• Piet Houtenbos

    from New York City, NY

Piet Houtenbos

About Piet Houtenbos

Though Martha Stewart may not recommend it, we love the idea of grenades in the living room. Designer Piet Houtenbos’s Singular Products has made this quirky dream a reality with the artfully-designed Grenade Oil Lamps.

The history of the grenade dates back to the 1400's, and derives from the French word for pomegranate. (Ironic how one innocent fruit can have such a devastating effect.) Though grenades have been known for their destruction during wars and terrorist attacks the world over, Houtenbos was determined to change it into an item of beauty through intelligent design.

The idea first came to him while at Rhode Island School of Design. The lamps were inspired by a deceptively simple assignment, “Take something and turn it into something else.” Houtenbos said he was instantly drawn to the grenade’s carefully thought-out design, despite its purpose of self-destruction.

For his lamps, the designer sorts through Army/Navy stores for the grenades, which he then cleans up and coats in a 24k gold or silver finish, and seals them with a United States quarter.

Houtenbos says the reaction to his incendiary housewares has been varied, “It can get intense in both directions. I’ve learned that emotion of any kind is what great products should strive for."

At the very least, these grenade oil lamps are a thought-provoking, conversation-starting addition to otherwise “safe” home décor. Not to mention quite a way to drop a bomb on any bland social affair.

We’re selling Houtenbos's grenade oil lamp available in natural, gold or silver, which come complete with a starter kit that includes lamp oil and a funnel.

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