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Basic Contemporary Japanese Furniture Design Guidelines


Recently, the home decorations of Americans are starting to change; it has been departing from their lavish designs and even their ornately designed rooms for the olds. Nowadays, we are purchasing much simpler furniture and yet elegant in the eyes. This practice is seldom being seen as an old practice from the ancient Japanese. As a matter of fact, most of us is a bit familiar with the Japanese’s furniture which has been first designed in the 1500’s which are also known as the Edo period and had undergone some changes in the present period. Now, let us discuss a quick guide to contemporary Japanese furniture design.

[one_half_first]Most of the Japanese people do believe in the concept of “Ma”, which is commonly being known by them as a proper balance between any objects in a space. This is the main reason why a lot of the traditional decorations of Japanese are creating a simple and yet stunning room not just cluttered or even the plain ones.[/one_half_first][one_half_last][/one_half_last]

Japanese styled furnitureFor us to be able to create a living space which has the designs of the Japanese, there are some few details that we should consider putting in our room. Like for example, instead of using some carpets, we could simply use some tatami mats which has been made from the straws of rice and can be also used for sleeping, sitting, or even just for covering of our wooden floors. The tatami mats have a border of black fabric and a light tan color which makes it aesthetically pleasing rugs.

The Japanese have been known for their classic furniture design ideas for centuries. Decorations all over the world have been shifting from their usual lavish designs to the Japanese furniture. People are now searching for elegant but simpler furniture. Most of these Japanese designs are perceived to be ancient but in the real sense, they keep evolving. In fact, Japanese furniture designs were first created in the 14th century but have undergone numerous changes over the time.

Japanese designers best ideas

Majority of the Japanese designers and people in general believe in the “Ma” concept, to them, this is the balance between an object and space. No wonder the traditional Japanese decorations are known for their simplicity, yet stunning decorations.

In order to create a space that has Japanese designs, there are some few things that we must put into consideration. For instance, we can just use tatami mats instead of using carpets. Tatami mats are made from rice straws and can also be used for sitting, sleeping, or perhaps covering our wooden floors. Tatami mats are made up of a light tan color and a black fabric border which makes them very pleasing.

Japanese styled table

As much as these Japanese designs are simple, they can be expensive in other parts of the world due to their course of marketing and shipping. So, a piece of furniture that may be common in every Japanese household translates into a very expensive piece of item in the west.

But it does not mean you should not be aware of various Japanese furniture that are available out there. Not forgetting the decorating tips that will make your house have a sense of Japanese culture in decoration.

Popular Japanese Furniture Designs

The Japanese believe that the best way to harmonize with your surrounding is to include some natural wooden elements in your home. So, most of the furniture in Japan is wooden from chairs, tables and other household items. Some of the most commonly used wood includes red pine, cypress, maple, hemlock and even Bamboo.

  1. The Japanese Genkan   

The genkan is basically another name for the Japanese house entry point. This is the point where the visitors are greeted and welcomed in the house. In addition, the Genkan is where the shoes are placed and replaced with indoor slippers.

Within the Genkan, there is a shelf called a getabako and it is where the shoes are stored. This entry is made up of wooden and simple design and of course plenty of lighting to enhance its appearance.

The Genkan also acts as an airlock where it prevents the outside air from entering. Due to its strong cultural significance, the Genkan is still a common feature in most of the modern day Japanese homes.

  1. The Raku Tatami Bed

One thing worth noting is that majority of the Japanese furniture is normally down low to the ground level. Copying their culture would therefore be similar to incorporating ground-low furniture into our homes. One typical example of ground-low Japanese furniture is the Tatami Bed.

Raku simply means comfort in Japanese and the Tatami bed is the perfect example of this expression of this comfort. It is easy to set up and comfortable as you are laying back and relax on it.

In addition to their comfort, these Raku Tatami beds are Eco-friendly. This basically means that the Tatami beds are made in a way that is friendly to the environment compared to other products in the market. Unlike other furniture that are made of toxic chip board or particle board, Raku bed is purely made from solid Para wood. Para wood is basically wood that has been farmed and managed unlike wood fetched from forests.

