Living Room Accessories & Decor For The Ultimate Japanese-Inspired Space

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Your home's living room should be your family or household's domestic sanctuary. It's where you all lounge, gather, and recuperate from the stressors of the outside world. If you're looking for living room décor ideas that blend tranquility with simplicity, you may be drawn to a Japanese-inspired space. For those who have been limited to life and décor experiences within the Western Hemisphere, however, embracing a Japanese-inspired style can feel a bit intimidating. That's where the expert comes in. Erika Dale, on-staff House Digest interior design expert and founder/principal designer of Erika Dale Interior Design, spoke exclusively to House Digest about creating a Japanese-inspired living room.

If you've ever felt drawn to the idea of introducing a Japanese-inspired theme to your living space but didn't know where to start, this is the guide for you. From soft, neutral colors to natural materials, Dale broke the style down, sharing the essentials of its foundation and offering practical tips to start implementing it in your very own living room. 

Before you begin: the foundations of Japanese-inspired décor

Before you start decorating, it's important to take some time to understand the building blocks of Japanese-inspired décor. Every style has its own essence that must come through in each feature in order for a successful design to exist, and Japanese-inspired style is no exception. "Japanese design is centered around creating an inviting, tranquil sanctuary by focusing on simplicity, functionality, intentionality, and a connection to nature," Erika Dale exclusively explained to House Digest. This makes it ideal for an active-yet-restorative space like the living room.

Dale stressed that minimalism and natural materials are key to pulling off this style. "Japanese interior design creates a zen atmosphere by bringing the elements of the natural world indoors," the designer revealed. "Japanese-inspired interiors create harmony and balance by utilizing a minimalistic approach with their décor — a few carefully selected items allow for essential negative space, giving the eye and mind a serene opportunity to pause and breathe," she added.

How to incorporate a Japanese-inspired style in your living room

Once you understand the essence and the appeal of a Japanese-inspired living space, it's time to plan your own use of natural materials, soft neutral colors, and negative space. "To bring in natural materials and texture while keeping functionality at the forefront, try adding woven floor cushions or a natural wood slat room divider wall to your space," Erika Dale exclusively told House Digest. When it comes to specific décor that can exist within a minimalist-inspired home, she recommends one specific focal point for the room.

"Keep tabletop clutter to a minimum, opting for one large item or single concise grouping, like a large low pot with a bonsai tree or a gorgeous Japanese clay or cast-iron tea set presented on a lovely bamboo tray on the coffee table," she suggests. If maintaining a real bonsai tree sounds a little too time-consuming for you, you can find a convincing 20-inch artificial version on Amazon for $60.