This Candy-Colored Apartment in Tokyo Looks Good Enough to Eat

This Candy-Colored Apartment in Tokyo Looks Good Enough to Eat

By Kate Reggev
Pastel hues, graphic patterns, and material contrasts in Adam Nathaniel Furman’s Nagatcho home make for an instant sugar high.

In Tokyo’s busy Nagatcho district, designer and artist Adam Nathaniel Furman completed the interior fit-out and design of a 160-square-meter (roughly 1,700-square-foot) apartment full of harmonic contrasts that emphasize the visual and sensual experience.

Walls in the corridor are lined with pink wainscotting, while the white upper portion provides a moment of visual relief and balance. A vibrant yellow at the end of the corridor draws the eye down the hallway.

The apartment is laid out so that color and contrast are everywhere: a narrow corridor leads to the individual bedrooms, while the communal spaces of the kitchen, dining, and living rooms are open to each other but distinguished by different color and material palettes. The apartment has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, each treated with a distinct color story that picks up on tones and hues found elsewhere in the house, creating a sense of continuity and unity.

Painted arches in contrasting colors are found throughout the apartment; the arched motif is repeated in wood in the kitchen.

In each space, natural and artificial materials abut one another, creating an aesthetic tension in the material textures and production techniques. Cabinetry whose wood details were handmade by skilled carpenters are combined with marquetry doors cut using a laser cutter; handwoven carpeting lies next to vinyl flooring; nylon fixtures sit next to handcrafted porcelain hardware and handles. 

The rosy, dull pink of the kitchen cabinets bleeds into the living room but is starkly contrasted with the striped green-and-yellow floor and blue backsplash in the kitchen and furniture in the living room.

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Furman is an artist and designer with a specific interest in color, queerness, and the sensuality of visually stimulating environments—and these explorations are evident in the apartment, from the large-scale painted shapes on the doors to the juxtaposed materials. The result is a home that feels both joyful and yet refined, vibrant yet restrained.

The pastel tangerine chairs in the dining area pick up the orange wainscotting of the walls, and the simple lines of the dining furniture allow the walls and finishes to function as artwork.

The sculptural end piece to some of the cabinetry in the kitchen echoes some of the other arched motifs. The natural wood is an anomaly in the kitchen, whose cabinets, backsplash, and countertop feature man-made materials.

The light blue tiles of the kitchen vary in color and are arranged in a graphically arresting herringbone pattern that offers a pleasant respite from the cotton-candy pink of the cabinetry.

Each bedroom has colored wainscotting but is otherwise minimally furnished, aside from a boldly colored bed and other simple furniture.

Another bedroom with green walls and a blue bed features a closet with sliding doors that match the color palette of the bedroom door.

The bathrooms tend to feature a slightly more muted color palette, with classic square mosaic tiles in variegated colors for added texture and life on the walls and floor.

Even in the bathrooms, there are moments of bright color: a yellow faucet, a pink and yellow vanity, a yellow towel heater. The mosaic tile on the floor is of a different color than that of the walls, but together they create a pleasing backdrop for the bolder tones in the small room


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