Umbra Shift, the semi-experimental branch of Toronto’s Umbra studio, works with a wide range of designers to breathe contemporary influences into the home. The latest functional products to be released (just in time for holiday) in the Umbra Shift collection range from trivets to tables and the results incite curiosity and carry a jolt of personality. For example, the Switch Tray by Lambert Rainville, can be used as a serving tray one way; flipped over, it becomes an angled laptop stand—and the grooves in the ashwood keep things cool.
Montreal-based furniture designer Zoë Mowat funneled her love for the simple and bold into a striking flexible trivet, sporting a different color on each side. The unusual choice of materials—leather and wood dowels—and form, taking inspiration from campfires, both surprise. (It reminds us of a sprinkled donut.) It pairs well with the new enamel Cowboy Coffee Kettle designed by Castor, with a side handle like those of Japanese yokode kyusu teapots, though it also comes with its own beechwood trivet.
RISD alum Jonah Takagi created the multi-level Tier Tables, in two sizes, that interestingly move the legs from the corners to the sides. The minimalist powder coated steel structure was inspired by modernist high-rises from the ’60s.
NYC designer Harry Allen’s brightly coiled stools are now available in a taller counter-stool style. The ergonomic, handwoven seat with sturdy rattan core takes cues from basket-weaving techniques. The natural look is certainly much more inviting than cold metal barstools.
Images courtesy of Umbra Shift