Japanese Style: Minimalism In Its Purest Form

Japan is a marvelous country, with a unique, distinct history, isolated from other cultures, not influenced by foreign trends for a long period of time. Its deep and one-and-only culture is mostly identifiable by the desire and success to harmonize the coexistence of the Japanese individuum with the nature surrounding him, by giving up unnecessary emotions and experiences.

This style mostly showcases a tendency towards minimalism, emphasizing the functionality of such a home, due to the perfection of simple shapes, the use of large spaces and the lack of additional objects. At the same time, the Japanese interior is dominated by natural materials and shades of cocoa with milk, sand, beige, milk.

Refinement taken to the extreme, nobility of materials and purity of lines are some other keywords of Japanese decoration. This style has been able to draw attention and influence the fundamentals of the Japanese art of living to offer home interior softness and well-deserved poetry. 

Bamboo, washi paper and ceramic are my favorite elements. Cherry blossoms, cranes, fish and Seigaiha motifs bring Japanese poetry to everyday life. Kokedama and ikebana vegetate interiors provide such homes with just the right amount of chlorophyll.

The time when Japan started sharing its cultural gems with the rest of the world is really not so far away from today.  Thankfully, from this magical encounter Japonism was born, the influence of Japanese art on artists of all kinds, decorative arts, literature, music, fashion … This influence is still present, especially in European decor, which has integrated this “art of living”.

The flagship materials of Japanese decoration, for a Zen home

The futon bed is a must in Japanese decor, in order to set up a genuine Zen bedroom. Comfort and serene sleep will now be your travel companions.

Washi paper is another item you want to have in your Japanese style home. Handcrafted from long fibers of paper mulberry, it is very popular amongst the Japanese.

Thanks to its incredible resistance, lampshades, wrappers or invitations are made with this material, having a soft and very pleasant texture. Washi paper is so popular that it has even been included on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2014.

Items to use as interior decor

Another quite frequently used material is bamboo. Historically linked to plenitude and abundance, the usage of this tree is infinitely connected to this country’s art of writing and painting. Moreover, it plays an important part in their tea ceremonies, where covers, mats and dishes are made of it.

On the other hand, bamboo (or thatch) can be utilized as a decoration for terraces and gardens. Nowadays, these materials are widely used because of their hygienic properties, as well as because of their resistance in time.

Japanese ceramics with their supreme refinement always make an impact on a wooden fiber tray. Even though Chinese ceramics are better known to the general public, this art is one of the oldest in the Japanese archipelago.

Each prefecture has its own style, sometimes inspired (or not) by close neighboring countries. The kintsugi technique is very popular and gives a striking and spectacular effect. In effect, it is about repairing broken porcelains and ceramics with a lacquer sprinkled with gold.

Nature to immerse yourself in Japanese decor

Cherry blossoms, butterflies, birds, fish, waves of the blue sea are the often stylized essentials of Japanese poetry. The Seigaiha or seikaiha motif which means “wave of the blue sea” is another crucial trend of the style. This thousand-year-old drawing, which can be found everywhere today, is printed on fabric or paper, delivered in its original version with a superposition of 4 semi-circles or revisited and/or stylized.

Birds, especially cranes, are believed to be godly creatures, which should be worshipped and cherished. A local legend of “a 1000 cranes” teaches us that if we manage to fold in the face of problems, within a year, one thousand cranes will fulfill the desire for a long life or true love. 

An easy-to-make element of decor is the garlands. You can use details like birds or flowers. Other often-seen elements are the tree blossoms. For example, sakura is a very popular detail in Japanese art. The flowering of these trees is linked to a holiday called hanami, celebrated on the whole island state. A token of affection and vigour, courage and discipline, the golden carp is another relevant symbol of Japan.

The sobriety of Japanese style

No Japanese decoration can exist without the creation of an air of simplicity and minimalism. As we have already mentioned, the calmness of shapes and the moderation say everything here. Japanese designs never include frills and opulence in shapes or chromatics. If the Japanese give themselves some space for fantasy in patterns, their furniture is always quite monastic, sober, and practical! To find furniture pieces in this style you can go to homeydesignstore.

Japanese panels and partitions remain very aesthetic options for dividing a room into two and are easy to put in place. These are multiple sliding or fixed partitions or doors. Originally, such pieces were covered with paper. 

These Japanese partitions can give way to perforated walls (trellises) whose openings will have simple shapes to stay in the Japanese spirit or similar screens. The lamps, with very simple shapes, are also covered with paper. 

To refine a Japanese decor, you have to add green to your rooms. The arrangement of plants and flowers is another area where the Japanese excel. Besides bonsai, there is also ikebana and kokedamas. 

Ikebana is an ancient art of flower arrangement. Long a leader in Japanese-style interior design, it is an almost compulsory element, another way to miniaturize things but without the complexity of bonsai.

Japanese interior design is a way of manifestation of a person who wants to escape the hustle and bustle that happens outside their home. This style is for the one who isn’t willing to accept chaos into his thoughts and actions, one who is able to observe and admire the beauty of simplicity and calmness.