What is Ideal?

Ideal is a carefully curated shop composed of unique, design-conscious gifts and accessories. The objects we choose are creative, authentic, and refined. They are inspired by the vision of talented artists and designers from around the world.

Our store was formed with our own ideal in mind: that shopping should always be a personal and thoughtful experience.

Enjoy our blog and please come visit our shop in beautiful, downtown Bellingham. If you can't make it in, we take orders over the phone - just call (360-752-5522) or e-mail info@anidealshop.com.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Marimekko - Finland

We've just received our first spring shipment from Marimekko and the beautiful colors are helping us get through these last few weeks of Northwest winter.

Founded in 1951 by visionary textile designer Armi Raitia and her husb
and, Viljo, Marimekko grew from a small textile-printing firm into an international phenomenon. From its beginnings as a textile design company, Marimekko branched out into everything from toys to dinnerware to architecture, becoming something a lifestyle brand in the 1960s and 70s. The company’s outstanding designers revolutionized modern printed fabrics and fashion.

Marimekko was made famous in the United States when Jacqueline Kennedy bought eight cotton dresses which she wore throughout the 1960 US Presidential campaign. Today the company continues to collaborate with young artists, encouraging experimentation. The result is spirited, non-traditional patterns and vivid colors.

Featured Objects:

Kippis Tray

Designer: Maija Louekari
Materials: Fabric/plywood
Dimensions:43 x 33 cm.
Price: $55.00

Unikko Apron for Adults

Designer: Maija Isola
Materials:100% cotton
Price: $42.00

Available in red or blue. We also have the red style in kid-size, $20.00

Metsanvaki tray

Designer: Kristina Isola
Materials: Plywood
Dimensions: 27 x 20
Price: $28.00

Kauris Bag

Pattern Design: Sanna Annukka
Materials: 100% lightweight
cotton canvas
Dimensions: 35 x 30 x 11 cm.
Price: $75.00

Iltapaiva Umbrella

Pattern Design: Erja Hirvi
Materials: 100% polyester
Dimensions: 56 x 112 cm.
Price: $44.00

Purnukka Apron (garcon style)

Designer: Erja Hirvi
Materials: 100% cotton
Dimensions:118 x 95 cm.
Price: $60.00

Kanteleen Kutsu Tea Towels (set of two)

Designer: Sanna Annukka

Materials: Linen/Cotton
Dimensions: 47 x 70 cm.
Price: $25.00, set of two

Additional Objects from Marimekko

The following are also available in a changing selection of patterns:

  • Handbags
  • Coin purses
  • Plywood/fabric trays
  • Tea towel sets
  • Oven mitts
  • Mugs
  • Bibs
  • Cards
  • Memory games
  • Scarves

Images copyright (c)2009 Marimekko Corporation. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

normann-copenhagen - Denmark

Founded by Poul Madsen and Jan Andersen in 1999, normann-copenhagen launched its first product in 2002. Since then, more than 38 products followed, as well as collaborations with established design names and new talents from around the world. Honored with numerous international design awards, normann-copenhagen continues is mission to challenge convention and reinvent the everyday to make even the ordinary extraordinary through great design.

Featured Objects

Cognac Glass

Designer: Rikke Hagen, 2004
Material: Glass
Price: $60.00/set of two

As designer Rita Hagen explains, "I wanted the glass to give the user a feeling of a gentleman's study and at the same time a sense of the calmness when you fondle a stone. The stem kept irritating me. I took the consequence and cut it off."

Woofy Computer Cord Holder

Designer: Gabriel Nigro
Material: Hardened plastic
Dimensions: 30 x 47 x 19.7 cm.

Gabriel Nigro was inspired to design Woofy in order to help a friend who had problems with messy computer cables. Simply tuck cords inside Woofy to tame your cable mess.

Grass Vases

Material: Stoneware
Dimensions: 7" tall; small vase has one tube, large has two
Small vase, $63.00; Large vase, $83.00

The Grass Vase is a lovely testament to spring. "Claydies" are the duo Karen Kjoeldgard-Larsen and Tina Brosko. All the vases are handmade and individual variations in each emphasize the unique nature of the piece.

Rocking Glasses

Designer: Britt Bonnessen
Set of four - $25.00

These sturdy glasses can hold just about anything - from coffee to snacks to a tea light. Bonnessen explains his inspiration, "I conceived the idea of the Rocking Glass after watching an old movie about propeller aircraft. The old aircraft produced a lot of vibration, therefore the glasses and tableware were designed not to spill."

Other Objects Available from normann-copenhagen:
  • Familia Cup, small
  • Familia Cup, large
  • Familia Tea Pot
  • Butterfly Can Opener
  • Move Card Holder
  • Move Money Clip

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Playful World - Bellingham, WA

The Playful World’s mission is to provide today’s children with unique, custom designed toys that are handcrafted by artisans in less developed areas of the world and purchased under fair trade agreements. They offer unique toys that not only engage and delight children, but also make a small contribution to a better world.

Featured Objects

Wool Felt Blocks

Materials:100% wool outer shell, synthetic foam fill. Bell inside each block
Dimensions: Large block - 5" per side; small block 2.5" per side
Price: Single large block, $16.00; set of 6 small blocks - $30.00

Wool felt blocks are handmade by an artisan workshop based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The workshop’s mission is to reunite homeless families by providing
vocational skills training and income opportunities that help parents earn needed income in order to care for their children. Suitable for 6 months and up.

Bowling Buddies

Materials:100% wool felted outer shell, synthetic foam fill
Dimensions:Pins are 8" tall; ball is 3" in diameter
Price: Set of 3 Buddies + ball - $65.00.

Choose from dog or people design

Bowling Buddies
are handmade in Kyrgyzstan in a workshop that is dedicated to preserving the traditional craft of felt making. Providing vocational training to unemployed women, the toys are made from locally sourced 100% natural mountain sheep wool.Suitable for 18 months and up.

Animal Pals

Materials: 100% alpaca fiber outer, synthetic fill
Dimensions: approximately 17" tall
Price: $40.00 each; Lion, cow, elephant, monkey, or giraffe

Animal Pals are handmade in Peru of pure alpaca wool. Traditionally, many impoverished families living in the Andes of Peru have used wool from local alpaca herds to knit garments and goods. Women from these communities are now forming artist cooperatives to export hand-knit products, earning much needed income for their families. Suitable for ages 1 and up.