Coolaroo: Not Your Grandparent’s Patio Umbrella

Life under a Coolaroo is cool in more ways than one

Sometimes exterior design calls for subtlety. Sometimes boldness is required. For those latter occasions there are the Coolaroo Shade Sails.

Coolaroo shade sails are not your grandparent’s patio umbrella. They look bolder than that, brightly colored in square and triangle shapes. It’s remarkable how one lone shade sail can lend an outdoor space a contemporary touch. String up a group of shade sails — like in the photo, below — and you can transform a space into something you’d expect to find at a modern art museum.

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5 MORE Cool Outdoor Lights
spot cool stuff DESIGN

No fairies are harmed in the production of Fairy Berries.

Previously, Spot Cool Stuff reviewed five creative lights and lamps designed for outdoor use. With warm summer nights once again drawing us outside for patio dinners and into the backyard for late night hanging out, we thought we’d share five more outdoor lights we like. Each offers some degree of weather-proofing. Each is also, in it’s own way, cool:

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Have Wood Burning Spa Will Travel

Spot Cool Stuff adores glamping travel. Glamorous camping can get you out into a natural environment in the same way tent camping does. But it combines that with touches of luxury like you might find at a high-end hotel. After spending much of our youth backpacking on a rock-bottom budget, we think we’ve earned a bit of luxury.

Much of what we write about glamping on this travel blog concerns resorts that combine aspects of roughing it with aspects of being pampered. (Our review of these 5 especially wondering glamping spots is a good place to start reading about those). We also appreciate products that let travelers create their own glamping experience. Our favorite of those might be this:

The Dutchtub.

It’s like a personal hot-springs-to-go. If you have a tub-sized patch of flat ground, wood and 200 gallons (750 liters) worth of water or snow you can have your own spa virtually anywhere.

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3 Cool, Crowdsourced Barbequing Utensils
spot cool stuff DESIGN

Regular readers might remember our review of the Quirky online store. What’s cool about Quirky is this: all the items sold on the site are conceived, designed and marketed through crowdsourcing. That is, groups of individuals gather on the website and collaborate to develop the products sold there. (It’s a fun, and potentially profitable, to take part—visit the site to learn more.)

Recently, Quirky started selling several cool items with a barbeque theme. The three that especially intrigued us were an all-in-one grilling utensil, an improved skewer and a two-tiered carry tray. Here’s our look at each:

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5 Cool Outdoor Lamps & Lights

The effect the lamp creates is stunning. Sadly, its price tag is stunning in an altogether different way.

Bringing lamps and lights outdoors after the sun goes down can bring a festive atmosphere to a dark patio and a touch of magic to hidden garden. Here’s our look at five outdoor lamps and lighten systems. Some are expensive and some are high value, but all of them, we think, are very cool looking.

Also, if you like these check out our new post on 5 more cool outdoor laps and lights.

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The Backyard OfficePOD

If you have a backyard you can have a private office. So says OfficePod, a British company that manufactures eponymous pre-fabricated one-room office structures.

When designing their OfficePod the company had four goals for the product:

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Shopping Cart Furniture

If architects can construct entire apartment buildings from used shipping containers and Thai monks can build a temple from discarded beer bottles then why can’t an artist create furniture from old shopping carts?

That perhaps is what self-described cross-media visual designer Ramón Coronado asked when he spent 12 weeks at his Los Angeles home creating his Mercado Negro collection.

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3 High Design Hammocks

Hammocks have come a long way since pre-Columbian natives in South America wove together sheets from the bark of a Hamack tree and strung them up between two poles. Hammocks today are stylishly designed, scientifically engineered and, we have to imagine, a whole lot more comfortable than lying on bark was. Here are three especially cool selections:

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SPOTCOOLSTUFF Design reviews furniture, cool architecture, personal accessories and a cadre of high design items with a WOW! factor. Because you shouldn't have to choose between form and function! Get our latest design posts by email:

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