The Japanese or Zen style of interior design focuses more on simple décor and carries with it a peaceful and calm ambiance. Their architecture and design are majorly influenced by Japanese culture which has been established well over thousands of years and therefore brings in a refined and serene look.
The Japanese style of interior design is clutter-free, clean and consists of a blend of ancient culture and natural beauty.
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Simple traditions and practices such as tea ceremonies etc. clearly depict the rich culture of Japan and make us want to replicate them. In case you are one of them much influenced by the Zen lifestyle and want to inculcate same into your life, then here are a few tips to get you started.
I. Include Elements of Nature
Natural elements have hugely inspired the Japanese apartment interior design. With the addition of plants such as bamboo and bonsai, you will be able to include a glimpse of Japanese culture within your homes. However, you could also include deep greenery within your interiors. Try adding sleek plants such as orchid and palms to your house and refrain from using colorful flowers. The traditional Japanese house design focuses more on simple, natural and green plants rather than on vibrant and colorful shades.
The Japanese style house plans also consist of wide and expansive windows which allow nature's view from every possible angle. For instance, in this image below, the large windows allow you to have a natural view of the scenic beauty outside.
II. Don't Forget the Soaking Tub
The sound of bubbling water provides a soothing and relaxing effect on your soul. Similar to plants, components of water are an essential part of Japanese homes too.
‘Offuro' meaning bath is one of the traditional Japanese elements which is worth adding to your homes. The soaking tubs of Japan are small in size, however, are deep and often have a sitting bench. These tubs have been loved by people in the East and are owned for health reasons.
Make your bathroom a place to relax by adding these Japanese soaking tubs. It is one of the best ways to blend West with the East and get a spa-like environment in the comfort of your home.
III. Japanese Sliding Doors or Screens are a Must
One of the essential parts of the Japanese home is ‘Shoji' which in English means screen. Adjusting and utilizing each inch of space is a must in a small apartment, and therefore people have shoji which can slide back and forth. This helps in saving up any extra space which might be covered by a swinging door.
These screens are made up of translucent white paper and are held by a wooden frame. However, their modern version utilizes glass instead of paper. They can be readily bought online and are easy to install and use.
One of the other important properties of this screen is that they don't block any natural view or light. By using these glass screens instead of expansive walls, you can easily incorporate the Japanese style of living within your household.
IV. Include Wood and Bamboo
One of the best ways to bring nature into your house is by incorporating wooden elements into the same. Zen culture makes use of some beautiful wooden elements throughout their homes such as doors, walls, sliding grids and frames. Some of the most commonly utilized wood for this purpose are maple, hemlock, and red pine. Bamboo is also popular and used for decorative purposes.
V. Have a Simple Entryway
A Japanese entryway is called a genkan and is an area where visitors are greeted, and shoes are stacked in shelves or cabinets known as getabako. This cabinet is simple in design and usually present in a well-lit location, as can be seen in the image below.
These homes have stone floor tiles especially near the entryway. To get a Japanese design, we suggest you have clean and simple lining of these tiles on the floor
VI. Include Japanese Furniture
Japanese do not tend to differentiate or part their home as TV room, sitting room, etc. however, we can still inculcate their styles in our sectioned homes.
Most of the furniture present in the Japanese home is set low. For an occasion such as tea ceremony etc. the furniture are totally abandoned, and floor cushions used instead. One can simply include this style by including low ground furniture in their homes, for example, a low bed or simple side tables as depicted in the image below.
However, in case you want a more authentic feel, then a plank table surrounded by floor cushions would be a perfect means to have dinner as well as to get that romantic feel. Whether you want a hybrid of eastern and western cultures or just an authentic Zen design, the Japanese style furniture is a perfect addition to your homes.
VII. Incorporate Zen Elements
As you would have probably figured out by now, the Japanese style of interior design focuses more on clean and minimalistic approach, and therefore no clutter is seen in a Japanese-themed home. Sometimes there even isn't much of furniture present in such houses either.
How can you get this design in a home full of furniture and modern comforts? This feat can be efficiently achieved by having a simple yet clutter free look in your house.
Furniture used in your home should be simple yet modern and crafted out of natural wood. The lighting in your house can be modern or angular. You can also switch to the authentic Japanese lantern style which would give you a more traditional look.
VIII. Allow Natural Lighting with Open Spaces
Open space and simple designs are two trademarks of Japanese interiors. Now, we focus on another parameter which will help you achieve this feat, natural lighting. The best way to get that perfect Zen look would be to include large expansive windows and skylight designs for that impeccable look.
Stay clear of any heavy drapes on your windows. However, in case you need a bit of shade, then you can opt for bamboo shades or gauzy curtain panels.
IX. Follow Popular Color Trends
Following their proximity to nature, the Japanese style of interior design consists of some simple colors taken straight from nature. Most of these hues draw inspiration from the brown of woods or the green of leaves. The floors of such homes are predominantly made of wood or grey stone tiles, and the walls are replaced with screens made out of opaque paper.
Don't forget to include a bit of greenery to this design and do have some natural houseplants within your premises too.
X. Define a Place for Meditation
Go deep into the Japanese culture by including a serene space for meditation or yoga in your house. Isn't it great to have one of the rooms like the one seen in the image below? Find a quiet location in your house for meditation or sipping a cup of tea. Add a bit of live greenery followed by walls painted in cool green, and there it is, your perfect Zen hideaway.
Though you might haven't got much access to Japanese culture, still you will fall in love with this simple and calm décor which has its roots buried deep down in history.
Don't forget to add all these principal components mentioned above and you will get yourself a home that speaks tons about its rich culture.