interior

Cat stealing your seat? Fold-flat chair foils feline invasions of your workspace

Cute as they can be, cats don’t really understand some of the finer points of reciprocating the courtesies their human housemates extend to them. For example, we’re willing to bet that no matter how much you love your pet, you probably don’t lay your head down in its cat bed for a nap when it’s not snoozing there or bypass a trip to the bathroom to just relieve yourself in its litterbox.

Cats, on the other hand, have no qualms about stealing your seat as soon as you get up, basking in the residual warmth from your hindquarters and leaving you with no place to sit when you come back to your desk to finish the project you were working on, email you were writing, or incredibly important RocketNews24 you were reading.

Here with a solution to this turf war is Japanese interior goods brand Bauhutte, which is now selling a reconfigurable chair that foils your kitty’s attempts to hop on when you’re not occupying it.

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Cat destroys owner’s Japanese sliding door, tells the world he couldn’t care less with his smile

One of the most elegant touches of classic Japanese architecture is the use of shoji, traditional sliding doors. Built on a wooden framework with translucent paper used instead of panes of glass, the resulting mix of natural materials and light is both refined and relaxing.

But while they look nice, shoji aren’t really the sturdiest portals to have in your home, since the paper can tear pretty easily, and even the frame can snap, if the doors aren’t handled carefully. Among the most common causes of shoji damage are clumsy drunks, careless kids, and indoor pets.

Not that this Japanese Twitter user’s cool cat is fessing up to the crime, though.

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Solo Theater: The surreal home theater in a box for your smartphone or tablet

A home theater setup can be a great way to enjoy your favorite movies. But what if you don’t have the space for a lot of bulky, high-end audio/video equipment, or if you just don’t have people over often enough to justify the cost? Furthermore, what’s the point in investing in a big screen TV and array of speakers if you watch most of your movies and videos on your smartphone or tablet?

Thankfully, there’s now a way to recapture the Cinemaplex experience in a compact and affordable way, with the single-occupant Solo Theater from Japanese design house Lucy Alter Design.

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Paint your room in Ayanami Blue with official Evangelion paint

While there’s no way you could call the Evangelion franchise underappreciated as a whole, one part of the anime classic that often gets overlooked is its effective use of color. Add a couple of splashes of green and black to a field of purple, for example, and any fan will instantly think of the show’s central robot, Eva Unit-01.

Likewise, it’s impossible to imagine Rei Ayanami, Evangelion’s most famous female character, without the otherworldly fragile aura imparted by her distinctive blue hair. The color is so iconic that one Japanese paint company has even started selling a new shade, Ayanami Blue, that’s an exact match or Rei’s trademark tresses.

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Are you satisfied with your sleep? If not, maybe you need an adorable Baymax bed

If you’ve seen Disney’s Big Hero 6, you know that the film’s most memorable character, marshmallowy medical helper/combat robot Baymax, spends about half of his screen time being awesome, and the other being adorable. In one of the best examples of the latter, he becomes a mattress for his exhausted friends, letting them lean into his soft, cushioned body during a brief respite during the bumpy transition to their new lives as superheroes.

If you’re feeling similarly worn out after a hard day, you’ll be happy to know that, just as the trailer for the film promised, Baymax has your back…or your front, or your side, depending on how you sleep, in the form of this amazingly heart-melting semi-posable Baymax bed.

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Japanese cat and dog clocks with swishing tails make clock-watching more adorable than ever

Honestly, I’ve never really seen the point in hanging a clock on the wall in your home. Between the time displays on my PC, phone, TV, DVD player, PlayStation, and microwave, I’ve got plenty of ways to tell the current hour and minute without a dedicated timepiece taking up space where I could hang other things, like the California license plate in my living room that simultaneously makes me miss my home state and driving whenever I look at it.

I’m just not convinced that having a wall clock makes your home that much more convenient. However, it can make it a lot cuter, if it’s one of these adorable Japanese dog or cat-shaped clocks with an amazingly lifelike wagging tail.

