Most people in Singapore would probably be familiar with the popular Japanese brand Muji, which ironically, means “brandless, quality products”. But the renowned retailer, best known for its furniture and home goods, is not just transforming the home furniture industry with its no-frill, Bauhaus-style products. Influenced by the Japanese Zen religion, its minimalism philosophy has also been adopted by many admirers as a way of life, with “Muji style” becoming a global interior design movement. So, what exactly is Muji interior design? Let’s take a look at one of the Muji-style homes that Starry Homestead has created. Located at Ghim Moh Link, this HDB flat’s pared-down, minimalist living space is an inspiration for anyone who wishes to answer to the call of simple, Zen living. As one enters the apartment, the word “clutter-free” – the essence of Muji’s philosophy – immediately floods the mind. Staying true to the style, the living room features a clean-cut and neat aesthetic, which incidentally, is highly suitable for the increasing smaller apartments that Singaporeans homeowners are getting. This visually tidy look is achieved by using a tri-colour palette of brown (oak), white and grey – the classic Muji colour combination. Also, you will not find any design or furnishing that is non-essential in the living room. Every item and every customised built-in cabinet are there to help keep the place clean and uncluttered. Muji-inspired coffee-table and dining set, coupled with fabric sofa are the only furniture in this living room. The TV console here doubles as shelves and built-in storage.
The idea of Muji, however, goes beyond minimalism. It’s also about quality – well-crafted, lasting furniture and fittings that enhance the quality of living. The space should also allow for flexibility and be adapted to the changing lifestyle and needs of the family. This design philosophy is well demonstrated in the study room of this apartment. Firstly, the room is fitted with multiple built-in storage units that include the underneath of the platform, wall cabinets and open shelves. By having things neatly tucked away, it enhances the Zen atmosphere and at the same time, balances the aesthetic in the room. Additionally, the study room has the raised platform at one end of the room that functions as a Zen corner used by the owner for some “me time”. This, however, can easily be transformed into a guest bed. Simply add a futon or mattress with other bedding items on the platform and voila! – a new bed is created! Designed with versatility in mind – the raised platform is also used as a unique storage space.
Similarly, the design of the master bedroom conforms to the Muji aesthetic, maintaining the white-and-oak combination with furniture made from light-hued solid wood. The key concepts for the bedroom are modesty, cosiness and comfort, and thus every design is streamlined to ensure that there is no excess or overindulgence in the space. Simplicity in style allows one to reflect the essence of true living.
While the bathroom maintains the colour scheme of the apartment, stronger colours are added to the area, giving it a more vibrant and rejuvenated look. The cement look wall tiles adds a sense of natural tranquillity, again adhering to the Japanese Zen philosophy. Adding more colours to the Muji-style home gives a new dynamic to the space.
Being “brandless” offers many benefits to one’s life. Simple living means less waste, more time to oneself and a chance to enjoy peace in a chaotic world. If this practical and adaptable design philosophy seems attractive to you, why not give it go? For more information, contact one of our interior designers to discuss your requirements today.