You do not have to give up style and aesthetics just because you live in a small apartment.
Below we present some stylish decorating ideas culled from beautifully designed studio apartments shared on Roomclip.jp, a Japanese interior design photo sharing app.
1. Cafe-inspired, simple and relaxed style
A lot of love went into the design and DIY-ing of this studio apartment. This is an approximately 8-mat (13-sqm) room, but looks bigger thanks to the abundant natural light and main furniture pieces lined up against the walls.
The beautiful shelf was custom built using sturdy high-tension wooden poles. Custom woodwork may be a bigger investment than you want to put into a rental apartment, but horizontal or vertical high-tension poles are a handy and inexpensive alternative. They are useful for rigging up racks in your living room, kitchen or bath without leaving marks on the ceiling or floor. Because they are braced against the ceiling and floor, they are also safer in an earthquake than non-secured shelves.
A single plastic pole costs about ¥1,500 ($14 USD) and can be used to create a simple place to hang your suits.
High-tension poles are called tsuppari pōru (つっぱりポール) in Japanese and be purchased from home goods stores, DIY stores and online at Amazon.co.jp and Rakuten.jp.
2. Simple and white
Sticking with a white theme will lighten and open up a room. This is a beautifully designed room that makes the most of a small space. We are big fans of under-bed storage!
3. Northern European-inspired with accent lighting
A few right pieces can go a long way. The owner of this small studio apartment bought almost all of these pieces from MUJI to create this northern European-inspired space. The accent lighting is a nice touch.
4. Most comfortable home office ever
You might think this is a corner in a comfortable coffee shop, but it is in fact a small studio apartment used as a home office by the owner.
5. Cover up unsightly surfaces with “Re-Make” (Contact) paper
Rental apartments in Japan usually have very sturdy metal front doors with a strong lock. This is a good thing for security, but the inside of your front door was designed for function not aesthetics. The person living in this apartment decided she didn’t want to look at her dingy door any more.
The solution was simple. It did involve some detailed measuring, cutting, and laying down of re-make (Rimeikushīto, メイクシート) sheets. This is a product that is similar to “contact paper” sold in the US, which is printed with a design on one side and is highly adhesive on the other. The paper can be cut to size and easily sticks to many surfaces. It peels off most surfaces without leaving a residue.
6. Rocker + Jack Daniels-inspired room
Why go to the local bar when you can set up a full bar in the corner of your studio apartment? Everything in this room is here for a reason, and we think the owner of this apartment must love coming home to this comfortable space.
7. There is no reason for your unit bath to be unattractive
Unit baths are compact and convenient, but attractive they are not. A few simple touches can transform your unit bath into something that is not as…plasticky.