Living Rooms: Going Japanese

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Living Rooms: Going Japanese


Saturday Space Matters


Japanese Style. I was originally going to do a post on stylish small apartments in Japan. This would have been a sequel on a post I did on Tiny Apartments in Hongkong. I was limited, however, by the few pictures that came up. I went as far as translating the phrase or its variations ‘tiny apartments in Japan or Tokyo’ via the online translator Here is the resulting phrase in Japanese: 東京の小さなアパート Success eludeth me. Perhaps lost in translation, the pictures I am searching for are all in exclusively Japanese language written websites. The phrase translated into Japanese is probably all wrong.


Having lived in tiny flats in Hongkong, ‘small’ continues to fascinate me. I refuse to give up though. The article on small apartments in Japan will have to remain a draft for now. Mmmmm…Maybe I should substitute ‘miniature’ for small. (Aha moment!)


This post has by process of natural elimination, as is the way of Darwinism – the fittest, strongest and ‘mostest’ pictures will survive – is now a highlight on Japanese inspired living rooms. The designs are beautiful, so don’t worry, continue to scroll down. This is not second choice mediocre image offerings.


Japanese style is everything that the Zen embodies: simple, pure, natural, peaceful. A summary description of the living rooms you see is that of openness and oneness with nature. Clutter can easily be concluded as a western notion. There is little id or ego in Japanese design. The personality of the homeowner is secondary. It is all about harmony and minimalism. Paper, stone, wood, tatami mats, shoji screens, futon seating are all in perfect place inviting all of us to come and ‘live in a relaxing, meditative state of being in the room’.


Inviting you all inside the Japanese inspired living room.











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Tiny Apartments: In a Hongkong State of Mind


Saturday Space Matters





The title of this post is a tad misleading. I started looking for those tiny apartments or flats that I used to live in while I was working for an airline in Hongkong. But I slowly veered to the luxury serviced flats. Need you ask why? Take a look at what I came across. At prices ranging from HKD $20,000 to 35,000 – which roughly translates to PHP 110,000 to 191,000 – I look around at my cozy home, at barely a fraction of what these Hongkong flats are asking for, I feel like I am in Buckingham Palace for free!


Makes me want to sell my provincial lifestyle to all the foreigners willing to pay a hefty premium price for a tiny space in a congested city and say ‘You guys are in the wrong place!’ But shhhhh…I think I prefer that my little haven remain my secret. :)


Don’t worry, I go back full circle to my original intent of intriguing, captivating and mesmerizing you with the innovative ways one can stretch a tiny space into one spacious dwelling. At the end of this post is a video that does just that. It is all in how you look at things. This video is an example of ‘thinking outside the box’ at its best.


In the meantime scroll down and enjoy the images. On the way to the video, you can pick up a lot of design ideas for a relatively small home. Take a look:



 This orange service flat in Sheung Wan is at Hkd $20,000/month









 Boutique Economical Flat in Sai Ying Pun at USD $165 a night







 Likin’ the red sofa.  This flat at Wanchai goes for Hkd $29,000/month



 Jordan, Kowloon…going for Hkd 22,000/month





Take note of the black Chandelier – really nice



Glass tile blocks enclosing the kitchen area



 Swivel TV – great idea



 A good use of space. I am getting a lot of design ideas here.





 Below the dining table is  the washing machine. I guess the table folds up.


Gary Chang, an architect, calls this the “Domestic Transformer.” Check out the video of Chang in his apartment below.


He designed his 344 square foot apartment in Hong Kong to be able to change into 24 different designs, all by just sliding panels and walls.”




You should have seen how I managed to stretch my teeny tiny Hongkong flat then. Now I wish I took a lot of pictures. The lesson is that no matter where you live and what address you have, how big or how small your living space is, a creative mind will always manage to transform any area into a beautiful house that one can call ‘home’.









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Climate Change: Time to Totally Rethink our Homes


Saturday Space Matters


People of Luzon needing our prayers and support


To help please click on this link:
Clean up efforts are now going on. The floodwaters are slowly receding. But there is another storm coming. Let us continue to pray and help those without homes, for those who are hungry and sick.





Incessant rains and the subsequent disastrous flooding that occurs soon after have been happening too often. Climate change and its message for us to make adjustments to the way we live is clear as the frequency of images of cities submerged in water greet our eyes. In fact it is not strangers anymore who are the casualties of the onslaught of mother nature’s not too amiable mood. They are our family, friends.



A vision of an upscale houseboat community by Erikstad Architecture



The recent floods in Luzon in the Philippines hit my younger Baby and her classmates, as well as my brother and his family and quite a number of extended family and friends. Unbridled, unplanned urbanization is a lot to blame for the damage as sewers are no longer doing their job of draining rain water. How can they function when practically most of them are clogged.



If one cannot relocate to another city after having had a home damaged by the flood, maybe it is time to rethink and redesign one’s home. Noah’s ark comes to mind. Maybe houseboats are the way to go. One that is built to primarily function on dry land as well as on water in case of flooding. Just a thought. This out of the box idea no longer seems an outlandish approach to cope with the effects of climate change. Urban Planners and housing developers, give it serious consideration. At present, I don’t think there will be any doubters nor jokers who will ridicule such a project.


Here are houseboats to inspire us all towards this direction.



 Modern home base located in the Dubai marine



 Houseboat in the Amstel river of Amsterdam





Houseboats are as old as history. A familiar one after living in Hongkong for many years is the chinese junk boat.





And how could one forget the houseboats in Amsterdam.




Last but not the least the houseboat after which my aRk2 is based on, Noah’s ark. I would like to share these lessons.


  quotes to make us think (fb page)








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