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This 4-Room HDB BTO Looks Like A Studio Ghibli Cottage With Its Zakka Interior Style

24 June 2024 | BY

Studio Ghibli fans need to check out this Zakka HDB flat that looks straight out of “My Neighbour Totoro”.

Zakka - cover img

With the steady uptick of Japandi and Muji-style homes, it can be easy to forget that Japanese interior design is not restricted to minimalist styles. It certainly isn’t the term we’d use to describe @ahirisecottage, a Zakka-style 4-room BTO flat that channels the rustic charm of a Studio Ghibli film.

Transformed into a Ghiblicore flat with Zakka influence

Zakka - study deskImage credit: @ahirisecottage

Rustic charm is indeed the crux of Zakka interior design, with homes of this style employing a more maximalist approach to Japanese interior design. Zakka is often denoted by an eclectic decor that evokes a sense of nostalgia and whimsy, which this home has in spades thanks to its abundance of warm wood tones and quirky vintage decor.

Zakka - rabbitsImage credit: @ahirisecottage

This flat’s soft pastel hues and spots of greenery call to mind the cosy atmospheres of cottages you might see in films like My Neighbour Totoro or The Secret World of Arrietty

Zakka - windowsImage credit: @ahirisecottage

At the same time, its large wood-clad windows and sage green curtains brighten up the space, making the home feel closer to nature.

Autumn-themed, handmade & vintage knick-knacks 

Zakka - cuckoo clockImage credit: @ahirisecottage

The home’s pastoral inspiration can also be seen in its abundance of autumn leaf imagery, seen in vintage decorations like the mechanical cuckoo clock hanging on the living room wall. Putting items on display is a huge part of Zakka design, as it makes the space feel more personal.

Zakka - knick knacksImage credit: @ahirisecottage

The addition of vintage and homemade pieces only serves to further elevate the curated feel of the home, making it feel like a gallery of sorts—but not in the traditional sense with avant-garde wall art or elaborate furnishing.

Zakka - roti displayImage credit: @ahirisecottage

Instead, the homeowners’ display of everyday items like whimsical mugs and clocks in the home gives it an eclectic, lived-in feel that’s one-of-a-kind. Every item reflects the homeowners’ personal quirks and style in an intimate way.

Rustic English countryside tea corner

Zakka - kitchen 2Image credit: @ahirisecottage

The ornamentation of everyday items is most apparent in the home’s kitchen area, where display cases are full of interesting trinkets. Here, the kitchen island serves as both a storage for vintage items as well as a tea corner where they sometimes host guests.

Zakka - kitchenImage credit: @ahirisecottage

The combination of dark wood accents and furniture gives it a rustic feel reminiscent of cottages you might find in the English countryside.

This Zakka HDB flat looks like a Studio Ghibli cottage

Zakka - living roomImage credit: @ahirisecottage

The romantic worlds of Studio Ghibli films really sell the idea of ditching it all and migrating to a quiet countryside somewhere in the world, where corporate life and traffic jams are a distant memory. However, it’s also entirely possible to add a touch of Ghibli magic to your own home, much like @ahirisecottage does.

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Cover image adapted from: @ahirisecottage

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