Everything Japanese is delicate, exquisite, admirable…Curiosities and dainty objects amaze you by their very multitude: On either side of you, wherever you turn your eyes, there are countless wonderful things as yet incomprehensible. But it is perilous to look at them…The shopkeeper never asks you to buy; but his wares are enchanted, and if you once begin buying you are lost. Cheapness means only a temptation to commit bankruptcy; for the resources of irresistible artistic cheapness are inexhaustible. The journalist Lafcadio Hearn (1850- 1904) wrote these comments in an essay reflecting on his first day in Japan in 1890. They encapsulate the continued attraction of Japanese arts and crafts for Westerners, from his time to the present day.
Japanese interiors attract the clean lines of modern and minimalistic qualities of decor. As westerners, we love our interiors to be filled by eastern civilization qualities aesthetics, such as the Zen-like qualities of space, open floor plans, natural materials, and nature inspired neutral colour palettes.
Open Spaced Floor Plans In Japanese Interiors
Unlike Eastern civilization, it’s a Western tendency to place furnitures closer together and in abundance. Open spaced floor plans that keep walls to a minimum and embrace views to the exterior are added quality of Eastern culture. These interiors embrace nature and views, and having open floor space between furniture and the built environment around your interiors will naturally make your space feel lighter and less weighted down.
Japanese Decor To Bring Authenticity
Authentic pieces of decor are the key to Japanese infused spaces. Laying down tatami straw mats, which are a beautiful backdrop underfoot and double as attractive ways to bring in flooring texture on the floor, could cover wide floor areas. Shoji screens or translucent fusuma screens, the traditional rice paper screens, are used to separate areas of a room, or are used for gorgeous backdrops in an interiors. They serve to screen out harsh light and can also be used for window treatments. Bringing these decor ideas into a space will add the instant oriental details into an interior.
Natural Materials Unite With Architecture
Use of natural materials has been embraced by Japanese interiors. Materials such as bamboo, timber framed carpentry, and dark metals such as iron, and rock are all significant aspects of these interiors. They can be applied into different spaces, such as the kitchen, bathroom, and main living spaces. Bamboo wood floors, accent walls made from flagstone, or river rock, and simple lines can mimic the Japanese aesthetic for spaces. Adding minimalistic, simple and low to the ground furnitures will amplify the sense of aforesaid aesthetic.
Connection To Nature
From gardens in outdoor home to wide expansive uses of glass that have minimal mullions to interrupt the view, Japanese inspired interiors have a connection with nature. Whether the connection is physical or is only visual, the ability to open up the space with sliding glass doors, wall doors, or butt-glazed glazing to unite one space with another are just few interesting features of these spaces. Whether it’s man-made or truly natural, Japanese inspired homes have a connection to make humans feel one with nature.
Less is more, is the motto for Japanese inspired interiors, and minimalism and natural colours and materials fits spaces seamlessly. As we discussed, the Japanese design style is mostly based on a connection with nature, low maintenance interiors, and relaxing surfaces.
As we now have come to understand, the appeal of these Japanese aesthetics is based on a very specific set of design sensibilities that have a basis in fine craftsmanship tied to the particularities of the culture that instilled certain values in their makers. Because of that, we will dedicate our next article to discuss Japanese aesthetic principals.
2. Patricia Jane, Japanese design: art, aesthetics & culture, 2014, Graham, 160 pages