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Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011
Designs that are tidy, clean and stylin'
By JEAN SNOW
Tidy brand squeezes out another good design
For big-city dwellers, the word "squeegee" might bring to mind those kids who, annoyingly, pop out of nowhere, clean your car windscreen and ask for money. Manufacturer Teramoto's design-conscious Tidy brand, however, could change that less-than-favorable image. Tidy's Squeegee was inspired by the device used to keep window panes smudge-free by professional cleaners the world over. Designed for general use at home, however, this squeegee can clean any glass or tiled surface and is especially good a preventing mildew or water stains on bathroom walls and mirrors. It also includes a flexible hook hole, so that you can hang it on a towel rack. Available in four colors (dark blue, light blue, orange, and white), the Squeegee sells for ¥1,980, and can be bought at H Concept's online store, Koncent.
Getting into the latest soap
Soap manufacturer Inframince has come up with an interesting take on the old-fashioned bar of soap. Designed by Ryohei Yoshiyuki, the One Awa is a thin slice of soap weighing just enough to be completely used up in one day. The idea is that you can give your face or body a good rub down without picking up the bacteria that is sure to accumulate on a bar that has been left out for days or weeks. It's also made from all-natural materials and, since the whole bar is used in a day, there's virtually none of the wasted bits of soap usually thrown away when you finish a large bar. Ideal for traveling, a single bar of One Awa costs ¥378 yen, while a pack of five is ¥1,575.
inframince.jp/oneawa One Awa is currently only available in the Kansai area, but they will be hitting Tokyo stores soon.
Recycled with bags of style
We often think of "Freitag" when considering buying a recycled tarp bag. But that hasn't stopped other companies from offering their own interesting versions. In Japan, the Rootote company reigns supreme in the production of fanciful and creative tote bags — a sort of bag version of what Graniph does for T-shirts. Its latest collection is a series of totes that is called Hataraku Tote (Working Tote) — a collaboration with Circulation Shutoko, a recycling program launched by the Metropolitan Expressway Company. The recycled material used in the designs makes each one of these totes completely unique. Available in three models — the Grande (¥6,090), the Messenger (¥5,565) and the Farmer's (¥5,880), Hataraku Totes can be bought online from Rootote's Rakuten store.
A clear concept carved in wood
Kami Glass (Paper Glass) is not, as it might sound, a disposable cup for parties or picnics — it's a beautifully crafted series of Castor Aralia wood crockery. Handcrafted in Hidetoshi Takahashi's Hokkaido studio, these cups have a homey yet stylish look and are very practical. Each cup has a layer of polyurethane coating for durability, though you do need to be careful cleaning them (hand-wash only and no soaking). There are a various shapes available — short, long, and wide "glasses," as well as mugs — so it's easy to find something that suits your needs and matches your decor. Prices start at ¥2,100, running to ¥3,675 for the larger mug.
takahasi-kougei.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/kami Available at Galleria in Tokyo Midtown, Akasaka, Minato ku
Mushrooms worth picking
Takumi Kohgei's new series of Mushroom stools is different and quirky. The comfy padded colored seat (in beige, orange, green, brown or pink) and long slim legs make Kohgei's Mushroom an unusually slim stool. It was also designed with stacking in mind; and when stacked, they create an attractive spiral shape.
They look particularly smart with Kohgei's matching Mushroom Table, built to suit the height of the stools perfectly. The Mushroom costs ¥15,750, while the Mushroom Table is ¥47,250. Both can be bought from H Concept's online Koncent store.