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Embracing Simplicity: The Muji Interior Design Style

Discover the essence of Muji interior design style, its principles, and how it contrasts with Japandi. Plus, a comprehensive guide on integrating the Muji style into your home in 10 simple steps.
Last updated May 13, 2024


In the world of interior design, the Muji style emerges as a beacon of minimalism, functionality, and tranquility. Originating from Japan, this design philosophy is closely tied to the retail brand Muji, known globally for its “no-brand” quality goods that emphasize simplicity and user-friendliness. Let’s discover the Muji interior design style, and also explore how it compares and contrasts with the Japandi style, another minimalist design trend that marries Japanese and Scandinavian aesthetics. Additionally, we’ll provide a practical guide on incorporating the Muji style into your home.

Understanding the Muji Interior Design Style

The Muji design ethos is deeply rooted in the Japanese Zen philosophy, prioritizing a life unburdened by the unnecessary. Its hallmark is simplicity, with a focus on neutral tones, natural materials, and clean lines. This approach seeks to create spaces that are both functional and serene, where each item has a purpose, and clutter is conspicuously absent. Unlike other design styles, Muji eschews ornate details and vibrant colors for a subdued palette that calms the mind and soothes the spirit.

Muji style living room by artfasad
Muji style living room by artfasad

Muji vs. Japandi: A Comparative Insight

While Muji and Japandi share common ground in minimalism and a love for natural elements, they diverge in their aesthetic and philosophical nuances. Japandi, a hybrid of Japanese and Scandinavian design principles, also emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and natural materials. However, Japandi introduces more warmth through the Scandinavian influence, with a softer palette and cozier textiles than the stark, Zen-inspired Muji style.

Japandi spaces often feature a mix of Japanese elegance and Scandinavian functionality, creating a balanced, harmonious environment that is both minimal and cozy. On the other hand, Muji interiors might lean towards a more austere and utilitarian look, reflecting the brand’s philosophy of providing simplicity and quality in everyday life.

Muji style bedroom by 96interior Singapore
Muji style bedroom by 96interior Singapore

10 Steps to Add the Muji Design Style to Your Home

  1. Declutter Your Space: Begin by removing unnecessary items. Muji’s philosophy thrives in minimalistic spaces that breathe tranquility and simplicity.
  2. Opt for Neutral Colors: Paint walls in neutral tones such as white, beige, or soft gray to serve as a calm backdrop for your living environment.
  3. Choose Natural Materials: Incorporate furniture and decor made from natural materials like wood, cotton, linen, and bamboo to bring an earthy, grounded feel to your home.
  4. Embrace Open Spaces: Arrange furniture sparingly to maintain an open, airy feel in rooms, allowing for ease of movement and a clutter-free environment.
  5. Incorporate Subtle Storage Solutions: Use hidden or subtle storage to keep belongings out of sight, maintaining a clean and orderly aesthetic.
  6. Select Functional Furniture: Choose pieces that are both functional and simple, with clean lines and without unnecessary embellishments.
  7. Use Soft, Ambient Lighting: Opt for lighting that creates a soft, warm glow, enhancing the serene ambiance of your space.
  8. Incorporate Greenery: Add potted plants or flowers to introduce a touch of nature and vitality, enhancing the room’s overall sense of calm.
  9. Emphasize Quality Over Quantity: Invest in a few high-quality items that serve their purpose well and last longer, rather than an abundance of decorative objects.
  10. Personalize with Thoughtful Details: Finally, personalize your space with thoughtful, meaningful items that bring you joy, following the principle of intentional living.

Muji interior design style dinning room by qanvast
Muji interior design style dinning room by qanvast

FAQ Section

What is the Muji interior design style?

Muji interior design is a minimalist style that emphasizes simplicity, functionality, and the use of natural materials. It’s inspired by Japanese Zen philosophy and aims to create serene, clutter-free spaces.

How does Muji style differ from Japandi?

While both styles value minimalism and natural elements, Muji is more austere and utilitarian, focusing on the Zen aspect of simplicity. Japandi, in contrast, blends Japanese minimalism with the warmth and coziness of Scandinavian design, creating a balance between elegance and comfort.

Read more: Key New Trends in Japandi Interior Design for 2024

Can Muji style be combined with other design styles?

Yes, the Muji style’s neutral palette and emphasis on simplicity make it versatile enough to blend with other design styles, especially those that share a minimalist or natural aesthetic.

Is Muji style suitable for small spaces?

Absolutely. The Muji style, with its focus on decluttering, functional furniture, and open spaces, is particularly well-suited for maximizing small living environments.


The Muji interior design style offers a peaceful retreat from the chaos of the outside world, championing the beauty of simplicity, functionality, and natural harmony. While it shares similarities with the Japandi style, Muji stands out for its stark minimalism and commitment to the Zen philosophy. By following the steps outlined above, you can transform your living space into a serene, Muji-inspired haven that embodies the essence of minimalist living at its finest.

Read more:

Japanese Art Prints by The Art of Zen featuring Wave Art
Japanese Art Prints by The Art of Zen featuring Wave Art

At the Art of Zen we have a wide selection of original Japanese art prints in the ukiyo-e and Japandi style. Some of our best selling work is Mount Fuji wall art and Japandi wall art.

Add some zen to your space with brilliant original art from the Art of Zen shop.

Salman A

Salman A

Based in the vibrant city of Dubai, I thrive as a designer and filmmaker with a passion sparked in childhood by the thrilling adventures of UFO Robot Grendizer and Speed Racer. My journey took a deeper dive into the world of art through a profound fascination with Japanese culture, enriched by memorable times spent in Japan. Creativity pulses at the core of who I am. Connect with me for tailor-made design and film projects that bring your visions to life.


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