Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hella Jongerius, will you marry me?

Hella is my favorite designer, though I don't own anything made by her. But one can love from afar! Everytime I go into a Vitra store (or anywhere else where Hella's genius is on display), I feel my heart skip a couple of beats. In fact, when I first laid my eyes upon her Polder Sofa, I fell in love, on the spot! Such is the effect of Hella's art...

Anyway, check out these cool Rotterdam chairs. They are super cool and will definitely liven up your seating area or wherever you need chairs. Me definitely likey!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tokyo Design Guide!

To all the CLI readers on their way to Tokyo, you MUST read our Tokyo Design Guide before boarding the plane. Yes, you read that correctly. If you want to check out cool furniture and home accessory stores while traveling and visiting one of the most awesome cities in the world, look no further than this carefully compiled list of design and furniture stores!

Here goes...


Sempre - 2-5-1 Yurakucho Seibu Fashion 5F, Yurakucho Chiyoda-ku
A really, REALLY awesome store, but check out the location in Omotesando for even more thrills, since it’s a great deal bigger! (Thanks to Design Sponge for pointing this place out to me before I left for Japan!)

Bals Tokyo - Velvia 4/5F 2-4-6 Ginza, Chuo-
A high-end up, super cool design store. If you are in the market for expensive furniture, come here! Everything is made by a famous designer, and worth a trip!

Case Study Shop – 1-5-1 Marunochi, Shinmaru building 4th floor, Chiyodu-ku -
I like this small store since it has very cute mid-century things for your home. Worth a look for sure!

Conran Shop - 2-4-1 Marunouchi - chiyoda-ku -
This Conran Shop is very similar to other Conran Shops all around the world, so you know it’s bound to have something you simply cannot live without. However, I am partial to the Conran Shop in New York…maybe it was the prices!

Muji – just walk around and you will find a Muji store eventually. I cannot get enough of Muji. I practically went to Muji every single day I was in Tokyo. I just love it. I love the clothes, the food, the furniture, the shoes, the snacks. I love it! Muji, will you marry me?


In the Room - 3-1-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku -
In the Room is sort of like the Japanese version of Crate and Barrel, and so I wasn’t in love with it. However, they do have REALLY cool clocks for your house.

Actus – BYG Building 1&2F 2-19-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku -
I love this store! I found it by accident after I asked someone where I could find more European/Scandinavian furniture stores. They have such cool things here. I bought a really cool tissue holder here. It’s soo cool. I can’t wait to sneeze again so I can get another 100% recycled tissue for my nose! This store is a must see for those who like modern-ish design.

BoConcept -- 1,2,3F T&T bld 3-32-10 Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku -
I’m not a huge fan of BoConcept, but some people seem to like it, so I’m throwing it in here.

IDC Otsuka Kagu Shinjuku Showroom - 3-33-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo (across the street from BoConcept) -
This giant, massive building has designer furniture from many parts of the world. It’s a good idea to check it out if you are an interior designer, but I wasn’t interested in buying anything here since I couldn’t very well fit furniture in my suitcase.

Conran Shop - 3-7-1 Shinjuku Park Tower 3F, 4F, Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku -
See above description.

Muji – just walk around and you will find a Muji store eventually.


Bals Tokyo Roppongi by Agito - Roppongi Hills West Walk 3F
6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato, -

(The Roppongi Hills West Walk building has other interior design/home accessory stores, but I can’t remember the names right now. Go in the building and on the fourth or fifth floor, just wander around and look for more stores. There are at least two more to check out, and I bought a cool piggy bank at one of them).

21_21 Design Sight – 9-7-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku -
If you are into cool design and the people who are behind it, you MUST visit this museum. Designed by Tadao Ando, the museum itself looks like an incognito bomb shelter, with its signature concrete construction. There are signs everywhere leading to 21_21 Design Sight, so you really can’t miss it. Inside you will find great design, from furniture to cell phones and television designs. This place will definitely make you oooohhh and ahhhhh!

I’m in Love – Spanish Embassy, 1-3-29 Roppongi, Minato-ku -
I actually tried to visit this place, but I got there right when they closed. I couldn't believe my terrible luck! They open from 10am to 5:30pm, so try to get there early. Next time…

Living Motif – AXIS building B1F, 1F, 2F, 5-17-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku -
This awesome, expensive store is in the Axis building right across the street from Ligne Roset. They have beautiful, awesome things for your house, and there are three floors to peruse. Bring your wallet!

Muji – just walk around and you will find a Muji store eventually.

