Directly from the Japanese island of Okinawa (the island with the highest number of centenarians), discover everything you need to know about the 'ikigai' philosophy and the importance of promoting a way of living that focuses on finding purpose and meaning behind your own personal everyday activities. It is such a transformative approach to life that more and more people are including it in their homes. Ready to bring some 'ikigai' in your home décor?
It is not surprising that ikigai originates from an idyllic Japanese island, a place where beauty and time coexist in a peaceful and endless cycle made of impressive sunsets, healthy food, green tea rituals, the depth of the ocean and the beauty of uncontaminated nature. The word 'iki' means life and together with the word 'kai' (meaning 'reason for being' or 'the realization of what one hopes and desires') they create an ancient philosophy full of secrets that at its core compels us to find our own personal purpose.
You can bring the warmth of this Eastern tradition into your home and create a space that can welcome a more relaxed and peaceful way of living. How can you elevate the time you spend at home and make it more meaningful and special according to your own needs and desires? Interior designers and interior decorator have always been inspired by Eastern philosophies to create beautiful interior spaces but the popularity of ikigai is due to the fact that, according to the Japanese tradition, we are all born with a unique ikigai. It is something innate that needs to be expressed and Japanese people always keep this concept in mind especially when designing and decorating a home.
Contrary to more well-known and established Eastern traditions in Western culture such as the art of Feng-Shui, the design of Japanese gardens, the 'Zen' approach to life, the concept of 'mindfulness' and not to mention Japanese gastronomy (sushi, matcha green tea, beer, ramen, miso soup and tempura) Ikigai may be a more intangible concept but it is the most personal you will ever discover for yourself and for your home. It is about finding your own value in life and the things and experiences you identify with, in order to make your life happier and most importantly worthwhile.
The question is: how do you find your ikigai? It seems like a life-long search and it actually is. Finding, discovering and embracing oneself involves a lot of effort and practice but the mere fact that we strive to find our own ikigai each and every day means that we are taking this mission with the importance it deserves. It is like renovating our intentions every day and injecting excitement into every single thing that we do. Couldn't this be the secret to a healthier, more energetic and longer-lasting life?
We now understand how interior design is deeply connected to this concept for Japanese people since we spend many hours at home or in our workplace. Creating a comfortable and functional living space can help you find your own ikigai through the way you decide to spend your time at home, your hobbies, your routines, and simply your own way of relaxing and enjoying domestic life.
HOW TO INCLUDE IKIGAI IN YOUR HOME?
It all starts with asking questions and understanding what is really important to you and therefore what is to be included in your interior decoration. What is your passion? What motivates you? What are you good at? For example, if you love nature, incorporate it in your daily life and interior decoration by using plants or designing a big window with a view. If cooking makes you happy, design a functional kitchen to make of your passion a relaxing and sacred daily experience. The beauty is that the answers to these questions are not set in stone, they are flexible, everchanging and ever adapting to what you exactly need in that specific moment in time.
Japan is worldwide famous for its tea culture and approach to eating (always finish a meal before your stomach is full). Healthy habits must be cultivated and a good way to start could be buying a tea set and invite your friends, even once a week, to share an unforgettable matcha tea ritual with you. To avoid overeating, you can start serving meals in smaller plates, like Japanese people do. If you only seem to find peace in the bathroom, ikigai is all about prolonged baths with salts while listening to relaxing music. You can decorate your bathroom with aromatic candles and install soft, dim lighting to help you relieve stress at the end of the day. Meditation is a necessary element to promote good physical and mental health so make sure you prepare a room in your home that can be your sacred sanctuary to quietly meditate, practice breathing exercises or other Japanese disciplines that focus on physical, static or dynamic exercises (like tai-chi).
A HOME GARDEN
Decorating with plants is one thing but actually having a garden where you can plant tea, fruits and vegetables is another ikigai element that brings peace and relaxation into your daily life. Being responsible for the growth of a plant will give you a daily activity to follow and care for so that you can find meaning and purpose in repetition and in something as little and yet so powerful as planting a seed. We are lucky to have outdoor spaces in Fuerteventura that we can enjoy all year-round so make sure you design and decorate your terrace or garden focusing on both comfort and how you plan to use the space.
Another secret of Japanese people's longevity is their sense of community and social life. They make sure to spend time, daily, with friends and family or neighbours talking about life, sharing experiences, sharing their hobbies or outdoor activities. For this reason, you should decorate and adapt your living room according to your social life and what you want your guest to experience when you welcome them into your home. Long wooden table, round coffee tables, corner sofas or modular sofas are perfect to create a warm and welcoming living room decoration that promotes entertainment but also conversation.
WORKING FROM HOME
Ikigai advocates for focusing on one task at the time with no distractions. Therefore, you can forget about the Western obsession with multitasking all the time, at all costs, because according to Japanese people it is not productive at all. If you are renovating, think about designing a home office where you can work comfortably, focus on your daily tasks and most importantly, a place that once you leave it, you can leave behind all work-related problems. You do not want stress to contaminate the rest of the house.
CULTIVATE YOUR PASSION
Whatever your passion is or whatever hobby you have make sure to include it in your daily activities. It is important to cultivate a passion in your home space according to ikigai. It could be painting, writing, knitting, cooking or even reading. Create a special corner where you can practice your favourite activity and keep all tools and materials in order so that you won't clutter the space. Once again, it is all about repetition, rediscovery and reapplying meaning to our own life.
THE LAST SECRET ABOUT IKIGAI
There are many different Japanese traditions that we recently started applying and including in our home interior design and interior décor like the Wabi-Sabi philosophy, the study of light and shadows according to Utsuroi and Kintsugi ceramic. They are all about the impermanence of time and of things. In this context lies the beauty of Ikigai: on one hand it promotes a home way of living that shifts according to your personal needs, time, and passions while on the other hand, it pushes you to constantly live in the moment. In the now.
At the same time, self-realisation and finding your ikigai happens when you share your love, passions and fulfilment with other people. Therefore adapting your environment to the needs of others is the only way to live your life according to your ikigai and the only way to self-discovery.
Our interior design and interior decorating services in Fuerteventura can help you design and furnish your property in a functional and elegant way. Our interior decorator can assist you and manage your entire home renovation project. Design a new home or villa in Villaverde, Lajares, La Oliva, Corralejo, El Cotillo, Puerto del Rosario, Tindaya and Caleta de Fuste.
Contact Noogar today for a free quotation.
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