"Everything starts from somewhere. For us, it's the material when we started 16 years ago," says VK Shegar, director of The Tatami Shop Singapore. "Tatami is made from a material called igusa. It is a water rush plant that grows in the southern part of Japan. It has its own history and offers a lot of benefits."
In fact, the igusa tatami offers quite a few. According to Mr Shegar, it adapts to the weather such that it warms your body when it's cold season and cools it when it's summertime. Tatami products are also suitable for kids and elders.
"Another advantage of having tatami in your home is when you walk in, you easily smell the fragrance. That is very important for the Japanese because this natural grassy aroma provides relaxation to the mind and body. The fragrance works on you without you knowing it," explains Mr Shegar.
The Tatami Shop on East Coast Road. "We specialise in converting a particular space in the house. You choose a space and we convert it into a special area that creates a wow factor to your home."
Tatami Nile Sofa Bed, $950
Established in 1999, The Tatami Shop offers homeowners (as well as corporate clients) an array of handcrafted tatami furnishings and floorings that brings that much-needed Zen to a busy modern home.
Whether it's a Nile sofa bed, petite sofa, bay window sofa, or futon mattresses and mats, The Tatami Shop provides the Japanese touch in your abode. Sofa beds give you utmost daytime comfort and are perfect in small spaces as you can fold them when not in use. In a humid country like Singapore, a futon mattress sounds like the ideal bed. Just lay a fusion mat on your existing mattress and voila, you get its cooling and holistic head-back-feet support benefits! The Tatami Shop also offers wagasa lamps and bamboo products to deck your home with.
"Our first few products were pillows, cushion, and sofa. Eventually, we went into home development concept to create a multifunctional space," recalls Mr Shegar. "We never claim to our clients that we are a contractor or interior designer. We specialise in converting a particular space in the house."
He continues, "You choose a space and we convert it into a special area that creates a wow factor to your home." Check out below how The Tatami Shop did just that in various areas of the Singaporean home:
An open and welcoming family space in the living room
More room in your bedroom with tatami floorings and furnishings as well as storage platforms
Go all out with the Japanese dining experience with a platform and raised table design for the dining area.
As they are safe even for babies and toddlers, tatami beds and flooring are great for kids' room.
Tatami products help provide a comfortable stay in the guest room—whether it's a place for visitors to sleep, play mahjong, or have lively conversations.
A comfortable nook by the bay window
Shoji screens are usually used as a sliding door, which is perfect for space-deprived rooms. They can also be used as a room divider to break up a large room into small usable areas.
Mr Shegar says there are multiple ways of using The Tatami Shop Singapore products in any given space without repeating it. "We're not just a product catalogue, we conceptualise the whole thing."
"What we want to do is to make a certain space practical, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. We want to achieve these three points for our clients. There is no point when something is beautiful but not really functional," concludes Mr Shegar.
The Tatami Shop Singapore
235 East Coast Road Singapore 428929
Tel. No.: 6336 6018 / 6334 5455
Open: Monday-Thursday, Sunday 11am to 8:30pm
Friday-Saturday, 11am to 9pm
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Photos courtesy of The Tatami Shop Singapore