Defend your home with designer objects from American Design Club

April 4 |
Kiel Mead: Threat Sticks -- photography Kendall Mills

This month American Design Club opened the "Threat" show based on this simple prompt: You've just heard something in the other room. What would you want to grab to defend yourself?

Honestly, I've been thinking a LOT about this since I've started living alone. I tend to be more prone to planning escapes than other people — when shit goes down, I immediately spring into action. WHO NEEDS FIRST AID? YOU! CALL 911.

This is to say, when I hear an unfamiliar noise coming from another part of the house — and I'm sure it's not a cat — I grab my phone and plan a path to the door as soon as my ears perk up. You'd think I could rely on one of the cats to perk up in the event of danger since they come wake me up if one of them barfs in the middle of the night but NO THEY ARE ALWAYS SLEEPING.

When I get REALLY spooked and decide the situation demands action, I grab a t-square or a heavy clay vase or a can of spray paint (all actual "weapons" I've grabbed) and tiptoe closer for a better listen.

Responding to that middle-of-the-night creeping paranoia, designers participating in Threat created pretty weapons and multi-tasking decor to defend homes from intruders.

Like the in case vase:

Sara Ebert: In Case Vase

Use it for YEARS as a vase, and it'll still be there to crank some baddie over the head when you need it.

Jason Neufeld: Molotov Cocktail Lamp

The Molotov Cocktail Lamp is BEAUTIFUL! It would come in handy in many situations — use it like a hurricane lantern when the power goes out — and maybe when the day comes that the power goes out for good you've got a loaded molotov cocktail to scare off marauding bandits.

Reed Wilson: Defensemat

HA!

The Principals: Bat Rack

Swing the bat rack into a wall and let it stick where it hits — you can use it as a coat rack until the time comes to yank the bat back out of the wall and use it to repel invaders.

Object Trust: Take What You Want

If weapons aren't your thing, you can slip the "Take What You Want" bag over your head, sit quietly, enjoy the beachy photos inside, and hope for the best.

What was that noise outside? Quick! What do you grab?

  1. I'd like to say I'd go for the Threat Stick, but if I was being honest the paper bag is more my style.

    Also for some reason when I hear a weird noise I never seem to think 'burglar', my mind jumps straight to 'zombie' or thinking the ghost from my childhood home has somehow found me again.

    11 agree
    • Me too! If a door creaks, I immediately think "Is the house/ghost who controls the house trying to trap me in here?" instead of "Who else is here?" Maybe it's a defense mechanism…

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    • It took me years to stop thinking that ET was under my bed. Like, well into college. These days creepy nighttime noises are obviously all the doings of generic aliens coming for me.

      It doesn't help that my husband feels exactly the same way :D

      Unrelated, my college roommate once was convinced that there were drunk people sneaking around our apartment, so she grabbed the nearest large object she could find: my guitar.

      I was sooo glad it wasn't really intruders!

      1 agrees
      • Good god.

        Someone let me watch ET about age four, and that was DUMB. I was the most terrified child — I should never have watched anything with aliens.

        But things got really bad when my babysitter got Mac and Me, an ET ripoff.

        For years after seeing Mac and me ONCE, I couldn't sleep anywhere but the center of my bed, lest ET and Mac each sidle up to my bed and abduct me.

        :(

        1 agrees
      • ME TOO!! I thought I was the only person on the planet so terrified of that ugly brown thing! I am 25 and anytime I hear a creepy noise or I feel like my feet are FAR too close to the edge of the bed ET always comes to mind!! I can joke about it now but it was a pretty severe anxiety for me throughout my entire childhood!!

        Oh man…why am I typing this while my guy is at work and I am home alone?? bahahahaha

        1 agrees
        • You know, my freshman year of college my then-boyfriend-now-husband tried to watch ET in the dark – you know, face our fears and stuff. We got as far as the part in the opening credits where it says "ET" and immediately had to switch it to Winnie the Pooh. We felt like such losers.

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  2. What do I grab if it sounds like someone's trying to get in my house? The shotgun. Those weapons only serve as possible irritations. Chances are whomever's breaking in has a firearm, and you're dead if you don't meet them with the same amount of force.

    4 agree
  3. That pink threat stick in the middle makes my brains go "squeee" in terror.

    We should probably start keeping a bat handy, but currently we don't have any just-in-case weapons. My tool of choice, if I had my druthers, would be my cast iron frying pan. But usually I just grab my cell phone and prepare to dial the cops.

