Love That MUJI-Style? This Is How to Nail It (Exactly)
Ever admired a gorgeous home and wondered, ‘how can I get that?’. That’s where our column ‘Nail the Look’ comes in! Every month, we dissect your favourite interior themes and projects, down to the materials, colours and furniture used – so as to bring you one step closer to achieving the style you love.
Simple, practical and adaptable - some of the words commonly used to describe MUJI's ever-popular home goods. And also, some of the reasons why Singaporeans love name-dropping this Japanese label for their home! Yes - at this point, ‘MUJI’ has become a full-blown interior style in its own right.
Source: MUJI Renovation
Sure, one easy way to score the 'MUJI' look is to simply buy everything ad verbatim from its furniture catalog. But if you love a challenge (aka designing your own cosy, MUJI-inspired space), we’ve broken down the key design features, colours and must-have pieces to achieving the brand-less brand’s un-flashy style, down pat here:
What is the MUJI-style?
MUJI’s very own tagline, ‘good enough living’ says it all. Modesty and simplicity is key – as a home should focus on being adaptable, or ‘good enough’ to fit a family’s changing lifestyles and tastes. Unnecessary details are out, in favour of loose, basic designs in classic finishes that provide flexibility over time.
An extension of this ‘long-term’ philosophy, quality workmanship is also appreciated. Here, going minimal isn’t an aesthetic choice but a way of life. Think solid woods, handcrafted furniture or artisanal décor - it’s all about thoughtfully chosen pieces that are set to last you a lifetime.
And of course, let’s not forget the obvious Japanese influence! Whether it’s storage units developed from the sizing of Japanese tatami mats or the use of light grained woods such as oak and beech, a hint of Zen should come into play in any MUJI-inspired space.
Key Design Features:
- Clean, uncluttered designs.
- Thoughtfully chosen furniture that are timeless and highly practical.
- Well-made goods that are easily adaptable/flexible to changing needs.
- Uniform and linear shapes that are easy to arrange.
- Neutral colours and natural materials: Think woods, metals, cotton and linen.
- A Zen-like atmosphere: Bright and airy spaces, a touch of greenery.
Colours to Try:
In line with the brand’s modest, minimalist look, go for pale, subtle shades that are timeless and bring a sense of calm and cosiness to one’s space. Nothing too flashy like random pops of neon hues; instead, stick to an earthy, neutral palette of greys, whites, creams and the odd grey-blue, khaki or olive green. These colours complement well with the natural materials used – a core design element in most MUJI-inspired homes.
Interior Designer: DB Studio
Materials to Use:
From Left: Plastic/acrylic surface, cotton linen material, EDL laminate in Ibsen Beech, EDL laminate in Mocca Oak, Floor Expert Castello Wood Flooring in Natural Mystic Oak Satin, stainless steel surface.
Likewise, function comes before form in terms of the types of interior finishes used. More than just for looks, materials need to not only feel good but last long too. Along with rustic, natural surfaces such as woods, steel and cotton, hardy, synthetic materials like plastic and scratch-proof acrylic/glass add a hint of utilitarian style that’s commonly associated with MUJI’s product offerings.
Interior Designer: Weiken.com
Furniture and Accessories to Buy:
1. Todd Sofa, from Castlery | 2. Stacking Shelf (5 X 3), from MUJI | 3. Natural Oak Table (180cm), from MUJI | 4. 18-8 Stainless Steel Wire Basket, from MUJI | 5. Canvas Blend Bean Bag (Grey), from IUIGA | 6. Oak Coat Rack, from MUJI | 7. Wooden Pegboard, from Taobao | 8. Iga Ware Brown Glaze Small Dish, from MUJI | 9. MELODI Pendant Lamp, from IKEA | 10. LEIFARNE Dining Chair, from IKEA | 11. Oak Storage Bed, from MUJI | 12. HAMPEN High-Pile Rug, from IKEA
One good thing about going for a MUJI-inspired look? You won’t have to suffer headaches shopping for eye-catching (albeit useless) décor. Here’s a rule of thumb – if you don’t need it, you shouldn’t buy it. Practicality always comes first, and furniture should be fuss-free, clean-cut yet evergreen. After all, the whole basis of the style is to make everyday living as effortless as possible!
Interior Designer: Third Avenue Studio
However, there’s an exception with plants – do play up your space with a couple of leafy greens to add a sense of natural tranquility (and to provide a splash of colour).
An ode to the brand’s roots, also factor in pieces with a slight, Japanese slant. Consider furniture and accessories made from light-hued solid woods, reminiscent of interiors seen in modern and traditional Japanese homes alike. Alternatively, incorporate aesthetic (but practical) pieces like a shoji screen or traditional serveware to achieve the same effect.
Architect: LLARK Architects
You've got the ideas - now it's time to bring them to life!
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