Cheep and Chic: A Bird-Shaped Smoke Detector

Even the most demanding design purist is hard-pressed to avoid marring that freshly Venetian plastered or de Gournay wallpapered wall with a dull disk of white—or worse, beige!—ribbed plastic: the inevitable smoke detector. A little bird told us that’s all about to change. Meet the Chick-a-Dee, perched perpetually on a branch and ready to emit an 85-decibel-alarm at the first sign of smoke. Originally hatched by Dutch designer Louise van der Veld with an eye to residential interiors, the Chick-a-Dee has winged its way across Europe and is finally bound for North American nests, having been given the all-clear by Underwriters Laboratories. Brooklyn-based neo-utility, the sharp-eyed promoter of “products that are inherently useful but also bring a new and dynamic approach to design,” debuted the device stateside at last week’s New York International Gift Fair (where it was our top pick for the Bloggers’ Choice Awards) and will offer the product on its website this spring for around $75. The whimsical smoke detector, equipped with a battery that lasts 1.5 years, will also be available at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA) Store. Stock up early, Portlandia fans, because this bold new opportunity to “Put a bird on it!” is sure to fly off shelves.