9 features of the Japanese interior

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Blooming sakura, the snow-capped peak of Fujiyama of an almost ideal triangular shape, multi-colored silk kimonos, Tokyo skyscrapers, graceful houses with a sharp-angled roof, sushi and sake – these are perhaps the very first associations that arise after the mention of Japan. In the past few years, this associative series has been joined by the Japanese style in the interior, which has already gained popularity in many countries of the world..

You can choose the Japanese style for interior decoration for a variety of reasons:

  • firstly, its minimalism meets the most current fashion trends;
  • secondly, the Japanese style is not just a variation on the theme of decorating a room, but also a separate philosophy, therefore this interior design option attracts those who are seriously interested in the East and Buddhism.
  • thirdly, for our country, such an interior remains exotic and allows you to stand out, emphasize your individuality;
  • fourthly, the interior, decorated in Japanese style, allows you to organize the space as efficiently as possible, use every corner and centimeter of the apartment, it is very functional and practical;
  • fifthly, the Japanese style in the interior is simply unusually beautiful and elegant.

What features and characteristics have allowed the Japanese interior to become one of the most famous on the planet and compete with such recognized leaders as classicism, Mediterranean style and minimalism? Is it possible to decorate an ordinary city apartment with a modest size of living space in a Japanese style??

Nine features of the Japanese interiorThe Japanese interior is easily recognizable, and not only thanks to the use of hieroglyphs as decor, but also to its unique charm and elegant restraint

The first feature – nothing more

Laconicism is undoubtedly the main characteristic of the Japanese style in the interior. Only functional items used in everyday life are present. For example, your favorite books or dishes from which guests will be treated can take their place on open shelves, but there is no place for various trinkets or souvenirs. The only exception is Buddha figurines or other cult items that are of great importance to the owners..

Most of the things are safely hidden behind the facades of built-in wardrobes and closed shelves, which are often painted to match the walls, giving the impression of an almost empty, uncluttered space.

In this respect, the Japanese style has something in common with minimalism, it is often called the most laconic ethnic option for interior decoration..

Nine features of the Japanese interior A striking example of laconicism in a Japanese interior – a minimum of shades, simple forms, no pretentiousness or pathos

The second feature is the absence of bright colors

Is the Japanese interior characterized by pastel, natural shades – milky, beige, cream? sand, pearl, dark brown. Often, rooms in this style are decorated using the traditional, most contrasting colors – black and white. For example, hieroglyphs written in black paint on a white wall, or simple snow-white ceramic cups on a black wooden shelf look bright and unusual..

If the African style is yellow and orange, the Mediterranean is blue and olive, country is a colorful combination of all kinds of shades, then the Japanese style is most similar in color to the classics with its snow-white columns and pastel tones of decoration.

Green and red are also sometimes used in Japanese interiors, but they are more often represented by their light or dark shades, slightly muted and not too bright. The color scheme of the Japanese style is the colors of withered autumn foliage, sea foam, cloudless sky, cherry blossoms, coastal stones and a full moon.

Nine features of the Japanese interiorBlack and white are the traditional colors of the Japanese style, emphasizing its restraint and laconicism

Feature three – curtains

The main principle of the Japanese style – “nothing superfluous” – is continued by curtains, which with their strict forms and the absence of any frills and folds can compete with the more famous Roman “colleagues”.

Japanese curtains are fabrics of equal size, most often natural – cotton, linen, silk, which are placed around the perimeter of the window. Often they are also called screen or panel curtains, since they are really attached to a window in the form of a screen, quite coping with the role of protection from sunlight and prying eyes..

In order for the curtain to hang evenly, a rigid insert is attached to its base, in this form the panel can move along the window in the desired direction, unlike Roman curtains, never going up. Japanese curtains can be used not only to decorate the window, but also to frame the doorway, if the fabric is thick enough, then also as a screen separating one area of ​​the room from another.

Nine features of the Japanese interiorJapanese curtains are usually designed in the same color scheme as the entire interior – beige, white, milky, the pattern has a right to exist, but it should alternate with a plain surface

The fourth feature is unity with nature

To understand this distinctive feature of the Japanese style, it is necessary to remember the peculiarities of the country itself – a small, overpopulated, constantly subjected to tests in the form of earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis. The Japanese are very careful about the environment and consider their home to be an integral part of nature, which is perfectly illustrated by the example of the Japanese garden, in which the house becomes another element of landscape design..

For the Japanese, the landscape has always been and remains a traditional continuation of the interior of a house or apartment. This feature of the national dwelling can be successfully used in a country house by making a wall in a winter garden or on a sliding terrace.

In relation to the interior of the apartment, closeness to nature is manifested in the choice of discreet, pastel shades, and in the widest possible use of natural materials. The Japanese prefer wood to stone, screens that replace walls and partitions can be made of rice paper or bamboo, the flooring is also natural wood or the same very durable and reliable bamboo, the walls can be decorated with wooden panels, curtains – only natural, from silk or linen and so on.

Indoor plants also contribute to closeness to nature, however, lush palms or huge ficuses will be inappropriate in a Japanese interior – the flowers here are also laconic and at the same time expressive. It is better to choose a traditional Japanese bonsai or even a dried plant composition – ikebana.

Nine features of the Japanese interiorWicker mats, bonsai tree – all these are indispensable elements of the Japanese interior

Fifth feature – emptiness and space

The classic Japanese interior is a surprisingly empty space by European standards, in which, at first glance, there are no pieces of furniture at all. Of course, it is impossible to do without furniture items, although the Japanese style persistently strives to create such an impression..

