Not only are Japanese-inspired interiors endlessly stylish, they also offer the ultimate in uncluttered, space-saving ideas. Property in large cities like Tokyo comes at a premium, and so many people live in apartments that are minuscule in terms of square footage. This is why interior design in Japan focuses on minimal design along with clever features to maximise space. So which of these design features can you use in your own home?
Live in tandem with nature
As we've already seen, bringing nature inside is a big interior design trend in 2017. The Japanese have been doing this for centuries, with the intertwining of their indoor and outdoor lives a key feature of a peaceful home. Panoramic windows looking out onto outside spaces are popular, but for an easier fix, choose some greenery to place around the home, like bamboo, orchids or bonsai trees. You will not find large multi-coloured bouquets in a Japanese home, so when choosing flowers or plants remember to opt for sleek, simple and green.
Screens and sliding doors
You will recognise 'shoji' from any image or movie set in a Japanese home. These are the sliding screens that separate rooms in the home, and which are made up of translucent paper - to allow natural light to pour through - within a wooden frame. Their sliding design means that not one inch of precious space is wasted by a swinging door, and the extra natural light allowed by using paper instead of wood makes any space seem larger. Imitate this ingenious design fix in your bedroom by choosing sliding wardrobes (with sliding wardrobe doors), and have the rest of the room's furniture - such as a night table and vanity unit - custom-built to match. The eye will glide over the whole set and its unity will make your room feel fresher and larger.
You won't find clutter in Japanese homes, and the relatively small amount of furniture there is will be clean-lined and constructed using natural wood. Lighting could be either angular and in-keeping with a modern theme, or you could plump for more traditional paper lanterns. It is important to remember that to live truly minimally, everything you own must have a function and live in a particular place. If an object doesn't serve a purpose, then bin it; this way you'll never have to contend with drawers teeming with odds and ends again.
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