“Location, location, location” used to be the mantra of most city dwellers when choosing a place to live. With work from home on the rise, the comfort of your living space is now a priority. Transforming tiny Tokyo apartments into a productive office space poses a big challenge. TW talked to Aoyama Style chief director Mizuho Dorothea Machida to ask for tips and tricks on improving your home. The company is part of Machida Hiroko Academy, one of the pioneers of interior design in Japan.
1. Make your Japanese apartment look bigger, brighter and better
Decluttering is key in a small living space, whether it’s getting rid of things or keeping them out of sight. Ms. Mizuho also advises decluttering the design. Her rule of thumb is limit yourself to three colors, and unify the height of the furniture, for a calmer room. Further pro advice is use bright carpets and curtains similar to the wall color. Place a big mirror in the room for a visually bigger space.
2. Pandemic-proofing your home
Historically, pandemics have influenced home design. Public health officials preach quick disinfection at entrances, and interior coordinators advise redesigning your home to help streamline the disinfection process. This means installing more cabinets, hooks and shelves in the entrance area, as well as creating a disinfecting station. Shoes, coats, bags, everything needs to come off at that point. More ambitious renovation projects can install a sink or connect the entrance directly to the bathroom. The interior coordinators at Aoyama Style are helping clients to create a layout with easy-to-clean surfaces around the house.
3. Jumping on the plant trend
Growing a mini jungle at home has become a global trend. Before buying a huge monstera, make sure you have a bright spot for it. To avoid visual clutter, match both the style of plant and its pot with your existing interior. You can also buy plant racks and taller pots to perch the plant higher and utilize an otherwise inaccessible spot. If you’re looking to add life to your bathroom, Aoyama Style suggest air plants.
4. Carving out a home office
Home office design has kept Aoyama Style interior designers busier than ever. If adding a work corner to a room, be ready to change the whole layout of your place. Think of outlets, lighting and heating. You want to face a clear space to help you focus. Noise is a big issue, with interior coordinators advising soundproofing rubber mats and adhesive wall tiles, as well as thick curtains. Placing a little wall of bookcases around your mini office will separate the space and double as storage. If you need a slimmer or more flexible option, buy folding partition screens. This also helps distance you from work after you’ve logged out for the day.
Need help with your interior design? Aoyama Style offers English-language consultations with interior coordinators, and creates personalized designs, custom-made furniture and more.