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Introducing... Objects of Use

If you like the long-standing utilitarian London shop, Labour & Wait, you'll love Objects of Use. The shop has both a physical presence (in Oxford) and a cleanly designed online shop.

I came across the shop while writing my monthly page for (gorgeous) magazine The Simple Things, all about slowing down to enjoy... you guessed it. It's about as different from your average women's magazine as you could get, so if you don't already know it and that sounds like it would appeal – do give it a go. Meanwhile...

Objects of Use sells “enduring household tools and functional items". The shop aims to source “the best versions” of everything it sells – and its concept sprang, partly, from co-founder, Alex Dexter’s growing disdain for a ubiquitous brand of plastic floor mop. “It annoyed me that everyone had stopped selling what was clearly a better product,” he explains, “and replaced it with these plastic things.” As such, the shop sells “proper” cotton mops and metal buckets.

Dexter, runs the beautifully old-school Oxford shop with his wife Hazel and, alongside good mops, they sell – for example (as there is lots of stock to browse) – beautifully sturdy pieces of Austrian enamelware, beechwood and horsehair mushroom brushes, and classic rattan carpet beaters. All are typically made (and made to last) by family-run firms using generations-old traditional manufacturing methods. It is a proud rejection of what the couple call "throwawayism". Besides, as they say, “Having the right tool for the job vastly improves the experience of completing our daily tasks.” Quite.

Table dustpan and brush, £25
Swedish-made oiled beech and horsehair dustpan/ brush set for sweeping crumbs from the table. Look how neatly it fits together, and note the satisfyingly designed hanging hole. The set is made in a studio where visually impaired craftsmen have been hand making brushes since the late 1800s.

Mariskooli bowls, £16-49
These classic Finnish sweet, snack or ice-cream bowls were designed by Maija Isola of Marimekko in 1960, but are said to have been based upon a traditional bowl she had found and fallen in love with at a flea market. Comes in two sizes.

Knitted linen towels, £25-£50
Hand and bath towels knitted from natural un-dyed linen yarn. The loose knitted structure apparently increases surface area whilst drying and allows better air circulation during airing. Made by the same Swedish studio behind the dustpan and brush set above.

Spun aluminium food containers/lunch-pails, £11-£15
Nice red lids, tight rubber rubber seals, and a simple bar and snap closure, these containers are made by a small metalworks on the Iberian peninsular. Pretty up the inside of your fridge or cupboard – better still, they're perfect to take on outings if today's glorious picnic weather prevails.oss by 5.5cm deep.

Shop online at Objects of Use

1 comment :

  1. my dad would go into raptures over this shop. i'll have to forward him the link. thanks kate x