Furniture Design

As the craftsman with responsibility for furniture design and production for the SATOYAMA STAY accommodation project, let me tell you about the ideas and philosophy behind our choices. My brief was to create a “zen-like” atmosphere, so in collaboration with the owners and architect we came up with a plan based on the following four principles:

  • Harmony with Hida’s nature
  • A place to relax
  • A simple and humble atmosphere
  • A modern feel, yet in harmony with the architecture of the building

As the inn will welcome many guests from overseas, specifications and sizes were adjusted accordingly. Local wood and materials were sourced from Hida or the wider Gifu area and great importance was placed on how best to tap into the unique skills of local craftsmen.


Seating in the form of a tatami-mat sofa and stools is placed so as to evoke the image of stones. We aimed to marry the functionality of a hotel lobby with the style, atmosphere and elements of a traditional Japanese space.


The island kitchen was constructed from several locally-grown types of wood, arranged in patchwork style. You can therefore appreciate the variety of colors and textures which Hida hardwood exhibits.

As the workshop area will be used for multiple purposes, including events and meetings, the tables are portable and the chairs lightweight in structure, allowing the layout to be easily transformed.


The beds are crafted from Gifu cypress and Sanchu paper, a local product of great strength made from a type of mulberry. They provide a lower sleeping platform than is typical in Western countries, replicating the feeling of sleeping on a Japanese futon while not compromising on the comfort of guests.

Japanese-style Rooms

The low table and chairs sets are sized and shaped to be used on tatami mats. We considered that normal Japanese tatami chairs may be too low for the comfort of overseas guests, so after experimentation with the design we finally found a happy medium which promotes relaxation while also giving the sensation of spending time on tatami mats.

It was a pleasure to design and create this furniture. We hope it helps you to relax during your stay.

KOIVU Furniture Design
Taketo Suzuki