10 Jun Apartment Space Saving Trends From Japan
Making the most of small spaces is all about smart usage of space, multi-purpose furniture and organisation. In metropolitan areas all around the world, particularly in large cities such as Tokyo, city blocks are notorious for being packed with small apartments. If you’re short on space, take these space saving trends from Japanese architects and designers and apply them to your apartment.
The typical Japanese apartment is about 37 square metres and yet, thanks to ingenious design tricks, they can feel much larger. The minimal style associated with Japanese interior design can also be applied other design styles, without becoming too contemporary or modern.
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To bring some key points of Japanese style into your apartment, consider first how they work in practice. One theme seen running through many Japanese apartments, whatever the specific aesthetic design, is keeping clutter to a minimum. Ditch items you don’t absolutely need. Every item should have a place; shelves, cabinets and built-in storage can help organise clutter.
Many Japanese apartments allow air and energy to flow from room to room in a comforting and relaxing way. Walls dividing a small space into many small rooms can make it feel smaller. If you cannot remove walls, add mirrors to give the illusion of a more open floor plan. In a studio apartment, use curtains or sliding doors that disappear into cavity walls to separate living areas. Semi-opaque options will allow natural light to fill the room while also giving privacy.
Natural timber is another common element in Japanese design and when combined with swaths of sunlight and warm, light colours, even a tiny space can feel open and orderly. These fresh and neutral coloured items help create a clean and simplistic space free of distracting patterns.
The element that often separates micro apartments in Japanese cities from other metropolitan areas around the world is how they are furnished. Opt for lower tables and furniture as they are smaller and less obtrusive. When possible, choose furniture that allows light to pass through, such as Lucite dining chairs.
Furniture that can have multiple functions is also popular. For example, staircases that double as storage drawers, collapsible guest beds, loft rooms and underfloor storage compartments. These multi-use furniture pieces can be custom-built to fit your space.
When designing and organising a small apartment, draw inspiration from Japan. Include elements of nature, using locally sourced natural materials, clear clutter and welcome sunlight. Add personal artworks and décor and you can have a Japanese-inspired space saving apartment anywhere in the world.