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Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008
METAPHYS' LADD mag rack, Lemnos' new mirror and H Concept's PhotoHanger
By JEAN SNOW
Special to the Japan Times
Bye, bye "Mirror, mirror on the wall" — with the Hang mirror from designer Moritoyoshi for Lemnos, you no longer need a wall to seek the truth from magical reflections. Hang's convenient hook, which elegantly blends into the rest of the mirror, is what makes the latest Lemnos offering stand out. Easily slung pretty much anywhere you can imagine in the home — from coat racks to door knobs — it's unlikely that the Hang, with its attractive wooden frame, could ever upset the wa (harmony) of any Tokyo apartment.
H Concept has shown time and again that it knows how to market novel design ideas. Its latest product to hit the market is the PhotoHanger, a spiral clip that designer Juta Kan has bent into the shape of the ubiquitous coat hanger.
Slipping paper items such as photos gently in between the angled metal rods makes it easy to display images without the damage that occurs when you use thumbtacks. Get creative with your presentation and hang them on a string!
A pack of seven PhotoHangers sells for ¥500; www.h-concept.jp
Make your pencil Düller
Although the name and the strict aesthetic of the new Düller line make its German origins quickly apparent, producer I.D.E.A International is promoting the collection's mix of Teutonic design and Japanese quality. The extensive line seems to exemplify the combination of the two quite nicely. With its mechanical pencils, ball-point pens and multiple size of notebooks and diaries (each available in an array of smart color combinations), Düller features writing implements that are sure to cause your office mates to look over in envy.
Best to show
You can't judge a book by its cover, but what about magazines? With so much attention and consideration going into their design, I like to see the covers of my favorite issues rather than just the spine. Fortunately, the best magazine racks present mags in a way that bookcases just can't. Take the LADD magazine rack from METAPHYS, who are expanding their product line of electronics and simple homewares. The full-length stand attractively displays all those great magazines you have by simply plopping them down on its ladder-like rungs. Creating a cascade of bold graphics, colorful photographs and sharp fonts — instant decor! — you can choose a variety of sizes depending on how many issues you wish to display. The Single holds 12 mags, the Triple 36, and the Quintuple a full 60 (all in white or black).
The LADD Single is ¥50 000 at www.metaphys.jp; larger versions to come later
A minimal drip
We're still a few months away from Japan's proper rainy season, but it's never too early — or too late — to think of a proper way to deal with all the umbrellas that probably take up way too much space in your apartment's genkan entrance way.
Yes, the humble umbrella stand — trusty keeper for everything from your favorite plus-size umbrella to all those clear vinyl cheapies you've picked up from conveniences store during unexpected downpours — is surely one of the most underrated home accessories for Japan residents (and perhaps the reason why I've covered so many — most recently Kyouei Design's Umbrella Pot).
Part of Japanese producer Teramoto's stylish Tidy (Teramoto Industrial Design Yard) line, the Arietta umbrella stand not only looks good, it was designed with practicality in mind. Water from your dripping umbrellas fall through a circular gutter at the bottom and can be emptied by taking out the removable tray. The minimalist design not only allows you to quickly spy the umbrella you need (it holds up to 10), but the open ring on top allows you to hang retractable umbrellas as well.