Netherlands: Savvy Souvenirs

In a country that values cutting-edge design, you'll find a new generation putting its own twist on everyday objects.

Shovel birdhouse (Courtesy Jan Habraken)

Shovel birdhouse
To Jan Habraken's mind, if you can't add value to an object, don't bother designing. In his hands, an ordinary garden shovel becomes shelter for a sparrow ($133). Find it: Strand West, Oudegracht 114, Utrecht, 011-31/30-230-4305.

Ceramic series
Lara de Greef is breaking the mold with her ceramic art objects. Each piece looks like a stack of saucers but is actually a solid unit (from $42). Find it: Studio Lara de Greef, Lucas Gasselstraat 7A, Eindhoven, 011-31/61-080-2958, by appointment.

Jar tops Jorre van Ast's interchangeable lids convert a glass jelly jar into a multipurpose tool: shaker, sugar pot, milk pitcher, olive oil drizzler ($21 for set of five). Find it: Ook, Haarlemmerdijk 147, Amsterdam, 011-31/20-427-3287.

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