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A small-space home can make it easier to slow down and spend more time together.
Take a tour of this compact city apartment, where a family of three can feel connected to each other
and to nature.
A living room with sofa, armchair, table, shelves and TV unit, and a large plant in the corner.
A portrait of Mieko, Kenta and their daughter sitting on the sofa.

Feel centred

The living room is the heart of Mieko and Kenta’s home. ‘We
spend all our time in here,’ says Mieko. ‘I love to sit and read with
the windows open and the breeze blowing through.’ Wood, rattan
and wicker help to tie this multifunctional space together. ‘I find
natural materials calming. They fit with any colour, outlive trends,
and get better with age, so it’s more eco-friendly too.’
Toys stored in plastic trays in a wooden frame, with plants, pictures and books on top.

Stay playful

The living room also works as a playroom, with storage for their
daughter Tsumugi’s toys and games. ‘She loves playing in the
kids’ corner when her friends come over. And other times she
likes scattering her toys in the middle of the living room!’ says
Mieko. Dolls, stationery, and soft toys are stored by type, with
favourite toys and drawings displayed on top of the storage unit.
A narrow kitchen with dark cabinets and utensils hanging on metal rails and shelves on the end wall.

Slow cooking

‘Cooking makes me feel calm,’ says Mieko. In the narrow kitchen,
open storage keeps everyday items organised and easy to reach.
‘Whether it’s just us three or we have friends over, we try to eat
slowly so we can enjoy our food and talk to each other. Everyday
life is not boring when you enjoy the simple moments and find joy
in small things, like a weekend morning without any plans.’

Invite nature in

‘If I could change one thing about the kitchen, I’d add a window,’
says Mieko. She connects this space to nature in other ways,
softening sharp lines with wood, wicker and bamboo. ‘We love
camping and I’ve always dreamed of living in the woods, so I’m
drawn to natural materials.’ In the summer she makes pickles and
preserves, stored in glass jars alongside dried ingredients.
An open cupboard with white storage boxes stacked on shelves inside.

Calmer cupboards

In a small home every inch of storage space counts. ‘We stay on
top of tidying to avoid the visual stress of clutter,’ says Mieko.
‘For me, a clean and tidy home is much easier to relax in.’ To
maintain a sense of space, closed storage needs to be just as
organised as the open shelves. Stylist Aiko helped Mieko to
rethink a busy utility cupboard using stackable boxes and inserts.

Switch off

The family’s bedroom is a comforting space, with calm blues and
soft lighting. ‘Indigo blue is found in traditional Japanese dyeing,
so it helps me relax and sleep better,’ says Mieko. ‘We put two
large beds together to make a wide bed for the three of us. When
we get home, have dinner together, then get ready for bed,
anything that happened in the outside world doesn’t matter

Urban escape

Mieko’s garden extends the main living area and provides a break
from city life. ‘We both grew up in the countryside, and I’m still
most comfortable when I can feel a connection to the outdoors,’
says Mieko. She grows mint and shiso leaves, and stacks plants at
different heights for a lush view out from the living room. ‘It’s
also where we take care of our tent after camping trips!’
A floorplan of Mieko’s home.
We love to see our customers get creative with our products.
Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA
products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their
original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and
your right to return the products will be lost.


Made by

Interior stylist: Aiko Ito
Photographer: Philippe Le Berre
Follow Mieko on Instagram: @muginoheya