Just recently I wrote a post about us having bought an apartment.
In the ten years I have been living in Japan I did not really put much effort in giving our home an individual touch, simply because it was never our place and when you rent a house there are a lot of things you can’t or are not allowed to do.
In Japan, people rarely use wallpaper or paint their walls.
People prefer new looking furniture and plastic boxes to organize their stuff rather than making a snatch at a flea market and spiffing the piece up.
Also, I’ve seen many homes that don’t really reflect the personality of the owner except for what tricks they use to tidy up their room. People here are very creative when it comes to making the most of a small space though often you have the impression they don’t care much about the looks.
I told my husband that I wanted our apartment to differ from most Japanese homes, that all rooms should have a different look by either painting the walls or using wallpaper.
My husband and I combine various cultural backgrounds and we love a range of styles and I think that our home should show that.
I’d like to turn the tatami room into a walk-in-closet with a Japanese touch. I will try to cover one wall with an old kimono sort of as a wall decoration.
The kitchen will have Turkish tiles, my husband’s room will include a work out space for him, and the atmosphere on our terrace should remind us of the Airbnb house’s porch in Hawaii, which was our oasis of relaxation.
I’m planning on doing things on a small budget and so I planned to buy old furniture and do a lot of things myself. But in Japan the word “antique” or “vintage” shoots prices rocket high, and wallpapers and painting walls can be a luxurious choice.
Nevertheless, we researched a few interesting furniture shops, rented a car last Tuesday and went to all possible stores on our route, together with another friend who is renovating her old house and wants to spice her home up with elements of French interior design.
Here are the places we visited:
the farm UNIVERSAL
This is a great place in Minou (North of Osaka) where you can find all kinds of plants and gardening equipment. Even if you don’t have a garden the farm UNIVERSAL is a relaxing place to go – You are surrounded by green and you can enjoy great coffee and breakfast-lunch-style food at their café!
Personally, I think Antiques Midi has too many overpriced pieces but I like their industrial looking space with various white furniture reminding a lot of French countryside interior.
This second hand furniture store was within our budget. We couldn’t find anything that we need but it’s worth checking the place out on a regular basis.
If you are crazy about high-quality wallpaper then Wallpa is the place to go. You just need to be mentally prepared for their prices.
Not far from Wallpa you’ll find Shark Attack, which has a lot of vintage stuff.
Again, I think, some of the things they have are overpriced but you’ll be amazed by the big range of furniture they offer.
This second hand furniture store in Horie is definitely my favorite. The girl, who works there is as cold as the receptionist in Beetlejuice but you’ll love the pieces they sell. I did! Twice! I bought a chair for my husband’s room and a glass cabinet g.u.f.. I’d say their prices are fair.