Review: DesignerBox #49 ‘Hippo’ July 2017 Unboxing

Each month members will receive a numbered wooden box containing a new object not found anywhere else, and especially designed by an international design star.

The boxes are produced in limited quantities based on the number of members, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

1-month subscription €39 p/m;

6-month subscription €33 p/m;

12-month subscription €29 p/m + shipping from €3.90

As well as subscribing you can also buy individual items direct from their website.

Further details here.

DesignerBox a French company, though their website and emails also come in French. Just as well, my French is very rusty.

I was excited to try out this subscription. Firstly, it is very different from anything else I’ve received; and secondly, their items are both beautiful and unusual. Our home is full of all manner of eclectic stuff, and both my husband Big C and I appreciate design.

DesignerBox works with designers from all over Europe to produce unique and aesthetically pleasing items for the home.


There have been a few hiccups with the shipping schedule, due to unforeseen circumstances a couple of months ago. I’m glad to say they’re more or less back on track now, with this July box sneaking in just under the wire. The first one actually arrived broken, but I contacted Designer Box and they sent out a replacement immediately.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

Beautifully packaged as usual. There is their familiar armadillo packaging. At least I think it looks like an armadillo. On top is their magazine, Iconic news.

The magazine is in both French and English. It contains some background on this month’s designer, Antoine Lesure, plus interviews and examples of his other work.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

You may have noticed the tiny bag of little black seeds next to the magazine.

At first I thought they were nigella seeds, but they’re actually black sesame seeds.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

Open Sesame!

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

You can use them in the recipe included in the magazine. Nice touch.


On to the actual item.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

Usually each DesignerBox item is contained in a numbered wooden box. This timeit’s in another cardboard box, with this attractive sleeve.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

There’s also a little bit more blurb on the back of the sleeve.

So let’s unpack.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

This is a beautiful white ceramic bowl.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

The sides have soft lines, which elongate the appearance of the bowl, give it a very pleasing texture. It also improves grip when holding it.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

I love the shape. The oval, or rounded off rectangle, is much more interesting than a round bowl.

The depth is more than sufficient for a salad for several people.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

This is a nice unusual touch, the double rounded base. It’s a small thing, but helps to set this design slightly outside the standard.

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

Designer Box #49 Review July 2017

As you can see, this is a good size for a family-style serving.

It would work beautifully for salad in the summer, but equally I can see it overflowing with roast potatoes for Sunday lunch.


While the shape and lines on the side are reminiscent of a boat, the name of this is actually ‘HIPPO’. Funny though it is, I think this name is very apt.

If you squint a little, the double base looks from the side almost like front and back legs.

The shape, while streamlined and elegant, is rounded enough to suggest a little fatness. It manages to suggest both the boat and the hippo, which is something of a feat.


I absolutely love this bowl. I love the shape, the size, and the colour. To my mind, plain white is the best for serving and showing off food.

When empty, this bowl has enough subtle detail to display alone. With food it complements anything it contains without distraction.

I’m a great fan of items which are useful and beautiful. Objets are all very well, but I prefer form married with function. This beautiful bowl fulfills both objectives perfectly.




First published in slightly different form on