As one might expect, we see a lot of product online and offline that are not readily available in the United States. This is especially true when it comes to the home wares and furnishings market in Japan; despite its diminutive geographical stature, home decor is big in Japan. So we've put together our subjective "best" list of home items we wish we were (readily) available here, running the gamut from lighting to seating to home organization...because it's not just you who becomes frustrated when seeing the words "unavailable for USA".
Note: we realize some of these items do occasionally become available through importers and specialty shops, but here are 10 of our favourite home items we have yet to see in-stores here in the US:
269 Clock: Like many of the items we admire from Japan, this wall clock is pared down to its most simple elements, yet retaining a memorable elegance.
Table=Chest: A design from 1995, we still love this storage solution that can go from vertical to horizontal in one fluid movement. Nobody optimizes space like the Japanese, and this illustrates it perfectly.
Korova cabinet: Perhaps named after the Korova Milk Bar from A Clockwork Orange, we've seen this storage cabinet a few times in Japanese decor magazines and wanted one each time. Record lovers will agree, it's a beauty.
Conof Shredder: Do you have a document shredder? We do, and although it works well, it seems to have been the offspring of a Dell computer and a wire wastebasket in the looks department. There's nothing fancy about this design...but it's worlds apart in aesthetic impression.
Plus Minus Zero Heater: Another example of a common household appliance we normally dread keeping visible; the Plus Minus Zero version is such a looker, we'd keep it out during the summertime.
Banzai Floor Chairs: even though we grew up in an asian household, we never did get used to sitting on the floor for extended periods of time, possibly because we missed having back support. These might be the crossover solution for traditional eastern seating with western comfort.
Hollow: we love the idea of having a storage space for everything, down to the smallest item. The Hollow is beautiful with or without anything placed ontop of it.
YOnoBI/Dancing on the water Clock: Highly glossed, this clock reflects a mirror image onto its top panel to report the time. If Daft Punk ever endorsed a product, it should be this one.
Rat Rat: Horrible name, very cute light.
Cube Style: Of all the items listed, this is the one we want the most. We don't have a dining room, and have to eat on our living room coffee table. This might be small enough to afford us a dedicated dining space with the option to minimize its footprint when not in use. Love it.