Anybody remember home phones? Those non-cellular dinosaurs didn't fit in your pocket, didn't have the internet and didn't have angry birds (what?! no angry birds?). Well some people still use them, oddly enough. And not just at the office when forced. They sometimes make beautiful pieces of decor in fact. With our old cordless home-phone set dying we decided to get a new one instead of going totally smart-phone dependent. In our search for a new set we came across a few models that might make you reconsider keeping one around.
Detraform 500 by KIWI&POM (see above)
This super simple phone and base set was designed by KIWI&POM of London for Detraform (pronounced dee-trah-form). This phone is retro in size but modern in aesthetic. It's got the usual home phone features too: touch tone dialing, caller ID, speaker phone and an intercom. The project is currently in a pre-order phase over at Ulule.com so the sooner you buy the better price you get.
$100-$150 (time dependent) - base and phone at Ulule.com
BeoCom 1 by Bang and Olufsen
This thing is bauhaus cool. It sits on a giant aluminum pyramid/charging base and has enough power to reach all parts of your house. Others in the BeoCom line are pretty, especially the BeoCom 5, but mixed reviews kept us from looking at most of them. B&O are known for their excellent sound quality so if you're looking for a phone that sounds like the person you're talking to is in the room, the BeoCom 1 is a good choice. Fair warning, the base station comes separate from new ones, though some places are selling used ones together.
$300 - phone from Amazon.com
Colombo Two by ChauhanStudio
This one is modular and biomorphic-looking. Almost Marc Newson-y. But it's very cheap! At $20 you can't beat it. It comes in white, black and orange and was designed by a former industrial designer at Nokia. The phone bends to the natural contour of your face in order to achieve comfort and reestablish the relationship between speaker and receiver.
$20 - base and phone from Radioshack.com
iRetrophone Base by freelandstudios
So it's not exactly a connection to your house, but you'll be home and in theory so will your iPhone so why not dock it on something stylish and retro? It's not only a charging station but a fully functioning headset. Cast and sculpted from resin one at a time, the base is a great way to get into the home-phone spirit if you don't want to go full caveman.
$195 - on backorder due to high demand at Etsy.com
Cradle Phone, Early American by American Telecommunications Corp
This baby was made in 1978 and restored by phonevault.com. Crafted in simulated maple (simulated? was real maple not available?) with black and brass French-style handset. It features an eagle above the rotary dial (patriotism win!) and weighs in at almost 5 pounds. Features include: phone, ringer control. It may not be bleeding-edge technology but it sure is awesome, especially if you've got a office of rich mahogany and many leather-bound books.
$149.95 - giant wooden/brass phone at phonevault.com
(Images: Detraform, Bang & Olufsen, ChauhanStudio, freelandstudios and PhoneVault.com