Sunday, February 19, 2012

Japanese values translate directly to interiors.


Understanding some key principles of Japanese lifestyle will result in a better overall design. Notably their simplistic approach to function and form and their use of  Eco friendly and sustainable materials. Their reverence to nature is humbling and the result is peaceful and harmonious.

Image via AquaCreations
Simplicity in design; natural, earth friendly materials, Eco friendly bamboo Tatamy (mats) line floors, its texture creating pattern and depth. Shoji ~ Simple white paper screens within bamboo frames. Neutral calming colors in the paper 'panes' allow for a play of light and shadow, creating diffused soft lighting that follows the principle of the moonlight.

Origami Light by Llan Garibi  for AquaCreations
Flexibility of furniture seen in the Shoji screens, the ability to join spaces together or separate them by sliding the screens aside. To be able to open the screens and let the outside in whilst picture framing the ever changing landscape.

Function Change a sleeping area into a recreational area by simply rolling the futons away. Only the kitchen, bathroon & toilet are defined areas, all other areas are multi functional. Efficient use of resource and space is a fundamental part of Japanese culture.

Modesty & Respect Found in most homes a Genkad (entryway) is the place to leave your shoes  upon entering a Japanese abode and show respect for your hosts. Modest use of natures gifts and respect for the environment is clearly a part of their heritage.

Here are some modern day interiors with strong Japanese influence.

Japanese influence is very obvious in this dining room. The water feature creates a magnificent focal point, a clever twist on a Tokonoma (Japanese alcove where artistic items are displayed). The neutral rug imitates Tatamy, and hessian or bamboo panels line the rafters. Shoji screens divide the room in true Japanese style and paper globes chandeliers give off a diffused light.

A teak Japanese bath by William Garvey

 ARTechnic build a unique holiday villa which is in sync with, and not giving in to natures forms.

Photograph by Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Photographs by Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Looking at Japanese interiors always invokes a sense of peace in my mind. I don't like clutter. I am not a fan of over designing a space, and often choose to let individual pieces of furniture or art work stand out in their own right. In my kitchen designs, I allow for breathing space, even when storage is at a premium I believe that form and function should work together and I do not let one overpower the other.

Implementing any of the principles above  is possible in any style of interior design, showing empathy for materials and keeping simplicity in the forefront when designing can help create a pleasing and balanced room

Keep it simple & stylish!

Wishing you a great week ahead

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