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Bring calm and quiet into your home with these Japanese design-inspired pieces

Turn to the principles of Kanso – simplified shapes, raw materials and natural hues – for a piece that celebrates craftsmanship

By House & Garden South Africa | February 4, 2022 | Trends

Let’s be clear on one thing: Japanese design is far too nuanced and varied to be encapsulated in a simple shopping story like this. Deeply rooted in the nation’s culture and tradition, you could write books on the topic (and many have been written) that highlight the philosophies and practices of, to name a few, wabi-sabi (the aesthetic view that finds beauty in the imperfect), kintsugi (the mending of broken pottery with visible seams of gold), shou sugi ban (the technique of preserving timber by charring its surface with open flame) – really, the list is as long as Japan’s rich history.

But, for the purposes of solutions-driven decorating reportage (and we’re nothing if not solutions driven at House & Garden), we’ll focus our attention on the broader, perhaps more quickly attainable aspects of traditional Japanese interior design and craft. Paramount is the appreciation for nature, which manifests in humble, honestly-made furniture pieces that champion the material as well as the craft of the maker; these pieces can be wood or stone, iron or pottery. This naturally leads to a neutral colour palette of earth tones. Furniture pieces often have a lower profile and multi-functionality or modular design align with the idea of simplicity, uncluttered simplicity.

Rather than try to recreate an entirely Japanese-style interior, lean into the calming and restorative quality that this honest, elegant design language brings with a key piece or two in your home.

’Shamrock’ teapot, R375, Weylandts
‘Axis’ square coffee table, R7 499, Cielo
‘Senufo’ bed, R14 995, Weylandts
‘Kama’ bowl (medium), R280, Setamono Tableware
Paper wedding parasol, R100, Umbrellas.co.za
‘Japanese Garden 3’ art print, R1 295, KNUS