A coffee table with a twist

Looking for a coffee table that doesn’t need a stack of photo books to get your guests’ attention? Then consider Shigeichiro Takeuchi’s Tricom for interior brand Commoc.

Its glass surface reveals an unusual base that is simple yet solid. A single steel pipe curves and swerves to form a minimalist form that seems to change shape depending on which angle you view it from. It’s like a 3-D continuous stroke of calligraphy — and that stroke is available in either black, white or green. The Tricom coffee table sells for ¥57,750 and can be purchased online from Generate Design.

Commoc: commoc.jp Shigeichiro Takeuchi: www.shigeichiro.com Generate Design: jtim.es/rdPE7

Don’t dry out this winter

Now that it is really starting to chill, it’s that time of the year when fancy new heaters are released. We kicked off last month with Balmuda’s AirEngine. This month it’s the latest from Naoto Fukasawa’s Plus Minus Zero line.

This neat, little design-friendly Humidification Ceramic Fan Heater is not only compact but also offers a solution for both temperature and winter dry-air concerns. Its humidification system’s advanced moisture control also includes an antibacterial cartridge to keep air fresh.

As is expected from Fukasawa, it has a clean front, while at the rear, its opaque tank makes it easy to see when it needs a refilling with water (up to 3 liters).

The Humidification Ceramic Fan Heater costs ¥18,900 and can be purchased directly from Plus Minus Zero’s website.


Upside down and inside out

Why on earth would you want an upside-down umbrella? Hiroshi Kajimoto’s UnBRELLA for H Concept’s +d brand, might appear weird, but once you look into it, you’ll wonder why no one has thought of it before.

When you close your umbrella after a downpour, you’re always stuck with it dripping onto the floor or onto your clothes. But by inverting the way it opens and closes, the UnBRELLA ends up with the interior — the dry side — on the outside when shut. Another result of this innovative construction is that when closed, the umbrella can support itself upright to dry.

The UnBRELLA costs ¥9,450, comes in the aquatic colors of light blue, navy and turquoise, and is available directly from H Concept.


Square solutions to a brolly problem

If the UnBRELLA is not quite your style, then maybe it’s time to rethink your umbrella stand instead. H Concept’s +d brand addresses one of the biggest annoyances of ordinary stands: The lack of a space to put compact folding umbrellas.

To resolve this, the Splash Square has set four of its nine long-umbrella slots within a recess wide enough to accommodate the end of a compact umbrella. In total, it can hold nine long umbrellas, or five with one compact. Simple but effective.

The Splash Square comes in black, blue, brown, white and yellow. It costs ¥5,250, and can be purchased online from H Concept’s online store.


Nature’s building blocks

In a beautiful example of highlighting Japan’s traditional crafts, Noto Fusai looks to Okayama Prefecture for what would be a great Christmas stocking stuffer for kids.

The husband-and-wife duo (Hirotsugu and Miyo Noto) have designed Natural Dyed Building Blocks — a set of blocks hand-crafted from Hinoki Cypress wood and naturally dyed to subtle shades of three color combinations. Together, they make up a puzzle that forms one elongated shape, but kids are more likely to be inspired to make their own creations.

Natural Dyed Building Blocks are ¥5,880 or ¥6,300 per set, depending on the dye process and materials. They can be purchased online from the Caina webstore.

Noto Fusai: notofusai.com Caina: www.caina.jp/commodity_detail/06048093

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