When hearing the three words, "Japanese interior design", you can immediately get an image of how the design of that area would look like. Most people would think of a tranquil and down to earth vibe. Learning about various interior designs will teach you a lot about how to use your creativity in different projects. Japanese design is a category of its own, and by understanding how it is used as a brand you can also learn more about the culture in which it portrays.
There're certain ways to get a Japanese touch into the home: having a simplistic design with few focal points is one way. Basic interior design principles can be applied to the home to achieve a Japanese interior design. This theme stands out for being disciplined, minimalistic and harmonious.
Though Japanese interiors can sometimes be structured geometrically, the design is not too complex but simplistic and organized. The basic principle is that you do not collect more things then you need. This minimalistic view of design makes the spaces appear more open and gives a sense of tranquility.
Shoji is a framework of wood covered with paper and/or other light-passing materials. It is mainly utilized for sliding doors, room dividers, lamps and side tables.
Tatami are Japanese mats placed in traditional homes.
The tokonoma is a traditional Japanese alcove. It is mainly there for tea ceremonies and a focus point for meditation. Walking into a Tokonoma is not allowed as it's only made for displaying scrolls, Ikebana and okimono.
By TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋)
The Japanese colors are straightforward and graphical. Colors used take a lot of influence from nature. Therefore natural colors and neutrals are most frequently seen. Black and white are the two neutrals that are most used: white gives out a clean and spaciously open appearance and black distinctively defines various lines and shapes. Black does not require that much attention but discreetly blends in with other neutrals.
Statements and boldness is often shown with red color. Most frequently it's modestly used to highlight different accents, but can also, when used boldly, be seen in bigger amounts. Another common color is blue, also a very natural color that brings calmness.
Tranquility comes from the minimalistic approach, but also because of the natural materials that are used. The most common wood is bamboo, which happens to be a very eco-friendly wood as it grows approximately ten times faster than other woods. It's used to make all kinds of furniture; from tables and chairs to rugs and bead curtains.
Silk is another well used material in Japanese interior design. Silk, like bamboo, is seen on almost any kind of decoration such as pillows, fans, screens, wallpapers and paintings.
Imari is porcelain that has received its name from the sea port town in Arita, Japan, where goods were shipped out to both domestic and foreign markets during the Edo period.
Some common usage of Imari porcelain include pieces like:
• rice bowls
• tea cups
The tansu (sometimes also referred to as "dansu") is Japanese chest of drawers. The type of tansu that looks like stairs is called kaidan-tansu, (in English "step chest" or "step tansu"). It was used as stairs from the ground to the attic in houses in Japan during the 18th century, when the taxes of the homes where based on the height of the house.
Because of the minimalistic approach to interior design, many Japanese furniture are multi-functional. The most popular and known item is the futon bed.
Japanese fans have traditionally been utilized in many occations. They've been used in war as weapons and for sending signals, they've also been a part of a Geisha's dance performance. But Japanese fans are mainly symbolizing friendship, respect and have been popular choices for gifts. Hanging a couple of decorative fans is an easy and elegant way of welcoming Japanese design into your interior.
Ikebana is an artistic flower arrangement. It combines heaven, earth and mankind. The arrangement of flowers balance the exterior with the interior of a home, and so various kinds of flowers and branches can be seen in the same display. There are educated experts who arrange Ikebana but as any other kind of art; beginners can also arrange Ikebana with some patience.
The Ikebana is often set as a focal point in a Japanese interior and can mainly be seen in a tokonoma (Japanese alcove).
Okimono are small sculptures. Most commonly made out of wood, ivory and metal. They represent animals, imaginative figures and also important humans such as Buddha.
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