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What is Muji Interior Design?

This Japanese home decor style has been gaining international popularity over the last few years because of its simplicity and rejection of materialism. These ideas are packaged in an aesthetically pleasing, minimalist interior design style. However, Muji style is more than just a type of interior design style, it is a lifestyle. By now, most Americans, who are interested in home design, are familiar with Marie Kondo and the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. She was one of the first people who brought minimalism into the mainstream. In turn, many have found simple living and only owning what you need and what “sparks joy” quite enlightening.

 How is the Muji style different from the western standards for minimalism and what is Muji style in the first place? This type of living and interior design originated in Japan. People who apply it to their lives value practicality and functionality above all other things. Their choices, when purchasing items, are not dictated by an item's brand but by its quality. Many people also know this style as “No-Brand Quality Goods”. Like the common philosophy practiced in minimalism, the Muji style believes in the saying, "less is more". This means only owning what you need and avoiding clutter. This is supposed to help you achieve a more Zen type of living. You live more peacefully without hoards unnecessary things around you.

When it comes to the Muji style, having quality things is equally as important as fewer things and having a minimalist home. This means that you not only have to own simple furniture with clean lines and neutral colors, the items must also be well-made and last a long time. The idea behind this is having something with longevity will, in the end, be cheaper, better for the environment, and produce less clutter. So, how do you go about starting to adapt the Muji style in your life?  

Declutter your space 

This is the first step to any home makeover but this is especially important with this style of interior design. Remember that the Muji style is against wastefulness. So, dispose of your decluttered items responsibly. Find a charity shop to donate to or a friend who will find use in your old items. Rehome your things rather than throwing them away. You can also keep your items until you’ve gotten the most use you can out of them. It does not matter if a few items in your home does not fit the Muji style. Keep in mind that it is a lifestyle, not just a short-term project. You do not have to do it perfectly right away. 

 Also, take note that all future shopping should be done mindfully. You do not want to have to keep decluttering your space every time you over-shop. For example, when it comes to clothes, you should never follow trends. Trends last only a very short time and they will go out of style so quickly. You will either end up with a closet full of clothing you will never wear again or your trendy purchases will end up in a landfill somewhere. Neither options are ideal and neither options follow the Muji style. Instead, opt for basic and classic pieces that will never go out of style. Make sure that they are well-made and the materials used have longevity.

Prioritize quality items over branded items 

Being expensive or name-branded does make an item the best option. When shopping for furniture, be sure to consider what materials it is made of, how well crafted it is, and whether it will last you a long time. Disregard the idea that you are saving money when you buy from fast furniture stores. You may be saving money right now but in the long run, you will only spend more because you have to replace your items faster.  

You do not even have to buy your items ready-made either. You can contact your local carpenter or woodworker to get a custom piece made. This way, you can ensure that a good amount of thought and effort was put into making your things. They will also know your preferences when it comes to materials and aesthetics. Of course, this does not apply to everything. However, you can also search for items that are hand-made to ensure quality and authenticity. For example, you can look for hand-woven or hand-tufted rugs instead of machine-made ones. You can even check what materials the rug is made of.   

Arrange your home in a linear way

Arranging how your furniture goes around the house can be a bit tricky. You want it to be functional while also looking good. It’s even harder when you have a lot of items to move around. Luckily, with the Muji style, you will only have the pieces that are essential to you. This style of interior design is more inclined to follow a grid. Create solid shapes with your furniture. When it comes to arranging smaller items, linearly arranging them is fine. You do not have to do anything fancy when arranging your furniture. Remember to prioritize straight, clean lines.  

Go for neutral colors 

 The thing about bolder colors is that people get bored of them quickly. The ones that win Pantone Color of the Year, for example, tend to be overused in a matter of months. Like with fashion, color trends don’t last very long. So, choose colors that will withstand the test of time. Neutral and muted colors are usually the best option. Go for browns, creams, greys, blacks, and the muted versions of your favorite colors. This rule applies to furniture, linens, curtains, wall paint, flooring, etc. It might be exciting when you see something in bright blue, but the excitement fades. When talking about fashion, continue to opt for more neutral colors because those tend to be easier to mix and match. You do not need a big wardrobe to be able to be well-dressed. 

Add elements of nature to your home 

 Keep in mind that part of the Muji style is to achieve a more Zen home where you can feel more peaceful and meditative. A great way to attain this type of environment is to be one with nature. Even though you have limited items in your home, still try to surround yourself with things from nature. This could be furniture and other decors that are made of wood with a natural stain. This could be indoor plants that also filter the air aside from being aesthetically pleasing. You can also add small elements of flowing water or paintings of landscapes as long as you do not go overboard.  

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