    1 agrees
    • I have a very similar jo. Solid oak, I'm very comfortable with it. Got it when I obtained Shodan.

      As to these types of weapons being "an irritant"… broken joints and severe concussions are not irritants. They are disabling.

      Pro's over a gun are multifold:

      – no chance of hurting someone i'm not aiming at

      – kid can only drop it on her toes

      – if it is in my hand, it is ready to use

      – and most, most important: I am comfortable with it

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  4. When my husband and I moved in together, he brought his 3 piece sword collection he had on display at his old place. Instead of displaying them, we put one under each side of our bed and gave the other one to our roommate to put under her bed. Every time a roommate moves out and another moves in, we give them their under-the-bed sword with their house key.

    4 agree
    • I love that! Great 'welcome to the family' present!

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    • Yeah, we would totally be the News Of the Weird "Family Kills Intruder with Sword" story. Though I do like the bat rack.

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  5. My weapon of choice is a construction tool called a cat's paw. It looks like a mini crowbar and is about the length of my forearm. Great for hiding up sleeves while walking through parking lots.

    For defense it would be my wooden lightsaber (carved with my cousins out in the woods when I was thirteen.) Or my riding crop. It might not knock anyone out, but I can draw blood with minimal effort.

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  6. I keep at least one iron golf club in the house for just this purpose. The greatest thing about a golf club is that it's designed to provide maximum force at minimum effort. Ever see those burly men swinging full force at a golf ball at the driving range? They're DOING IT WRONG. I'm half the size of those guys and I can hit the ball twice as far with half as much force. And while someone's head might not move as easily as a golf ball, I still think my club would do a lot of damage at a reasonable distance. Tee up, bitches! :)

    2 agree
    • I still regret not buying a club at a thrift store in Omaha where they were marked $1 a club!

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    • I may have to start saying "Tee up, bitches!" as much as possible.

      2 agree
  7. Just out of interest is anyone else thinking of the scene in Lost when Hurley comes home, hears noises and grabs a statue of Jesus to confront the "burgalar", then when it turns out to be a suprise party his mum says "Hugo! Jesus Christ is not a weapon!" when she sees him?

    3 agree
  8. That Molotov Cocktail lamp is kind of beautiful.

    3 agree
  9. I have a genuine African spear in my living room suitable for skewering a wild pig, but I wouldn't grab it; the problem with weapons is that they can be taken away and used against you. I'd feel more secure using my strength, agility and body parts. In other words, a good kick in the nuts or palm driven into the nose.

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    • ^ This…I've never been comfortable with weapons, except for concealed weapons that cannot be seen, and are good for "close work"

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      • My biggest problem with weapons is how they can be turned against you if taken.

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        • Me too. I don't have a source but I've heard a couple of times that most people who get shot by an intruder actually owned the gun that shot them.

          I'm not sure but I imagined it'd be similar with other types of weapon.

          1 agrees
          • That statistic about people getting shot with their own guns is from a 1986 study funded by a gun control group. It is neither unbiased nor accurate.

            Google "The Kellerman Study" for more information.

            While the premise of the show is interesting, as a single woman who lives alone in a sketchy neighborhood (and is prepared for home invasion), I feel vaguely condescended to by this exhibit. As if people who are concerned about home security are curiosities.

            3 agree
  10. I'm more of the grab the kid, hide in the bathroom while yelling things like "I promise I didn't see your face. My jewelry can be found in places A and B…please don't kill my dog."

    I do plan exit strategies for pretty much everywhere I go. And my zombie apocalypse plans are really detailed.

    4 agree
  11. I love the Take What You Want bag!

    A couple of years ago I arrived home from work (at 4:00 in the morning), unaware that my husband was already home. So when he stepped out of the hallway I thought, for the longest second of my life, that someone had broken in and I was about to be killed. It was a terrifying second.

    After my mother-in-law heard the story she gave me a gift, a billy club that had belonged to her police chief grandfather. It's one of my favorite things and I always know where it is, just in case.

    0 agree
  12. My mother kept a baseball bat on a special wall-hanger (or was it just two nails?) between her bed and nightstand. She was an ex-softball-playing single mom and we lived in the boonies. Made perfect sense to me! :)

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  13. That molotov cocktail is pretty, but if you use it you will have now just burned your entire house down…possibly with you in it.

    2 agree
  14. I am so glad to hear I am not the only child of too many horror movies!!!

