How to Nail the MUJI-Look (in 5 Easy Steps)
In the words of MUJI’s own Kenya Hara, this design concept is not just “minimalism and simplicity” – and we couldn’t agree more! MUJI's pieces and its general design are pared-down, yes – but it's also about creating warmth, comfort and an overall sense of peacefulness.
That's what makes the MUJI-style so appealing (and why it's stealthily taking the world by storm)! Cosy yet simplistic, the best part about MUJI's design is that it can be easily achieved with smaller budgets!
Here, we check out 5 quick, easy (and low-cost) steps to nail the MUJI look, in any space:
1. Keep it Clean
A sense of 'cleanliness' is a cornerstone in MUJI's aesthetic and many of their furniture and decor pieces tend to be minimal in design. So, to recreate this look - simply focus on keeping your space visually clean. One way of doing so is ensuring the alignment of furniture and accessories is well spaced out. Keep walkways unobstructed; spacing between furniture and empty pathways should be at least two to four feet apart.
Interior Designer: Up Creations
Likewise, it also means keeping your space literally clean with regular maintenance! Dust, vacuum and wipe regularly - a neat home goes a long way in achieving MUJI's zen-like, minimalist style. And think about it - you don't actually have to spend a dime for it!
2. Let there be light
Another aspect often seen in MUJI's stores is the use of ample lighting or natural light to cast a bright, airy atmosphere. You’ll notice that most MUJI items, from appliances to accessories do play off very well in natural light too!
Interior Designer: Pocket Square
Bring the same effect to your space by maximising the amount of natural light filtering into your home (instead of installing expensive lighting). Keep your curtains sheer, windows free from treatments and use pale, natural shades like dove grey, whites or beiges on walls to bounce off light. Also, avoid blocking light streams with furniture, and do add mirrors (or reflective surfaces) to reflect more sunlight in.
3. Go back to basics with furniture, materials and accessories
Along with the brand's tagline 'good enough living', modesty and adaptability is key - and a home should focus on being able to fit a household's changing lifestyles and tastes over time. As a result, go for furniture and decor that are timeless, natural and classic - loose pieces that are flexible to be used and reused over time.
Interior Designer: Pocket Square
Think about only getting the necessary items you need to furnish a home, and consider investing in well-made pieces that can last a lifetime. Forego extras like knick-knacks or fancy decorative accents. Here's a rule of thumb - if you don't use it, you don't need it! All that can help you save a chunk on furnishing costs - whilst still achieving the label's pared-down look.
Source: MUJI Renovation
In line with the brand's Japanese roots, remember to go for lighter woods like beech and oak in your home's finishes and furniture, along with natural, humble materials like linen, burlap and cotton for soft furnishings like curtains, bedsheets or rugs for a rustic, homely feel.
4. Everything in its place
Source: MUJI's Facebook Page
More than just about aesthetics, a MUJI-inspired home also needs to be practical for everyday living. That's why, ample storage plays a huge part in getting the look - ensuring a space looks organised and neat enough to play up the brand's minimal theme.
MUJI's stacking shelves set with storage compartments.
Think uniform cubbyhole shelves, pegboards and multipurpose furniture - such as bed frames that come with drawer pull-outs, or under seat storage in sofas that help to stow away stuff for a clean, spotless look.
5. Keep it warm and cosy with the right colours.
One instant way to achieve MUJI's calm, collected style? Simply use warm, earthy colours like greens, greys, browns with an ample dose of whites or pastels for that bright, airy feel. Not just for walls, stick to this colour palette in terms of furniture, fabrics and even floor treatments to perfect the look. Lastly, finish off with leafy greens to provide a natural 'pop' of colour, which also helps to give the space a tranquil vibe.