10 Beautiful Things For A Beautiful Life


With this post we start to publish finalists of our guest author contest261. Over three weeks 12 winning articles will be published — selected top-10-lists and discussion articles. You can follow our updates on Twitter272 Follow us on Twitter283 — feel free to share your comments, suggestions and remarks.

Written by Irina

We are using a lot of beautiful things every day. Once we understand how beautiful they are, the life is becoming better and more interesting… and when not… well, then they still make our life more interesting! There are some truly beautiful things to make our life a little bit more unusual and vivid. Most of them are quite usual but they can make our life and the lives of people around us a little bit more spectacular. The question is: do we need these things? – Of course we do!

1. USB Buddies Link

These small USB buddies4 look sweet and cool, but they are also damn useful! They look very distinctive and are available in a variety of styles — a small toy for big adults.

USB Drives5

USB Drives6

USB Drives

2. Puzzle Alarm Clock Link

For puzzle fans and for all who fall asleep when the alarm clock rings — Puzzle Alarm Clock7. Nobody sleeps through this! It wakes you up by firing four puzzle pieces up in the air and then it is your task to get the pieces and put them back in the alarm clock — it won’t turn off until then.


3. Mandarina Cell Phone Link

Mandarina Cell Phone9 is something really beautiful for girls! Very colored, very feminine and very sweet! A mobile phone designed by Italian fashion brand Mandarina Duck. This colorful design creates a good mood and looks sexy; but it has some useful features and nostalgic accessories as well.

Mobile Phone10

This retro-phone is at least as cool as Mandarina Cell Phone. A nice modern mobile phone with a retro-look. For the following suppliers of mobile phones usually no adapters are needed: Blackberry, Sanyo, LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Motorola. If you have another supplier you’ll need a special adapter.


4. Mouse-2 Link

Mus211 is great for office equipment! Mus2 is a cordless optimal mouse which not only moves the mouse cursor on the display, but also looks like a mouse cursor. A pretty cool mouse which will manage to create the “Wow”-effect among your colleagues. Designed by Artemy Lebedev.


5. Animal Index Reindeer Link

Animal Index Reindeer13 is an index in the shape of animals that seem to jump right out of – and back into – your books. Decorate your shelves with these amusing indexes by inserting them among books or CDs, or using them as a way to mark areas where you removed an item. These animals will playfully make their home in your shelves.



6. Designer’s Knives Voodoo Link

Voodoo knife block16. Who said that kitchen knives should be placed in a wood block? These voodoo knives set is an excellent present for those who love black humor. The little buddy has magnets next to the holes which will help you to stick the knife right into his body. Designed by the industrial designer Raffaele Iannello from Italy.

Voodoo Knives17

7. Canape Furniture Link

This is quite a strange canapé18 designed by Lila Jang. Well, you won’t be able to stretch your body with this one, but if you often write with the paper placed on your knees, you will appreciate the beauty and comfort of this piece.


8. Shining Pillow Link

Isn’t it nice to sit in a dark room and observe something bright and shining? Right, it is! But it is even more beautiful to put you arms around something soft and shining and cuddle up to it! That’s what a shining pillow20 is for! A truly magnificent idea by Diana Yu-Ju Lin.

Light Pillow21

9. Hepper Pod Pet Bed Link

What is it? The Hepper Pod Pet Bed22 offers the security of a mountaintop cave with way more style. It serves as your pet’s own personal sanctuary — a perfect place for curling up to snooze, hide, or reign supreme. For cats and small dogs.


10. Zoo Timers Link

Designed by George Nelson, 1965. Zoo Timers24 – colorful personalities from the animal kingdom – contrast sharply with Nelson’s sculptural wall clocks from the 1950’s thanks to their graphic touch. The Zoo Timers offer a playful and enjoyable approach to telling the time. These clocks are produced from the original design documents from the Nelson archive with the blessings of the George Nelson estate.

Elephant clock25

Editor’s note Link

This post is one of the finalists of our guest author contest261. Over three weeks selected top-10-lists and discussion articles will be published. To rate the articles we’ll analyze their popularity, users activity, quality of backlinks, traffic and further data.

You can

We are looking forward to the next weeks!

