rather cheaply made rack. With the laquer coming off and the wood chipping, you can’t deny the simplicity of the design. Though at $37.00, you may want to put that towards something that will hold up better.
I’m beginning to like Simplehuman. With a great design, function and modular style, $80.oo (again) seems like it’d be worth it. Reviewers praise this item, as with the other version, this one has an added feature of a Wine Rack add-on. As a person that loves his wine, this is on my Amazon wish list. Large adjustable racks, with space and room for a family, and a great design for any design nerd. I’d say save your money, never tell anyone how much you spent for this, and blindly hit that add to cart button.
Well, if you’re reading this, then you’ve hit that dark lonely path with me, into designer dish racks. Let me apologize for getting you into this as well, but if you read the reviews, pick the one you like, you’ll never buy another rack again, and your friends will secretly want one too.
Recently I did a post on the Top 5 Inspiration apps for iOS. Today I wanted to do a post on my top five Inspiration-finding websites.
There are a lot of websites just dedicated to find Inspiration with multiple pages of designs, artists and blogs. They’re all great resources. You don’t have to limit yourself with just these sites, however. There are countless blogs that, while not inspiration sites, do exactly that.
What’s the biggest thing still? iOS apps. I don’t know about you, but I just fall for any app that has a great-looking design, even if it doesn’t actually do anything useful (Awesome looking flip clock apps). However, it’s a great site to look at new apps from various categories, and check out their designs, function, and style.
While a blog about futurism, it’s also a great source for finding new and cutting-edge designs. They post a lot of concept art, and feature new and prominent artists. It’s actually a great site to see where design may be going in the near future.
3. Retro To Go
It’s a great site to look at products from the past and retro remix products of today. I find the most inspiration in the patterns or style of a product. A wallpaper I created a while ago of the iMac family was from a pattern of a dress being sold, that Retro To Go blogged about.
While dealing mostly with the Social network side of news, they also feature stories about different designs and artists. I especially love their “Top 10 posts” ranging from icons to app design. They also heavily feature infographics (such as my own), and can be a great resource for inspiration.
Now this may be an odd one, but I can’t tell you the number of times I just did random searches on Wikipedia and came up with an idea to feature said search. My Periodic Table of Controllers, was a random search on Nintendo and the D-pad. 300,000 clicks later, it’s one of my most popular designs on flickr.
As I said before, Inspiration comes from everywhere. Just because a site has “inspiration” in it’s title or tag, doesn’t mean it’s the only site to check out. When working on a new design, keep in mind the sites you read and how they can maybe help guide you to think differently.
Inspiration is a key stage for any designer. You can see it everywhere, from a book, a movie or even walking outside to your car. Before any design, I look for inspiration. I’ll see something and either take a picture, draw it, or jot it down. With the iphone and iOS, it’s even simpler now to do it.
Today, I want to show you my top five apps to help me find, remember and share these inspirations. The apps aren’t really made just for this specific subject, instead I find them extremely useful for what I want to do and not necessarily made for that idea.
Fab is a great little app that shows deals on shirts, appliances; pretty much whatever you’re looking for. While the app is designed nicely, it’s also a great way to look for ideas and inspiration. If you’re a product designer or even a print/web designer, this is a great app to see what’s trending and different styles on multiple forms of media.
4. Voice Memo
I don’t carry around a notebook all the time ( I should ) and the keyboard on an iPhone isn’t the most ideal way to jot something down. The voice memo app fixes all that. There have been times when I’m out walking around and an idea randomly pops in my head. Since everything I remember lasts about 5 min, this app is priceless to me.
A stylish, easy-to-use, RSS reader. It’s also a great place to look at designs, photos or anything, in large vibrant images. It’s extremely customizable and has a beautiful easy-to-use interface. In can also link up to all your other sites like flickr or twitter.
We all use twitter for different reasons. I’ve set up all my accounts, flickr, tumblr ios photos to go to twitter. That way, when I post something it gets shared with the world ( Or whoever is following me at the time) can see it. You can follow designers, blogs, stores. This is one of the best ways to share or find inspiration.
1. Camera App
The iPhone camera is my favorite app. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a store, antique shop or just walking around and saw something I want to remember. Take a snapshot, email it, share it or just save it for later. It’s always important to take a camera with you, and iOS gives you a great way to capture an image and do so much more with it at that moment instead of snapping a shot and forgetting about it.
Don’t just bind yourself to apps with a title inspiration or a tag. Think about what you do to capture or remember these moments and use the tools you already have in your hand. They maybe better then you think.
If you have any other apps you use that aren’t the norm, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.