Lowdown Scandinavian cool

If you’re in the market for a modular sofa, check out Osaka-based Teruhiro Yanagihara’s Grow (above). The designer, who also works under the name Isolation Unit, has created the attractive couch for interior brand OFFECCT, a Swedish company that’s known for its collaborations with international designers. Introduced at the Stockholm Furniture Fair earlier this month, the expansive blue sofa would fill out a room nicely without overwhelming the space thanks to its low profile. Grow is available in two models with an option to have built-in tables on the armrests.


Stylish songs in the shower

Once upon a time, if you wanted music in the shower, there were cheap, waterproof radios you could hang in the bathroom. Those days are over, courtesy of a number of new mp3-players, including the Juke Tower from Noritz Electronics Technology. Winner of the Good Design Award from the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization, the waterproof Juke Tower not only looks good, it’s a safe and easy way to access your growing collection of digital music while in the shower or relaxing in the tub. Plug a USB memory-stick in the bottom and a control panel on top lets you play your tunes. The Juke Tower is battery-powered, so there are no loose wires to worry about. The transparent casing (available in white, black, pink and red) reveals an LED clock. The Juke Tower retails for ¥13,500 with a 1-GB USB stick and ¥10,500 without one.


What do you want from your bag?

Why have a regular tote bag when you can have the N_Tote? Created by design poster-boy Naoto Fukasawa for Italian brand Nava Design, the N_ has three configurations: a default regular tote with short handles; a full-size shoulder bag using an attachable shoulder strap; or a medium-size shoulder bag, with the bag folded in half, flaplike. Made of Plastitex, a durable and rigid artificial textile developed by Nava, the bag was made to last. The tote is part of a line created by Fukasawa for the company, which also includes a casual bag, a pouch, and a PC case. The N_Tote retails for ¥18,900 and is available in black, orange and light green.


Trashy bears and rabbits

Last month, On Design featured MAQ’s Manner Bag, which, with the cute art work printed on its exterior, turns garbage into something more aesthetically pleasing. Tomohiro Kato’s POPET goes one step further: The clear vinyl bags, available in eight different hues, are in the shape of bearlike and rabbitlike creatures. Filled with trash, they look like stuffed dolls, and it’s more likely that you’ll use them for home decoration than waste them as a trash container. In another fun twist, the packaging for each ¥189 POPET bag imitates that of a pack of gum.


A natural rack

A coat rack shaped like a tree is nothing new, but Tokyo-based Jurghen Lehl’s Babaghuri brand has added an organic twist: The Stone and Wood Coat Stand is an actual tree. Hang coats, jackets and hats on the branches as you would any old coat stand, but the real point is that you get to introduce a bit of nature to the home. The base of each rack, a stone, is unique, just as is each tree. You can pick up a Stone and Wood Coat Stand at Lehl’s Babaghuri store in eastern Tokyo’s Kiyosumi area for ¥30,450.


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