From bare to brilliant: a compact home shines

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Japanese abodes are known for their functional yet warm designs and practical yet aesthetic decor. Modern urban apartments are such that they cater to the fast-paced lives of young professionals, without compromising on comfort. Today we will witness the striking transformation of an old, dull apartment in Kofu, the capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture, into a cosy and inviting dwelling. The renovation was undertaken by Shoei Ltd. who accurately gauged the potential of the space, and turned it into a heady mix of industrial and rustic chic. The transformed apartment is now perfectly apt for both work and play, with both style and function ruling the roost!

Before: a dull and confined kitchen

  by 株式会社SHOEI
株式会社SHOEI

ビフォー キッチン

株式会社SHOEI

Prior to the makeover, the cramped kitchen was an uninspiring blend of white, cream and pale straw tones. The cooking stove and the sink were almost competing for space, with lacklustre white cabinets adding to the dullness of the room. Colour and life was lacking, but as you can clearly see, it was possible to go for a more expansive kitchen easily. So let’s see what the builders did to infuse this dreary space with excitement.

After: chic and shiny magic

modern Kitchen by 株式会社SHOEI
株式会社SHOEI

サブウエイタイルとステンレスキッチン

株式会社SHOEI

Gleaming stainless steel countertop and chimney have now replaced the uninteresting previous layout. Everything looks smart, streamlined and methodical. There is ample space between the cook top and the sink, where one can arrange plates, chop vegetables, prepare ingredients and more. Minimalistic fixtures, shiny wall tiles and a pretty potted plant help in brightening things up effortlessly too. Bright pendant lamps focus on the kitchen workstation and add to the feeling of cheer in this cooking paradise. It is evident that the kitchen makeover was industrially inspired, but it still exudes a homely feel for snug cooking sessions.

Before: a space without lustre or purpose

  by 株式会社SHOEI
株式会社SHOEI

ビフォー ダイニングリビング 北から南へ

株式会社SHOEI

The boring laminate on the floor didn’t do much to break the monotony of the clinical-looking white walls and unimpressive ceiling. The single bright, white light on the ceiling was not quite effective in filling the room with optimism or personality. But the room had oodles of potential which the builders noticed and made the most of.

After: vibrant and vivacious dining area

 Offices & stores by 株式会社SHOEI
株式会社SHOEI

ダイニングリビング 北から南へ

株式会社SHOEI

It is amazing how the bland and white space we just saw was made into this brilliant, welcoming dining haven. The floor laminate was done away with, and simple but extremely trendy concrete took its place instead. The ceiling reflects a similar appearance, and has enhanced the industrial but fun ambiance of the room. A chirpy wooden dining table takes the centre stage with mismatched chairs flanking its sides. The right wall houses an array of open wooden shelves which can be used as work benches, storage room, and for displaying decorative knick-knacks. On the left stands a short standalone ladder holding bunches of flower for a rustic and countryside appeal. The patchwork quilt carpet on the floor is a vibrant and lively touch. Note how one of the walls of the dining room has been done up innovatively in a charcoal black hue to create contrast with the other white walls. Also, the industrial-looking pipes across the ceiling support bright focused lights and floral bunches for ample illumination and quaint decoration respectively.

After: white's alright

A look at the compact but smart bathroom shows us that white, when used cleverly, can steal the show too! Clean white walls make the bathroom appear spacious and airy, while square white tiles line the walls halfway and the sink countertop along with grey grouting for visual interest. The presence of a standard wall-mounted mirror and a shaving mirror contributes immensely to the functionality of the washroom. The sink counter has ample space beneath it, which can be utilised to store laundry, towels or robes in pretty wicker baskets. And the white floor is simply unique, with its honeycomb and floral patterns which diminish the starkness of white effectively.

We hope you enjoyed the thoughtful renovation of this Japanese apartment from lifeless shell to colourful living space, where industrial style meets pastoral accents with élan. For more inspiration and ideas, check out another before & after story: The incredible makeover of a small apartment.

What do you think of this industrial-style makeover? Can you imagine living here? Let us know in the comments!
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