Inner sanctum

The days of sitting on the tatami floor are over. Eyeing a chic Italian sofa, Stuart Braun explores the latest addition to Tokyo’s growing interiors collection.

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Time & Style' vision of "comfortable" living
Photos courtesy of Time & Style

The average Tokyo bedroom or living room might not be much bigger than six mats, but that hasn’t stopped the city’s residents from filling any available space with the latest designer furniture and housewares. From Muji to Idée, interior collections are in, and the love affair continues at Time & Style. Emerging out of Prestige Style in Berlin in 1990, T&S launched as a warehouse in Jiyugaoka in October 1997. Commandeering its own design team and eight “associate” designers to construct a vision of “Comfortable Quality Life,” Time & Style Home in Jiyugaoka and Time & Style Galleria Aoyama were opened to the public in October last year.

“A comfortable place,” reads the T&S PR blurb, “it could be a place to listen to music, to read a book or spend time with family. It could be a casual time to feel something together…We believe that there is a comfortable quality of life in the places that are simple, functional and balanced.” T&S’s showrooms are a testament to this vision, exhibiting minimalist, earthy and practical furniture and

While T&S act as an exhibition space for these “artists,” a number of in-house designers are creating an original collection of T&S furniture and housewares, thereby giving continuity to the store’s overall design vision.

accessories-including crockery, vases, lamps, CDs (mostly jazz), audio equipment, books and even children’s toys. In addition to featuring a variety of import wares from names like Campeggi (Italian sofas) and Bernard Uvarnesson (French-designed tables), T&S has made a point of working with some of Japan’s visionary designers. Names like Katayama and Kurokawa, synonymous these days with the new guard of Japanese design, were two of the eight associates initially employed to fill out Time & Style’s innovative houseware range.

Inner desire
Currently working with H-design, Katayama’s fulfilled T&S’s hope to create simple and high-quality interior goods. His minimalist aesthetic can be seen in the sleek yet functional shelving and storage units evident throughout the T&S showroom. T&S’s Planner, Kanako Fukuhara, says that local designers such as Shin Nishibori have been recruited for their “individuality” and, in Nishibori’s case, “use of humor.” Having designed CD and stereo cabinets for Muji, Nishibori has produced an unconventional assortment of tableware ranges-see his “Gifts from the year of 2000.” While T&S acts as an exhibition space for these “artists,” a number of in-house designers are creating an original collection of T&S furniture and housewares, thereby giving continuity to the store’s overall design vision. While relatively new to the design scene, original T&S designs have already appeared at international trade shows including the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York and the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.

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Dining in style

T&S has taken on some interesting, and often relatively unknown, designers from Asia and Europe. Currently, they are the exclusive agents for the chic Mutech audio range, a South Korean brand reminiscent of Bang and Olufsen and designed by Japan’s own audio design guru, Iwasaki. The KPM range of fine “Berlin” ceramics make a distinct but understated complement to the T&S furniture collection, while the Harri Koskinen-designed “Block” lamp, a featured item from Design House Stockholm, is a world-renowned interior accessory. Equally impressive is the funky wood and laminated tables from French designer Bernard Uvarnesson, objects that sit well with the modular Campeggi sofas and couches also on offer.

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From books to vases: some of T&S's extensive housewares

More than showrooms, T&S Home and Galleria are fully integrated interior “complexes.” The Galleria in Aoyama, for example, incorporates a gallery space with a cafEthe vegetarian Cafe 8 sits on the third floor-with the latter acting as an “interactive showroom” through which chairs, tables, artwork and housewares alike can be displayed. T&S Home in Jiyugaoka also has a cafEDesafinado-along with a very large warehouse space that holds most of the T&S furniture range.

For the average Tokyoite, comparable interior houses can be prohibitively expensive. T&S, however, maintains its affordability. “Our prices are very reasonable,” says Fukuhara. “Compared to other interior emporiums in Aoyama such as Idée we’re very competitive, we want to make sure people have access to our product.” But beyond price, T&S’s extensive collection of local and overseas design, along with their integrative approach to interiors retailing, make them well worth a look.

Time & Style Galleria
4-27-15 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5464-3205. Open: 11am-8pm daily (except every third Wed).
Time & Style Home
3-23-20 Yakumo, Meguro-Ku. Tel: 03-5731-7023. Open: 11am-7pm Mon-Fri, 11am-8pm Sat, Sun and hols.


402: Beauty
Paint it red 


400: Fitness
Fitness to fall for 
399: Interiors

398: Beauty

Deep purple 
397: In Store

The perfect pantry 

396: Health
The Asian diet pyramid - healyth Eastern eating 
395: Interiors

Kitchenware flare - Sublime and sometimes ridiculous, Alessi transforms prosaic household goods into conversation pieces. Stuart Braun goes shopping.
394: Beauty
Autumn glow - rosy cheeks are in
392: Health
Scentsational - Go ahead and inhale-aromatherapy could help your health. Anouska S. Willson sniffs it out.
391: Interiors
While IdeEis one of Tokyo’s most established interiors stores, it continues to offer...
390: Beauty
From hair styling to anti-aging, it’s a man’s world in the beauty business ...
389: In store
Everything from cars to cuisine has gone hybrid of late..
388: Powerhouse Pilates
Swap a bulky build for a sylph-like shape...
387: Inner sanctum
The days of sitting on the tatami floor are over...
386: All that glitters
This fall is your time to shine
385: Six of the best
Six stores with more
384: Get your kicks
Get fit with kickboxing
383: Life in style
Tokyo's embraces ultra-modern design
382: Beauty products
Look your best this summer
381: Kneadful Things
Get the rubdown on Tokyo's massage clinics
380: In peak health
Stay healthy while climbing Mt Fuji
379: Perfect fit
Designer Eri Matsui
378: Tis the season to be soggy
Fashion to cure the tsuyu blues
377: Strike a pose
Discover yoga's forceful flexing
376: Through rose-tinted glasses
What's hot in eyewear for 2001
375: Angel on high
Ecodesign President Merry Angel
374: Making the cut
Fashion designer Hiroko Koshino
373: If the shoe fits
Highly wearable sandals and boots
372: Going with the flow
Fashion designer Yukiko Hanai
371: Tee time
Not-so-basic tees to get you through the summer
370: Out damn spot
Banish brown marks and blemishes
369: Dressed to thrill
Tokyo Collections Autumn/Winter 2001-02
368: Visitor from another planet
Otherworldly CEO of Diesel, Renzo Rosso
367: Wealthy workplaces
Put feng shui to work at work
366: Wander musts
Gadgets to help make traveling easier and a lot more fun
365: Lord of the rings
Jewelry designer Kazan Shinohara
364: Healthy homes
The ancient Chinese art of feng shui
363: Monkey Business
The King Kong of Japanese streetwear
362: Fit to be wired
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361: On parade
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360: It's hip to be square
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359: Bedroom buys
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358: Uth
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357: Watch out
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356: Get into gear
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355: Saving face
Protect your face from the ill-chill
354: Beanie, Baby!
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352/3: The morning after
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351: Home bodies
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350: Deck the walls
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ISSUES 349-300