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Death Note drapes? Fans spot TV drama’s curtains in their home, keep them shut to block out Light

The Death Note franchise is proving to be ironically long-lived. Starting off as a manga in 2003, the saga of Light Yagami and his supernatural notebook that allows him to kill whoever he wants just be writing down his or her name has been adapted into an anime series and trilogy of live-action films, and there’s even a Death Note musical in the works.

This last Sunday saw the debut of a brand-new Death Note Japanese TV drama, and you can read our personal impressions of the show right here. In the meantime, it looks like the general viewing public was really excited by the premiere episode, but not because of its casting or changes to the original story, but because of a set-decorating coincidence.

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Use this new Japanese pad to keep your cat in one spot with the power of magic circles!

Last year, the Internet went gaga over the discovery that, for reasons that remain a mystery to nearly everyone, (some) cats, when presented with a circle on the floor, will enter said circle and just sit there. In what is probably the most effective way to make the notoriously free-spirited animals “stay,” these cat circles, which are called “neko hoihoi” in Japan, appeared in numerous videos, photos, and tweets online. From tape to hula hoops to dirty clothes, the cat-catching circles can, seemingly, be made of anything!

But now you no longer need to actually make a cat circle — instead you can buy an adorable little tatami reed flooring mat from a Kyoto company. Give your room a little class and trap your cat all at the same time! It’s probably easier than trying to use a computer when your adorable kitty wants attention.

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Protect your table corners and your thighs with these adorable nom nom-ing animals

Being an adult doesn’t make the danger of sharp table corners any less hazardous. If you jump up for the phone or rush to get the doorbell you might end up catching yourself right on those sharp points, but there just wasn’t any way to curb the sharpness of the table without resorting to something ugly covering the ends, like cardboard or tape, until now.

If cats follow the motto, “If it fitz, I sitz” then Japan certainly rules by, “It’s moot unless it’s cute.” Whoever designed these extremely cute looking corner covers is definitely following that motto.

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The Ramen Poster, a cute and unique way to show off your love of Japanese cuisine

Who doesn’t love ramen? Not only has this famous Japanese noodle dish won the hearts of many Asian cuisine aficionados, but its instant variety has long been the top pick by college students for satisfying the munchies during late night study binges.

If you, too, consider yourself a ramen lover or know someone who is, we urge you to check out The Ramen Poster by an American artist who has taken her love of hot noodles in broth to the next level.

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Sailor Moon Silver Crystal magnet paper clip chalice helps maintain order in Moon Kingdom, desks

Out of the many magical artifacts Sailor Moon comes across during the course of her adventures, few can match the power of the Illusory Silver Crystal. Maybe that’s why when merchandiser Bandai offers some new anime trinket that includes the gem, it seemingly feels that the replica Silver Crystal also needs to have some sort of innate power.

Previously, fans could use the Illusory Silver Crystal to keep their homes smelling nice. Now, the crystal that helped Queen Serenity maintain order in the Moon Kingdom will help you maintain order on your desk, with this Rainbow Moon Chalice Sailor Moon paper clip case.

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Kumiko: The exquisitely delicate side of traditional Japanese woodwork

A few weeks ago we introduced you to the world of traditional Japanese woodwork, a technique that uses no nails or hardware, just precise joints, to keep furniture and even buildings together. This technique is also used to create intricate, wooden, functional artwork, known as kumiko, which is used within Japanese style-rooms to create a stunning atmosphere.

The traditional handicraft has been passed down for centuries, however, the trade is sadly dying out. In response, artisans are taking the age-old concept and applying the designs to more modern-day household items, such as chairs and lampshades. The results are nothing short of exquisite!

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Handy bath pillow doubles as a smartphone holder, might also be giving you a hug

After a long, hard day at work or school, there’s nothing like a nice, hot bath. But then again, a lot of people also like to unwind by kicking back and sending a few emails, watching a video or two, or perusing the Internet’s most profound sources of knowledge on their smartphone.

Rather than choose between the two options, some people opt to take their phone into the tub with them. But if you’re so tired you’re craving two indulgences at once, having to grip your phone in your hand while you soak can really put a damper on maximizing your rejuvenating/loafing time.

