Name: Jon Hindley & Liezel Strauss
Location: Shibuya-ku — Tokyo, Japan
Size: 1,900 square feet
Years lived in: 3 months
Last year when I posted our new London home during Augusts' Setting Up Home theme, little did I know we would be living in Tokyo a year later! As always, it was very important to nest in a record time since we might not be around for that long. I realize all too well the "right" way to make a home is to do it with loads of patience, love and non-haste. There is plenty of love in our new place but living in 10 different homes in the last 9 years taught me that it is crucial to create a space you love no matter how long — or how short! — you intend to stay.
We were stunned to find this amazing space in central Tokyo — especially considering we saw smaller apartments a few blocks away for the same price. The major difference — our new place is not an expat apartment. This means none of the appliances are in English — we still have no idea what the robot lady is saying every time we switch on the bath (no taps) and the fridge and oven are yet to be conquered!
Our biggest challenge was trying to furnish the space without spending a fortune. Tokyo truly is the most expensive city. Thank goodness for IKEA! What excited us the most about our space was the big roof terrace. After living in Europe for 5 years, we were ready to embrace a proper summer! It was our dream to have a grass roof and when we read about the turf Toyota developed here in Japan, it seemed destiny. Unfortunately the whole process went spectacularly wrong (as it does all the time in a country where you don't speak the language) and we ended up with decking. Ha! Nevertheless we are in love with our new home and we feel very blessed to be here.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Eclectic
Inspiration: Our travels
What Friends Say: 'You have a lift in your house!'
Biggest Embarrassment: We have a lift in the house!
Favorite element: The roof terrace and the big glass windows — and of course the location.
Proudest DIY: Trying to plant grass on the roof, it was a spectacular flop, but I'm still proud that we gave it a shot.
Biggest Challenge: The idea that we have to leave one day!
Biggest Indulgence: The computer corner in the living room — we bought the mid century chair, lamp and desk from local antique shops.
Dream Source: If I had my way, all the furniture, art and accessories would come from South Africa, we have some amazng designers and artists! My favorites are Haldane Martin, Heath Nash, Gregor Jenkin, Moonbasket and SkinnyLaminx
Best advice: Nest wherever you are. Even if it's just for a week!
Kitchen Hardware: Island Unit: IKEA
Kitchen Furniture Made from recycled church benches. Eat Sleep Live.
Living chairs in studio and wooden chair on roof: Inherited from grandparents
Antique Desks, desk lamp and office chair: Acme
Coffee table, blue office chairs, red locker unit and TV cabinet: IKEA
Art: Cement women sculpture in living room and white dog: Kenau Botha, Bronze sculpture in living room: Rossouw van der Walt , Polaroids in bedroom: Stephani Schneider, Albino reindeer: Frank Stockel, Wooden angels: Jackson Thembe, Wire "you make it easy": Heath Nash , 'Shy girl' in the bedroom: Francois van Reenen, Painting in bathroom: Elwin Buchel, Tretchikoff from Spitalfields market in London and all other art from markets in Swaziland.
Beds & bedlinen: The Sleep Room
Bookshelves & ladder: IKEA
Roof Terrace: Beds from IKEA used as sofa's, pillows from IKEA, Space BBQ from the Conran Shop,
Images: Liezel Strauss
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