A Guide to Modern Japanese Interior Design

The cross-pollination of different inspirations has become one of the driving forces that has led interior design to be an aesthetic-laden field. From using the principles of minimalist interior design, mid-century modern, contemporary, and others, homeowners have a plethora of styles they can opt for and what feelings they want their space to emulate. But as of lately, there is one style that people are fond of, and that is modern Japanese interior design.

Modern Japanese Interior Design

Rooted in tradition, Japanese Interior Design stems from principles of minimalism, natural materials, and sleek and clean lines. This kind of interior design has inspired Western architecture as well as interior designers around the globe. The most prominent features of these Japanese-designed living rooms and bedrooms are simple furniture, empty walls, and touches of neutral color. But at its core is the concept of less is more.

Principles of Japanese Interior Design

The best interior designers are aware that Japanese design principles exhibit a keen appreciation and deep respect for the natural world. That is why some of the principles that they implement for designing interior spaces incorporate natural materials such as stone, glass, and wood. These cohesive natural palettes exude natural energy. Interior designers also combined interior and exterior space by having windows from floor to ceiling and sliding doors that allow the fresh air from the garden to enter. While in terms of simplicity, the avoidance of clutter or excess materials is applied in order to reduce what they call “interior noise”. Symbolism is also practiced in the interiors of Japanese-designed homes. Significant symbols are placed with intention and not just for mere aesthetics, as it is believed that they can enrich one’s lifestyle.

Difference between Traditional and Modern Japanese Design

Known for sustaining both traditional and modern cultures, Japanese culture has also maintained both its traditional and modern interior design. This binary design is apparent in their interior spaces that continue to mirror their past and reflect their future. The difference between the two is primarily the materials in terms of concrete and steel that are being used. Also, the varying methods of construction create a clear distinction between the two. These two principles have influenced some of the best interior designers in the Philippines to design interior spaces by incorporating both, giving a marriage of the past and the present.

The Elements of Japanese-style interior design


A Japanese-designed interior space uses the principle of lighting and illumination as something that is palpable. This principle applies to the idea of natural light, which is lively, glowing, and has that natural touch. That is why Japanese modern minimalist interior design has large windows, glass doors, and skylights to be able to have that almost natural lighting.

Natural Materials

As mentioned earlier, Japanese interior design uses natural materials to mimic the natural world. Paper, bamboo, and rice straw matt are used by interior designers to add natural texture and accent. With a splash of greens, blues, brown, beige and other natural colors, Japanese-styled interiors create an outdoor feeling.

Fusuma and Limited Wall

Fusuma is used in interior house design in the Philippines that adheres to the Japanese style principle. These Fusumas are rice or bamboo paper sliding doors that are basically doors and walls but are movable to easily alter the layout of the interior. By choosing this one, a harmonious flow between the interior and exterior is achieved. Hence, a natural flow between one’s home and their environment exist.


Urban spaces also use Fusuma to maximize the limited space. With this, modular design is deployed by interior designers when one chooses a Japanese style for their condos and apartments in the big city. They also tend to practice the notion of displaying essential furniture only to create a spacious space.

Minimalist shade and color

White has been a symbol of purity in Japanese culture. This color has long been used in Japanese interior design, both in interior design and décor. This fits perfectly with the minimalist approach of Japanese-style interiors.

Furnishings and Accessories in Japanese Style

The natural elements of Japanese interior design make it one of the most popular master bedroom interior design ideas. To achieve a cozy space, Japanese-style furniture and accessories are essential to add a cozy and relaxing vibe to the room. Wood, particularly cedar and bamboo, is a key material in modern Japanese design, which emphasizes a strong connection with nature.

Mostly, the Japanese style incorporates low-to-the-ground furniture, so invest in simple side tables and bed frames. For an authentic look, opt for a low plank table surrounded by floor cushions to add a sense of homeliness. In order to maintain harmony within an interior, furniture, chairs, and accessories should be designed in the same color palette and be made from the same materials as the interior finishes. Maintain a minimalist aesthetic with natural materials such as light wood finishes or porcelain dishware. Accessories like paintings and traditional Japanese plants (ideally bonsai and bamboo) in the interior will also provide a Japanese cultural touch.

Rock Robins Design Studio’s Project

A recent project completed by Rock Robins Design Studio involved recreating a Japanese-inspired interior design by using bright, natural materials such as wood in an effort to evoke a sense of nostalgia for the client’s second home. To complement contemporary furniture and accessories, the design team used restrained colors such as crisp white and light beige. The use of indoor plants was also a Japanese style staple to add a splash of color and natural beauty to the room. The team also incorporated white and wood palettes into cabinets, side tables, and chairs to create the illusion of an open space and provide a sense of comfort and relaxation. Its use of simple, clean-lined colors and materials lends the room a Japanese-style appearance.

The aesthetics of Japanese modern design center on a harmonious environment that places a high priority on balance, order, heritage, and a love for nature. Interiors with Japanese influences create a calm and meditative atmosphere that will make us want to remain at home instead of living it. An interior designer can assist you in creating your ideal Japanese interior design by bringing your ideas to life. Providing interior layouts and curating the selection of furniture and fixtures are some of the services provided in interior design to achieve a functional and visually appealing space.

As one of the leading interior designers in the Philippines, Rock Robins and his design team offer comprehensive expertise in the field of residential and commercial interior design. With our commitment to providing up-to-date design planning, we are able to meet the vision of our clients and provide them with a feeling of both comfort and convenience. For more information regarding our services, you may contact us at (02) 8663 0365 or send us an enquiry.

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