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Stuck on a Good Design Award winner

by Jean Snow

The Good Design Award winners were announced last month and there are plenty of great ideas to take in — make sure to check out the GDA website to browse through all of the new ideas.

One of our favorites has to be Colorworks’ Magnet Paint. Part of a line called Paint+, which includes Kakeru Paint (paint that can be drawn on with chalk), Magnet Paint can turn any wall or paintable surface into a magnet board. So if you run out of fridge-door space, you can start sticking notes to the wall.

Designed by Natsumi Aizawaou, the base coat of Magnet Paint contains metal particles, which allows magnets to attach to the surface. A 0.5-liter can of basecoat costs ¥5,900 and the top coat, which comes in a range of seven colors cost ¥1,200 for a 0.2-liter pot. They can all be purchased directly from the Colorworks website.

Colorworks: www.colorworks.co.jp/paintplus.

Giving pets a good pampering

People who want to give their pets a more creative and stylish environment should take a look at OPPO, a new brand by manufacturer Teramoto aimed specifically at style-conscious pet owners.

Currently three items are available — and we love them all. First up is Quack, a comfortable silicone muzzle for those over-zealous dogs. The duck-bill-shaped contraption fits snugly and prevents the dog from biting or barking. They are available in yellow, pink brown, and in three sizes, each priced at ¥1,680, ¥1,890 or ¥2,100.

For the cats there’s the CatShell, a polyester basket, which, if you get two, can also become a clam-like cubby hole, A single basket costs ¥2,100, while a pair set is ¥3,990. Last, but not least, is the handy Ketori, a drop shaped rubber shell that collects pet hair when rubbed across the carpet or sofa. It’s also hollow and has a flexible opening so you can pick up the hair collected to take it to the bin, and when you’re not using it, it doubles as a pet toy. Available in orange, blue and “berry” purple, the Ketori is priced at ¥1,260. The OPPO website has links to outlets.

OPPO: www.t-oppo.jp.

How to split up the furniture

Just the very thought of a splinter can make you wince — unless it’s got something to do with Nendo. Produced for Conde House — a wood furniture manufacturer based in Asahikawa, in Hokkaido — Nendo’s new Splinter Collection uses wood that has been “splintered” and bent to form different components of furniture.

For example, the arms on the chairs or the hooks on the coat stand are achieved by splitting and bending the ends of the wood. It’s a novel way to use wood, which has turned out to be quite versatile: The Splinter Collection comprises an armchair, a coat stand, a hanger rack, a mirror and a side table.

The line makes its debut at the IMM international furniture show in Cologne in January, and will go on sale this coming spring.

Conde House: www.condehouse.co.jp. Nendo: www.nendo.jp.

A cage full of light

The Plumen, created by British company Hulger, has been dubbed “the first designer low-energy lightbulb,” and its interconnecting looped tubes makes it far more attractive than any other bulbs on the market.

Now, courtesy of LineMe, there’s a fantastic lamp to complement it. The Cage lives up to its name with a bird-cage-like structure that encases the Plumen, which gets its name from the word “plume,” decorative feathers and “lumen,” the unit of light.

We love the minimal encasing and how the Cage works so well with the Plumen to emanate the same amount of light as that from a regular lamp with a shade.

Available in yellow, white and chrome, the Cage costs ¥2,625 and can be found in most Actus interior stores.

LineMe: www.lineme.jp/cage.html.

Emergency hearts and hugs

First-aid kits are not known for their design aesthetics, but they are something that everyone owns, so why not make them more attractive? NTT Docomo’s ilovezoku project, a campaign that invited a few celebrity designers to choose and promote some of their favorite everyday items, also resulted in the production of a few original goods.

Created by Gakunan Woodcraft, this First Aid Kit takes on the traditional wooden medicine box that Gakunan is known for and adds a red heart for a modern touch. Inside you’ll find 30 plasters adorned with a small red heart and plenty of room for emergency medicine. You can purchase it from Caina for ¥5,250.

ilovezoku: www.ielovezoku.jp; Gakunan: www.gaku-nan.co.jp. Caina: www.caina.jp/commodity_detail/00378012.