The Japanese Style Formula: 5 Tips For a More Peaceful Home

published Oct 28, 2014
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(Image credit: Tracy Leigh Morgan)

Sure, you love sushi and can say sayonara but if you need a brush-up on Japanese design sensibilities then we’ve got you. Get your home feeling a little more calm and peaceful by taking a few tips from classic Japanese design.

1. Keep it clean — Your lines, that is. Japanese style is often about minimalism. Lines are straight, silhouettes are simple and smooth surfaces prevail.

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2. Embrace your small space — Spaces in Japan may be small but homes stay functional thanks multitasking spaces. Rooms often transition from one purpose to another with sliding walls or portable room dividers.

3. Nuture nature — Organic, raw materials are perfect for creating calm in a home. Think plants, smooth rocks or, extra credit, a water feature for some added sound conditioning. Wood and bamboo are common design and building materials which just adds to the outside-inside mentality.

(Image credit: Aaron Able)

4. Make space for an entry —Most Japanese homes prioritize space for an entryway, called a genkan. This is a place — from as big as a porch to as small as a mat — where you can remove your shoes and change into house slippers. This handy trick creates a physical barrier between the street and the home which minimizes dirt.

5. Don’t forget the floor — Traditional Japanese rooms make great use of the floor with plenty of pillows and cushions for use as seating. When there is furniture, it tends to be very low to the ground (or on the ground itself).