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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Things Not Available in the U.S.: Muji Houses Are Elegant, Simple, Affordable

A few years back, Muji – the Japanese chain that offers cleanly designed, inexpensive fashions, furnishings and home wares – started producing pre-fab houses.

The homes embody the company's holistic philosophy: conservation of natural resources, low prices, simplicity, anonymity, and an orientation toward nature without placing disproportionate emphasis on any one attribute.

Designed by Japanese architects, the homes are minimalistic, almost zen-like in appearance. Accordingly, they cost only about $200,000.

Contrast this with the $2.8 - $4.8 million price of the Daniel Libeskind pre-fab home we wrote about last year, and you can see the value the Muji homes represent.

While the Libeskind promises to erect his home anywhere in the world, Muji sells its home kits just in Japan.

If you're not planning to relocate to the Far East, you can get a taste of Muji style by visiting one of Muji's new stores in New York or throughout Europe.

If you want to see one of the Muji houses in person, there's a full-sized installation in Muji's main store in Tokyo.

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