Once you have settled into your new life in Japan, and have gotten accustomed to your new surroundings, you may want to decorate your apartment. The problem is that many apartments do not allow any alterations to the walls of the room. Most apartments use walls that don’t do well with sticky substances either. Any damage will come at a hefty cost when it comes to moving out. Finding ways to make your home cozier will require you to think creatively.
Tacks and Nails? No Way!
In most apartments, you are not allowed to put nails or tacks in the walls. The walls are thin, to begin with, and fixing holes is not covered in your contract. There is usually some wooden lining on some parts of the wall in the room. It juts out of the wall enough for small hooks and hangers to fit on it. The 100-yen stores sell plastic and metal hooks, but it’s best to go with plastic as they won’t scratch the walls. The hooks are strong enough to hold small and medium-sized pictures or other hanging objects. Picture frames fit on them perfectly and they don’t require any alteration. Even though they are useful for decoration, you may need some space for laundry so use the space wisely.
Decals and Hooks? Yes way!
If the walls are too bland for your tastes, the 100-yen shops sell wall decals that have less sticky adhesive to compensate for the thin walls and materials. They have many different designs and come in a variety of sizes and styles. There are some wall hooks that will stick to walls that allow for hanging, but they won’t ruin the walls when removed. Making use of plastic hooks on the wooden areas is the best option for wall decorations.
Can’t paint? Use light!
You cannot change the color of your room but colored lighting is an option. Many shops sell a large selection of LED or fairy lights that offer a change for your room. These are helpful for a low electricity using light source. It is easier to string them in different designs to ensure your personality will show as well. You can find lots of small decorative things for your apartment.
Magnets, a kitchens best friend
If you feel the need to decorate the kitchen as well, there are other things you can get at department stores as well. There is a large variety of choices that can help showcase your personal style. There are small magnets and other decorative wall items. You will have an easier time finding things for this as it’s mostly magnets. Finding decorative utensils and other small things like that is very popular in Japan. Most items have some sort of mascot or popular anime character on them.
When in doubt, do nothing
If you are unsure if you can do or use something that may damage the walls, then it’s best to leave it alone. When you move out, all damage is billed to you later. This is on top of a cleaning fee that will be charged to you no matter what you do. Be mindful of all small things to do to your apartment. The smallest of things can end up becoming a big problem later. You can try to do some self-repair if you accidentally damage some things. The same goes for the floor if it is scratched or dented. Be mindful of the status of your room, and make sure to keep as close to the day you moved in.
Many western designed items have made their way to Japan as well. There has even been a department store dedicated to housing and simple apartment furnishing. You can go for a singular style or mix and match as you like. It all comes down to how much you are allowed to alter your apartment. Always keep in mind that it’s best to go for the option that will cause the least amount of damage.