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30 Years of Muji – The Japanese manufacturer ‘Muji’ is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Made famous for its modesty and antipathy to brand names, the housewares maker has gained a huge and faithful following around the world. Unfortunately, despite its dislike of brand names, ‘Muji’ has become just that and instils a sense of extremely simple yet highly aesthetic quality when it comes to everyday items for the home.

Famous designers have created products for Muji including English furniture designer Jasper Morrison and Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa. That said, the individual designers tend to fade into the background and give their work to the Muji anti-brand brand. For their 30th anniversary, they are releasing a fascinating monograph which providers an unprecedented view into the inner sanctums of the Japanese manufacturer. It’s titled simple, “Muji”.

Great House by Nicole Krauss – Sometimes a book lends itself well to the study and enjoyment of Interior Design. This is the case with a new novel by American author Nicole Krauss. The book centers around a group of characters who are connected in some way to a single desk. Stolen pasts and the reassembling of lives are viewed via an item of furniture.

Four narrators tell the stories associated with the writing desk and a multitude of varied characters ranging from a Hungarian-born antiques dealer and lonely New York writer to a doomed poet from Chile and an angst ridden Israeli. It becomes clear that the writing desk is a metaphor and this is further explored in the novel. For anyone with a love of furniture and a deep interest in the complexities of life, this book will be a must-read. You can buy it here: Great House: A Novel.

Bed Bug Invasion – It’s every homeowners nightmare, an infestation of bugs that quite literally drives you out of your own home. This is what has happened to a Los Angeles resident and has been reported right across the United States. The problem was so bad that her son suffered 300 to 400 bites in just one week which meant the family seeking to relocated after little was done about the problem by her landlord.

You can read the full story here: Bedbugs sap woman’s wallet and patience.

See also: Reducing the Numbers of Dust Mites in Your Home.

Honey Light – Do you like honey? Do you wish you could have honey delivered to your home? Well, this is quite literally what a woman in Wales is enjoying, or rather, not enjoying. Jean Smith has been suffering from a flow of honey dripping from her bedroom light fitting. It’s believed there are a collection of bees’ nests in her roof space which are causing the problem. Much to her indignation, her insurance company has told her they cannot deal with the problem and thus she is stuck with placing bowls beneath the sweet-tasting leak.

The primary concern however is the possibility the weight of all the honeycombs might cause her bedroom ceiling to collapse. You can read more about this Cwmbran story here: Honey Light Fitting.

Reinventing the Vuvuzela – Sports fans worldwide complained about the awful buzzing noise during the Soccer World Cup in South Africa this summer on television. The sound was caused by thousands of plastic Vuvuzela trumpets being blown in unison throughout entire matches between the world’s best international soccer teams.

Now the tournament is over, South Africans have been called upon to find alternative uses for the long instrument and a competition has been set up. The winning design will be picked up by local manufacturers and sold in retail stores nationwide. The aim is to provide employment to crafters and artisans in the poverty stricken nation.

Some of the new vuvuzela designs that have been entered include table stands, bird feeders, lamp shades, chandeliers, candle stick stands and even gramophones. A prize of $1,460 will be shared among the top ten best suggestions.

Read more about it here: Wozela!