A Muji-inspired home for those who need an escape from these crazy times.
From working from home to the slow re-entry back to society, and then being forced to skedaddle back home; it’s taking its toll. Suffice to say, our mental wellbeing has been through a lot and could use a little bit of TLC. But where will you go to find it? Outside? Where the virus-that-gets-named-all-too-often can get to us? No thanks. Hard pass. See you never.
These homeowners got smart and decided to find the zen within instead. That is, within the four walls of their new apartment. Inspired by minimalist Japanese aesthetics that lends a distinct presence, they wanted to feel like they were stepping through a nondescript house on a quaint alley in Kyoto. The kind of nondescript where everything on its own looks perfectly ordinary, but comes together in a deep breath and soothing exhale.
IQI Concept worked closely with the homeowners to bring this vision of peace to life. There were a lot of discussions, virtual and in-person, which culminated in a mood board that could only be described as Muji-esque. While minimalism sounds like an easy concept to go into (just do less, amirite?), the reality is a careful balancing act. Every item they were adding to the home was painstakingly deliberated, and a lot of care went into ensuring each design decision served a function that was more than just good looks. Not a penny more or less.
Step inside and the first sight you’ll be greeted with is the quaint living room. The built-in furniture design was carefully chosen to ensure cleaning was as easy as possible. Why move furniture around and risk scraping the brand-new wooden floorboards when they can be cleaned in one fell swoop? The slatted wooden wall panels serve to give the room a little more height to open up the space.
Right by the oversized window is a bartop that was a deliberate touch by IQI Concept. Knowing the homeowners were avid bookworms, the designers wanted to create a space made specifically for them to call home. And it doesn’t get homier than having a reading nook to call your own, with an aerial view to boot. Translucent white blinds were added for a sense of privacy, which softens harsh sunlight and lets in a diffused, ethereal glow that washes over the common space.
The unit came with built-in kitchen cabinets, which serendipitously matched the theme they were gunning for, saving the homeowners a little bit of time and money. IQI Concept went with a simple but artistic light fixture over the dining area with Japandi dining furniture, fusing Scandinavian functionality with the rustic Muji minimalism the homeowners loved to clearly demarcate the space.
A few steps away is the bedroom, softly lit with similarly bulbous art light fixtures. A wooden bed panel runs across one wall, while on the opposite end lies a floor-to-ceiling wardrobe with white wood, reminiscent of the built-in kitchen cabinets. Here, the original floorboards were kept. A shade darker than the common area, it was befitting of a place where you’d welcome the heaviness of dreamless and unencumbered sleep.
One of the key factors in ensuring the project was a success? Clearly communicating the budget. For the team at IQI Concept, knowing how much they could spend was paramount in understanding where they had to reign in, which gave way to the most important part of all: opportunities. Having clear parameters for them to work within gave way to finding innovative solutions that fit both vision and wallet. Their aim for every project is to accommodate the client and their lifestyle into the space so they can feel at home every single day. In this case, they clearly knocked that one right out the park.