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This EC Bedroom Features A Tatami Platform Bed, Shoji Doors & Hidden Storage Compartments

4 March 2024 | BY

This homeowner has created a cool bedroom with a tatami platform bed that makes full use of its compact space.

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It’s said that constraints breeds creativity, and it certainly seems to be the case in this 495sqft executive condo. The homeowner made full use of the space in their tiny apartment when making their own mini-ryokan. Lovers of minimalism and Japandi, this one’s for the inspo boards: a Japanese-inspired bedroom reno that manages to marry form with function.

Designed by Ong Choo Yih from HDA Studios, the entire home cost $40K to renovate and just 4 weeks to complete.

Tatami mat panels with hidden storage underneath

Ryokan-style bedroom 2Image credit: HDA Studio

The homeowners love travelling to Japan for winter skiing, road trips and backpacking. One might imagine that a ryokan-style bedroom like this would definitely be a familiar sight on their adventures. Interestingly enough, this room you’re looking at was once both the living room and bedroom. 

Due to the size of the unit and the homeowner’s love for Japanese culture, the designer Choo Yih took cues from the compact living-style found in contemporary Japanese homes when creating this space. Most of the walls were hacked away to make this possible, but one of the biggest features here lies just beneath the surface.

The tatami mat platform actually serves as storage, allowing the homeowners to hide an entire futon in there when not in use.

Ryokan-style bedroom 3Image credit: HDA Studio

When not used as a bedroom, this area serves as a regular living space for everything from the homeowners’ regular day-to-day routine to hosting guests. The tatami padding was imported from overseas by the homeowners and then customised into panels specifically to fit this platform.

As part of the Japanese-inspired design, a lot of the furniture item choices were selected with sitting height in mind. As a result, they got floor chairs and used a serving tray in place of a table counter. The platform itself was set at a height that is conducive for when the homeowners watch TV or play video games.

The height of the platform was also motivated by storage needs, as all the furniture here can be also stored underneath the panels, along with stuff like luggage and backpacks for when the homeowners are not off gallivanting somewhere in Japan.

Ryokan-style sliding doors

shoji doorImage credit: HDA Studio

The sliding door is the other obvious Japanese-inspired feature in this ryokan-style bedroom. Choo Yih originally proposed a shoji-style paper material for the doors. After considering the maintenance required, they decided to use solid wood panels instead.

Choo Yih also mentioned that this was the most challenging aspect of the renovation, as it involved having to seal up the original doorway to the master bedroom. Then they had to figure out how to install the sliding door panels for an aesthetic look, as well as devise a way to hide the sliding panels when they’re opened.

Maximum use of space with lots of built-in storage

Ryokan-style bedroom 5Image credit: HDA Studio

Storage was the other big challenge facing the designer for this home. After all, 465 sqft is not a lot of real estate to play with. This meant that almost every surface of the home had to be utilised, such as installing a large built-in wardrobe for clothes. 

Ryokan-style bedroom 6Image credit: HDA Studio

There are even these rather nifty little drawers beneath the sliding door, presumably for thinner items like socks or towels.

Inside an aesthetic $40K ryokan-style bedroom transformation

Most might think of overly small apartments as unattractive, but conventional wisdom is turned on its head with this $40K renovation. Not only do you get to have almost the things you’d want out of this ryokan-style bedroom home, you get it alongside a surprising amount of storage space. And it’s a looker too—perhaps one that you envision for your own bedroom.

Tour other unique homes in Singapore with impeccable styling:

Image credit: HDA Studio

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