Up to standard

Innovative, unusual homewares with industrial-design flair

Bottle-openers aren’t usually items that draw a crowd, but those at Fort Standard’s e-tail outlet are an exception. Created by Brooklyn-based designers Gregory Buntain and Ian Collings and cast in solid brass, the Crest openers (first picture, from $44 each) and the Crown openers ($80) have a sculptural tactility that’s compelling. And they’re just some of an appealing pick-and-mix of offbeat items made by the duo.

The online emporium – an offshoot of the Fort Standard contemporary industrial-design studio and product-consultancy agency – features ready-to-buy highlights. Bijoux homeware steals the limelight, from geometric-disc candleholders cut from stone and finished with leather on the undersides ($48) to a trio of glass vessels with cork stoppers topped with turned-hardwood handles ($240). Like the bottle-openers, these are simple yet striking pieces.

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Fort Studio’s ready-made furniture and lighting provide a taste of the larger collections that can be commissioned and customised to suit a client’s needs. The exquisite Grade stools ($250) showcase the firm’s attention to detail and masterful joinery, while the Foundation lights ($375) are ethereal toadstool-esque creations crafted from marble and wood. These smaller objects merely hint at the full wow factor of the metal Sprue candelabras (second picture, from $2,400), the Column dining table (third picture, $7,500) and the Plane mirror (from $1,900) that are also part of the pair’s more wide-ranging oeuvres.

The name Fort Standard is a fusion of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, where the artists trained, and their “commitment to a high-quality product and high aesthetics”, explains Collings. And indeed, this e-shop does set a particular standard in superior product design – it’s certainly something to drink to, so that bottle-opener will come in handy.

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