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Here’s How to Elevate Your New HDB with Japanese Designer Products

Here's How to Elevate Your New HDB with Japanese Designer Products Cover
Read time: 7 min.

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Have you ever walked into a room and felt an instant sense of calm and tranquillity? It’s a rare sensation and a feat that is hard to achieve. 

A living space that welcomes you with open arms, unburdened by clutter and excess.

Well, today we are gonna talk about just that, elevating your new HDB with minimalist award-winning Japanese products.

And no, this guide won’t delve into the less-than-wise actions we sometimes take, such as searching for generic keywords like ‘Japanese’ or ‘Nordic’ on platforms like Shopee or Lazada, only to be left frustrated by fake or low-quality products from Chinese sellers.

Click here to jump straight to our handpicked product recommendations.

Why Declutter or Adopt Minimalism? 

You won’t believe how much a sleek, minimalist look can open up your place🌆🪑✨ #MinimalistLiving #SpaceSavvyLiving #SingaporeLife

Alright, enough Gen Z talk.

Putting egotistical reasons “like levelling up our interior game to flex it to our friends” aside, embracing a minimalist approach becomes not just a choice but a real necessity.

Even if you are not a fan of popular minimalist figures like Marie Kondo.

In a space-constrained city with shrinking house sizes, clutter can quickly make a home feel extremely cramped and chaotic. Minimalism now becomes a practical solution for Singaporeans adapting to smaller living quarters and making it a breathable living environment in spite of all the urban constraints.

Infusing Japanese Design Concepts Into Your Living Room

Room with a wooden table, a Japanese picture and a bonsai tree 3d render
Room with a wooden table, a Japanese picture and a bonsai tree 3d render

Yes, specifically the living room. 

The living room is hands down the most important room in a home for several compelling reasons: The social hub for family, friends and guests; the room that strikes the first impression for all visitors (think resale value); and the room that is the most functional room for everyday living.

With that out of the way, here are the concepts to bear in mind:

Light and Neutral Colors

Begin with a clean slate by painting your living room in light, neutral colours such as white, cream, or soft grey. These shades create an open and airy ambience, making your space appear more substantial and inviting.

Declutter and Simplify

The essence of minimalism is decluttering. Remove unnecessary items and keep only what you truly need or cherish. Invest in smart storage solutions like wall-mounted shelves and hidden cabinets to maintain a clutter-free environment.

Quality Over Quantity, Less is More

In a minimalist living room, quality trumps quantity. Select a few key pieces of furniture that serve both a functional and aesthetic purpose. This brings us to the next point.

Concepts are just Concepts! What Home Furniture to Buy?

Empty living room in japanese style on empty cream color wall
Empty living room in japanese style on empty cream color wall

And you are absolutely right to think that. 

It’s not easy and can take a huge deal of time scrolling through countless sites like fortytwo or hipvan for the right living room furniture. 

But here are some furniture you should definitely put more focus on:

Minimalist Sofas and Coffee Tables

Opt for simple, streamlined sofas and coffee tables. Japanese design often embraces clean lines and natural materials. Look for pieces made of wood or with a hint of Japanese craftsmanship.

Space-saving furniture is also a huge plus. Such furniture is usually stackable or collapsible, allowing you to reduce the clutter without actually reducing it. 

Versatile Furniture

Forget the guest room.

Furniture with dual purposes is ideal for a small HDB living room. 

Consider a sofa bed that can accommodate guests or a coffee table with built-in storage for your convenience.

Or a hot water dispenser that has a HEPA filter built into it so that you can lose the kettle and save the time spent boiling water.

Where to Buy Simple Home Furniture?

Singapore is a hub for contemporary design, and you can find Japanese-inspired products that perfectly complement your minimalist living room. Here are a few suggestions:

OurJapStore: Exclusive SG Supplier of Japanese Designer Products

OurJapStore, better known as OJS, is a niche importer of award-winning Japanese designer products where exclusively Japan-made furniture, home appliances, and corner decorations fit right into your home or office.

