The Japanese have arguably the most soothing interior design styles known. In our fast-paced 21st century, it’s no wonder that more and more international designers are drawing inspiration from traditional Japanese aesthetics.
When entering a Japanese home, visitors are usually struck by its lack of ornamentation and elegant simplicity. In addition to minimalism, Japanese designers are known for tactfully incorporating natural themes into their homes.
Incorporating Japanese design principles will definitely help de-clutter your decor. Check out the images below to help make your living spaces a little more zen-sational.
1. Less is more: Emphasize minimalism
Before jumping into specific Japanese decorating ideas, it is imperative to keep in mind the saying “less is more“. Japanese designers always favor minimalism over extravagance. Every object you place in your living space should therefore have a specific functional or aesthetic purpose.
2. Leave lots of free space
As part of the theme of minimalism, homes that replicate Japanese design should have lots of open space. This uncluttered atmosphere has an immediate calming effect on the visitor. Additionally, reducing activity inside the home helps to highlight another important element of Japanese design: the natural world.
3. Use earthy wood tones
Besides minimalism, one of the main characteristics of traditional Japanese houses is a respect for nature. It is for this reason that wood is the most popular choice for floors and walls in most Japanese homes. If you can’t incorporate wood construction, at least consider adding decorative elements, like wooden furniture, to bring in an earthy touch.
4. Let the Sun Shine: A Source of Natural Lighting
In keeping with the nature theme, most Japanese homes strive to let in as much natural light as possible. Large glass windows or sliding doors are a great way to let warm sunlight into your home. Using white color is also a great way to brighten up your home as can be seen above. If you choose to use artificial light, do your best to keep it as subtle and natural as possible.
5. Shoji : Japanese sliding doors
The sliding doors (Shoji) are perhaps the most iconic feature of a Japanese house. Usually made with a wooden frame and paper, these sliding doors save a lot of space and create a unique atmosphere that is neither too casual nor too sophisticated. Think of a few places in your home where Shoji could complement your overall design.
6. The Shoji modern
If you are not interested in traditional wood and paper doors, you can consider glass models. There are many sliding glass doors on the market today that work just like the Shoji. Look how these modern sliding glass doors add a Japanese flair to this closet.
7. Add some lanterns
Paper lanterns have a long history in many Asian cultures, especially in Japan. Although traditionally lit by candles, today you can buy beautiful (and safe!) Japanese lanterns made with light bulbs. Take a look at how the lantern in the model above blends seamlessly into the surroundings.
8. Discover theOfuro
We find in many Japanese homes, a hot tub called “ofuro“. Once used for ritual purification, these steel, plastic or wooden bathtubs are today a kind of jacuzzi for one person. To achieve an authentic effect of the bathtub, you must use a wooden finish.
9. Cultivation of bonsai
Anyone interested in gardening should consider growing a Japanese bonsai at home. For centuries, the Japanese have cultivated these tiny trees primarily to admire their spectacular beauty.
10. ikebana : The delicate art of flower arrangement
Known under the name of from ikebana, flower arranging is a strict Japanese art form that aims to bring natural beauty into the home. In general, the ikebana are placed in a small space with complementary artistic works to enjoy side by side.
Common flowers used in Japan include orchids and palms, but feel free to use whatever suits your style best. Consider placing your manicured flowerpot near a woodblock print or calligraphy for aesthetic contemplation.
12. Place a shoe cabinet in the entryway
If you’ve ever walked into a Japanese house, you probably know that the first thing to do is take off your shoes. Indeed, the main purpose of the single-step entrance (called genkan) is to allow guests to remove their shoes and avoid soiling the house. If it’s impossible to turn your entryway into an authentic genkan, you can encourage your family and friends to kick off their shoes by purchasing a wooden shoe cabinet.
13. Serenity at home: a space for meditation
Science now proves that Zen monks really know what they are talking about. The daily practice of meditation has been linked to a plethora of physical and psychological benefits – and best of all, it doesn’t cost a penny! Why not set aside a special meditation space in your home where you and your family can recharge each day?
14. Check out Tatami mats
Raised chairs and beds are not as common in Japan as they are in the West. On the contrary, the Japanese often sit and sleep on tatami mats on the floor. Bringing your furniture down to ground level could be a fun way to add a Japanese flair to your home.
15: Create your own Zen “garden”
If seated meditation isn’t your style, consider incorporating a sand zen garden into your home design. Zen practitioners have used the seemingly simple practice of raking sand and placing stones to aid them in their quest for inner calm.
16. Display calligraphy
Like the Chinese, the Japanese have a long and wonderful history of artistic calligraphy. Typically, Japanese families hang a calligraphic poem in a special alcove for art displays and flower arrangements. For more fun, why not take a calligraphy class and then hang your artistic masterpiece in your home!
17. Create your own tea room
You can’t talk about Japanese design without mentioning tea, right? After all, it is the culture that perfected the tea ceremony. Even if you choose not to sit on tatami, having a special space for tea is a splendid idea for social occasions. For more details on the design, feel free to check out the term chashitsuwhich refers to the traditional Japanese teahouse.
18. Create your own Origami
A fun way to add a bit of Japanese culture to your gatherings is to place origami on your tables.
19. An aquarium… for koi ?
As an island nation, it’s no wonder the sea plays such a crucial role in Japanese mythology and art. Introducing aquatic elements into your home is a great way to pay homage to the Japanese passion for the sea. Of course, the obvious choice is to hang Hokusai’s Great Wavebut you can also consider getting creative with an aquarium or koi pond.
20. Hang Japanese Woodblock Prints on Your Walls
The vivid colors of these historic prints make a deep impression on even the most novice art student. If you want to get really serious with your design, try adapting the space to complement a flower arrangement or bonsai.
21. Use bamboo in your decorative elements
Bamboo is a common element in many Japanese homes and luckily it is extremely versatile. You can be bold by creating a bamboo wall panel, or you can be subtle and incorporate some bamboo furniture or picture frames into your decor. Whatever you choose to do, bamboo is sure to add a rich, earthy texture to your home.
22. Beautify your home with Buddhist statues
Even today, the majority of Japanese houses have an altar called Butsudan to house special Buddhist relics and family heirlooms. Even if you don’t want to own an altar, adding a few buddhist statues to your home can bring a touch of tasteful serenity. Buddhist statues are a good idea in your meditation space.
23. Use cool stone tones
We’ve talked a lot about using wood and bamboo, but stone is another common element used in interior decoration. Tiles or stone tones complement wood paneling and add a cooling effect to rooms. For example, take a look at how the stone elements above complement the wooden design of this bathroom.
24. Chimneys Irori
For warmth during the cold winter months, many Japanese homes build a central hearth called irori. In addition to heating the house, this cozy square-shaped fireplace is used to heat pots of water and food. A irori central may not be feasible for many homes, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re hosting a lot of parties.
24. Add circular patterns
When you look at photos of Japanese designs, you notice that an increasing number of homes are incorporating clean circular patterns. Not only is the circle the simplest geometric shape, but it is also an important symbol in the discipline of Buddhism. See how the builders used the circles in the design above to give the home an air of simple beauty.
25. Opt for white walls
As we briefly explained earlier, many modern Japanese homes make white a big part of their color scheme. NOTn only white can bring light into the house, but it is also inspired by the ancient art of calligraphy. Look at the interesting way the designers used white and black as a kind of “geometric calligraphy” in this Japanese-style bathroom.
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25 Japanese decoration ideas that you can easily implement in your home
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