Living within Our Means

This Saturday's, 8/6/11, L.A. Times article,"China demands U.S. 'live within its means,'" got me thinking.

If the Chinese Government really wants us to live within our means, perhaps what we need to do is stop buying Chinese products. That would certainly curtail spending since most products we do purchase come straight from the East, and I'm not talking NYC.

An even better idea would be to buy American Made products exclusively. If you watch TV or read the paper you already know a groundswell on this topic is building. ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, recently ran a series covering this idea when they asked an average American family to swap out all their household items not made in America, for items that were. Being a bit of a design diva, I wasn't 100% satisfied with the replacement options provided by the ABC Team. Don't get me wrong I'm sure ABC did the best they could under the deadlines they had, but my hope with American Made Monday is to showcase stylish, well-made-in-America items that we'd actually want in our homes.

Without getting too high on my design soapbox, and without further ado, let's start with this very simple entry mat from Ballard Designs. This mat is designed with well executed french logos and artwork. Apparently comfortable too - according to the web site's description anyway -- it is shown here as a semi-circle pattern and "backed with cushioning sponge rubber to reduce stress when you're standing at the sink, cooking or folding laundry."

photos - Ballard Designs

They come in other shapes and designs as well. Like this one which would work great in a mud-room or kitchen.

And this one I could easily see in a laundry or potting room.

If I had to choose I like the Violette design best but depending on where you need it, the other two might work better.

So there you have it: American Made Monday. If the Chinese commentators want to lay down the gauntlet, let's show them how it's done. Let's step it up people!

And to paraphrase the design blogger-diva known as Decorno, "Comment if you must."