The simplicity and beauty of Japanese style has been adopted the world over and it’s easy to see why Japanese designers are revered. Whether you choose a contemporary Japanese style with a monochromatic colour scheme and clean lines, or go for something a little more quirky and nostalgic – a sprig of blossoms and a scattering of Japanese lanterns - Japanese design has something for everyone.
The Simple Things in Life
Japanese interiors are simple, uncluttered and sparingly decorated. How the space is planned is important and the choice of homewares considered and carefully chosen for impact rather than blending into the area. When decorating in a Japanese style, less is best. If you feel the space becoming too cluttered then take something away. Give your homewares enough space so that they are noticed not lost.
A Calming Influence
Colour is also used sparingly and the main palette natural – off-whites, black and wood tones with a splash of brighter primary colours. Let your decorative elements sing in brighter tones – vases, prints and lamps or lanterns – and keep your floors, walls and blinds and drapes to the main, natural hues.
Nature to Nuture
There is something about bringing the natural world indoors that calms and excites all at the same time. Japanese interior design incorporates the outdoors with large windows and sliding panels that allow loads of natural light in and views to the outside. A typical Japanese garden is also quite structured to complement the clean lines of the interior. If you do not have large glass windows or doors, then a small structural plant, such as a Bonsai or a branch of blossoms, a bamboo panel or other artwork can work just as well to give you a garden feel indoors.
The Great Divide
One signature Japanese interior-design element is the screen. Whether it’s a paper or cloth Shoji or a curtain to separate areas of a room, the screen is a dynamic and luxurious touch. It can also be a clever way to make use of the room in a number of ways or to allow for privacy when sharing a room. A beaded curtain is a glamorous alternative to the Shoji screen – perfect for a romantic bedroom.
Cool and Clean
When choosing furniture in a Japanese style, look for pieces that have a clean and unfussy appearance. Even antique Japanese furniture is simple and reserved. The tansu is a great example with its uniform colour and simple joins and embellishments. More modern Japanese furniture design is sculptural and can be quite eye-catching in a sparsely decorated room – Japanese style.
Get the look…
• Simplicity is key with Japanese design. Less is best
• Cool and natural colours work best - think black, off white, browns and moss green
• Bring a little bit of the outdoors inside by incorporating a small structural plant, a sprig of blossoms.
• The Japanese Shoji is a signature design element. Experiment with different ways to divide your room: beaded curtains or panels can be used to dramatic effect.
• When choosing furniture look for simple and unfussy pieces.
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Katie Evans - Milan Direct