NEVER TOO SMALL: Japanese Style Small Seaside Apartment Sydney 52sqm/560sqft

NEVER TOO SMALL: Japanese Style Small Seaside Apartment Sydney 52sqm/560sqft

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Dform Projects were tasked with transforming a dark and stuffy apartment into a tranquil, natural space more suited to its Sydney beach setting. By stacking and overlapping rooms and spaces, they were able to completely reconfigure the home’s layout, and introduce more natural light and airflow throughout. A Japanese bedroom with a connecting meditation room is built on a raised platform which extends seamlessly from the kitchen counter into the bedroom itself. Here, a zero maintenance zen garden and bonsai tree creates a connecting green space. This raised platform also allows for dedicated storage underneath the bedroom and meditation space, with further storage is cleverly concealed within the bathroom. A study space is neatly tucked away in the 2nd bedroom in the nook created by extending the hallway. Customised to its owners dreams of beachside living, the home reflects an approach that could be applied to any home design, large or small.

#smallapartment #architecture #interiordesign

Project Name: The Ryakon

Produced by New Mac Video Agency
Creator: Colin Chee
Director/Camera Operator: Nam Tran
Producer: Lindsay Barnard
Editor: Colin Chee
Music: Lucid Dreaming by Dear Gravity


  1. YN on June 24, 2023 at 11:45 am

    it is hurting my Asian brain to hear ‘Japanese style’ and see the wooden floor but some one is walking on it with their outside shoes on

  2. Swoon Drones on June 24, 2023 at 11:51 am

    Music reference? Beautiful.

  3. David Savian on June 24, 2023 at 11:51 am

    I am trapped in a glass booth of emotions watching this beautiful Japanese style apartment. I may need therapy. Pray for me Youtubers. Congratulations you true hero !!

  4. Sue on June 24, 2023 at 11:51 am

    Im guessing that the landlord might be crazy with japanese manga or anime, so really wanted to put any random japanese stuff together into the space! 😅

  5. Nancey Jones on June 24, 2023 at 11:52 am

    Very pretty, but super weird!

  6. Marc-André Gauthier on June 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Very beautiful. One of my absolute favorite. However the baseboards look quite thick and don’t really fit in the "Japandi" or minimalist look given to your home. Also, I can’t help but notice the white doors. They look like Home Depot standard doors. Perhaps Japanese inspired panelled doors would have made more of a statement ;).

  7. Queen Rah on June 24, 2023 at 11:54 am

    I absolutely love this space and every design decision made. I think the client’s brief was taken into consideration and the Japanese style is beautifully done and well incorporated. It may seem impractical to most people who may be used to more European or American designs – which is fine. But this is a gorgeous, modern but with some traditional Japanese style decisions in it. I’d live here!

  8. Frances Hanna on June 24, 2023 at 11:55 am

    I have a string dislike for plastic plants, tacky dust collectors with no life…not very zen imo

  9. Bridget Perez on June 24, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Great design and awesome execution

  10. Alex Laverty on June 24, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Beautiful apartment and just down the road from me! : )

  11. 王 of my ღ. on June 24, 2023 at 11:56 am

    Even thought I’m a shorty, I don’t like how they make the ceiling very low that almost touch my head like that. High ceiling can make the room seem brighter and larger

  12. Tee McNeill on June 24, 2023 at 11:57 am

    I can’t focus on anything except the fact that he is wearing shoes in the house!

  13. Sara Marzoli on June 24, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Granted, the storage behind the kitchen is not an easy solution, but the result is the stuff of dreams

  14. S J on June 24, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Timber tiles is disgusting. Just choose a tile and let timber be timber

  15. Carlos HOH on June 24, 2023 at 11:57 am

    Amazing !!! Very Beautiful !!! 😉

  16. Pu Koh on June 24, 2023 at 11:58 am

    No ‘client’ lives here. Clearly an Airbnb

  17. Tanvi on June 24, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    anyone else got triggered the person in the video wearing shoes(with so much space and importance given to a japanese entrance) then walker over the kitchen counter in shoes

  18. Arturo Ávila Guarque on June 24, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    I think it is design as a B&B space, good for a short visit and beatiful for taking photos but bad as a permanent home.

  19. Nayeete Nangolo on June 24, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    This place is amazing

  20. Chris Formosa on June 24, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    Where do I find that wall mounted bonsai?! I love it!!!!! Impossible to find online. If you can, please let me know where one can find one 😅

  21. Arelis Hernandez on June 24, 2023 at 12:07 pm

    I love it! i was in Japan and i love their little spaces.

  22. Hakim Hayashi on June 24, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    As Japanese I really appreciate him probably Chinese Australian guy understanding so well the concept of Ryokan🔥 This is more ryokan than most of modern Japanese ryokan🇯🇵💪

  23. ceally1982 on June 24, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    This makes no sens at all for me. Living room on the floor (I know it’s japanese styl, but not even a cushion?!) and walking on your kitchen counters to go to the bedroom?!

  24. Hermoni on June 24, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    This home is aesthetically pleasing but I have fibromyalgia n I could never do all of that maneuvering under cabinets n over countertops to get what I need.

