Renovate Our HomeStudio (I): A New Storage Bed Built & Shiki Futon Added

Hi there!
In a recent post, I mentioned that we did some small projects to create more space for our business. We live in a one bedroom apartment in East Harlem and while 700 Sq ft is considered spacious compared to the city’s standard, it is quickly filled with cards and supplies for Chic+Nawdie. We are both minimalist and very organized (Okay fine, more like just Huy not me…) so we want to re-think our space and add some storage room that can store several big carton boxes and also LOOK good.

After some planning we came to the conclusion that our bed took too much space while it didn’t really do much. (I also didn’t like how it looks.) All the pre-made storage beds out there are designed to store clothes and stuff – not gigantic ULINE boxes like we have so we decided to design and build a new bed. The design is nothing fancy: just a big frame with bed slats on top and covered with doors two sides. We also carved a little space for Kitsu to sleep (See pics below!) This new bed has helped us tremendously in term of storage space.

With the bed now becomes quite tall, our old Western-style mattress added too much height (10 inches!!!) It was also old and began to sink thus it gave me some serious back pain. So while we were building the bed, we thought about switching to a better mattress. And the answer was: a Japanese Shiki futon! Some of you might find it funny – why would I sleep on a futon? But if you think futon is what you find in a dorm room or what you see at Ikea in the sofa section, you have mistaken. Japanese Shiki futon is basically a mattress hand-made from cotton/wool and can be folded away. We have done some research and found that it is very durable and has many healthy benefits. So we went to Miya Soji, a traditional Japanese woodshop in Chealsea. We adore their amazing woodwork and were thrilled to learn they also make Shiki futons! However, it turned out because of their small scale and high demand, the waitlist for the Shiki futon was so long we would have to wait months before they could start ours! So we turned to White Lotus, a New Jersey based company that specializes in high-quality natural bedding products. We got a green cotton mattress and two buckwheat pillows (those are great for neck pain and very breathable.) All hand-made natural products made locally!

We have been using this set up for a month. I thought it would take me some times to adjust to the firmness of the new mattress but heck no! It has been so so pleasant: No back pain, no neck pain and no sweating at night. We will probably never going back to the Western style beddings… I don’t get why would I need 10 pillows on my bed and spend 30 minutes to make my bed anyway. We are very much into minimal beddings. Different people might have different preferences but I do see more and more people switching to Japanese bed style. I don’t write this for commission or anything – Just purely sharing our experience. So feel free to share your reviews/opinions or ask me questions! Below are some pictures of our new bed set-up and also other new details in the studio!




Our new bed set-up: Custom designed & built storage bed, Shiki futon & buckwheat pillows


The futon is not thick but it’s very comfortable. I love how our bed is now level with the window too!


Special feature designed for Kitsu…


Bed slats

Bed slats

The new bed matches our drawer unit too!

The new bed is painted white trim to match our drawer unit too!


Lots of storage room!

Lots of storage room!


Our pothos grew so much… we cut some branches…


… to make another small pothos! It’s doing really well on top of the credenza


And our new shelf built from left over woods after we were done with the Renegade system!

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