ALL POSTS TAGGED "what the"

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Twinkle, twinkle, little star, who was the first to guess what you are? Kathleen was the first to get this week’s “What the…?” right, with a confident reaffirmation from Hilary. (Forget “cradle will rock” … cradle will roll away.)

oregon pine cradle

This 1960s Oregon Pine Cradle is the work of Danish design icon Nanna Ditzel. She’s best known for her Hanging Basket chair, Toadstool table and Trinidad chair.

Be sure to send us your mysterious design finds at designhappens@hgtv.com

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The laws of physics inform the function of this wooden contraption. What is it?

what the...?

Give us your best guess, and be sure to check back tomorrow for the answer.

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So many great guesses. The correct answer for this week’s “What the…?” is a Walter Wayle 11 clock by French designer Philippe Starck. Chelsea M. was the first to get it right. Congrats!

Walter Wayle 11 Clock

Simplicity in design drives the form of this ultra modern clock that can be found at nestliving.com. (Although, if I used a clock like this without numbers, I’d be late everywhere.)

If you come across mysterious decor you think would make an excellent puzzler, email me at designhappens@hgtv.com.

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This simple gadget is one of the most fundamental devices of all civilization. What do you think it is?

What the...?

We’ll be watching for your guesses, and check back tomorrow for the answer.

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After the instant identification of the escargot tongs last year, I thought this week’s “What the…?” would be a cinch. Pixie W., you came the closest. Mighty darn close.

It’s a hard-to-find French silver manche à gigot. Serious gourmets use this utensil to hold and turn a leg of lamb or mutton while carving it. The clamp is tightened around the bone. (A manche à cotelette is used for smaller birds like Cornish hens.)

Feeling hungry? Check out these delectable recipes for leg of lamb from Food Network.

And check back next week for more “What the…?”

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This specific item dates back to the 1880s, but ones like it are still used today in the most refined homes and establishments. What is it?

what the...?

Looking forward to your guesses, and check back tomorrow for the answer.

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I love the head on this Victorian can opener. Carole must have been hungry for some Bully Beef, as she was the first answer yesterday’s “What the…?” correctly.

This tool was first introduced in the 1880s and was supplied with tinned corn beef. According to Orkney Antiques in Scotland, “the short vertical spike on the blade (rising from the head) was used to pierce the lid, and the cutting blade (under the chin) was used to open the tin, using a ‘see-saw’ action.”

So do you fancy this design or an electric can opener?

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This whatchamacallit that resembles a Medieval monster was made during the late Victorian age. What was it used for?

Give us your best guess, and check back tomorrow for the answer.

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It’s Gretchen FTW! This week’s “What the…?” offers a history lesson.


This is a color sphere that was used to teach color theory. Alfred Munsell designed and patented it in 1900. The Munsell Color Science Laboratory offers this bio of Munsell:

Artist and teacher Albert H. Munsell developed the first widely-accepted color order system to make the description of color accurate and convenient and to aid in the teaching of color. The Munsell color order system has gained international acceptance and has served as the foundation for other color order systems. Author of A Color Notation (1905) and the Atlas of the Munsell Color System (1915).

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Back in the day, say around the early 1900s, this was used for what?

Give us your best guess, and check back tomorrow for the answer.

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To help with scale, this week’s “What the…?” is way bigger (and taller) than a breadbox. What do you think it is?

Give us your best guess, and be sure to check back tomorrow for the answer.

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What’s silver, folds, and is a great space saver? The answer is this week’s “What the…?”

Carefully secure your thinking cap, and send your guesses our way. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the answer.

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While its form is anything but design drudgery (and quite an unusual statement for a coffee table), the original function of yesterday’s “What the…?” was routine. And not for steeping tea.

Terri got it. This Brass Laundry Ball dates back to 19th century Sweden. Washing machines sure have come a long way. (Now, if only someone would invent an automatic folding machine.)

If you come across relics from a bygone era that are mysterious in their purpose, be sure to send them our way at designhappens@hgtv.com.

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What use can you imagine for this gadget?


Medieval torture device? Steampunk prop?

Let us know your guess, and check back tomorrow for the answer.

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With all the frill that surrounds the holidays, it’s refreshing to see such a streamlined object.  The question is what exactly is it designed to do?

Send us your ideas, and check back tomorrow to learn that it’s in fact a coffee table with the legs up in the air. (Just kidding.)

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This object is a bit of a tease. Do you see the question mark right there in its form?

So, what do you think it is? Be sure to give us your best guess, and check back tomorrow when the mystery object is revealed.

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

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  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past

  • #TBT Favorite bedrooms from HGTV Dream Homes past