As a tribute to the endless summer in Miami I begin this blog with a careful selection of designed games.

When you live in a place that has great weather (a hurricane every blue moon doesn't count as bad weather in my book) it's the little things you learn to appreciate. Long Summer days drinking rose and eating ceviche are truly a gift. Social evenings around a patio table, BBQs, outdoor movie screenings and games are never to miss if you live in an endless Summer.

We can all enjoy a raunchy round of Cards Against Humanity but sometimes you might be looking for something classic, with an exquisite decorative appeal, a keeper. Yes, I am still talking about games. Games, can be board games, card games the games that can be displayed on your coffee table, carefully crafted, even hand painted in some cases. These are the games you won’t want to put away.

Fredericks & Mae are a duo of designers, whom I first came across at the design fair OFFSITE in Spring of 2014. Their handmade toys instantly glued to my radar and since then, I have spotted their toys in numerous magazines, books and home decor stores. It’s hard to say which is my favorite. Delicately crafted, their colorful tassels bright up anyone's day, however I think it’s the Flag Dominos that remind me of home. Miami is well known for its domino culture, there is even a park known as “Domino park” located in Little Havana where you can watch retirees and neighbors playing dominos. The Flag Dominos have silkscreened maritime signal flags which replace the classic dots. These number flags communicate numbers 0-6. Carefully handcrafted each domino set comes in its own wooden storage box with sliding lid for safe keeping. Quite appropriate for coastal living.

If you asked a design studio from Los Angeles to explore a new approach for table tennis it would look like the Building Blocks Table Tennis Kit created for Table of Contents.

Building Blocks is mostly known for the studio’s handbags and tassels. Carried by well known retail stores such as Steven Alan, Opening Ceremony and Creatures of Comfort. The table tennis kit created by Building Blocks, much like their handbag designs, is a play on primary/ utilitarian shapes and materials such as leather, wood and suede. Handcrafted in an edition of 10.

Table of Contents is a Portland based retail store that occasionally collaborates with artists. TOC sells women & men's clothing by designers such as Raf Simons, Comme de Garçon and ACNE. Their objects, books and media are titles and makers hard to come by and worthy of collecting.  TOC is a creative oasis located in the old China town, definitely pay them a visit if you find yourself in town.

Fort Standard is a design studio founded by another design duo, a very good looking design duo may I add, of Gregory Buntain and Ian Collings. Well known, not only for their artsy bottle openers and trivets (which make for great gifts), but also for their beautiful light fixtures featured this year at ICFF. Fort Standard has also designed or should I say redesigned your classic building blocks to Balancing Blocks. These multifaceted blocks force you to focus on gravity defying balance while adding height. Made out of wood and painted in classic primary colors or all white, the balancing blocks have that vintage feel with a grown-up twist. Much cooler than your ordinary Jenga may I add.

A vintage croquet set never fails when the weather is nice to be outdoors. You can find them on Etsy or 1st dibs. They are usually painted in bright primary colors and come with a nice patina on the aged wood. It doesn’t matter if they seem worn and nicked, it brings good karma to know someone else has had some fun with them.

I love consciously designed objects but the most important part about all these collectible games is the company you are with and the fun you can have. In my next posts I'll be talking about the design pieces that inspired me to begin this blog and how The Empty Apartment got it's name. Happy Summering!



AuthorLina Hargrett