Secondly, the type of finish and stain that is used on these beds cannot emit toxic gas into the environment since it’s inert. Lastly, this bed does not use any steel dowels, nails, or screws for assembly. The corners are instead joined by ingenious means of slot-locking that is not only sturdy and simple but also easy to put together. It is only the middle rail that uses steel bolts to secure the rail and middle legs for the purposes of creating an extra sturdy and strong bed.

  1. The Japanese Tatami Mats

These authentic Japanese Mats are ideal for covering your floor and are soft to rest on and comfortable to walk on or even lay your mattress over. Tatami mats are designed in such a way that they can withstand many years of heavy use. They are suitable for bedrooms, entrance areas, meditation rooms and martial art studios.

This rush straw Tatami Mats are simply unique in two ways; comfort and firmness due to the rushstraw. So, they are neither too soft nor too hard. Tatami mats have been in existence for hundreds of years now.

There are two categories of these Tatami mats in the market – the less expensive ones that are made of wood board or water board and of course the more expensive ones that are made from rice straw. The layered grass straw mats can be time consuming but they make your floor valuable and unique.

Since Tatami mats are made from rush straw, they are categorized as agricultural products and must therefore meet various regulations in the west for pest control purposes. Most of the mats meet these regulations since they come covered with various pest control pesticides before entering in the United States.

Since they are manufactured and processed naturally, Tatami mats are eco-friendly compared to others. Most of the manufacturers also use infrared heat process instead of fumigation gas or toxic powders. In addition to this, any straw components are cleaned before manufacturing. What this means is that your floor covering is made from all renewable and natural materials that are eco-friendly and non-toxic.

With the right treatment, the Tatami mats can serve you for more than 20 years. You can use these mats in a variety of places and they will still bring that sense of beauty and harmony in your home. Tatami mats are believed to bring order, balance and good luck. So, what are you waiting for? Bring fortune in your homestead today.

  1. The Shoji Lighted End Table

If you are searching for hard-to-find furniture for your office or home, then this Shoji lighted table is all that you will need. Even when this table is not lit, it is still a sleek and beautiful table. When lit, it becomes more than just an ordinary table – it transforms into a stylish piece of furniture casting a luminous and soft glow and a source of ambient or non-directional light. Elegance and simplicity are the major themes of this Shoji table.

One unique aspect of this table is that light is emanated from its core, which illuminates any office or home with a unique glow. Made from Warlon rice paper and wood-lattice, this high end table comes with the benefit of light-fixture.

In addition, the table can be used to beautify your living room or as a nightstand on the sides of your contemporary bed. This bed is exclusively designed and manufactured by the Haiku designs. Available in black and brown natural mahogany stain, the Shoji table comes with beautiful patterns on both sides.

  1. The Arata Japanese Platform Bed

The Arata bed has borrowed its themes from the harmony and simplicity of Japanese culture. This will therefore be a good way of introducing the Asian elegant style into your living room.

The most prominent thing about this Japanese bed is its low profile frame feature, which sits ground-low on a pedestal wood surface. Its padded headboard made of leather gives convenience and comfort and it’s great for leaning on as you watch your movies or read. The two side shelves on both sides of the bed offers you a relaxing comfort.

“Arata” is a Japanese word for fresh or new, and this bed will definitely bring you that fresh and new look in the bedroom. For even a more stunning appearance, you can combine this elegance with some Shoji lamps.

Basic Design Principles that must be observed

Even as you search for some elegant Japanese furniture, it is important to have some decorating tips at hand and be able to apply them successfully. There are those who are born with great designing skills and then there is the rest. If you are one of those people who have no designing skills, here are a few tips to help you.

  1. Follow the odd numbers rule

The basic idea of this rule is that objects and details that have been grouped in odd numbers are more memorable, appealing and effective than the rest. This rule comes in handy when it comes to grouping objects in varying shapes, heights and texture.

  1. Find your room’s focal point

This is the most emphasized element in a room. It’s the first thing that your eyes are drawn to when you enter a room. So, know what should be at the focal point and what should be around the focal point to complement it.

  1. Know the basic rules of measurement.

Don’t use your eyeball when it comes to arranging furniture and hanging curtains. There are certain measurements when it comes to decorating your room.

About the Author

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I love writing about interior design. I am in love with achieving harmony at home to improve the well-being of my family. I usually write for the "Visitacasas" blog, both in Spanish and English, and personally answer the questions about home decoration of all our users.

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