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Little chairs for little people

The Dollhouse Chair by Torafu Architects — Koichi Suzuno and Alicja Strzyzynska — might sound like it could have been a Christmas stocking-filler, but in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

This kids’ chair isn’t for a dollhouse, it doubles as a dollhouse and can also be used for storage. You can teach your little ones how to tidy up their playthings as well as own a simple yet attractive piece of furniture. Open up the chair on its center hinge and it becomes a two-floor dollhouse with enough room in the boxed sections to store toy furniture.

And if children get bored of playing house, it can be used to store other small items. Produced by Ichiro Design, the Dollhouse Chair is priced at ¥28,000 and can be ordered directly from Ichiro’s webstore.

Torafu Architects: torafu.com Ichiro Design: bit.ly/ichirodollhouse

A clear collaboration

A collaboration between pen-manufacturer Zebra and design-brand 100%, the Mizutama stand makes your pen look as if it’s piercing a giant globule of water. Made of clear glass, designed by Kosho Tsuboi, it resembles a suspended drop of water. And since it’s a collaboration, Zebra’s Bankers model of pen fits it perfectly.

The Mizutama, which comes with a Bankers pen, is priced at ¥6,264 and is available at the Caina webstore.

100%: www.100per.com Caina: www.caina.jp/commodity_detail/16714361

Blowing up in colors

You may think that there’s not much room for design improvements on the good old-fashioned party balloon, but Marusa Balloon, a veteran balloon maker with more than 60 years of experience, proves otherwise.

Two standout models are the Hen-Shin Balloon and the Two-Tone Balloon. The Hen-Shin Balloon gradually changes color as it is blown up — for example, from yellow to green or blue to red — while the Two-Tone Balloon looks a bit like a white balloon dipped half-way in colored paint. Both of these models are sold in packs of six — small for ¥432 or large for ¥864. They can both be ordered from the Koncent webstore, but you can also find these, as well as other design products often featured in this column, at the Koncent shop at the newly opened Shonan T-Site in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Marusa: marusa-balloon.com Hen-Shin Balloon: www.koncent.jp/?pid=39828146 Two-Tone Balloon: www.koncent.jp/?pid=39822870

Keep it clean for the New Year

If a well-kept home is at the top of your New Year’s resolution list this year, it could be time to purchase a new vacuum cleaner.

Plus Minus Zero’s new rechargeable Cordless Cleaner Y010 comes with a variety of nozzles and is particularly handy for cleaning those hard-to-reach spots.

Fully charged, it can vacuum for about an hour (10 minutes at the highest power) and its battery lasts up to six years, with extra ones available to buy separately.

As always, Plus Minus Zero makes it look good too.

The Cordless Cleaner Y010 comes in three colors (white, light green and red) and is priced at ¥19,440 at the Plus Minus Zero online store.

Plus Minus Zero: www.plusminuszero.jp/products/detail/232 Online Store: www.pmz-store.jp

Ideaco wraps it up

Being clean is one thing, but storage solutions also go a long way in making sure everything stays looking nice — especially when it comes to the kitchen.

Storing frequently used plastic wrap and kitchen towels tidily can be made easier with Ideaco’s Wrap Holder and Kitchen Towel Dispenser. Both are magnetic and can be attached to a refrigerator or side of an oven — out of the way for the most part, but still within in easy reach. They are also minimalist in design and simple to use.

The Wrap Holder is priced at ¥1,620 (22 cm) and ¥2,160 (30 cm) while the Kitchen Towel Dispenser is ¥3,024. Both come in numerous colors and can be ordered at Ideaco’s online store.

Wrap Holder (22 cm): bit.ly/ideacowrap1 Wrap Holder (30 cm): bit.ly/ideacowrap2 Kitchen Towel Dispenser: bit.ly/ideacotowel

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