Get The Look: The Japanese House style

We’re taking inspiration from the amazing exhibition at London’s Barbican Gallery today by choosing Japanese style furniture and accessories. Keep the look light and clean with pale walls for the authentic look. Add in bursts of rich colour with art and accessories. Here’s how.


About the Modern Japanese look

The Japanese style, as exemplified by the current exhibit at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, combines light woods, clean lines, minimalist spaces and plant life to create inviting spaces that can be used for a number of residential and commercial applications. If you’re looking for a timeless, modern look for your home, this Japanese-inspired design style may be just what you’re seeking. To get a peek at this design motif, make sure to visit the new Japanese House exhibit at the Barbican Art Gallery in central London.

About the Barbican Exhibition

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945 at the Barbican Art Gallery in London is the first major UK exhibition to focus on Japanese domestic architecture from the end of the Second World War to now, a design era that has produced a number of iconic designers and architects. The exhibit, which runs until June 25, 2017, features more than 200 objects, including architects’ models, photographs, drawing and home furnishings.

The exhibit, located at the Barbican Centre in London, is open to the public Saturday to Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Thursday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Admission is £ 14.50 for adults and £ 10 for students.


Get the Modern Japanese House style at home

Below are a few ideas to help you put together your own Japanese-inspired room or rooms. There are some great accessories also to be had in the Barbican Exhibition Shop.

Time for Tea

This whimsical tea pot from the Barbican exhibition shop by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa for Alessi gives just the right amount of fancy to your Japanese House style room. The sleek lines and shiny finish are right in keeping with this design motif. £ 145.

Matcha Bowl

We also love this ceramic matcha bowl (£30) on sale to accompany the exhibition. Made in Japan, it’s finished in a royal blue, with subtle variations of colour giving a mottled watercolour effect. It would look just as cool as a small decorative bowl rather than to drink from!




Geometric Noguchi Lamp

This hanging lamp from Heal’s with a geometric paper shade perfectly evokes the mid-20th-century Japanese designer Isamu Noguchi’s work. It adds just a little bit of texture to your Japanese-inspired room. From £ 259.

Subtle storage

Storage can be a problem in a Japanese style room. You need places to stow essentials out of sight without ruining the sleek, minimalist lines of this look. This 2×2 drawer set in walnut by MUJI adds to the streamlined Japanese style while still giving you a handy place to conveniently store the television remote, the novel you’re reading and other items. £ 79.95.

Functional not fancy

This angular console table by Doshi Levien for John Lewis, while not produced by a Japanese designer, makes a nice complement to the Japanese House style. This simple lines and white finish add both function and beauty to your room. £ 499.

Under foot softness

This 6′ x 9′ Tilia rug by Andrew Martin has subtle diamond shapes and a grey/taupe hue that will soften you Japanese style room without adding a lot of unnecessary colour. Plus, this rugs softness will keep you returning to this room again and again. £ 270.

Reflected calm

The right mirror can help extend the dimensions of your Japanese-inspired style room and help bring the outdoor light indoors. This wall mirror by Habitat is made of white birch and is large enough to reflect a good amount of sunlight. £ 80.

Streamlined sleeping

This sleek Teramo bed by Ercol at Feather and Black mimics the look of the Japanese style very well. Its simple wooden lines and slatted headboard will complement any Japanese-inspired bedroom. £745

Sleek and silver

This rectangular tray from Artisanti supports the Japanese style too but adds a touch of glamour. It combines form and function by giving you a place to corral your possessions while also adding a chic accessory to your room. £ 74.

Lost in the Woods…

This “Lost in the Woods…” print by Bladbjerg may have been created by a European artist, but it embodies the love of nature that is at the heart of mid-century Japanese style. This limited edition of 100 screen prints makes a great alternative to decorating with live plants. £70

Modern Japanese Prints

Habitat have just released a new set of prints featuring cool Japanese typography. Tamago Buddies is a collaboration between award winning London based designers, Mami Kim and Joe Hardy which combines 60’s Japanese Showa-era colours with onomatopoeic sound graphics commonly found in Manga. Print shown £55.

Versatile seating

This large neutral-coloured footstool with wooden legs can be used as a footstool, for storage and as extra seating in your Japanese style room. It’s lightweight, so it can be stowed out of the way when you aren’t using it. £ 625.50

Incorporating the Japanese look to your home decor is all about getting the right mixture of subtle colours, sleek lines and well-chosen fabrics and useful accessories like live plants and wooden boxes and cabinets. With a little time and effort, Japanese style can give your home that light and ethereal look that will look fresh and new for decades to come.

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