We are always blown away by Kiosk. It's a tiny mecca of great design items from around the world, a cross between MoMA and a five and dime store. Curated by Alisa and her husband, the store changes every six months or so due to the ever-evolving rotation of unique items brought back from their worldwide travels...
On our first visit, they were selling the end of their Finland theme — dozens of beautiful small items including a scrub brush, a sauna bucket and a Fortuna child's game. Everything hews to their vision of beauty through "undesign." This is how they put it:
We opened the store to offer an antidote to over-design. We consider the objects we stock to be humble, straightforward and beautiful for their simplicity and directness. Often they are traditional goods that have developed over generations or anonymous design found in general stores, DIYs and kiosks, products created not by one personality but things that are the result of local aesthetics and needs.
They've done Sweden, Japan, Germany and Mexico and keep "ongoing" items in the shop so the favorites are usually available. This is a great place to buy gifts or just really cool, useful household objects. We spent $80 and bought a game for our daughter, brass paperclips, a beautiful ball of butcher twine and a few other things. The shop is lovely, but for those far away, their online presence showcases everything really well, with extremely detailed written descriptions of all their items.
(Edited from this post originally published 1.11.08)