    I was at my parent's house alone one night and the power went out. I quickly, calmly and silently, grabbed my cell phone and a stray piece of crown moulding and went straight to my parents room. Not because of some childhood sense of parental security. Oh no, because I know there is a porch with a broken screen to get outside, running shoes in the closet and I can exit in one direction toward the street or in the other to a neighbor's house.

    Turns out it was just dark.

    I called my mom and told her what happened in a "this crazy is YOUR fault" kind of way. She said "Good girl! Also there's a crow bar in the small bathroom closet to open the old window and the trash can is against the house so you can use it as stairs if you need to jump out.

    The crazy is her fault. .

    2 agree
  15. My dad had a real Fijian war club he bought when him and my mom were on vacation when they were young. He used to keep it under their bed, until one night he thought my mom was a burglar and almost smacked her with it. My mom put it in the basement after that.

    My husband owns replica samurai swords he had custom made while we were in Japan years ago. They are perfectly legal in Canada (as long as you do the paperwork), but they are real steel, just blunt. But with enough force I'm sure either one of us could harm an intruder.

    However, I am just relying on the fact that I live 5 stories up in a condo with locks on all the doors and windows. So unless Spiderman armed with a glass cutter plans to rob me, I think I'm okay.

    2 agree
  16. I keep a bokken, which is a wooden practice katana, by my bed. This is primarily so it's the first thing to hand in a hair situation, thus alleviating the likelihood I will, in a moment of panic-induced madness, grab one of my *real* swords and do something that'll wind me up in jail.

    P.

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  17. Gee, this makes me think Im missing out by Not having some type of Improv weapon in my house…… I'd like to think my 12yo Labradors would come rushing to my defense but he would likely just wants pat's and treats from an intruder :/

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    • Yeah, my best item of defense in the home is a drooly, waddling boxer x springer spaniel rescue dog who would happily kill someone with kindness. He did once give me a black eye trying to kiss me on the lips, so I guess there's a potential weapon there.

      0 agree
  18. I am thinking of the few times I woke up to a strange dark figure across the room, or footsteps in the hall. I've lived in some super sketchy areas. If I had had a gun any of those times, I probably would have tried to shoot the person, who almost always turned out to be my teenage brother sneaking in after a night out. That's why I'm not too comfortable with projectiles or things meant to kill.

    1 agrees
  19. I have one of those police type long and heavy mag light torches beside the bed. Or in it, oor under the pillow depending on how scared I am that night.
    But then I got a Rottweiler, and now I dont feel the need for other things.
    If only he would not bark at SO many things in the night – I have gotten in the habbit of just calling out to him "good boy, thats enough now" instead of getting up to check to see if there IS someone walking around the house!

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  20. My fiance has some swords – but he doesn't have any training on how to use it.
    An intruder can easily relieve you of your weapon. The best defense is to barricade yourself in a room and call the police. Open the window and start screaming for help. The ruckus you create will probably make the intruder run off.
    Stuff is replaceable, your life isn't. Keep yourself and your family safe.

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    • Oh I absolutely know the best response to to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. But I like to have a Plan as I investigate the house. I can't leave the house every time I here a bump in the night — so having a little billy club makes me feel better.

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  21. My best bet is probably to let the parrot out of his cage. He's very protective of us. :)

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    • Parrots can do a pretty good bit of damage! I have a cousin with a huge scar on her forearm from the family macaw.

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  22. The wooden sword next to the mister's side of the bed. I actually grabbed it one weekend when I was home alone and heard someone unlocking our apartment door.

    It was our landlord (um, illegal!), and I nearly took his head off with the sword when he came around the corner of our hallway. Then I noticed I didn't have any pants on either…

    1 agrees
  23. I once stalked through my entire house holding my big steel T-square like a freaking samurai sword when I had strange clicks on the phone line. (Sounded like someone picking up an extension) Fortunately it was a false alarm.

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  24. My dad used to use the radio as an alarm clock in the morning. Once, when I was in high school, I came home (alone) to hear two deep, muffled male voices coming from upstairs. Obviously, these were vicious murderers. I bolted down the street about a block, CALLED THE POLICE, and while waiting for them called my mom to let her know. She immediately realized that it was dad's alarm, and I had to explain to the officers, including my best friend's mom, why I couldn't tell the difference between basketball recaps and burglars.

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  25. I just moved into a new apartment, and haven't figured out my escape plan yet, however I sleep very comfortablly knowing my dog is right next to me at all times. He's a Shepherd-Lab mix, and has a pretty intimidating bark.

    0 agree

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