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Required Reading: “Simplicity at Home,” by Fog Linen Founder Yumiko Sekine

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Required Reading: “Simplicity at Home,” by Fog Linen Founder Yumiko Sekine

February 3, 2021

Yumiko Sekine, founder of Fog Linen Work, the Tokyo-based home goods brand, is on a quest to revive the art of simplicity and craft. She’s long been a Remodelista favorite (we’ve featured her work in our three books and we all own tea towels, line-coated trays, baskets, and more from her line), so we were intrigued to learn that she’s compiled her minimalist but soulful approach to living in a new book, Simplicity at Home, from Chronicle Books.

Ten years ago, Sekine’s first line included just seven items; now, 10 years on, Fog Linen Work produces an expansive line of linen household essentials, as well as elegant brass storage items, wire baskets, clothing, and more.

And what about her own modest, recently built house in Tokyo? “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to inhabit this new space,” she says, “which has given me fresh eyes and a renewed desire to live richly with less, and to find more simplicity and ease in my life. I call my approach ‘joyfully minimalist’ because I believe that with less, you can find greater enjoyment in what you do have.”

Here’s a tour:

Photography by Nao Shimizu.

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Above: A corner in Yumiko’s home is animated by a  Pojagi-style patchwork curtain made from sewn-together linen kitchen cloths.
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Above: An early trip to Lithuania inspired Yumiko to produce linen for the home; shown here, a table draped in a check patterned cloth of her design in her Tokyo house.
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Above: A vintage cabinet holds kitchen essentials; linens are stored in Yumiko’s own Wire Baskets.
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Above: Every detail is considered, from the minimal dish rack to the Staub enameled tea kettle.
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Above: “I often forget where I put things,” Yumiko says, “and when everything is on display, it’s easier to find what I’m looking for with open shelving,”
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Above: “I believe a very pared down bedroom is best for sleep,” Yumiko says. “One of the easiest ways to make a space feel uncluttered is to limit the color palette to neutrals.”
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Above: “In the bath, I opted for a cabinet with a door, but I still try to corral things into small glass jars for a less cluttered look,” Yumiko says, “And I always look for ways to make everyday objects more pleasant to look at.”
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Above: The first 100 pre-orders of Simplicity at Home ($27.50 from Fog Linen) will receive a copy of the book with a handmade bookmark signed by the author, Yumiko Sekine. It’s also available from Bookshop for $25.30.

For more Japanese design, see:

Brass Tacks: Small, Quietly Beautiful Storage Essentials from Fog Linen

20 Best Online Shops for Japanese Housewares Design

10 Ideas for Designing a Japanese-Inspired Garden, with Marc Keane

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