If you’ve decided now is the time to spruce up your home, and you’re looking for an interesting new theme to revamp the place, may I recommend adding a touch of Japanese Zen style to your home?
When it comes to contemporary interior design, both minimalism and the Asian-inspired look are still very much in and the Japanese Zen style seamlessly mixes both with amazing results. Seriously, if you want your home to feel clean, calm and clutter-free, use some of these tips to bring a touch of the East to your space…
Nature Elements are Important
Go into any Japanese home, and you are likely to see at flowers, bonsai trees, lucky bamboo, or one of those three things at least. The Japanese have an intense love of nature, and they bring that love to the indoors. So, whatever else you do, be sure to add at least a few Japanese-style plants and flowers to your space, and look after them!
Keep it Light and Bright
If you want an easy way to make your home more Japanese Zen-inspired, then start with the walls, paint them white, or a light cream, which is minimal, attractive and which will reflect the light to keep the place feeling airy. Keep the windows uncovered (where possible) to maximise the amount of light you let in too – the Japanese typically have big windows to make the most of their view but if you can’t afford that, keeping your windows clear of blinds and other obstructions is a good compromise.
Wooden Floors and Furniture
Japanese decor is big in natural solid wood. As a nation that is particularly big on cleanliness, especially within the home, the Japanese tend to favour solid wood floors, in particular, not only because they are very easy to keep clean, but also because they add a richness to the room and they bring another natural element into play. The same goes for furniture, so get rid of those Formica chairs and that cheap flat-pack table and replace it with a solid wood affair.
If you’re the crafty type and you’re looking for a project, get out your best origami paper and make a string of traditional Japanese lanterns. When used sparingly, these will brighten the place up, while adding an authentic touch and not ruining the Zen calm of a mostly minimalist home.
Consider Screens or Sliding Doors
As you’ll probably know, traditional Japanese homes were filled with sliding paper doors and a type of screen known as a Shoji. These were used to make the most of the available space in the country, where space is very tight, and they can be used to similar effect here. If, for example, you are able to remove a wall and replace it with a screen, the room will feel more spacious, and you’ll get more light because screens are obviously thinner than walls!
If that’s too expensive, then using a screen for decorative reasons, and perhaps to section off a corner of the room where you can relax and read or meditate, or even hide your clutter, is a good alternative.