We all lead hectic lives. It’s no surprise that after working all day and schlepping the kids to activities, we want come home to something a little calmer. The easiest way to do that is by simplifying our interiors.
Folks looking to bring more simplicity into their homes should look toward Japanese interior design for inspiration. With a strong focus on clean lines and negative space, Asian-inspired interiors are almost as calm as it gets.
Of course, the question becomes how to bring this style into your own home. Don’t worry, we have the answers
If we had to name the most important concept in Japanese design, there would be no contest. It would be an effective use negative space. The Japanese have a concept called “Ma”, the practice of leaving gaps between compositional elements. These gaps are essential to creating harmony and consciousness of place.
So, how do you achieve negative space that looks both pretty and purposeful?
Start with a single focal point. Keep in mind that a focal point does not have to refer to just one element. Sometimes it can refer to a unified collection of elements that define the room’s purpose. Think about grouping two couches to create a seating area in your living room or keeping your dining room simple by focusing the entire room around your table and chairs.
Once you have your focal point, arrangement is key. Japanese interiors thrive off of symmetry and balance. Focus on creating mirror images when putting your furniture in place.
Where Japanese furniture is concerned, simplicity is key. There are no overstuffed sofas or ornate dining chairs here. Instead, when it comes to furniture, focus on sleek looks that put function in the forefront.
As you shop for furniture, concentrate on finding pieces that appear minimalist. Ideally you should search for designs that feature straight lines and clean corners. Opt for furnishings made of natural materials whenever possible.
In addition to the look of the furniture, if you want to fully embrace Japanese style, you should also consider size. More specifically, you need to focus on the height of the pieces you choose. Japanese homes often feature tabletops – especially dining tables – that sit lower to the ground.
Like western style interiors, many Japanese-inspired rooms adhere to the 60-30-10 Rule when it comes to color. (For those unfamiliar, this principle dictates that 60% of an interior should feature a neutral shade, 30% should focus on a secondary color, and the final 10% should be a brighter accent color.)
Black and white are commonly used as the neutral base of a room, but Bamboo can also considered a neutral since it is so popular in Japanese homes.
When it comes time to pick secondary colors, all you have to do is look out the window. Japanese interiors take inspiration from nature. You’ll want to focus on rich browns, leafy greens, and stone grays. When choosing shades, pick a muted tone over one that especially bold.
But, of course, there is an exception to every rule and in this case it’s the color red. In Japanese culture, red is associated with life, energy, and vitality, so you will often see red hues incorporated throughout a design scheme. Choose red as your accent color and use it to draw attention to the design elements you love most. Try a rich set of couch cushions or a wall hanging that highlights red shades.