  25. Frances Hanna on June 24, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    How does this Japanese interior reference the original Edwardian? building or beach suburb it is located in? Too gimmicky for me without solving any particular brief…

  26. jessy cadenas on June 24, 2023 at 12:16 pm


  27. Earth Suit on June 24, 2023 at 12:16 pm

    Absolutely stunning. Those that comment on the sitting space near the tv. Japanese in general are very used to the simple and clear spaces, and they don’t need all the cushioning we westerners are used to. For me everything so tastefully done and unique.

  28. Shelly Cb on June 24, 2023 at 12:18 pm

    It looks great, like a piece of art. But living there would be super inconvenient. 2 bedrooms but no adequate space for even 1 persons clothes, nevermind books. If you tried to personalise the space, you’d quickly realise that everything is crafted in such a specific way that it leaves no room for you to put your own stamp on it. More suitable for looking at than living in I think… But maybe suitable for someone with a very minimalist lifestyle 🙂

  29. Linus Nolte on June 24, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    I’m quite surprised about all the critic voices in the comment section. I found this to be one of the best NTS projects, because it tackles a certain problem with small spaces which other projects completely neglect – monotony. They create so many different perspectives and varying perceptions with their playful approach of dividing space vertically. For people who have their problems with steady environments, this is heaven wrapped in a NTS-concept. Love it!

  30. HallaDita on June 24, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    show me a Japanese who doesn’t take off shoes upon entering their home. I am waiting

  31. Miss Renee on June 24, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    WHY are they wearing shoes?????

  32. GJN on June 24, 2023 at 12:22 pm

    Tatami styled flooring my @ss. That is only a raised platform with the same flooring as the dining. Take your shoes off, if you think it’s tatami. You even had an inspiration from genkan, yet not using it as intended. I’m freaking out how mad this simple shot made me xD

  33. Cocoa Cola on June 24, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    The fridge is way too small…….

  34. den525 on June 24, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    That apartment is probably worth $1.5m… before renovations and property boom it sold for 835k in 2015…. crazy prices

  35. MrChillerNo1 on June 24, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    zero maintenance… so plastic plants… 😔

  36. Ekaterina Volkova on June 24, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    The apartment is very beautiful, I like a lot this combination of colors. It also turned out larger than I expected. Seems that different levels and separate spaces creat a filling of a bigger apartment.

  37. Shahid Ali on June 24, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    after a long time I am witnessing the perfect marriage of traditional style with the modern aesthetics👍 Colors, Texture and Materials creates a perfect harmony 🎼🎼🎼
    however, less storage space is the only issue, Apart from that it’s a Dream House.🏡

  38. Ewa Kaczmarek on June 24, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    Fantastyczne harmonijne i oryginalne

  39. Andrea Bullen on June 24, 2023 at 12:29 pm

    It is smashing, I love it 🤩👍

  40. Mary Warren on June 24, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    Different ❤❤❤❤

  41. Zeruzio on June 24, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    Look at the woodwork and the gaps in the wood at 4:58 and tell me that they haven’t done this cladding themselves! Look at the gaps and the single tiny piece of wood to the right of the alcove! Why wouldn’t you just use a longer piece so you don’t end up with the tiny section. Honestly, this is terribly done and you can’t disguise the fact that you’ve got a manky ass fake bonsai tree taking up half of your bedroom by calling it "Maintenance free". This whole thing makes me so angry and you just know that some moron is renting this out on airbnb as a "meditation escape" for $1000 a night. This is terrible in every way.

  42. Manet Conolly on June 24, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    “Reconnecting w nature” … uses fake plants!!!! I think the space is very inventive, and I appreciate the design. I just wish they’d thought of another solution other than fake plants 🙁

  43. 順水嶋 on June 24, 2023 at 12:36 pm

    shoes in the house ewww

  44. Beate Reese on June 24, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    I appreciate the explication. It’s absolutely another style of living than I am used to, but it’s really interesting to have a glance to it. Thanks a lot.

  45. Mohammad Daneshyar on June 24, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing architectural contents with us. I have just noticed how effective is your video editing and quality to make us better understanding of interior space

  46. Antonio Posadas on June 24, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    Wait wait wait ! In order to access to the storage zone under the room you have to unplug the fridge? there wasn’t any other option like opening on the floor or removable steps unity??

  47. Yuu on June 24, 2023 at 12:41 pm

    "tatami style" living space… Except there is no tatami.

    Just call it wooden floor. Stop being too pretentious

  48. .. on June 24, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    Can I have some information on the faux green wall please

  49. Jen L on June 24, 2023 at 12:43 pm

    Terrible. This is definitely not Japanese design. Also, tatami is made of straw, not hardwood. It would be ridiculously uncomfortable to watch tv on a hardwood floor. Disfunctional space.

  50. Tyler Brown on June 24, 2023 at 12:44 pm

    Some elements were nice – the entry, and the curved white curtain on the black wall. But being a minimalist and not using a tv, even I have my limits…. sitting on that platform with only a cushion behind me screams bad posture and back ache, and then to have to scurry around under bench tops to find something in that cupboard? Well, after sitting on that platform and having to bend over in that meditation space, I’d never get out!

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