The concept of minimalism seems to be synonymous with Scandinavian interior design these days, inspiring mental images of smooth, crisp and clean furniture in bright neutral colours. However, there are other décor styles out there that adopt the “less is more” mantra in achieving a sense of peace and tranquillity throughout the home.
Zen made its way from China to Japan as far back as the 12th Century, without which we probably wouldn’t have the kare-sansui (Zen garden), ikebana (flower arrangement), Japanese tea ceremonies and other staples of modern day Japanese culture which were inspired by Zen.
For anyone who has travelled to Japan and seen the refreshingly natural and simplistic approach to interior design with their own eyes, you’ve probably had the same idea as everyone else who visits Japan – I’m going to recreate this atmosphere in my own home back in Australia!
And yet, in practice, the subtle nuances of minimalist Japanese Zen interior design are harder to emulate than most of us give credit for. There are elements of Zen interior design which are easily overlooked, yet they are crucial to the overall aesthetic and ambience of an interior space.
Read on for some key Zen interior design tips you can embrace in your Australian home.
1. It’s gotta be natural
What do we mean by this? A few things, actually. Natural materials are a must – Japanese Zen interior design has a tendency to respect genuine craftmanship over mass manufacturing, and any sense of bespoke “one of a kindness” in your furnishings is in line with Japanese values. Think natural wooden furniture items and window furnishing made from natural fibres as a start.
Natural lighting is another essential, and ideally you want to introduce as much natural lighting into the home as you can. This can be achieved by incorporating skylights, large windows and glass doors wherever possible.
Other ways to bring nature into the “great indoors” are to introduce some bonsai trees, Tatami mats (handwoven straw mats which are perfect for keeping your feet warm during the colder months, without needing to wear anything on your feet – a big no-no in Japanese culture), and Shoji.
2. Less is more
3. Keep furniture on the down-low…
Low-height furniture is another crucial component of Zen interior design, and one which will have a strong influence on what furniture you select for your living areas, bedroom, dining room and other spaces in the home.
The origin of the “low furniture” trend can quite simply be traced back to the fact that in Japanese culture it is tradition to sit on cushions or Tatami mats on the floor to maintain good posture.
However, its benefits from an interior design point of view can’t be understated – low-height furniture helps to achieve a sense of vertical spaciousness that complements the minimalist style of Zen interior design.
4. Make an entrance
And finally, Zen interior design is all about emanating a sense of peace, tranquillity and warm invitation right from the moment one walks through the front door. So, if you’re serious about creating a sense of “Zen” in your home, pay particular attention to the interior design of your entryway.
The Japanese embrace a Genkan system that involves lining the entrance of the house with numerous spaces for removing your shoes in a comfortable environment.
One final quick tip for you is to consider investing in wallpapers with Japanese nuances – rice paper or seagrass wallpaper designs are a fantastic addition to any interior space.
Arouse peace and harmony in your home, with FURNISHD.’s Zen minimalist Japanese interior design experts in Australia
At FURNISHD., our talented interior designers will work closely alongside you to achieve a sense of Zen throughout every room of your home. From Scandi design to Bohemian, industrial and the Victorian cottage country charm – we want to help you create your ideal atmosphere and ambience in the home. Book your free consult with FURNISHD. today.