Home & Kitchen Inspiration from Japanese-Style Apartments

by Courtney Thompson

Japanese interior design can be a great source of inspiration to create a sleek and unique living space and kitchen in your own home. Although Japanese homes are often minimalistic, they are anything but boring. Japanese home design features a lot of modern art influences with a focus on texture and natural elements. Wabi-sabi is a popular philosophy in Japanese design that comes from Buddhism, and it encourages embracing simplicity and imperfections. These principles lead to designs that feel natural and comfortable, while still being modern. If you’re designing a new place or considering redesigning your current place, take some inspiration from these Japanese-style apartment ideas!

The first way to use Japanese design in your home doesn’t necessarily require purchasing any new items. One of the best features of Japanese apartments is that, despite their small size, they feel open and functional. Japanese apartment design is amazing at incorporating stylish and functional items into a smaller space. To apply this to your own home, rearrange your furniture to make your living space both open and practical. Remove any clutter and rethink poorly used spaces to make them function better for your lifestyle. Most people are familiar with Marie Kondo, Japanese author and organizing consultant, and her philosophy of getting rid of items that no longer bring you joy is great to keep in mind when reorganizing your home.

Another great way to make a living space feel more open is to incorporate light colors and allow as much light as possible inside. If you don’t have the best natural lighting, a well-placed lamp could double as a light source and a great statement piece. You can also remove bulky curtains or shades in favor of something simpler that leaves your windows more open when drawn.

Another easy Japanese-inspired way to revamp your home is by adding some interesting textures. Even when Japanese homes are very simple and monochromatic, they feel very stylish and inviting because of the use of texture. Adding a textured rug or some textured decorative pillows is a great way to incorporate this design element into your space.

If you want to take on a bigger project, you can add texture to existing surfaces in your home using contact paper. This has become popular in Japan using a product called Remake Sheets, but if you live in America or any other country, you can buy contact paper that mimics the texture of cork, wood, marble, and more. This is a great way to freshen up your kitchen especially, and you can use it to cover your countertops, cabinets, or even your fridge depending on the existing surfaces. Japanese kitchens often feature a lot of warm wooden finishes, so this is any easy way to add those elements without replacing entire fixtures.

Japanese homes also feature a lot of natural elements throughout, so consider adding some to your home. Having natural elements in your home can make you feel more connected to nature, and they can also work nicely in contrast with more modern furniture pieces or designs. Of course adding plants is a great idea, but you can also try adding anything from clay vases and art pieces to simple wicker baskets. If you are thinking of adding larger furniture pieces to your home, opt for wooden ones to give your space warmth and depth.

One last tip to add Japanese design inspiration to your home is to invest in some art pieces to complement your space. Since Japanese homes tend to be more minimalistic, they often feature a few pieces of art that are the focal points of the room. You could display some pieces of pottery or art prints on a bookcase or freestanding shelf to showcase them, or you can invest in a larger photograph or painting to hang on the wall. Art pieces that aren’t too bold in color and feature dynamic lines will go nicely in a Japanese-inspired home.

These Japanese-inspired design ideas can make a big difference in your space. They can make your home feel more balanced and look effortlessly stylish. Try any combination of these design tips to refresh your home or start designing it from scratch!

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