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Design Travel: “The Dedication to Making Things Well” at Shiguchi in Japan

Shiguchi, a guest house in Hokkaido, Japan, just opened a scant nine months ago, but its roots are much older. The name comes from the word for traditional joinery, according to the retreat’s website. “Shiguchi, or traditional timber joints, are deceptively simple but can take decades to perfect, and carpenters must not only master many differently...

Ohayooo! A Small Japanese Design Shop in Central Copenhagen

This past summer, we celebrated my daughter’s second birthday with decor inspired by Kodomo no hi (Children’s Day) in Japan. Each year on May 5, landscapes across Japan are decorated with massive strands of colorful koinobori, the carp-shaped windsocks, and the holiday is celebrated with kite flying, mochi, and other activities. We’ve always thought...

10 Easy Pieces: Donabe Clay Pots

The donabe is a fixture of any traditional Japanese kitchen. It’s the original multi-function appliance: a slow cooker, Dutch oven, rice cooker, and steamer in one handmade piece of clay cookware. Here are 10 donabe options, including soup, steamer, and rice cooker versions—some all in one, others for specific functions. Above: The Ippinka Japanese...

The Brass Tacks: A Canvas Shower Curtain (Liner Not Required)

Welcome to our new column, The Brass Tacks, in which we highlight the tiniest but mightiest details in the house: good-looking hardware, hinges, fixtures, and more. The plastic shower curtain liner has always struck us as an inelegant and wasteful way to protect non-waterproof curtains. Recently, we were thrilled to discover that Puebco, one of our...

Steal This Look: An Organized Loft, Japanese Style

Makié Yahagi’s two-bedroom SoHo loft is akin to the charm-filled interiors of her nearby shop on Thompson Street, Makié. A cult favorite since its opening in 1999, Makié sells children’s clothing and home goods with a handmade feel. At home, Makié lives with her two now-teenage sons who occupy the main bedrooms; Makié makes her sleeping quarters in...

Noki: A Shelving System Inspired by Japanese Architecture

Noting now: a modular shelving system designed by Keiji Ashizawa for Poland-based Tamo Design called Noki. The story behind the name? “A Japanese term for the eaves and rafters of a traditional Japanese building.” Take a look. Above: The wall-mounted Noki Three Modules starts at 6,650 PLN ($1,532.85 USD). It’s available in oak, black oak, and white...

The Nonchalant Family House: A No. 555 Design in Utazu, Japan

Tokyo architectural firm No. 555 celebrates everyday life by building in an enchanting casualness. Their domestic designs are explorations of ease and practicality—always approached using humble, commercial building materials in ways that call for double takes. See, for instance, the Vertical Alley, their live/work tower for a couple in Tokyo, and their...

Current Obsessions: Low-Impact Winter

Above: The utilitarian is made sunny at Germantown Laundromat in upstate NY; see our post An Eco-Minded Gathering Spot in the Hudson Valley, Mending Services Included (and keep an eye on their workshops and offerings here). On the heels of our Alpine issue last week, we spotted this eclectic art gallery in an old Swiss farmhouse, via World of Interiors....

Kitchen of the Week: A Designer’s Deconstructed Sonoma Kitchen from Reclaimed Parts

File this under When the Whole Is Greater than the Sum of its Parts: Ever since Julie first took a tour of San Francisco designer Charles de Lisle‘s reclaimed retreat in Sonoma (see: Off the Grid: A Stylish, Low-Impact Retreat in Sonoma by Charles de Lisle), we’ve been admiring how it manages to be simultaneously low-impact on the earth and high on...

Shopper’s Diary: Landline in Paris, a French-American Shopkeeper’s Answer to Plastic-Free Living

On a recent trip to France, I had two days to get reacquainted with Paris when Landline came to me at the top of a stylist friend’s tip sheet. Located in a former pharmacy in the 11th arrondissement, the emporium is a general supply store stocked with everything from kitchenwares and carpet beaters to wardrobe staples, all made of natural materials...

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