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INTERIOR TRENDS | 5 words you should know now about Japanese design

Do you know what is Japandi style?

I was writing about the Japandi style as a key trend in interior in this post back in 2017. The term is a fusion between two words, Japanese plus Scandinavian , to identify a new style which blends Nordic design with Japanese influences.

Three years later, this interior trend is only at the beginning as in current days we are seeing more and more a fusion between western and eastern design. The trend became even more stronger due to the pandemic, when an increasing awareness of the importance of the well-being during the lockdown brought many traditional oriental values in our homes. Just think about terms like Yoga, Feng-shui, Ayurveda, just to name the most popular ones.

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Talking about interior design, Japanese design is definitely influencing a lot our homes, as well as the furniture and decor companies, which are taking more and more inspiration from the Far East country. I collected in this article some elements of Japanese homes and design which are trending now to try at home.



5 words you should know about Japanese design

1 / Kanso design


Kanso is the Japanese word equivalent of feng-shui. As we were explaining in this post about how to decorate with feng-shui , Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art that aims to use energy forces for better harmony with the surroundings. Deriving from Zen Buddhism, kanso is also based in considering the movement of energy before designing any room. Kanso is also the term for the Japanese minimalist aesthetic, which encourages to keep only what is necessary, to allow more space in the room. In fact, the more objects in a room, the harder it is for energy to flow freely, creating a hectic and stressing environment.

Needless to say, people are re-discovering a zen approach to interior design as a consequence to a particularly stressing and difficult historical moment.



Boutique Homes

Japanese style interior

Boutique Homes


2 /  Noguchi lamps

Maybe you don’t know that the proper name for the rice-paper lamps, that are so common now in our homes ( thinks for example about IKEA ones) is Noguchi lamp. This name comes from a famous Japanese-American sculptor, Isamu Noguchi, that during a travel in Gifu took inspiration by the lanterns used by night fisherman out. He learned the traditional Gifu method of paper construction and created his lamps, which he called Akari – “light”, in Japanese.

Noguchi lamps are made of two basic elements, a bamboo frame and handmade paper. The paper is then cut into strips and glued to the bamboo framework, giving a delicate and ethereal light effect which inspired many lamps designs later on. Round or with other geometrical shapes, extra big or in groups, from the floor of from the ceiling, rice-paper lamps are definitely one of the most trending lights nowadays. Here a selection of some beautiful Noguchi lamps.

|| Be inspired:



Refettorio Felix

3 / Ofuro baths


As we were reporting in this post with the decor trends for 2021 as seen in Pinterest, researches for Japanese soaking tubs went up to +563% , especially popular in Australia and New Zealand. For sure you have noticed them as well: small and deep bath tubs in wood, with a clean and geometric design.

The correct name of the Japanese bath tubs is Ofuro. They are made of hiroki wood – Japanese cypress wood – and have been used for centuries in Japan while keeping the same design. Anyways, the Japanese concept of bathing is very different from the Western one: more than just a way to clean the body, for the Japanese bathing in hot water is a sort of spiritual ritual that cleanses, rejuvenates and heals the mind, body and spirit. In fact, users always bathe before entering the tub, because Japanese bathing rituals are centered around relaxation and warming the body, not just cleaning. Ofuro tubs are smaller and deeper than a standard bathtub and have a bench seat where to relax.




4 / Yakisugi wood


Wood has always been the protagonist in Japanese traditional homes. Today, 58.9 % of homes in Japan are still built from wood, with timber as the most common used building material.

Lately, the trend towards darker woods brought to the rediscovery of a traditional Japanese method of wood preservation, called Yakisugi ( or Shou Sugi Ban).

Yakisugi is a traditional Japanese method of wood preservation. That is, an ancient Japanese architectural technique that was used to preserve wood by charring the surface with a hot flame. Traditionally was performed on Sugi wood, which is a Japanese cedar, and it is a method that enhances durability of wood without the need of chemicals, paints and other treatments. Besides being 100% sustainable, this method also gives a beautiful blackened finish which is becoming very on trend this year.

|| Learn more about the traditional Japanese wooden architecture 




5 / Kintsugi and Raku ceramics


We already talked about the Kintsugi ceramic art when exploring the wabi-sabi trend .  In fact, the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics by using lacquer mixed with powdered gold, reflects the philosophy of “finding beauty in imperfection” typical of Japanese culture. In fact, Kintsugi teaches how creaks can make an object unique and irreplaceable, and that history is part of an object. This method became really popular lately in the Western ceramic art.

Another word you should know is Raku , a type of Japanese pottery traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, most often in the form of tea bowls. It is a type of low-firing process for making ceramic which brings beautiful  crackled glaze surfaces, black smoked unglazed clay or even beautiful metallic effects.



Be inspired / Japandi style

How to get the perfect Japandi interior style in your home