French design firm Orée designs beautiful wireless keyboards, trackpads, and chargers that would look at home in Julia Child's kitchen.

The Orée Board is a wirelesss Bluetooth keyboard made out of a single piece of wood.

Likewise, the Orée Touch Slab, a Bluetooth trackpad.

The Power Sleeve will turn your iPhone or Galaxy phone into a smartphone capable of wireless charging.

To charge a smartphone in a Power Sleeve, simply rest it on the Power Pebble, which comes in a simple puck of wood.

It also comes in marble.

The Power Pebble and Power Sleeves costs €110 ($150) and €90 ($122), respectively.

Orée also seels gorgeous iPad cases made out of leather.

The Orée Board and Touch Slab together.

Each Orée board is carved in three phases from a single piece of wood, guaranteeing that the grain lines up.

An Orée board will cost you €150.00

Stunning Wooden Gadgets That Reveal The Beauty Of Plain Design

French design firm Orée designs beautiful wireless keyboards, trackpads, and chargers that would look at home in Julia Child's kitchen.

There is something sophisticated but entirely relaxed and casual about many aspects of French design. The country just does "plain" and casual so well. While many Americans interpret a casual aesthetic as sloppiness, the French seem to embrace it as minimal, modern, and seamlessly completing an ensemble. A design can be casual, yet still sophisticated: casual design can still be good design with a relaxed confidence in itself.

Case in point? The work of French accessory design studio Orée, which has just released a beautiful line of all-wood keyboards, trackpads, smartphone chargers, and cases in a beautifully unadorned, hand-carved style that proves that there can be a great deal of sophistication in the design of something plain, and a lot of confidence in a design that is casual.

First, the keyboard. Christened the Orée board, this wooden keyboard is notable for the craftsmanship with which it has been constructed. What's so beautiful and unique about the board is that it has been carved out of a single piece of wood, meaning that the grain of every key matches the grain of the frame perfectly. Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity, it's entirely wireless, too, meaning it can be paired to your PC or Mac just as well as your smartphone or iPad. It costs €150.00 (roughly $200).

Following suit, the Orée Touch Slab is a sort of Magic Trackpad for your PC or Mac. Like the Orée Board, the (let's face it) unfortunately named Touch Slab is carved from a piece of premium maple or walnut wood. You can even overlay the Slab with a leather rollout, transforming it into a numerical keypad. It, too, costs €150, or about $200.

Finally, there is the Orée power combo: the Wireless Power Pebble and Power Sleeve. Available in wood (maple or walnut) or in marble (red or white), the Power Pebble charges through induction. If your smartphone supports Qi wireless charging, just resting it on top of the Power Pebble will be enough to juice it up.

Sadly, though, most smartphones don't come with Qi, including the world's most popular smartphones: Samsung's Galaxy series or Apple's iPhone line-up. If you have one of these smartphones, that's where the Power Sleeves comes in. Made of leather and maple or walnut, it's an attractive case that amps up your iPhone 5 or Galaxy S4 with Qi wireless power. The Power Pebble and Power Sleeves costs €110 ($150) and €90 ($122), respectively.

Expensive? Yes, but the aesthetic is gorgeous: something you might associate more strongly with Julia Child's kitchen than a modern office. All that is missing is the smell of a baking baguette. You can buy Orée's products here.

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4 Comments

  • Sarah Wrobel

    When addressing the formal and visual qualities of these pieces, I do think their simplistic design and craftsmanship is very beautiful and elegant. I do also agree, however, that the presentation of a keyboard has not be redesigned or manipulated at all from what Apple designers originally came up with. The only difference is a different material, not to say that different materials are unimportant when factoring into design. Natural materials, such as the wood or stone, are probably much more durable than the normal material of keyboards and chargers, which, quite frankly, it seems are created to break to ensure consumers have to continually buy new replacements. This use of materials seems very forward thinking when considering the marriage of technology and nature, using the natural conductivity of stone to charge a phone and seamlessly embedding our technology into a wooden keyboard to make it function wirelessly. Also, I find it interesting that these devices are not compatible with the most popular and efficient phone technologies currently available. That right away makes me think this is not some ploy to promote consumerism. Of course, that was never really a concern considering how costly these pieces are. Still, I think all technology should move in this direction, using more natural materials and integration of design and nature in function.

  • Gary Mason

    I wonder what Apple designers would think about the French being given credit for their plain design. Yes, the aesthetic is gorgeous. An aesthetic that was already designed by other people. Granted, the craftsmanship IS, in fact, amazing, but these are simply existing product designs made out of different materials.

  • Tweenwolf

    I wonder what Dieter Rams would think about Apple designers being given credit for their plain design.