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Small Room Decorating Ideas From Japan Blog Real Estate Japan

Small Room Decorating Ideas From Japan Blog Real Estate Japan Small Room Decorating Ideas From Japan Blog Real Estate Japan

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.

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.

If you are lucky enough to have a closet in your apartment and don’t have a lot of clothes, why not turn it into a corner for your desk?

Simple natural style with an accent piece. Photo:

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.

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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Our friends in Osaka tell us that their top picks for fabric shopping in Osaka would be Toraya in Namba and Otsukaya, near Exit 4 of Esaka Station on the Midosuji line.

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.

A single plastic pole costs about ¥1,500 ($14 USD) and can be used to create a simple place to hang your suits.

Who says apartment living means you can’t have your own yard (of sorts). The wooden planks and astro turf grass can be purchased at DIY stores. Photo: RoomClip

Explains the main legal issues in Japanese real estate investment. Most of the information appears in English for the first time.

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A sofa can take up a lot of valuable space in a small apartment. This person got rid his sofa and bought a beanbag chair that does double duty for watching TV and as a desk/dining table chair.

You may also be interested in Small Room Decoration Ideas from Japan and How to organize a small Japanese kitchen

This is a rental apartment, but the occupant says that she just did not like the white plastic glare of her bathroom floor. So, she covered it with wood-pattern-printed contact (re-make) paper. What do you think? Photo: Suzu via

You may also be interested in the previous articles in this series: 7 Stylish Decorating Ideas for a Japanese Studio Apartment

This person decided they wanted their fridge to the next level, that of faux-wood. Sure, why not. Photo:

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!

We love this space! The wall unit was created using high-tension poles. 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 and

You don’t have to give up style or comfort just because you live in a small apartment. To help you get inspired, we present some design ideas from small studio apartments (1R or 1K) around Japan. This is part of our ongoing series on small room decorating ideas from Japan.

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

The owner of this small studio apartment was inspired by northern European design elements, including the rug and low blond-wood table, both available at MUJI, along with the bed/futon. Photo: March via

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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.

The room below is a loft-style studio apartment. In Japan, loft studio (1K or 1R) rooms, where the sleeping space is elevated above the living space, are on average 15-sqm (161-sqft) or less.

Cafe-inspired design style in a Japanese studio apartment. Note the espresso machine in the corner near the window. The shelving is custom built using high-tension wooden poles. Image: Hiro via

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.

Save space by buying only the pieces of furniture you really need. That beanbag chair looks pretty comfortable! Photo: RoomClip

You may not have the time or energy to keep up with as many plants as this person has, but a few plants can really brighten up a room.

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.

You can buy indoor circulating kerosene stoves from manufacturers like TOYOTOMI. Using kerosene to heat your home will lower your electricity bill and kerosine “stoves” (heaters) are widely used in Japan, though low levels of some pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are produced. If you use kerosene heating, remember to keep the air well circulated. The model shown here costs about ¥20,000 ($180) and can efficiently heat a 9-tatami mat concrete room, according to the manufacturer (TOYOTOMI). Photo: TOYOTOMI

A unifying style and theme can make a small space seem stylish and uncluttered. Photo: RoomClip

5.  Cover up unsightly surfaces with “Re-Make” (Contact) paper

You do not have to give up style and aesthetics just because you live in a small apartment.

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This person does not have a lot of clothes but did have a whole lot of studying to do, so he turned his closet into desk space. Photo: RoomClip

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.

Add a small plant, a few containers and racks and your unit bath won’t look as stark. Photo:

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Below we present some stylish decorating ideas culled from beautifully designed studio apartments shared on, a Japanese interior design photo sharing app.

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.

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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.

This is a very simply designed studio apartment where the resident has done well to deal with a small room where the placement of the washing machine and kitchen, of course, can’t be changed. Photo: Ponsuke via

And voila, the front door has been transformed from a dingy painted metal surface to a “wooden” one thanks to Re-Make sheets. Photo: ys0908ys via

What do you think of these design ideas? Please leave a comment!

There are many places to buy fabric and sewing materials around Tokyo, but our top pick would be the Nippori Textile District, which offers the convenience of about 100 fabric and sewing supply shops clustered in a single neighborhood! It is conveniently located about a three-minute walk from JR Nippori station’s south exit. Another top choice would be the Yuzawaya DIY chain, with branches in Shinjuku and Kamata (Ota Ward).

High-tension poles can be used to rig up extra storage space for your suits. Photo: Shirokuma via

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

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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!

Prints can brighten up a small studio and really bring out your personality. Instead of going with a traditional solid color, make your room unique by using a large piece of fabric for your curtain or as a throw for your sofa.

Japan can be a stressful place to live. When you come home, you deserve to have a space that you can really relax in. If you live in a studio apartment, we know this means you really have to make the most of a tiny space. This person has made her small DIY night stand into a relaxing oasis. The plant is a nice touch next to the essential oil aroma sticks.

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Lofting seems to be a big trend in Japan among young urban working people, and there are lots of designs to choose from.

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.

The occupant of this room has a done a great job making the most of the space! She chose a simple and natural design theme. The wicker lampshade ties together nicely with the baskets, and the small potted plant adds a pop of color to the white-beige color scheme. She also used a large piece of fabric to hide the storage area beneath the lofted sleeping space.

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 and

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!

The owner of this small studio apartment uses this space as his home office.! Much nicer than a cubicle, wouldn’t you say? At the front is a kerosene stove that keeps the room warm and always keeps a pot of hot water ready for tea or coffee. Photo: Jam via

Your balcony isn’t just for drying clothes. With just a few square meters and a little imagination, you can create a nice relaxing space surrounded by as many potted plants as you can aesthetically fit it.

You may also be interested in: Five Space-Saving Ideas for Living in a Japanese Apartment

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