How to decorate an interior without furniture? Easy! Podiums, which often become part of Japanese interiors, are actually very spacious storage places – hatches, drawers and niches in the floor can accommodate a lot of useful and necessary things, while the rest of the items are hidden in built-in wardrobes painted in the color of the walls. The place for rest is tatami – wicker mats, small pillows and fabric mats. All these items can be removed from the room at any time, and even when tatami is laid out around the room, they look more like a floor covering than a sofa or armchair..

Nine features of the Japanese interiorThe Japanese interior is quite functional and has no furniture at all – soft pillows and tatami are quite capable of replacing traditional sofas, armchairs and chairs

Feature six – original furniture

Of course, the Japanese interior is completely unfurnished – on the one hand, it is a pronounced classic, tested over the centuries, and on the other, it is exotic in its purest form. However, it is very difficult for residents of Western countries to completely do without pieces of furniture, because the Japanese style of interior design offers its own, special option for furnishing rooms..

To imagine Japanese furniture, you need to mentally “saw off” the legs of an ordinary dining table and chairs, bed and sofa. Japanese furniture is a squat structure, low, but at the same time quite comfortable.

Nine features of the Japanese interiorIf you saw off the legs of an ordinary European chair, and lower the table to the floor by a few tens of centimeters, you get a completely traditional Japanese dining set

Nine features of the Japanese interior There is no way to sit on ordinary chairs at a traditional Japanese table – only on pillows, tatami or wicker circles. Europeans need to get used to this way of eating – at first glance it is rather inconvenient.

Antique Japanese furniture is called tansu – these are unusual chests of drawers on wheels, travel chests with massive lids, which can also serve as benches, sideboards and staircases, in which each step is a capacious drawer.

Translated from Japanese tansu means “box”, that is, the usual place for storing things that are of particular value to the family, reliable, roomy and easily moveable in space.

In the Japanese interior, it is tansu that replaces traditional European walls, wardrobes and numerous open shelves. Even books are often folded into closed chests so as not to clutter up the space with unnecessary items..

Another feature of Japanese wardrobes is that they have smooth fronts, without expressive carving, ornaments, drawings and accessories..

A Japanese bed is not necessarily a tatami or just a mattress thrown on the floor, although this option has every right to exist, in the modern interpretation it is an ordinary bed as a whole with a headboard, only low and without the usual legs.

Nine features of the Japanese interiorA Japanese bed, if the size of the room allows – is always low and wide, is traditionally located in the center of the room and becomes the main, and often the only piece of furniture

Nine features of the Japanese interiorMinimum furniture is a distinctive feature of the Japanese interior

Feature seven – accessories

As mentioned above, accessories in the Japanese interior do not play a major role, but they are always present – without them, the design will look unfinished.

Such small but significant interior elements can be miniatures of netsuke, bamboo rugs, boxes, fans with sakura images, interior dolls in kimonos, ceramic vases, decorative bonsai trees, simple mats and other things in oriental style..

A special place in the Japanese interior is occupied by ikebana, as well as niches in the wall, in which especially significant objects are located, unique works of art, for example, an ancient scroll with a wise saying, a Buddha figurine, a rare vase of the Ming era, and so on..

An important nuance – the Japanese place on one wall only one niche with a vase or statue, just one picture, which is the main focus. According to the Japanese, hanging several paintings on the wall at once is like listening to several songs at the same time..

Nine features of the Japanese interiorA minimum of accessories, each of which can carry a special meaning, is another feature of the Japanese interior

Feature eighth – philosophy

As professional designers note, the Japanese style is characterized by a certain incompleteness, a mystery. In such an interior, everyone can find something of their own, interpret certain images in completely different ways. Clarity and verbosity are alien to the Japanese, and in the design of interiors this characteristic national trait manifested itself especially clearly.

The philosophy of the Japanese interior can be described as “beauty in small”, without pathos, flashy colors and unnecessary details.

Psychologists note that an apartment or house decorated in Japanese style has a pacifying effect on all its inhabitants, helps to leave behind the doorstep all the problems and troubles of the “big world”, to feel calm and relax in a cozy atmosphere..

Usually Japanese style in the interior is chosen by sensible people who are able to see beauty in the most ordinary, simple things..

Nine features of the Japanese interiorBefore decorating the wall with a picture or a lantern made of rice paper with the image of a hieroglyph, it would be nice to know what exactly this or that symbol means – “simply beautiful” drawings in Japanese interiors are rare, usually these are inscriptions with deep meaning, wishes for good and well-being

By the way, the Japanese with the help of ikebana, which for a European will look just like a dried bouquet, can express their current mood.

Feature nine – versatility

The Japanese interior allows the most efficient use of space, perfect for decorating a country mansion, and for a tiny city apartment. The “housing issue” in Japan is very acute, because the inhabitants of this country have learned to value every square meter of space, trying to plan the arrangement of pieces of furniture and functional areas so that all family members are comfortable.

This principle will allow even in a studio apartment with an area of ​​no more than 30 “squares” to organize a full sleeping place, a dining room and a relaxation area. Traditional screens can serve as partitions, mattresses or tatami mats for the day are hidden in wall niches or in the podium, freeing up space for everyday activities, and a fairly large number of guests can be accommodated at a low square table on pillows.

Nine features of the Japanese interiorThe Japanese interior in a studio apartment allows you to create many almost invisible storage areas and organize the space in such a way that there is enough space for both everyday activities and for receiving guests.

Of course, the choice of interior style is a matter of taste for home owners, some prefer classics, others deliberately rustic country, and still others are sure that there is nothing more attractive than high-tech.

However, it should be noted that the Japanese style is one of the most elegant, attractive and easily recognizable of all existing trends in interior design. Its clear geometric lines, laconicism and simplicity will allow to achieve the main goal of every homeowner – to create a cozy, comfortable and attractive home..

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