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A stylish support crew for the home

by Jean Snow

TRE chic and very sturdy

We’ve long been fans of Keiji Ashizawa, both as a product designer and architect, and we are particularly taken by his TRE sofa side-table for Duende.

On the compact side (42 x 42 x 47.5 cm), it has an intriguing way of supporting itself, with a single stem supporting the tabletop and its three legs spread out at angles low down its frame. It’s a striking piece, made even more attractive by its delicate look but very sturdy construction — the tabletop and brackets are made of steel, while the legs are solid timber.

The TRE is available in black or white, costs ¥15,750 and can be purchased at Dot.

Duende: www.duende.jp. Dot: www.dot-tokyo.jp/products/list.php?category_id=89.

Still Green but not hippy

If you’re the kind of person who loves iconic graphics, you probably don’t think much about flower vases. But Ceramic Japan’s Still Green collection, designed by Yuko Tokuda, could grab your attention.

Reminiscent of the type of icon you’d find on older computer desktops, its shape wouldn’t look out of place as part of the set of original Mac icons. The Still Greens looks great, and in keeping with the minimalist style of an icon, their structure means that you will only need a couple of stems to fill each of them.

There are three icons — a large Water jug, a medium Liquor bottle and a small Jam jar — and all are available at various design stores. Water (pictured here) is available at Caina for ¥5,775.

Ceramic Japan: www.ceramic-japan.co.jp. Caina: www.caina.jp/commodity_detail/24545952.

Bent into great shape

Conceived by Tomoko Azumi for Italian brand Zilio A&C, this followup product to the Tra, a lightweight, foldable coat stand, is a full clothing rack.

What is great about the Tra and now the Tra-la, is that they don’t take up much space when not in use — and for many a Tokyo dweller, space is a constant concern. Made of beech wood and created using a traditional Japanese technique of steam bending, the Tra-la is hand crafted and available in a wide variety of colors. The natural wood, grain version can be ordered online via Caina for ¥33,600.

Zilio A&C: www.zilioaldo.it/en/products/accessory/2011-trara.html. Caina: www.caina.jp/commodity_detail/99874077.

Keeping tabs on your keys

Recently, we covered Tidy’s Magnet Keyper, as a great way to keep all your keys together at home. Now here’s something for you to carry around with you.

Ryosaku Aoki’s Key Keeper is a silicone cover that prevents a key’s sharp edges from scratching anything it happens to be in the pocket with. The tab-like cover, which is textured on one side so that you’ll know you’re holding it the right way up, moves back as you push your key in the lock. Also, if you a have bunch of keys and cover all of them, it’ll stop that noisy clinking sound. One Key Keeper costs ¥525 and there are six colors (black, blue, green, orange, pink and yellow), all available from H Concept.

+d (H Concept): h-concept.jp/fs/hshop/c/keykeeper.

Serving up new dishes

Metaphys has expanded its dining-ware section with a new range of unusual plates. As we’ve come to expect from Chiaka Murata’s brand, Savone plates are far from the norm. Like cross-sections of stuck-together bubbles, each porcelain plate has three or four round compartments. They’re ideal for serving meals with lots of different side dishes.

They come in matt black or white, and glossy white, with individual plates starting at ¥1,365 and a set of three different plates costing ¥4,200. The matt versions are slightly more expensive than the glossy one. Everything can be ordered through the Metaphys website.

Metaphys: www.metaphys.jp/product/product/archives/2011110764.php.