Japanese Style Interior Space-Saving Secrets for Your Home

22 Oct, 2020

When Marie Kondo’s method of tidying up became famous in Singapore, it became an inspiration, motivating a lot of people to clean and organize their home, too. The KonMari Method is quintessentially Japanese. It encourages cleaning up by category instead of location: Start with clothes, followed by books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items in that order. The goal? Keep only the things that ‘spark joy’ and discard those that do not.

After seeing how much space can be freed in the home once all the unnecessary objects are removed, many people are inspired to go a step further and pursue a Japanese-style home renovation. Does this sound like you? Do you want to do a house renovation in Singapore following Japanese design approaches and aesthetics? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Sliding doors

“Shoji” refers to traditional Japanese sliding doors made with wooden frames and fine, translucent paper. Modern versions still look pretty much the same but are sturdier, with transparent, translucent, or opaque glass panels instead of paper.

Sliding doors are great alternatives if you want to save space in your home. They do not obstruct paths when opening or closing. These traditional doors also diffuse natural light instead of blocking it. The wooden panels also look amazing and can add warmth to your space.

When incorporating sliding doors in a contemporary Singapore home design, try hanging drapes along with them, especially if you’re using transparent or translucent glass. This way, you can still have some privacy when required. Just open the curtains to let more natural light from the windows reach other parts of the home when you want.

Diffused lighting

Before modern Japan, homes and public spaces alike had outdoor lanterns (called chochin) and indoor standing lanterns (called andon) along with oil lamps. The Japanese traditionally applied handmade paper on the lanterns and lamps to diffuse light.

Why is diffused lighting important? Because direct light can be harsh. By diffusing it, you can create a more relaxed vibe in your space. The same principle is applied to Japanese tatami lamps or bamboo table lamps. So if you are considering a house renovation in Singapore to create calmer surroundings, you may want to add some diffused lighting to your home.

Plants for Zen

Have you heard of the terms ‘Zen’ and ‘Wabi-Sabi’? Zen refers to having everything in harmony, and Wabi Sabi refers to living a perfectly imperfect lifestyle. The latter is a Japanese philosophy where you accept your imperfections and make the most of your life. Both are used as the basis for creating aesthetically pleasing and calm living spaces.

Combining natural and simple objects with house plants is the best way to strike that balance. Unpolished rock surfaces and wooden furniture are some examples of natural objects that you can use as décor around your home. It’s also important to incorporate greenery in your space. As you choose and arrange plants, make sure they are not herded together or too bulky to the point where your home ends up looking like a mini jungle. Place them as individual elements—making sure that there is “breathing space” around them—for a minimalist look.

If your home in Singapore is quite small or you can’t have plants indoors for whatever reason, take a cue from the Japanese: Put up images of plants, branches, or photographs of cherry blossoms on that space. That way, you can still incorporate some nature into your daily life even if you don’t have the square footage (or the green thumb) for potted plants.

Thinking of raising hard money plants? Grow them in small pots and place them in your living spaces, on your bedside table, and in your bathroom. Their presence can make a difference in adding some elements of Zen in those areas.

Open concept storage spaces

One of the most noticeable features you will notice in Japanese homes is how organized everything looks. Most are space-savvy and adopt an open-storage concept in their kitchen. With this arrangement, baskets and bins are allotted for certain types of items, and every space is maximized, including the area above the sink. It is not uncommon to find some shelves placed or built over it for draining the washed items.

The kitchen is typically filled with many different items, like pots and pans, spices, and condiments. By providing designated areas for every category of items, your interior can look more organized, space-savvy, and visually attractive instead of cluttered and busy.

So, as you figure out an appropriate Singapore home design, don’t forget your kitchen and your storage spaces. Is there any wasted space? Can that area accommodate an organizational rack or shelf? Be creative. Open concept storage can also go beyond the kitchen and into your bedroom or bathroom.

Wood elements

Wood is one of the most common materials you will find in a Japanese home, making it a great option if you are thinking of adopting Japanese-style interiors during your house renovation in Singapore.

If you are considering a drastic home makeover, consider changing your flooring to wood or use vinyl or laminate that resembles it. From there, you can set up symmetrical and minimalistic light wooden sculptures. Just make sure that the wood items you choose have the same colour and shade, so they do not clash with one another.

The bottom line

When it comes to saving space and styling your home the Japanese way, always remember minimalism that consists of simple designs and clean lines. Try your best to avoid clutter in the long run. Keep your home properly organized so you can maintain a minimalist look and feel. You don’t have to clean everything thoroughly every day. Just make sure to put things back where they belong, and you can always come home to your own a Zen space.

Get help from the experts

Not sure where to start with your Singapore home design? SHE Interior is here for you.

We are a full-service Singapore-based interior design company that is focused on delivering design and service excellence to our clients. Our team is composed of experienced, down-to-earth, and professional designers who work together with skilled craftsmen and reliable contractors to bring your vision and home interior design in Singapore to life.

SHE Interior Design Pte. Ltd. specializes in home design and renovation. Our services also extend to the office and commercial space renovations, as well as alterations and additions. You may also consult with us for budget and space planning before you proceed with your renovation. We also provide free design consultations should you need some professional advice to help you plan your project more effectively and according to your budget.

We are proud to be among the best renovation firms in Singapore. We are looking forward to working with you to execute your dream interior design. Feel free to contact or chat with us to get started. You can also check out our client testimonials and our portfolio of projects we have worked on over the years.



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