The design world is full of terms and names for distinct styles. Many consumers and interior design enthusiasts may know what they like, but not what the style they gravitate toward is called. KUKUN is here to give you expert advice on what characterizes a style, so you can find your personal interior design aesthetic.

What is Japanese design?

Japan is a country that’s definitely not short on style. From thoughtfully landscaped gardens to onsen, from Kyushu to Hokkaido, there are many inspirational spaces that characterize Japanese design. Here are a few aspects of Japanese design to consider when deciding if this is the style for you and your home.


Japan is a country of small apartments and houses. If you’re going for a Japanese look, know that less is more, and clutter is nonexistent. This design style is pure, simple, and organized, so it may be a wise idea to begin transforming your space with a good decluttering. Think necessary – which things do you truly need in your space? Get rid of the knickknacks and return to basics.


Think understated, simple elegance. Japanese style is eye-catching, but not because of its opulence. Subdued yet striking pieces are the way to go with this design style. Look for things that are artistic, original, functional, and sophisticated. The tansu design for under the stairs provides a unique storage solution that’s nice to look at and keeps items out of sight.


There is a sense of peace, quiet, and deliberation everywhere you go in Japan. Even in the bustling city of Tokyo, people respect each others’ space by not looking at others, and not touching them, even in crowds. Natural elements such as wood, bamboo, greenery, and rock help create a peaceful vibe in Japanese interior design. There is an overall feel of spiritualism and sophistication in Japan, and this is also reflected in the architecture and design. Minimalism could have been invented here (and maybe it was). Quiet color schemes and thoughtful details are used to create stunning, relaxing spaces.

Past and present

In Japan, traditions are honored, and modernity is heralded. An extremely modern, sleek, high-tech world combines with a very old, rooted, traditional one. A mix of tradition (natural, quiet, simple) and modernism (high-tech, man-made, minimal) is present in Japanese design.


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Three reasons you may like Japanese design
1. Clutter-free and organized
2. Peaceful – you’ll feel calm in your space
3. Simplicity is key

Understanding Japanese Design was last modified: August 20th, 2018 by Lucile Glessner

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