You have some 90 days until the glorious occasion of Midsummer’s day, Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year and, with any luck, our delivery back into something approaching a normal existence when the last remaining lockdown restrictions finally lift. But more than a year of home working and gym closures has left more than a few of us somewhat larger around the middle, sadly.
You could redress matters over the next three months with a bog-standard set of dumbbells from Amazon, or you could treat yourself with a luxurious set of home fitness equipment that looks so good it can be left on display long after your conditioning regime is done.
Then, while you ponder a taste for finer things, consider the other items in this list – all chosen to better your everyday existence, be it via robotic lawn mowing, designer jewellery using the lightest material on the planet or a cutting edge transparent television.
Kenko Fitness Set A
A welcome antidote to garish and aggressive home-gym equipment, Berlin-based Kenko has created a collection of minimalist Japanese-inspired fitness kit that will enhance any décor while also helping you to get ripped. Made from natural materials including solid wood and cork, the range includes dumbbells, ab-rollers, expanders and massage balls, all kept tidy in either a matching wall cabinet or solid birch plywood storage box. If you can stretch to a bigger budget try the superb wall set (top).
Price: €599 | Kenko | wall set | £2,252 | Bombinate
Toadi robotic mower
Compared to robot vacuums, robotic mowers are fairly dumb machines that require guide wires and perimeter fencing to avoid causing chaos in your chrysanthemums. Toadi looks to redress this, well vacuum, by incorporating a 4K camera and plenty of AI smarts that can have it mowing perfect lawn stripes, trimming borders, leaving specific areas uncut, and even navigate around obstacles. The basic model can manage 0.6 acres and slopes of up to 35 per cent, while the Pro covers 1.2 acres on a ski slope-worthy 45 per cent angle. And, impressively, the company plans to 3D print each Toadi at regional production facilities, to help support the economy near you, and cut global shipping.
Price: from €2,170 | Toadi
Xiaomi Mi TV LUX
We’ve seen transparent OLED displays before, but Xiaomi is the first brand brave enough to mass-produce a 55in one and then launch it to the world with almost no fanfare or fuss. It’s an astonishing piece of design that conceals the processing units in its base stand, leaving the screen completely clear when turned off. Debate will continue as to where you can position a transparent TV, but the specifications are hard to argue with as the 5.7mm thick ten-bit panel can display 1.07 billion colours with 150,000:1 static contrast ratio, infinite dynamic contrast ratio, 120Hz refresh rate, and Dolby Atmos support.
Price: RMB 49,999 (£5,500) | Mi
Wingback Pen set with engraving
This anodised black steel companion set from London-based design studio Wingback features a beautifully proportioned 100ml cylindrical stainless steel hip flask with hidden bottle opener and knurled lid for easy opening; a practical metal key fob with matching knurling to make it easier to find your keys at the bottom of your bag; and their signature 117mm long machined steel ballpoint pen, that features a unique metal mechanism that has been designed to work for generations. It’s all made in the UK and with personalised engraving of up to 50 characters and a dedication to using only the finest materials.
Price: £377 | Wingback
Carolina Bucci Forte Beads
Originally available as the most lavish pick’n’mix in the back of her London boutique, you can now design your own bead necklace or bracelet via Carolina Bucci’s Forte Bead Maker app. First choose from four precious metal cords and 18k gold tips, and then agonise over the positioning of a rainbow of precious hard-stone beads, from jade and lapis lazuli, rock crystal, turquoise, unakite and amethyst. The bracelet takes 30 beads, the necklace 80, and naturally you can also upgrade your design with a choice of diamond encrusted pendants.
Price: bracelet from £450 | Carolina Bucci
Packing the kitchen essentials into less than half a square metre, this super-stylish mini rig includes a fully featured 3,600W induction hob, plus a dedicated zone for wirelessly charging your phone. The “eye” is a white lacquered extractor hood with high-performance ceramic filters, while a full-width drawer has just enough room, we imagine, for a knife, fork, spoon and a plate. With a frame in solid ash, this micro kitchen has been designed to be moved around as needed.
Price: €3,950 | Fabita
An alternative to the pendulum wave executive desk toy of the ops – but with added oneupmanship – The Factory is a highly detailed, meticulously crafted miniature brutalist rolling ball sculpture made from 3kg of solid concrete. Measuring just 20cm at its widest point, it features tiny 4mm stainless-steel balls that zip along the cast grooves and openings, rolling inside, spinning around before working their way out the bottom.
Price: €264 | Material Immaterial
Hermès Mega Chariot scarf 100
If you were a robot in disguise, the finishing touch to your look should almost certainly include one of Daiske Nomura’s Hermès scarves. Here, the Japanese textile and graphic designer depicts the Greek god Hermes stealing Apollo’s Sun chariot, and giving it a Transformers twist that preserves the brand’s equestrian cred but also propels it into the far-flung Manga-style future. Printed on 70 per cent cashmere/30 per cent silk, the 100 x 100cm square isn’t too sheeny-shiny, so it can be worn without knots for a casual-but-dressy look.
Price: £620 | Hermès
Boucheron Goutte de Ciel
Born of a desire to capture and display the natural elements, Claire Choisne’s Contemplation collection for one of Paris’s oldest jewelry houses features the most modern of materials. Translated as “Drop of Sky”, this large, tear-shaped pendant is made using aerogel, the lightest material on Earth – the 99.8 per cent air and 0.2 per cent silica substance is more typically found collecting space-dust samples on the side of Nasa craft. Two years in development, it’s the closest you’ll get to wearing a piece of sky around your neck, albeit captured inside a ring of diamond-paved rock crystal.
Price: £tbc | Boucheron
Montblanc #MY4810 Cabin Trolley with front pocket
Finding the right carry-on is far from easy, regardless of budget, but with its new collection Montblanc has created a range without obvious weakness. This four-wheel, two-pocket 37-litre model is made from premium polycarbonate with a soft leather trim and features a Jacquard lining with signature hexagonal motif. As with all Montblanc luggage, the emblem has been hand-centered, because they’ve not yet managed to find a machine that can do it as carefully as one of their craftspeople. At Montblanc, the idea of a wonky logo simply won’t be tolerated.
Price: £435 | Montblanc
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