Limited-Time Offer: For orders above $100, OJS is offering free islandwide delivery in Singapore.

As of writing, OJS only has a handful of products listed for sale, but each of them has won numerous design awards in Japan and has both elements of beauty and functionality ingrained into them. 

Is this a hidden gem? 

We suppose so. 

According to OurJapStore, the company specialises in supplying Japanese designer products to interior design firms but also sells the products separately at the same price on their online shop front.

Here are their best-selling Japanese designer products currently on sale (don’t worry, there are no affiliate links in any of these products):

ENOTS Interior Bag: Good as Furniture, Good as a Bag

Designed by Noriko Hashida with h concept, this is not your typical tote bag. 

While you can use it for quick grocery runs and shopping, the ENOTS Interior Bag can serve as a functional piece of furniture right back at home.

This multi-purpose interior bag is beautiful whether you place it on the floor or on a cabinet since it is carefully designed to be able to fit anywhere in the house. 

We even use it in the office for us to store our items at work. It’s quite a remarkable piece of art at this point.

The “tote” bag is also fully stackable, which means all that space can be saved up if the bags are not in use.

And did we mention that it is water-resistant, washable, anti-static, dust-resistant, and made of strong resin material to withstand heavy weights?

No wonder it won the Good Design Award back in 2020!

Psst… there’s also a m (stands for mini) size available.

Buy it on OJS: ENOTS Interior Bag

ENOTS Minimal Chair: Featherweight Champion of Living Room Chairs

Next on the ENOTS series and currently in stores at OJS is the minimal chair. It has also won the Good Design Award in 2015, and the Red Dot Award for Product Design in 2017.

Weighing at only 2.1kg, the chair is also stackable up to 8 chairs high, which is super apt for those who value efficient storage but also frequently host gatherings and parties in their living spaces and common areas.

Buy it on OJS: ENOTS Minimal Chair

KCUD Slim Pedal Pail: Trash Bins Doesn’t Need to be Smart to Be Revolutionary

It’s common to see smart dustbins that are over-engineered and provide no value whatsoever.

Like, come on, why does a dustbin require a sensor to open the lid automatically for us to throw the trash when we can simply step our feet onto the pedal to do the same? Both bins are hands-free, but one requires you to change the batteries every month.

Hence instead of reinventing the wheel, Sumie Noda put wheels onto the KCUD Slim Pedal Pail rubbish bin along with a simple hands-free pedal operation and a soft-close function for quiet lid closure.

This makes the bin easy to use, easy to wash, and easy to move.

The dustbin is also available in various colours, which is helpful for people who label and categorise their trash.

By the way, it has also won the Good Design Award in 2004.

Buy it on OJS: KCUD Slim Pedal Pail

BEW Table Rack: Yet Another Space-Saving Gadget for the House

Declutter your newspapers and magazines with this simple yet unique storage rack. 

The rack comes with a minimalist frame and hook for you to hold or simply hide it under a table.

Buy it on OJS: Bew Table Rack

The Generic Places and Online e-Commerce shops

Mega e-commerce platforms such as Shopee, Lazada, Hipvan, and Fortytwo are always good places to start.

However, if you rely solely on these platforms, chances are, you might end up with the exact home design as your neighbours next door.

Not to mention, products sold on Shopee and Lazada are usually drop-shipped or white-labelled. It is important to note that there will always be a risk of low quality or defects, and the warranty or guarantees may not be ideal for a home that is designed to last for literal decades.

Our verdict? 

Don’t be basic.

IKEA: The Scandinavian Basic

Ikea offers Scandinavian-inspired furniture that aligns with the minimalist design ethos. Their products can seamlessly blend with Japanese-style decor.

By following these guidelines and incorporating them into your living room, you can achieve a modern yet simplistic living space. 

Achieving a minimalist and Japanese-inspired living room in your HDB flat in Singapore is both achievable and rewarding. With the right design principles and a selection of Japanese designer products, you can create a harmonious, clutter-free space that exudes elegance and tranquillity.


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