Style & Design | ON: DESIGN

From umbrellas with feet to miniature ice-fishing polar bears, On: Design goes clever-quirky

Fishing for a good cuppa

Here’s a cute and handy bit of originality for your tea breaks. The Tea Bag Holder Shirokuma (Polar Bear) from Necktie Design Office not only keeps your drink warm as it brews but it also stops the tea bag string and tab from slipping into the liquid.

Made of a porcelain, the cup cover’s polar bear holds a fishing rod with a little loop on which to hang the tea bag. Expect comments from nearby friends or coworkers, as the little ice-fishing bear is an eye-catching novelty.

Two smart umbrellas

The Tea Bag Holder Shirokuma is priced at ¥3,000 and is so popular it’s currently sold out. But keep an eye on Necktie Design Office’s Facebook page for updates on when it will be back in stock.

Who cares if it’s not officially the rainy season, we love Nendo’s new umbrellas designed for the by|n collection of Seibu Department Store.

First up is the Stay-Brella, which solves the problem of where to store your umbrella, dry or dripping, when there’s no rack. Thanks to its two-footed handle, the Stay-Brella can stand upright, be propped up against wall or hung off a ledge.

Nendo’s Cover-Brella addresses another common problem — the mysterious phenomenon of disappearing umbrella covers. The Cover-Brella cover is attached to and tucked into its handle when it’s in use. It’s impossible to lose it and it doesn’t get in the way when the umbrella is open.

Available in eight color variations, both the Stay-Brella and the Cover-Brella are priced at ¥6,264 each and are exclusive to Seibu Department Stores.

A wind chime with bells on

Wind chimes don’t have to be displayed outdoors. They can add a pleasant audible accent to a room and, judging from the aptly named Timbre’s latest works, they can also be great visual decor.

The Bellflower wind chime is designed by Mikiya Kobayashi and its delicate interlocking glass bell-shaped “flowers” not only make a gentle tinkling sound but also turn it into an attractive hanging sculpture.

Available in clear glass for ¥8,500 or clear green for ¥9,700 the Bellflower is available direct from the Timbre website.

Pulp storage is no fiction

As the late comedian George Carlin once said: “A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”

Managing all that stuff isn’t easy, but Midori can at least help keep the desk area in order. Midori’s Pulp Storage is an ecologically sound and affordable collection of small storage boxes. Created out of a recycled pulverized paper pulp, these cases are kept shut by an elastic band and they can hold plenty of pens and cards (the card case has room for up to 400 business cards).

Both are available from Midori’s online store and they come in gray, white or beige, with the Pulp Pen Case priced at ¥460 and the Pulp Card Case at ¥560.

Simple key keepers

Key Keeper R from H Concept’s +d brand is a novel way of making sure you always find the right key, especially if you have a lot of them dangling on your keyring.

Designed by creative unit Tent, the idea is simple — brightly colored silicone sheaths for your keys. But what makes these different from other key covers is that the casing covers the entire key.

When you insert the key into a lock, the casing is pushed back and out of the way, and when you pull out the key, springs back into a cover. A variety of colors — black, blue, green, red, yellow and white — also makes it easy to identify which keys are which.

Key Keeper Rs cost ¥540 each and can be ordered direct from H Concept.

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