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These beautiful abodes encourage you to make your home a zen zone by using elements inspired by Japanese interior design and architecture

What are the qualities that make Japanese-style spaces just so irresistible? It's that enviable mix of light wood, an earthy palette and an incredibly pared-down approach to design that oozes a complete sense of calm the minute that you step in. Here, we look back at some of the notable homes we have featured that take a cue from the Land of the Rising Sun.

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1. A Penthouse in Anguilla Park

Handmade objects and custom-made joinery come together beautifully in this elegant abode by multidisciplinary practice Millihaus. Situated in the Anguilla Park condominium in Singapore, the copious use of light wood contributes to the soothing ambience of the home. The owners' favourite landscape photographs are also beautifully showcased, adding to its calming appeal. 

Read more: Home Tour: A Japanese-Style Penthouse In Singapore

Interior designers Billy Voon and Desy Kismantono took inspiration from the changing seasons in Japan. The junior bedroom for instance, is decorated with light accent hues and is a tribute to spring and the cherry blossoms associated with the season, while the master bedroom features warmer tones that allude to a summery setting. The family library, on the other hand, features red and earthy shades that hint at the vibrant autumn foliage. 

2. A Penthouse Designed as a Modern Ryokan

This award-winning home certainly makes us dream of travelling to Japan; this 3,500sqft apartment is heavily influenced by the calming vibe of traditional Japanese inns, also known as ryokans. UPSTRS_ creative director Dennis Cheok sought to combine modern Scandinavian influences with traditional Japanese elements through the use of light wood as well as motifs that draw inspiration from the philosophy of 

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A large living area featuring sunken floorplates and elevated platforms evokes the layered spaces of a ryokan. Comfortable, oversized sofas create an inviting atmosphere for family bonding. “Furnishing-wise, we kept this space pristine and ceremonial—the emphasis is on the spatial quality that is a delightful pause point to behold. It is a nod to Japanese minimalism,” says Cheok.

3. An Apartment With A Transformable Living Room

Situated in Wallich Residence, one of Singapore's most prestigious addresses, this 1,195sqft apartment by Super Assembly makes full use of its floor plan with a transformable living room. Sliding doors allow part of the living area to be enclosed as a guest room when needed while expanding the sense of space in this abode. 

In Case You Missed It: Home Tour: A Transforming Japanese-Style Minimalist Apartment in Wallich Residence

The clients also admired the “simplicity of Japanese aesthetics”, and sought to incorporate these elements in the home design. “We decided to explore more on how one can achieve a state of calmness through a spatial experience, and our research on this subject led us to discover that repetition, rhythm, and variation is a common trait in activities that promoted calmness,” explains Iskandar Idris, the principal architect of local architecture firm Super Assembly. “We translated this into the visual-spatial realm by employing a consistent design language of using vertical strips that varies in rhythm and proportion throughout the various spaces in the house.”

4. A Nature-Inspired House with Japanese Elements

As one of the past winners of the Tatler Design Awards, this stunning house in Singapore has plenty of enviable qualities, including a resort-style pavilion and pool area. Within the house, the interiors are crafted to celebrate the beauty of the outdoors with ample use of wood, a Japanese-inspired koi pond at the entrance, as well as hinoki bathtubs in each of the ensuite bedrooms; the owner tasked Brenda Ang, director of Lab Architects, to create a cosy sanctuary with ample social spaces for the family.

Read more: Home Tour: A Minimalist House With Japanese-Style Details

Wood-panelled glass windows frame views of the outdoors beautifully; other details such as headboards inspired by shoji doors (traditional Japanese wood-framed doors with paper screens) continue the Japanese-influenced design of the abode.

5. A Japanese-Style Apartment With Colourful Walls

While most Japanese-inspired interiors may utitlise an earthy or off-white palette, this apartment designed by SS+D in Singapore puts a fresh spin on the interior scheme with bold accent walls that still stay true to its influences. The dining area notably features a red accent wall that instantly catches the eye, while a purple artwork creates a focal point in the hallway.

Read More: Home Tour: A Japanese-Style Apartment in Singapore that Minimalists will Love

Besides the extensive use of light wood on the interior architecture and furnishings of the abode, other nods to the home's Japanese sensibilities include the fabric stone and granite look-alike tiles that form a path along the common corridor and master bedroom.

Additionally, the dining area is separated from the living space via an elevated platform; in the master bedroom, a raised platform incorporates pull-out drawers to help the owners maintain the neat and uncluttered look of the interior.

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