Finally, a group of countertop kitchen appliances that are not only unobtrusive but actually nice looking. Several pieces from product designer Naoto Fukasawa’s minimalist collection for Muji are about to arrive in the US.
Above: “People shouldn’t really have to think about an object when they are using it,” says Fukasawa. “Not having to think about it makes the relationship between a person and an object run more smoothly.”
A trio of his plug-in appliances–a toaster (shown here), electric kettle, and rice cooker–all of them in white with rounded edges, will be available at the new Muji store in Palo Alto, California, which opens on August 15. Several other Muji stores in the US will be offering the designs this fall, and they’ll be available in the UK and other parts of Europe starting in late October; go to Muji to inquire about details.
Above: The pop-up toaster will retail for $95. Its temperature dial includes a setting for frozen bread.
Known for its devotion to simple, functional design, Muji is short for mujirushi ryÅhin, which means “no-brand quality goods.” The Japan-based global chain currently has 11 stores in the US (Palo Alto will be the 12th), and an online store.
Above: The electric kettle, $95, has a silhouette inspired by classic ceramic pitchers. It boils a cup of water in 80 seconds and has a hidden space under the base to coil the cord.
Above: Fukasawa cleverly incorporated a spoon rest into the top of his electric rice cooker.
Above: The rice cooker is 7.3 inches tall and 8.2 inches wide; $195, bamboo paddle included. “I like rounded cubic shapes because people find them friendly,” says Fukasawa. He gave several of his appliances flat sides so they can rest against a wall.
Above: Fukasawa’s microwave for Muji was released in Japan last year; there are no import plans yet but we’re hoping that changes.
Above: The vertical toaster oven is another Fukasawa design that isn’t available Stateside, but it and other Muji designs are available from sellers on eBay.
Like the idea of tables and lamps with built-in chargers? Take a look at Power to the People: Ikea’s New Phone-Charging Furniture.
Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose your kitchen range or oven in our Remodeling 101 Guide: Kitchen Ranges & Ovens.