Here are some interior design ideas from Japan for small spaces. Except for one, the photos below are all of studio apartments (called 1R [1-Room] or 1K [1 Room + Kitchen] units) in Japan. It goes to show that you don’t have to give up style and comfort just because you live in a small space!
1. Open up space in the center of the room
This cat lover has cleverly laid out her room to make it comfortable for herself and her feline companion. Basic ideas here include lofting storage on high wall shelves and opening up space at the center of the room by placing big items against the walls.
2. Keep it Simple and Use Re-Purposed Materials
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a comfortable living space. This person has kept things simple and uncluttered. The futon is lofted on cinder blocks (no need for a bed frame) and serapes block off the storage area (no need for a closet with a door). A simple low table completes the look.
3. Cafe-style counter desk
Go cafe style by using a long narrow desk as the focal point of the room. Eat, watch TV, and work from home all along one wall. The wall boxes can be bought at 100 yen shops.
4. Hang it all on the wall
Never misplace anything again. Just have a wall hook for all your essential items.
5. Stick With One Color
Use a single color in your room to pull the elements together. Hope the walls are thick enough to do justice to those nice speakers!
6. Use a cool accent piece
We dig the retro velvet couch, which acts as the focal point of the room. Also note the small aquarium in the corner! This looks like a space you can really relax in with not even a TV to distract you.
7. All about the bed
The room below is not an apartment but an attic room in house. We put it on the list because it’s all about the comfy-looking bed. With such a low-ceilinged room, there isn’t a lot you can do to make the space look bigger. Here they just focused on the most important thing: a comfortable bed to sleep on. The faux-fur throw rug is also a nice touch.
8. Divide the space
There are a couple of ideas here. Use long, fine-mesh curtains to create some separation in the room. Also, not anything groundbreaking, but look at how well they used the window sill as storage space.
9. Keep it Low
Keep everything low to the ground. A low bed, sofa, center table and TV stand will make the ceiling look higher and make the room look more spacious.
10. Loft the bed
Lofting seems to be a big trend in Japan among young urban working people, and there are lots of designs to choose from.
11. Bonus: Home Theater in Your Studio Apartment!
We couldn’t pass this one up. This particularly determined person did not let the confines of their studio apartment stand in the way of having a home theater, complete with surround sound. The bed is on the right edge of the photo.
What do you think of these design ideas? Please leave a comment!
You may also be interested in: Five Space-Saving Ideas for Living in a Japanese Apartment