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Kanso: The Japanese Decor for a Clutter-Free Home — LANGRIA

The latest Japanese decor concept that’s all about keeping things simple around the house to pursue clarity in your everyday life.

During spring cleaning season the Internet is talking about Kanso, the Japanese decor style equivalent to Feng Shui. Kanso is a Japanese interior concept that focuses on simplicity and minimalism in order to achieve a state of complete Zen and peacefulness. It helps you to harmonize yourself with the environment that surrounds you. Kanso is mindfulness. This Japanese aesthetic decor literally means “simplicity,” is one of the seven principles of Zen, which materializes in the ancient ideas of Wabi and Sabi.

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While Zen is “a renunciation of enlightenment found via the trappings of organized religion, such as mass prayer, ritualistic chants, and large structures”, Wabi (transient and stark beauty) and Sabi (the beauty of nature and aging) incorporate the old with the modern principles into the material everyday life, and converge into Wabi-Sabi, “the beauty of the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete” – says author Leonard Koren. Kanso is the Japanese Feng Shui, which focuses on the flow of good energy within a space. By following the Japanese aesthetic principles, your home will be completely clean and clutter-free.

What are those principles?

In order to achieve the material representation of Zen, Wabi-Sabi, there are seven principles to follow. By following them, you can also change your perception of your everyday life, not only change what you have at home but also what you have on a professional level. These are the 7 principles: Fukinsei: Asymmetry or irregularity. It is the idea of keeping balance in a composition by the use of asymmetry. For example, the Zen circle, called Enso, is often drawn as an incomplete, imperfect circle. Kanso: Simplicity or elimination of clutter. It reminds us that in order to reach certain clarity and mindfulness (not just for decoration but also in our daily life), we should omit the non-essential. Shibui: the beauty of the basic. It favors a subtle beauty, the type of beauty that is not elaborated. It is also understood as elegant simplicity. Shibui is both, cool and minimalistic. Shizen: it is the absence of the artificial. It focuses on naturalness. Yugen: the subtle grace. It is frequently known as “less is more”. You don’t need to show the whole to visually imply more. Datsuzoku: the unbounded, the freedom. Escape from the ordinary. Transcend the conventional. Datsuzoku describes that small yet powerful feeling of surprise when one realizes that can escape from the daily routine. Seijaku: It is tranquility, stillness, and solitude. It is described as the feeling of calmness you might have when wondering in a Japanese garden.

How to apply Kanso so your home décor?

Keep. It. Simple. The key is to strip down your home to the bare minimum. Do not clog your space with souvenirs or accents, just keep the essentials; your bed, your chair, your table. Do not overdo with the furniture. The result is a calm, natural room, without all the excesses of decoration. In order to incorporate Kanso in your life, you have to learn that things only last for so long. We use them, and when we don’t need them anymore, we toss them away. If you can follow this Japanese décor philosophy, you will always keep a clutter-free home – and mindset.


Kanso is “the simplicity or elimination of clutter” […] “It reminds us to think not in terms of decoration but in terms of clarity, a kind of clarity that may be achieved through omission or exclusion of the non-essential.” Patrick Lennox.

But of course, you can and you should adopt this Japanese décor style to your own terms. Do you want to try the “less is more” furniture but with more of accents and decoration than the suggested by the Kanso principle? Just do it! Remember that Feng Shui, Kanso, and all of these philosophies aren’t just here to get your home Instagram ready. It is a way of living. You don’t need to fully embrace them unless you feel comfortable with them. By taking in some of it, you can already experience changes in your life and in your home. Now is the perfect time to stop procrastination and get started with that overdue spring clean.

Will you try this Japanese decor philosophy? If you want some good pieces of advice for your long due spring clean, read LANGRIA’s tips for a clutter-free home.

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