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Dining Details


Our stories often focus on the talented designers, makers and artists in our midst – but we don’t always get a chance to bring together a broader round up of cleverly designed objects, beautiful pieces that perhaps point to an overarching trend, and which can be purchased locally.  It’s time to dip our toe into this new territory, with a new monthly ‘market round-up’ column!  Each month we’ll feature our own edit of beautifully designed pieces which we’re loving right now, linked broadly by function or theme.

We’re kicking off with a feature on creative cutlery.  Yes. Really!

9th March, 2015
Lucy Feagins
Monday 9th March 2015

The humble table tool can be more of a statement than you might think. When planning for a special meal, perhaps a significant birthday dinner or holiday feast, we might shop for new plates, table linen or serving dishes, but utensils are often overlooked. Necessities like knives, forks and spoons so often fall into ‘oh that’ll do’ territory, either bought in a crazy just-moved-house daze at Ikea, or handed down from some sympathetic family member when you first fly the nest.

I get it. Purchases for the home fall into various priority levels, there are things worth spending decent money on from the get-go (a good bed, TV, and super fast internet connection) and there are things that sit waaaay down on the priority list.  And if a fork functions efficiently enough to get your pasta from table to tongue in under .05 of a second, you’re unlikely to demand a whole lot more of it.

But, dear readers, as with many things in life, the magic that sets the most memorable experiences apart from, well, everyday unremarkable-ness is always in the details. And the most unassuming, unexpected details can be the talking point of an entire evening – like serving each guest an espresso after dinner with a different silver spoon, from Alessi’s amazing set of 8 various sugar spoons (which we found at Make Designed Objects in Carlton – so great!).

We found some real gems in this line up, sure to illicit a smile next time you feed someone special.  Like the BEST ramen ‘Spork’, which, as the name suggests, perfectly combines a soup spoon and noodle fork in one elegant instrument.  Or Daiso’s genius ‘resting spoon’ which perches perfectly on the edge of your glass or cup.

And whilst a meal is generally better when shared, don’t be misguided into thinking that an investment in excellent cutlery is about impressing other people. If you start anywhere at all, I’d buy one perfect knife, fork and spoon for personal use only! Because even if it’s just you snuggled in your doona with a bowl of porridge, any meal can be made truly special if eaten with one of Cutipol’s exquisite 24 carat gold matte finish dinner spoons (which at $22.00 really is a very affordable moment of luxury to be savoured every morning!).

We’ve rounded up over 80 beautiful foodie utensils from a mix of local makers and retailers, established international design brands and even the odd unexpected discount store discovery.  There is rather a LOT to admire, but once we got started sourcing, we just couldn’t stop…!

TOP PICKS from team TDF include everything and anything by Portugese brand Cutipol, designed and made in Europe and available locally through Francalia, the entire range is so understated and just insanely beautiful. We also swooned with delight over the perfectly imperfect silver spoons from local artist and maker Anna Varendorff (an excellent keepsake gift for a wedding, engagement or christening), and the Oslo matte black and pink copper cutlery ranges from Third Drawer Down (so striking, and starts at just $10.95).

Special thanks to our amazing styling assistant Natalie Turnbull for the epic sourcing and captioning effort for this story! TOP EFFORT.

We’re taking requests for our next product round up – let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll put our feelers out…!

Clockwise from left to right: Kobo Aizawa White cutlery set from Cibi ($80.00), Resting Spoon from Daiso ($2.80), locally made Pot Heads stirling silver knife and fork set by Kim Jaeger ($380.00), Copper Tip spoon from Cibi ($22.00), Copper tip fork from Cibi ($22.00). Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Natalie Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email