I recently learned that Muji has done something a bit wild… and pure genius. They’ve created their own flat pack products. Not furniture… houses. They’ve beaten IKEA to the punch by creating a series of 3 flatpack houses and 3 ‘huts’. The ‘huts’ are the newest edition to the family and are compact, functional and gorgeous and the houses are truly Pinterest Worthy.
These fantastic pieces of design are the physical embodiment of the Marie Kondo method – functional, delightful and minimalistic. Sadly they aren’t yet available outside of Japan but the pricing is the equivalent of £103K-£150k which for a house isn’t bad – in London you wouldn’t even get a studio flat in the arse end of Zone 6 for that kind of money.
The 3 houses they’ve made are known as the Tree House, Vertical House & Window House.
First up is the Vertical house – this is designed to be incredibly open, light and designed to squeeze into built up areas. Each layer of the house contains somewhere with a completely different purpose.
On the bottom floor you have the part of the home built for practicalities such as bike storage, wash facilities and laundry room. On the central floor there is the main living space with the kitchen and living room.
On the top floor there is the master bedroom and room for a second bedroom or work space. The central staircase runs like an artery through the heart of the house and allow the light to pass through unobstructed. It also creates a great nook on the bottom floor for reading.
There is lots of space for on-wall storage and hidden storage so you can Marie Kondo to your hearts content.
The Marie Kondo effect is something which can’t quite be explained. Personally I believe it is a manifestation of changing the way we think within society. Our lives are so intense, crowded and online the MK effect allows people to remove themselves from this hectic life and try and restore calm and order to it.
If you’ve been living under a rock and don’t know what the KonMari method is – check it out pronto. The concept is about decluttering your mind by decluttering your environment. I love this concept as I don’t really attach sentimentality with ‘things’ so I’m happy to give things away.. I digress.
Next up is the Window house – given such a name because of its clusters of little windows. These can be adapted and changed depending on your view. Yes… YOUR view. This house was quite literally designed so that the windows would frame whatever you choose. It comes complete with ceramic siding, triple glass and double insulation.
Last up on the house front is the Treehouse. This is my favourite of the designs, the wooden house is designed to have minimal environmental impact and maximum ventilation and light. The open plan living area feels spacious but not cavernous, bright and light but not cold – I think it’s the wood used throughout which gives it a warm and homely feel.