So instead of doing that job yourself, why not get one of these inflatable bath pillows that double as a smartphone holder to do it for you?

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There could be a panda in your closet, and a blanket inside the panda with these storage cases

Staying warm during Japan’s chilly winters can be tricky, especially when it’s time to hit the sack. A lot of Japanese apartments don’t have the best insulation, so if you don’t want to blast the heater on high all night long, a nice warm blanket or down comforter is essential.

Unfortunately, six months later the weather becomes hot and muggy nationwide, so all those blankets need to be put away. And while you could just wrap them in plastic garbage bags and stick them in the closet until next winter, the far cuter option is to use a specialized case that looks like a snoozing bear, panda, or wolf.

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Sandwiched Between Twintails Pillow: For if you don’t know to hug your pillow or let it hug you

We’ve talked before about Japan’s love affair with gigantic hug pillows. Even if they’re not covered with pictures of your anime or celebrity crush, dakimakura, as they’re called in Japanese, have a number of physiological advantages, as well as the psychological benefits some people reap from having something to hold as they sleep.

Of course, some people also feel more secure and relaxed being held as they sleep, which is why Japan has a new, double-pronged huggy pillow that can hug you back.

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Ready to tie the anime knot? Company offers marriage certificate for you and your 2D waifu

Over the last few years, it’s become a trend for truly obsessive anime fans to start referring to their favorite female character as their wife, or waifu, thanks to the Japanese language’s almost complete lack of terminal consonants. Honestly, the whole phenomena is crazy, because how can you claim someone’s your spouse with no legal paperwork?

Seeking to make the spousal bond between husband and anime wife just a little more legitimate, one company is now offering marriage packs, complete with marriage certificates, for two popular anime lasses.

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The Holy Grail of Sailor Moon merchandise will help your room smell as nice as Princess Serenity

As cool as the collection of magical items used by Sailor Moon are, you have to admit that most of them wouldn’t exactly be the most practical things in your daily life. For example, a tiara that transforms into a disc of monster-killing energy when you throw it? That’s handy if you’re an anime heroine, but what if you’re just an ordinary fan who’s not running into evil creatures at a pace of literally once a week?

So while your first reaction to the news that merchandiser Bandai’s new Rainbow Moon Chalice replica does not, in fact, transform you into a more powerful version of your preexisting alter ego, in the long run, you’ll probably appreciate the fact that it instead fills your room with a pleasing smell.

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The newer, cheaper Kakureya II: The perfect secret fort/box for studying, drinking, or napping

With Japanese housing being as cramped as it is, designating a whole room as a man cave, reading nook, sewing room, or any other sort of area solely dedicated to your hobbies and passions is an unattainable luxury for many people. That’s why earlier this year, we took a look at the Kakureya, an enclosed capsule where you could have a little private me time as you watch movies, listen to music, or relax with some aroma therapy, among other suggestions from the manufacturer.

After all the attention the initial model received, it’s now time for a follow-up, with the Kakureya II, an improved version that offers even more creature comfort at a price about half that of the original.

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Beautiful faces and floors – Five great ways to reuse the water from rinsing rice

While out shopping the other day, I picked up a bag of prewashed rice. The grocery store was having a sale, so it was just as cheap as the unwashed kinds, and I figured, “Hey, there’s no advantage to having to rinse it myself is there?”

But as it turns out, the water left over after you wash the rice, called togijiru in Japanese, is actually pretty useful, as shown by these five ways you can reuse it instead of just dumping it down the sink.

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One IKEA item, two prices: Customers in Korea paying as much as 80 percent more than in the U.S.

It’s a weird quirk of the global economy that sometimes the exact same item can sell for very different prices depending on what country you’re in. For example, in the U.S. Levi’s jeans cost about half what they do in Japan.

As a result, I always wait until I’m taking a trip back to L.A. before I buy a pair of Levi’s. Unfortunately, that’s probably not an option for travelers who want to take back furniture from IKEA, which in Korea sometimes costs 80 percent more than it does in the U.S.

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