Interior Design Ideas

Small Room Decorating Ideas from Japan

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.

Small Room Top
Cat lover’s room. Thumbs up to the cat condo at the lower left of the photo and cat-themed accent pieces. Don’t know if Socks is meant to jump up to the shelves above the window, but bravo if so! Photo:

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.

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Simple, uncluttered room. Photo:

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.

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Counter-style desk room. Photo:

4. Hang it all on the wall

Never misplace anything again. Just have a wall hook for all your essential items.

Wall room. Photo:
Wall room. Photo:

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!

Small Room Decorating Japan 5
Cool, monochrome room. Photo:

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.

Small Room Decorating Japan 6
Simple natural style with an accent piece. Photo:

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.

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Low-ceilinged, natural wood room with comfy bed. Photo:

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.

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Simple divider room. Photo:

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.

Small Room Decorating Japan 9
Keep-everything-low room. Photo:

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.

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Loft room. Photo:

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.

Small Room Decorating Japan 11
Home theater studio apartment. 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

7 thoughts on "Small Room Decorating Ideas from Japan"


These look all so good! Sad that i don’t have the money to have such quite to me luxerious items

Namikaze Minato

The first one looks so nice to live in, small but very nice

Bob Sterner

I prefer our 5500 sq ft home

Cyrus SH

Feel spacious

Rothman Abdullah Noh

I like No.10 Idea

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