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/07/17/write-a-guest-post-and-win-apple-macbook-air/
  2. 2 http://twitter.com/smashingmag
  3. 3 http://twitter.com/smashingmag
  4. 4 http://sleevage.com/the-white-stripes-icky-thump/
  5. 5 http://sleevage.com/the-white-stripes-icky-thump/
  6. 6 http://sleevage.com/the-white-stripes-icky-thump/
  7. 7 http://www.bimbambanana.com/index.php?p=Puzzle-alarm-clock-cool-gadgets&side=visProd&prod_id=21
  8. 8 http://www.bimbambanana.com/index.php?p=Puzzle-alarm-clock-cool-gadgets&side=visProd&prod_id=21
  9. 9 http://duckside.mandarinaduck.com/mandarina_duck_cell_phone/
  10. 10 http://duckside.mandarinaduck.com/mandarina_duck_cell_phone/
  11. 11 http://store.artlebedev.ru/office/equipment/mus2/
  12. 12 http://store.artlebedev.ru/office/equipment/mus2/
  13. 13 http://www.design-3000.de/oxid.php/sid/e0d8dcb82353872c6ca2dfe442ecd3ef/cl/details/cnid/neuheiten_intern/anid/6cd48917a08264f54.17573934/tpl/-/lang/1/listtype/list
  14. 14 http://www.design-3000.de/oxid.php/sid/e0d8dcb82353872c6ca2dfe442ecd3ef/cl/details/cnid/neuheiten_intern/anid/6cd48917a08264f54.17573934/tpl/-/lang/1/listtype/list
  15. 15 http://www.design-3000.de/oxid.php/sid/e0d8dcb82353872c6ca2dfe442ecd3ef/cl/details/cnid/neuheiten_intern/anid/6cd48917a08264f54.17573934/tpl/-/lang/1/listtype/list
  16. 16 http://www.echt-wahnsinn.de/voodoo-messerblock.html~inhalt
  17. 17 http://www.echt-wahnsinn.de/direktindex.html?http://www.echt-wahnsinn.de/voodoo-messerblock.html~inhalt
  18. 18 http://wrongdistance.com/?p=2073
  19. 19 http://wrongdistance.com/?p=2073
  20. 20 http://www.rit.edu/cias/industrialdesign/diana.lin/images/rei/fig_final/index.html
  21. 21 http://www.rit.edu/cias/industrialdesign/diana.lin/images/rei/fig_final/index.html
  22. 22 http://www.designpublic.com/shop/hepper/9333
  23. 23 http://www.designpublic.com/shop/hepper/9333
  24. 24 http://hivemodern.com/products/?view=sub_product&sid=1356&cid=42&cid2=49
  25. 25 http://hivemodern.com/products/?view=sub_product&sid=1356&cid=42&cid2=49
  26. 26 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/07/17/write-a-guest-post-and-win-apple-macbook-air/
  27. 27 http://twitter.com/smashingmag
  28. 28 http://twitter.com/smashingmag
  29. 29 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-rss.php
  30. 30 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/wp-rss.php

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  1. 1

    First post I hope!

  2. 2

    I’ll be waiting for new things. Please, continue this.

  3. 3

    second, im sure.

  4. 4

    haha, god forbid you ever lost one of those puzzle pieces on that alarm clock.

    (wtf is it with the first post thing, if you can’t say anything constructive, don’t post – It’s just lame)

  5. 5

    Very interesting article with lots of design inspiration. I have to admit though, I’m not sure I would ever get that alarm put back together when I first wake up. I fear it would be broken after two days lol.

  6. 6

    Awesome stuff! We use a ton of those USB Buddies at our office at Designzillas.

  7. 7

    Ummm…what exactly happened to the 1200 character limit? This is over 3000. I know I worked pretty damn hard on editing and sizing down my submission to meet the requirements of this contest.

  8. 8

    Great idea for a post, but really poorly written. Edit next time, please!

  9. 9

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 10, 2008 2:45 pm

    @Jay (#7): there were no limits for top-10-lists.

    @Laura (#8): thank you, noted.

  10. 10

    I agree with Laura – very poorly written, but it’s got some great inspirational things/ideas.

  11. 11

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    August 10, 2008 3:00 pm

    @Joe (#10): we have just edited some parts of the post.

  12. 12

    Very great selection!
    You should also like this retro phone :
    Yubz Talk

    … or maybe this one with Bluetooth :
    Retro handset

    Thanks for sharing Smashing Mag!

  13. 13

    This article is really okay
    Why do you keep saying that it’s poorly written?

  14. 14

    great thinghs…!!!

  15. 15


    1st Class article.

  16. 16

    I completely disagree with some of the things written here. The retro phone is embarrassingly stupid to use, even if I’m alone at home.

  17. 17

    I’ve seen at least half of these things before, the second half I don’t find beautiful at all (e.g. the alarm clock? It’s cool, but c’mon – not beautiful. Btw. there are tougher ones, like running or even flying away when the alarm starts – available in online stores with funny stuff n’ toys along with the USB buddies and the VooDoo Knife Block -> http://www.toys4boys.pl – just to mention my native one).

    I’d call it rather “10 small things for daily life”. Still, I agree – cool idea for a top-ten-list.

    Btw: isn’t “not bad” (in the poll) an acronym for “average” or something even better? Like “not bad, kid”. It’s rather positive, more than average, I’d say. What about replacing it with ‘poor’ and then ‘very bad’ or something, oppositely to ‘good’ and ‘excellent’? From one extreme to another.

  18. 18

    nice collections. wud like to hav the USB with south park characters (most preferably, Eric Cartman) though :D

  19. 19

    Great stuff, I especially like the Animal Indexes and the shiny pillow! Would love to see some more beautiful things.

  20. 20

    Jehzeel Laurente

    August 10, 2008 8:07 pm

    this was really great.. specially the Mouse-2! I’m gonna buy that one!

  21. 21

    Have you categorized “Discussion articles” and “top-10 lists” in order to select winners? Are these 12 Winners will be categorize as 6 discussion articles and 6 top 10 lists? Since a limited character discussion article cannot compete with unlimited characters top-10 list. How its going to be judged?

