A series of lifestyle articles published in 2016 about life in Japan are influencing Americans to decorate their homes with less. Getting rid of clutter and learning to live with minimal furniture and personal items is a Japanese trend that is being adopted not only by cash-strapped members of the Millennial Generation but also by middle class families. The idea is to maximize living spaces and making lives easier and more meaningful.
The current trend of Japanese minimalism has some roots in Zen Buddhism; however, the real inspiration can be found in the technological austerity and style of the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple. The white iPhones, iPads and MacBooks feature clean lines and a simplicity that can be easily emulated in homes by removing most of the furniture and excess decorations.
The basic home improvement strategy of minimalism for a bedroom would be a fresh coat of white paint, a hardwood or laminate floor, a single painting on the wall, a bed, and a small nightstand. Instead of dressers, minimalists maximize closet space.
Smart home automation can also be incorporated into the minimalism trend with a single Amazon Echo or Google Home device to control all appliances. Alternately, homeowners can program their smartphones to function as single remote controls.
Lighting also plays an important role in minimalism. Simple and stylish ceiling lamps are enough in this regard. One floor lamp can be added to the living room. Families who are used to eating in restaurants can also cut down on the amount of kitchen appliances they own.