An online marketplace for limited-edition home goods
While we can't stand mass-produced home decor, we don't usually have the wherewithal to scour the globe for Rococo antiques and Eames originals.
Luckily, former fashion executive Susan Kroll can do the jet setting for us: Her new website, RARECulture, is a haven for international furnishings from emerging artists, with an emphasis on traditional craftsmanship.
The handmade offerings range from practical walnut cutting boards ($78) by Guatemalan woodworkers Arte Madera to over-the-top silicon and bronze dressers ($20,000) from New York furniture company KGB Ltd.
It's easy to lose track of the time while admiring the unusual goods: We picked up these braided candlesticks ($25) and a Lincoln-inspired pitcher and mug set ($195), and put this gleaming amethyst table lamp ($3,500) on our decorating wish list. In addition to providing endless design inspiration, the site piques our sartorial interests with sculpted Lucite earrings ($145), striated merino wool scarves ($215) and structured handbags ($1,950).
Unlike other e-shops, RARECulture helps customers learn about its relatively unknown artists through individual bio pages and interviews (short documentaries of them at work are forthcoming). The best component, though, is the Small Luxuries page featuring trinkets for under $100: It's our new resource for hostess gifts.