Turning Japanese: almost here

June 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

Carrying on the Japanese theme from the previous blog, we are eagerly awaiting delivery of designer Oji Masanori’s Futagami and Harimi range of products. It is been shipped over as we speak. here is a sneak preview;

FUTAGAMI Brass Knife Stand

Futagami Brass Bottle Openers on a Kakudo Walnut Dish

FUTAGAMI solid brass trivets with crude casting surface


Kake Tosaka Broom

Harimi small dustpan

KAKUDO Octagon-shaped, walnut wooden dishes in small and medium sizes


Turning Japanese: here and now

June 20, 2012 § 1 Comment

japanese brass fine ballpoint pen (packed)

In the Baker household we are obsessed with all good things Japanese. At home, we have a multitude of origami paper, on Raw Dice we stock copious amounts of MT tape in various colours and have recently added various types of Japanese stationery to our list. I think we are naturally drawn to the ethos of Japanese design. It seems that our purchasing decisions for Raw Dice are pretty biased towards finding objects that we like to have in our home and work environment. I would describe our style as not so much as ostentatious but we aim to be as honest as possible. A product to be of good quality is always paramount to us as individuals. I think we are naturally drawn to clean and simple lines, with a view of the aesthetic.

I am no expert on Japanese design but it seems that cultural differences are prominent in all aspects of Japanese aesthetics . Theories behind Japanese design are based on 7 principles of Kanso, Fukinsei, Shibui, Shizen, Yugen, Datsuzoku and Seijaku.

Isabella, who is our budding craft maker is always busy making origami boxes, cranes, frogs etc. At the age of 11, she is already pretty entrepreneurial, having set up stalls on a couple of occasions to raise money for good causes. Selling  origami boxes filled with sweets is always a hit with her client base!  MT tape gets used to make pencil cases and books etc. Once we have a good art and craft portfolio, I shall post some of her creations here.

Here are some new stylish products we have in stock, which include pens, kraft envelopes, rulers, pencil cases, notebooks and brass implements such as number clips, label and index plates.Visit the website (Raw Dice) to see the full range.

Japanese brass ballpoint pen

Midori Kraft envelopes – set of 6

Shoreditch: Part Three

June 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

This weekend we will be busy looking for mirrors and lighting to put the finishing touches to the bathrooms. Currently, the walls are bare and rather austere looking.

Just today I found a gorgeous looking antique French mirror with its original glass circa 1880, but alas my client (David) is not too keen on the price! It also might be a bit too big for the space. Given that the en-suite shower room is ultra modern we thought we would balance it with some antique pieces. As a general rule, I think you can’t go too wrong with a French style mirror (the grander and o.t.t. the better).

Ensuite bathroom – Fired Earth Limehouse Retro Metro Tiles with Aesop soap

Notice the Aesop hand wash bottle? Not so long ago we were in the Aesop shop by Borough Market. It is really nicely fitted out, plain wooden boxes on the walls displaying all the Aesop bottles and huge old looking mariners rope coiled on the floor. Could have bought the whole shop there and then, but had to be content with a few bottles instead. Feeling very clean and pure now!

Ensuite shower – Fired Earth Limehouse Retro Metro Tiles

Ensuite bathroom window with Surface View map of local area

David and I have been collecting old maps for years. When we moved into the cottage in the country we kept on buying original art for the walls and quickly ran out of wall space. I am trying to convince David that the collection of old maps needs to come out now and see the light of day again. I think it will look good in the Shoreditch pad. Our obsessions have not bated, when we discovered that we could decorate the bathroom window with a map, we just had to go for it.

Bathroom metro tiles with Ikea lights – just waiting on mirror

Need to cheat from time to time. The Hollywood dressing table style lights/mirrors can be a bit on the pricey side. This one from Ikea fits just as well. I have a plain mirror to go up this weekend. We toyed with the idea of plastering the walls in the bathroom with old comics but  decided on the metro tiles instead. The cast-iron bath was handmade and hence when it arrived it was a tiny bit bigger than the technical specifications. We had to create a bit of wall space for it to fit into. Hence a little shelf for bathroom accessories (well done David!).