(Daikanyama station off the Tokyo Toyoko subway line) and a short walk from Ebisu station)

Stitch Tokyo - 11-8 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku -
The outside of this place is basically an Adidas store, but you walk inside to the back, and there it is, Stitch Tokyo, which basically has awesome mid-century furniture, mostly Eames chairs, and a lot of cool interior goods for your home. Basically, things that are small enough to carry back home in your suitcase.

Assemblage -Moncheri Daikanyama 2nd floor -
This store is nice, and they have a lot of nice stuff, mostly for your kitchen. It’s not exactly modern, clean-lined design, but they do have very nice things here. They also have a cafĂ© if you are tired of walking around. (Thanks to Design Sponge for pointing this place out to me before I left for Japan!)

Muji – just walk around and you will find a Muji store eventually.

(off Harajuku subway stop)

AssistOn - 3F 3-23-1, Zingumae, Shibuyaku-
This little store is pretty awesome, and it has won many Japan design awards to prove it. They have cool things here for your desk and home. I almost bought everything here, but I couldn’t decide, so I left. Now I’m sad.

Shop Innovator & Casablanca - 3-50-11 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku -
If you are in the market for Scandinavian pillows or blankets and furniture, come check this store out. (Thanks to Design Sponge for pointing this place out to me before I left for Japan!)

Detail - 2-28-3 sendagaya shibuya-ku -
This store is pretty cute, and has a lot of fun little things for your house, like trashcans, tissue holders, clocks, alarms, mirros, etc. It’s north of the Harajuku subway station, so it’s a little out of the way, but I think it’s worth the 10 or 15 minute walk.

Cibone Aoyama - Aoyama Bell Commons B1, 2-14-6 Kita-Aoyama Minato-ku -
A friend of mine (thanks, Kaye) found this store, but I was not able to check it out since I had already left Tokyo! How sad! But check it out anyway, since they have a really great selection of super cool furniture! Next time...

Muji – just walk around and you will find a Muji store eventually.


Day by Day - 3-7-10 Kita Aoyama, Minato-ku -
This store is a little hard to find, and I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite store, since it’s quite small, and everything is super expensive. It’s not super modern, so if you’re into more of a higher-end Crate and Barrel kind of thing, check this out.

Mid-Century MODERN - 5-12-6 Hanabusa bldg.2F, Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku-
Exactly as the name indicates, this store has all mid-century modern furniture and home accessories. If you live in Tokyo and want some Eames or Saarinen classics, come here for sure.

Sempre - 5-13-3 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku -
This is by far my most favorite store in Tokyo, and I have the credit card statement to prove it! (Luckily, I didn’t spend too much, but the proof has been paid off!) They have super cool things here, like furniture, chairs, cushions for your chairs, kids furniture, stuff to hang on your walls, lights, cool electrical things to make your house look cool. I just cannot rave about this store enough. It is simply too beautiful for words. There is another location in Ginza, but this one is bigger and better! Watch your pennies here!

Spiral - 5-6-23 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku-
This store is in a really cool building, with a cool restaurant, and films and other cool events going on all the time. They have a store on the 2nd or 3rd floor, which has a lot of nice gift-type things for your friends back home! Check it out for sure!

MoMA Design Store - 5-10-1 GYRE3F, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku -
If you’ve been to a MOMA Design Store, you will know what to find here. If not, shame on you for not visiting sooner! All the classics are on display here as well as some cool new modern home accessories. Everything is more expensive than in the New York store, but what can you expect with all the shipping costs.

Idea Frames - Omotesando Hills West B2F, 4-12-10 Jingumae. Shibuya-ku
This store is pretty much across the street from the MOMA Design Store, and is pretty awesome. They have cool gadgets for your house, like cool alarm clocks, speakers, air purifiers, pens, wall hangings, etc. It’s a great place to get someone a gift. I wish I had gone back there, but they have a few locations all over Tokyo, so you are bound to run into another one, though this one is probably the coolest, and it’s in the Omotesando Hills mall, designed by…wait for it…Tadao Ando! A must see!!

HH Style Aoyama Store - 2-7-15 NTT Aoyama bldg. escorter AOYAMA, Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku -
The first time I went to this store, I thought it was all Vitra. But it’s not! By far, the best furniture store in Tokyo, or even the world, this store kind of reminds of Design Within Reach, only there is something different about it. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s because it’s designed by Tadao Ando. Be warned, though, that the prices here are WAYYYY higher than DWR. That’s to be expected, but still. I think one might go bankrupt after shopping here, but if you have the means, do it! In particular, check out the Polder Sofa by Hella Jongerius on the 2nd or 3rd floor. I fell in love again when I saw it just sitting there, waiting for me…

Note: Apparently there is another location a few blocks away: Harajuku Store -- 6-14-2 Jingumae Shibuya-ku

Muji – just walk around and you will find a Muji store eventually.


