9 simple ideas to copy from Japanese home design

April Kennedy April Kennedy
House of Nishimikuni arbol Modern Living Room
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Japanese home designs have an undeniably tranquil touch. Although they are often described as minimalist, this is just a contemporary label that barely begins to cover the rich history of thought behind the aesthetic. Japanese interior design is deeply influenced by Zen philosophy and the smallest, most humble features are often imbued with a significance that's easy to miss. These are homes with a gentle, poetic sort of beauty.

So what are the simplest lessons to learn from Japanese home design? Well, words can’t do them justice so let’s explore the ideas through some beautiful Japanese interiors.

1. A home can feel luxurious with modest furnishings

House of Nishimikuni arbol Modern Living Room

House of Nishimikuni


Luxury isn’t all about fancy furniture. An atmosphere of abundance can be created with natural elements and modest, simple furnishings.

2. Platforms can be used to separate living areas

Open plan living areas can be separated very effectively with simple platforms. They create psychological boundaries around the living zones and don’t block the flow of natural light.

3. Minimalist homes feel warm and cosy with wood

The simplest and most austere minimalist interior can look warm and cosy with the simple addition of natural wood. The textures and grain of the natural wood are perfect for neutral colour schemes too.

4. Simplicity is divine

A simple interior is incredibly calming and peaceful. It’s perfect for those who love an uncluttered lifestyle. It also draws attentions to the simple beauty of the space. Check out this Japanese bathroom for inspiration.

5. It helps to think differently about the windows

There are plenty of ways to build a window into a home in a densely populated urban space. Panel windows and surprising portals to the outside world could be another option.

6. It's important to prioritise quiet spaces

Little nooks, reading corners and odd little spaces in the home can be transformed into cosy little living areas with the right accessories. All you need are some simple comfy floor cushions.

7. Custom fit furniture adds a seamless, simply quality to the home

Custom fit furniture is just about the perfect way to create a simple, streamlined minimalist interior. It looks great when the materials match the floors and walls. It also makes the most of every little inch of space.

8. Never waste space

Japanese homes, particularly in Tokyo, are known for their incredibly small and efficient layouts. These are homes where multi-functional furniture reigns. Check out the storage cabinet beneath this wooden platform.

10. Every urban home can have a mini oasis

Every single home can have a little garden oasis when you build in a private courtyard. It could even be a tiny square of space with some very high walls.

For more inspiration have a look at 15 of the best tiling ideas we've seen this year.

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