Bathroom – Winchester Bath – Farrow and Ball painted base

Men are from Mars, women from Venus? Are the battle of the sexes to be held in the bathrooms of London? David and I differ on the styling aspects of the bathroom. Typical girl that I am, I like to fill the shelves with all manner of toiletries and vases of flowers on the shelf above the sink. Alas, typical man, David thinks one bottle of bubble bath, shower gel and hand wash is all one needs in the bathroom. I know who will win in the end!!

Reclaimed box detail in ensuite

Shoreditch: Part Two

June 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here we go, as promised, these are just some close-ups of the kitchen area. We are waiting for our Jielde lights to arrive from France for the kitchen wall to take more photos.

Bought a set of copper pans from The French House for David as a birthday present! I think he liked them, even though it’s not every man’s idea of a good gift (David’s note: I have actually used them to cook real food… not just baked beans!). We chose the tiles and the peg rail from Fired Earth to match the cherry wood worktop.

Copper pans from The French House

We have an ugly new boiler hanging on the kitchen wall and it was a job to decide what to do with it. Cruising the net we found these radiator grills from Retrouvius and decided to hide the offending item. Labour and Wait sell aluminium pegs that have come in very handy for hanging postcards and other interesting items.

Gold coated metal mesh radiator grill

Gold coated metal mesh radiator grill

Metal grates cut to cover boiler, with postcards to cover

On a recent trip to the Hop Gallery in Lewes, for the Art22 group’s exhibition, we came across these mugs by potter Rosemary Land at the Hamid Pottery. We could have bought so much more, but had to restrain ourselves! Handmade pottery is very much a weakness of ours.

Rosemary Land pottery mugs with Bouges Francais Candles

Fortnum and Mason have some very tasteful designs on their tins for the Diamond Jubilee. Yet more birthday presents for David. Lucky, lucky man! I am reliably told that the Piccadilly biscuits are delicious.

I am so keen on Falcon enamelware that I think we shall have to stock it on the website soon. I need to get on to it straight away.

1. 2 x Cherry wood 9 Peg rails cut to fit-Fired Earth. 2. Cherry wood Hanging shelf-Fired Earth. 3. Glazed Valencia tiles – Fired Earth. 4. Solid cherry wood top and splash back. 5. Vintage manual button hole press (gift). 6. Enamel mugs – Falcon. 7. Silver Tea strainer-Fortnum & Mason. 8. Olive oil (gift). 9. Bouges Francais Candles-Labor & Wait in Redchurch Street. 10. Espresso Cups-Rosemary Land. 11. Cork lidded sea salt from Aix-en-provence. 12. Rococo chocolates. 13. Enamel tea pot-TK Max!. 14. Tuna in olive oil-Brindesi in Borough Market. 15. Jubille tea from Fortnum & Mason. 16. Jubilee Biscuits (almost all eaten)-Fortnum & Mason. 17. Biscuits-Fortnum & Mason. 18. Virgin Olive Oil-Brindesi in Borough Market. 19. Pepper grinder-Waitrose. 20. Ginger & Lemon tea – M&S. 21. & 22. Tea-Fortnum & Mason.

Blackboard and Peg Rail from Fired Earth, feather duster from Labor & Wait and Spice Rack … can’t remember.

Shoreditch – Part One

June 3, 2012 § 1 Comment

After a long absence, here we are again. What a busy few months it has been! We have been pretty occupied choosing various fixtures and fittings for the Shoreditch pad. It has had a complete refit. New kitchen, bathrooms and a new lick of paint. Over the next few blogs I will post some pictures of the renovation.

Before starting on the photos of the indoors, I’d like to share some views of graffiti from the kitchen sink! These new works of art just went up last week. Not sure how long it will be there since it is on the wall of a building where a new hotel is due to go up soon. This will be a real shame as we undoubtedly will lose the ever changing art work in Christina Street.

View from Kitchen Window

View from Kitchen Window

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