Japanese interior design has the masterful ability to marry simplicity with functionality to create modern spaces that effortlessly lay the foundation for well-being in mind, body, and spirit.

The roots of contemporary Japanese interior design has its touchpoints in Metabolism, a short-lived period after World War II where the country and its citizens went about rebuilding their cities in ways that honored the past and looked toward the future. The Metabolism movement became a form of architecture—and a key element of national identity—that drew inspiration from Buddhist beliefs, technology, and the cycles of nature.

Over the years, Japanese interior design has evolved to give nature more contemporary and practical attention. Shizen, one of the country’s key design principles, deliberately focuses not on keeping nature out of interiors, but rather how humans can coexist and interact harmoniously with the exterior world. This aesthetic incorporates elements like greenery and natural light, along with furniture made of real wood and stone, to flow serenely through entire spaces.

With increased urban development and population growth, it can seem that many spaces have had to forcefully disconnect with nature as a means of survival. However, bringing in tranquil design elements—even ephemeral things that call for no redesign like our Hako Incense—can allow nature to envelop your senses and contribute to your daily wellness.

Many of Japan’s interior designers incorporate the philosophy of Shizen when crafting spaces for personal and professional use. Here, we round up five to follow on Instagram to inspire you to welcome nature into your spaces no matter where you find yourself in the world.



Neie Architects

Natural materials are a vital component of Shizen design, and this firm frequently incorporates wooden ceilings and beams in their interior spaces.



Hankura Design

This designing duo is no stranger to utilizing sliding doors to allow for an easy connection between the inside and outside worlds.



Keiji Ashizawa Design

Crafting designs with a sense of unity, this team works on commercial spaces like Blue Bottle coffee shops to provide people with a relaxing respite from urban life.

Ogi Architectural Studio

Simple greenery and the weather elements become a calming way of everyday life in this firm’s home design creation.



Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

Live edge tables, like this one shown in a cave designed by this firm, add a grounded element to the most sacred of home spaces.