May 17, 2021

Refurb: Arigato – Baxtergate

James Biddle

5 min read


We have recently completed a refurbishment in Loughborough called Arigato. This 5 bed student HMO is now one of the most desirable student property available in Loughborough. The thoughts and concept below are in the words of our interior designer, Laura Dalton.


“I did some research into minimalistic spaces and came across Japandi, a hybrid trend that combines aspects of Scandinavian design with Japanese style.

Despite the geographic distance between Japan and Scandinavia they have a lot in common when it comes to design. Both have calm and harmonious styles, value functionality, simplicity and a love for natural materials. Once I’d done my research and felt I had enough knowledge of the creative combination to put together a mood board I started thinking about elements of nature, contrasting materials and a space I felt really took into consideration the user demographic and how they would interact with the design of the space.


What came next was my journey of realising my design, project management and trying to source all the goods during a pandemic… oh what fun! Adaptability became my middle name as I struggled to source items that would be delivered on time for deadlines… but that’s all part of the design process.


I decided it was a good idea to compliment the minimalistic interior with sleek and beautiful lighting. I went for flush lighting in the hallway in a linear formation to provide those simple but functional elements of Japandi. In contrast I used paper lanterns as a nod to Japanese design styles but by placing multiple lanterns in one area created a warm orb of light which felt like a light installation. In order to enhance the natural light in the rooms I decided to keep all the walls in a light simple colour pallet, opting for a stone colour. This allowed natural light to be filtered through the space in the daytime and was a key element in my design. The furniture I kept simple and minimalistic using bamboo, and oak. The low height beds I sourced from a local company are the punch of black to the neutrally toned space. The artwork I used was produced by me after I spent some time researching Japanese calligraphy and brush stroke art forms. 


My brief is always to have 3 memorable features so I set my mind on what I could bring to a space that would leave people impressed and want to take a snap for good old Instagram!

Whilst Arigato is a host to a lot of my ideas, of which I’m incredibly proud, a few in particular stand out to me. The window seat in the front bedroom is one of them, situated on a low window the window seat made functional use of an otherwise lost space, now it is a warm inviting seating area waiting for future residents to enjoy the evening sun regardless of whether they’re revising or unwinding with friends. Another element of the design was a sumptuous bathroom suite with a walk-in shower, large stone tiles and black bathroom fittings, it had such an edge with the black, but the natural colours of the tiles and walls really represented the Scandinavian colour pallet. Similar to this was another stand out for me, the salt stone sink fitted in the kitchen, this breaks up the clean simple lines of the work top it’s such a feature and a sink you won’t easily come across or forget, teamed with the horizontal wood grain of the handless cupboards this is a kitchen that dreams are made of.


One of the crowning jewels of this project is the gorgeous terrace, walking out onto a tiled area that then flows into a grassed space with modern garden furniture extending the Japandi theme outside of the apartment. The space is versatile and will work to benefit all the needs of the future residents, from morning coffee and yoga, to alfresco lunches and late night get togethers.

As a creative designer of spaces that are for young adults it was my aim to offer up a new level of student accommodation, one that encapsulates the future of HMOs and one that students can thrive in.”


I’m sure you’ll agree from the photos below that Laura has done a fantastic job and we are delighted to be offering this to our student portfolio.