Everything's designed. Not necessarily with aesthetics in mind, but with sort of intent: safety, strength, affordability, etc. There are some objects out there, though, that didn't set out to win over the design set but wound up doing it anyway. Here's my pick for five "un-designer" objects that appeal to the designer in me:
Lyon Industrial Stools: An old favorite of Maxwell's (and Martha Stewart's), these stools are made to last with a price and appearance that couldn't be cooler. See more at the decidedly un-designer-y Lyon Workspace Products.
Baker's Twine: The red and white string was actually first used by butchers, alongside green and white, as well as blue and white string. The colors were used to code different cuts of meat. We love the colored string for wrapping gifts. You can purchase baker's twine in just about any color at The Twinery.
Paper Tubes: Not just for mailing, paper tubes have even found their way into world-class architecture! I've made temporary furniture with them and they can look cool as bed leg covers! Find heavy duty tubes at Uline.
Jelly Jar Light Fixtures: I learned the term "jelly jar" when spec-ing them for modern, multi-million dollar residences at a progressive architectural design firm in Chelsea. However, they're a ubiquitous design that you can pick up for ten bucks each. Love 'em. Check out light bulb maker Satco for a selection of them.
Canvas Laundry Baskets: While these may have been made to withstand institutional laundries, they are also good at corralling residential laundry, gardening supplies, or even the kids' toys. Check out Steele Canvas for our fave.
(Images: The Twinery, Lyon Workspace Products, Uline, Satco, Steele Canvas)