  22. 22
  23. 23

    Most of the items’ descriptions are copy/pasted..

  24. 24

    Meh, nothing overly special. The mouse was cool though.

  25. 25

    Nice stuff, but I would have liked the list to be longer! I was sad to get to the end so quickly. I don’t know about that chair though, I think it lacks practical function. Good conversation starter, I bet!

    I agree about the “first post” thing, by the way. Save that kiddy crap for lolcats websites where its at least kind of cute. No one cares if you’re first here. What’s the point? Do you grab your friends and go, “ooh look, I’m first on Smashing Magazine?”


  26. 26

    Not a fan of this article unfortunately. One or two things I hadn’t see before, but basically seemed like a trip through thinkgeek.com

    Keep the posts featured on design (web, graphic, etc) and I’ll be a happy camper.. :)

  27. 27

    Inspirational for some. The puzzle clock will break your morning lol.

  28. 28

    I really like the gadgets, I would love to have the puzzle clock. Nice article!

  29. 29

    Not bad, interesting, but not really inspiring.

  30. 30

    Excellent examples to entartete kunst.

  31. 31

    Excellent, like every post

  32. 32

    The general idea of the post is interesting, but the choice of item for review is a bit boring and there is no author point for description – that makes this post further less interesting.
    So – the idea is great but realization seems weak

  33. 33

    lots of nice but useless stuff.

  34. 34

    This has already been mentioned.. but try copy and pasting some of the sentences in these descriptions into google.. lots of this isn’t original content?

  35. 35

    I must admit that I have not even read this article. Just scrolled down the picture and wow. I’ve got to get one of those Star Wars pen drives !!!!!!

  36. 36

    This was great! Too bad there are only 10 items on the list :( I demand a part2 of the series :) :)

  37. 37

    promoting pointless consumerism. very unenlightened piece.

  38. 38

    Is this chindogu lol…. Nice post, made my day.

  39. 39

    I agree with the sentiments that this post falls short of the quality expected for a top ten winner in this competition. Most of the list, copied descriptions aside, are merely items that have been popular on major design and gadget blogs over the past few months.

    I’m not against a “shopping list of cool stuff” post, but seriously, given the obvious amount of time spent researching all the other content on Smashing Magazine, I would expect a much more interesting, original list then what was presented. At the very least, have some sort of coherent theme running through the items chosen.

  40. 40

    When are the others coming?

  41. 41

    That Mandarina Cell Phone might be the handiwork of one Peter Saville, does anyone know for sure?

    Also, it’s a bit weak to keep hammering someone whose first language might not even be English (I’m guessing). What’s important is that they have a thought, and have the requisite imagination to see that thought through. This list isn’t half-bad by those counts.

    Nice job with widening the scope of ‘design’, Smashing. Those posts relating purely to web design were getting old. More topics = more fun :)

  42. 42


    August 11, 2008 3:16 am

    Oh dear, the fact you chose this article to lead your ‘winners’ posts is completely indicative of Smashing Mag recently: none of the originality we used to love and poorly written (to a native English speaker this is painful to read at times). Lets just hope the other 11 winners are better as, if this is the sort of content you are going to search (and then pay) for, SM is going to lose a lot of fans.. :-(

  43. 43


    I personally think that the article is exhaustive and superficial. I mean writing five lines isnt an over-do in general. It might be generally speaking just the language use that I am concerned about even if you guys have already changed things. The Observer always has his or her opinion about Art and Design and I just think that even if the Design aspects are great (exception might be this glowing pillow that that feels like a place holder to fullfill the top ten criteria) the author seem to be too loose, superficial, without a clear and better structure to why something is beautiful and therefore great in design. Its not like she said “most beautiful Product Design with great usability.” Saying that something is beautiful that makes live easier is for me too cheap and corny.

    Sorry for being dozens for time repetitive and I hope you see my critique as constructive.

  44. 44

    Excellent article. I like it.
    Puzzle Alarm Clock is very cool… i should buy one of this.

  45. 45

    Oh man, I’d kill for a human-sized bed-pod like the pet bed! Mmmm, womb-like.

  46. 46

    I love that you took time to write a post about the simple, awkward and unique things in life that make us all a little happier. Great job.

  47. 47

    I really hope this isn’t indicative of the rests of the guest posts. Smashing Magazine is the best at posting useful, interesting articles. Unfortunately, this article is neither.

  48. 48

    This was a really fun article, and surprisingly, it showcased a lot of stuff I haven’t already seen on Notcot, etc. I think the people who are trying to smack it down have probably submitted entries of their own and are trying to sway the judges. ;)

  49. 49

    i agree with h.a.r.v that i wouldn’t call some of those “beautiful.”
    the intro could be better written, it didn’t particularly move me to read the post (the great picture of the USB characters did).
    and please refrain from saying that something is made for girls or made for boys, #3, things are often not used the way they were intended. and rather than saying it has useful features–please name a few.

  50. 50

    weeee i loved the pillow by Diana Yu-Ju Lin., really nice!


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