Over 6,700 miles from home, 22-year-old Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura wanted to feel comfortable in his new Washington apartment. So in September, three months after the Wizards made him the first Japanese player selected in the first round of the NBA draft, Hachimura’s agent contacted BoConcept, a Danish high-end furniture company located in 65 countries, to help furnish his apartment.
BoConcept flew in Japanese interior designer Yuka Ota to design the apartment. Ota’s team, in conjunction with BoConcept’s Georgetown location, created a floor plan proposal according to Hachimura’s unique specifications, including a walk-in sneaker closet, a custom made “ultra king” size mattress and a modular sofa for gaming. The process took six months, so BoConcept had to lend Hachimura furniture in the meantime.
“He had a blank apartment, basically,” BoConcept Director of U.S. Marketing, Steen Knigge, said over the phone to NBC Sports Washington. “When he moved in in October, it was completely bare.”
According to Knigge, Hachimura was familiar with BoConcept from Japan.
“Rui really liked BoConcept from Japan. It’s a big brand there and it’s very much in line with the Japanese design affinity,” Knigge said.
“Japan and Scandanavia have actually, for 150 years, have worked together in terms of design, so you will find the same design in Japan as you would in Denmark, so that’s probably one of the main reasons why he chose BoConcept because it fits completely with the affinity that he has with design,” Knigge said.
United States interior design is characterized by bright colors and leather furnishings, while Japanese interior design is characterized by darker colors and fabric textiles for furnishings, a design aspect that Hachimura preferred when choosing the furniture for his apartment — all custom created.
“In Japan, we don’t do much leather. They much prefer fabric, and in that case also dark fabric,” Knigge said. “In that sense, it fit him completely.”
Influenced by Japanese interior design, Hachimura selected colors and fabric that aligned with his unique style.
“Whether it’s clothes, cars, or just things in general, I like it simplistically styled but with an element of coolness,” Hachimura said in a video provided by BoConcept. “That’s why I like BoConcept, because of their sleek but clever designs.”
BoConcept’s custom, made-to-order furniture allowed Hachimura to create the apartment of his dreams and to his unique specifications, including his 6-foot-8-inch frame that required an “ultra king” size mattress, which was not photographed due to Hachimura’s wishes for privacy.
“From the get-go, he was excited and said, ‘that’s exactly what I want,'” Knigge said.
Aside from the bed, Hachimura wanted somewhere to fit all of his sneakers, so an entire room in his apartment was turned into a custom, walk-in sneaker closet.
“He works with Nike so he has a ton of sneakers and he needed a closet for all those sneakers that fit them because he’s a size 17, so it couldn’t be a regular shoe closet because they don’t fit,” Knigge said.
Hachimura was also meticulous about the design of his sofa. As an avid-gamer and nearly 7 feet tall, he needed room to stretch out.
“I’m very particular about my sofa, and I chose one that is big and comfortable, even I can stretch out and relax here,” Hachimura said. “I love this backrest too because I can adjust the height so easily. Also, the color and fabric are brilliant too.”
Another one of Hachimura’s wishes was to create a space his family can feel comfortable when they visit, so an expandable dining table was a must.
“I currently live alone, but my family visits often so I’ve tried to create a space where we all can enjoy each other,” Hachimura said.
After six months, Hachimura’s apartment was outfitted with the furniture he helped to design, making him feel more at home in the District.
“Now my furniture makes me feel totally at ease and comfortable in my home,” Hachimura said. “The size, materials and everything about it fit me so well.”
“I’m very happy with it and I know that he is ecstatic about it,” Knigge said.
Although thousands of miles away from home, Hachimura finds comfort within the confines of his new home in D.C.
“I’m thrilled I’ve managed to create a relaxing space I can enjoy with my family,” Hachimura said.
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