Living in a small one-room apartment in Japan can be cozy and efficient, but it often requires some creative solutions to make the most of the limited space.
One of the most effective ways to optimize your living area is by dividing it strategically, making the most of the little space that you have available. One way to create the illusion of space and privacy is to create room divisions, such as turning one room into two.
Dividing a room is especially popular for people who have to work from home, and want to create two spaces: one for work, and one that feels a little more homely.
The best way to divide rooms is to put up and to put down, this way you can quickly transform your home for different stages of the day.
In this guide, we’ll explore five Japanese-style room division techniques that are perfect for small apartments, offering both functionality and aesthetic appeal.
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1. Curtains: Maximizing Flexibility
Curtains are a versatile and cost-effective way to divide a room, providing privacy while maintaining an open feel. This technique is popular due to its flexibility, they are easy to put up, adjust, and clear away. Dividing curtains is a traditional way of dividing rooms used all over the world for hundreds of years.
You can choose from a variety of styles to match your interior style. Opt for lightweight materials like linen or cotton for a breezy, natural look.
Installing a curtain rod near the ceiling and letting the curtain flow all the way to the floor can give the illusion of higher ceilings, making the room feel more spacious.
Additionally, curtains can be easily drawn aside when you want to open up the space for social gatherings or simply to let in more light.
2. Noren (Traditional Japanese Curtain): Stylish and Functional
A noren, is a traditional Japanese fabric divider that serves both practical and aesthetic purposes. They are mostly used outside the house, but they can be used inside too.
These beautiful pieces can add a touch of traditional Japanese elegance to your apartment. Norens are often decorated with intricate designs, making them a statement piece in your decor.
A noren perfect for sectioning off different areas, such as the bedroom from the living room. They’re easy to install, typically requiring only a rod for hanging.
Norens can also be customized, allowing you to choose colors and patterns that complement your overall design scheme.
3. Room Divider: Multifunctional Furniture
Investing in a room divider that serves multiple purposes is a smart choice for small apartments. If you can find dividers that come with built-in storage options, such as shelves or compartments you not only create separate zones but also gain additional space for organizing your belongings.
Choose a room divider that complements your existing furniture and decor. Traditional Japanese-style dividers, often made from natural materials like bamboo or wood, can blend into the overall aesthetic of your apartment.
Opt for a divider with adjustable panels for even more customization.
4. Shelves: Practical and Space-Saving
Shelves are a fantastic way to divide a room while maximizing vertical space. In a small Japanese apartment, every inch counts, so consider using tall, open shelving units to create distinct areas. Place decorative items on the higher shelves to draw the eye upward, giving the illusion of a taller ceiling.
You can also use modular shelving systems to create a custom room division solution. These systems are highly adaptable, allowing you to adjust the height and configuration as needed.
Additionally, they can double as storage for books, plants, and other personal items. Using shelves to divide a room will also free up storage in other areas of your apartment.
5. Sofa: Functional and Stylish Focal Point
If you’re looking to divide your space while maintaining an inviting and cozy atmosphere, consider using a sofa strategically.
Place it in the center of the room, with its back facing one area and its front-facing another. This creates a natural visual barrier while also providing comfortable seating.
Choose a sofa with a low backrest to avoid obstructing the line of sight across the room.
Add a coffee table or a low-profile storage unit to complete the look.
Dividing Your Apartment
Living in a small one-room apartment can be difficult if you like to divide your spaces, especially if you are working from home and need a workspace and a home space.
If this is you, then it should be a priority for to you optimize your space and create room division. By incorporating curtains, room dividers, shelves, and strategically placed furniture like a sofa, you can create distinct areas while maintaining an open and welcoming atmosphere.
As you can see, with the righ set-up, living in a one-room apartment can be convenient and comfortable. Of course, it also comes with the great benefit of being more affordable than a larger apartment. If you are currently looking for a budget-friendly new home, Village House might be perfect for you, with properties all across Japan and rent starting at as low as 20,000 yen!