Japanese Interior Design Principles - Home & Texture
Decorate Japanese Design

Inspired by Japanese Design? Here's How You Can Get The Aesthetic in Your Home

June 29, 2023 at 5:42 PM PST

Japanese interior design is known and loved for its minimalism, tranquility, cleanliness, and focus on natural elements. Creating a home that is inspired by Japanese design encourages you to relax, embrace simplicity and connect to nature. Less is more when it comes to Japanese design. If you’re interested in designing your home inspired by Japanese design, these are the principles you should keep in mind:

Embrace Minimalism

When it comes to Japanese design, there is a huge emphasis on minimalism. The first step you should take is to declutter and remove unnecessary items from your home. Your home should have clean lines, uncluttered surfaces, and simple furniture pieces. Allow each piece in your home to have a purpose and brings a sense of calm.

Natural Materials

Create a connection to nature by incorporating natural materials into your home. Choose furniture and decor made from bamboo, wood, and rattan. These materials add texture to your home as well as reflect the natural element of Japanese design. Use natural fibers for rugs, upholstery, and curtains to enhance your home’s overall aesthetic.

minimalist design home
Photo credit: Thanos Pal

Neutral Color Palette

Japanese design uses a neutral color palette inspired by nature. Select shades of beige, taupe, gray and soft greens for your home. These colors create a tranquil atmosphere. You can add depth and contrast to your space by using accents of black or darker hues.

Sliding Doors or Shoji Screens

Add traditional elements like sliding doors or Shoji screens to your home. This adds a flexible room division while maintaining an open and airy feel. These are prominent in Japanese homes as they add a sense of privacy as well as diffusion of natural light to spaces.

Tatami Mats and Low Furniture

Incorporate traditional Japanese straw mats known as tatami mats into your space to bring an authentic Japanese touch to your home. These mats can be used in seating areas and for flooring. Low furniture pieces like floor cushions, sofas, and coffee tables promote a sense of groundedness, which is an important element in Japanese interior design.

tatami mats. Japanese interior design
Photo credit: Sava Bobov

Zen Outdoor Space

Curate a tranquil outdoor space inspired by Japanese Zen gardens. You can execute this by incorporating gravel, rocks, bonsai trees, and bamboo. Creating a zen outdoor space promotes a peaceful environment that transitions from the interior to the exterior.

Paper Lanterns and Soft Lighting

Achieve a calming atmosphere in your home by using soft, diffused lighting. Paper lanterns and pendant lights are great because they have warm, soft hues.

paper lanterns, Japanese home design
Photo credit: Corey O’Brien

Natural Textures and Patterns

Add natural textures and patterns to your home inspired by Japanese design. This can include bamboo blinds, rice paper screens, and woven baskets. These natural textures add depth to your space. Other textures that will give your home a Japanese design feel are pottery, ikebana (centuries-old art of arranging flowers), or traditional Japanese artwork.

Indoor Plants

Bring elements of the outdoors inside by adding indoor plants. Opt for plants that thrive in low light conditions such as bonsai trees, ferns, and peace Lillies. These plants purify the air and add a touch of greenery and natural beauty to your space.


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