Loft – 21-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku-
This is one of my favorite stores, and it’s also in Shibuya, which is super fun. There are about 7 floors in total, and each has something fun to offer. I usually head to the 4th or 5th floor, which has super cool furniture designed by Japanese people. If I lived in Japan, I would totally buy furniture here because 1) it’s affordable and 2) it’s awesome and 3) because it’s awesome. I highly recommend visiting this store.

Franc Franc - B1F~3F,12-9,Udagawa-cho,Shibuya-ku-
This awesome store reminds of the Japanese response to IKEA. I do think the stuff here is a bit more design-ish, but maybe that’s because I’ve never been to IKEA in Europe. (I suspect they have cooler things in Europe than in the USA). Anyway, you can get pretty much anything you need for your house here. The prices are pretty decent as well.

Muji – just walk around and you will find a Muji store eventually.

(a new meaning to the phrase “cool furniture street)

I will work on this later, but know that Meguro Dori (off the Meguro station on the Yamanote subway line) is lined with dozens of cool, mid-century, Scandinavian furniture shops! It is soo much fun to walk down this street and check out all the cool stores here. There are too many to list, but I’ll try later!)

Other stores I don’t know anything about, but want to visit:

Arenot Shibuya Shop - 1-4-12 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Tendo-PLY - Fukasawa Bld 2F, 4-35-7 Fukasawa, Setagaya-ku,-

Friday, October 23, 2009

i am in love....

...with this cute lamp! It's called the "Darom Lamp" and was created by an Israeli design studio (Dag-Designlab); The lamps is adjustable and made with injected molded plastic and wood. If anyone knows where I can get one other than perhaps ordering it from Israel, PLEASE let me know. I think it would make a great gift for one of the interns here at Cheese Lovers International!


holy mary mother of ......

Who wants to come over right now and help me vandalize my current couch? It's for a good cause, and you won't get arrested! Come over whenever. Either way, I must find a way to obtain this most beautiful of sofas/couches. Piere Lissoni is a genius, and I daresay, this Alphabet Sofa is almost as cool, and maybe even worthy of being in the same category of greatness as Hella Jongerius' Polder Sofa??? Piere designed this sofa with Lego toys in mind, and I see the resemblance. I must meet this Signore Lissoni and kiss his hands! He is a truly great human being!

Update! I just found out this couch is over $6,000. Ouch!!!

the coolest coffee/nesting/side tables you have EVER seen!!

I saw these really cute Stua nesting tables in Tokyo. Wow! I don't know what else to say. They are soo cute and little, and not soo little, and then big. (Translation: they come in different sizes). So if you need a very small table, this is perfect. Or if you need something not that small, but not that big, they are still perfect. It looks like DWR is selling them right now, but in pairs of 3. The price is not that bad either at about $398. Ikea has something similar, but these are made in Spain and are of much higher quality. It would be cool if you could buy these individually. Hmmmm!

Link to DWR:

more cushions for your behind

Still on the search for comfortable cushions for your Eames molded plastic chairs? I have another great option. They also might be easier to purchase than the ones from SEMPRE mentioned a few days ago.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

what time is it?

Time to get a new clock! That's right! Go out and get a new clock, and while you're at it, just get one of these! (I just made your life really easy -- you're welcome).

I'm not sure how much these cost since I can't read Japanese, but they can't be too expensive! I also don't know where you can order or buy these since I've never actually seem them in real life, but try anyway!

Good luck! Here's where you can buy them (I think):

something cool to sit on

If you are like me, you like to sit on something cushiony. If you are like me and have plastic or wooden chairs, these are not always the most comfortable for lounging. Sometimes you just want to sit at your dining or kitchen table without having to move to the couch to relax. Luckily I have the perfect product for you!

Check out this awesome felt cushion, made in Germany, from an awesome store in Tokyo called SEMPRE. It is by far my new most favorite store in the world. Too bad they are only located in Japan. Maybe one of the loyal readers of CLI can start an online petition for SEMPRE to open a store in New York or somewhere else cool? If someone does this, let us know and we will send you not one but TWO pounds of our favorite cheese!

Monday, October 19, 2009

is it a tray, art to hang on your wall, or a bag?

Check this out! This is the coolest thing ever. I just got one of these from Tokyo and put it on my wall. Later, when I have green tea or hot chocolate, I'll use the tray function to carry this to the seating area, and have a sip or two!

Get one right now if you can!!