From the West, one of the first images that comes to mind when we talk about Japanese culture is its zen and very minimalist aspect. It is indeed something that we find in Japanese gardens with their small streams, their sand carpets and the stone lanterns. But we also find a similar style inside the houses which also have very few decorative fantasies in order to purify the furniture as much as possible and thus create a relaxing atmosphere. This is partly why Japanese interior design has a lot of influence in Europe. However, it is not always easy to succeed in creating the same type of atmosphere because our house architecture differs on several points (no genkan , no tokonoma , no shoji , etc.). This is why we offer you some little tips to successfully recreate a similar atmosphere in your home without having to break down the walls.
Install plants or floral arrangements
Beyond the fact that the Japanese people are very close to nature, if they manage to marry so well with it it is mainly because they make sure not to make a distinction between nature and urban elements. modern. For example, the shoji , which is the sliding door made of bamboo and washi paper in traditional Japanese houses, aims to let the outside weather penetrate into the house through its translucent color, but also to remove the limit between the house and the garden by sliding into the wall.
Although it is not necessary to review the arrangement of your French doors if you want to bring a relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere into your home, one of the first things to do will certainly be to acquire plants and/or flowers. . Bonsai trees will be a very good choice for this because they embody Japanese culture well and emanate a certain satisfaction when you get lost in looking at their curves and their style. However, if you are a fan of floral arrangements and you know how to juggle between the different ikebana vases to arrange floral arrangements, don't deprive yourself of letting your art speak.
As for the exhibition, although our European houses do not have a tokonoma to showcase your floral arrangements, you will easily be able to find a place for them either on the ground or possibly up high if you have the space. possibility.
Arrange an entrance in Japanese style (genkan)
If you have ever had the chance to be welcomed by a Japanese host, you must have noticed that leaving your shoes at the entrance was not an option. This is justified because many have a washitsu for the main room which is made up of tatami on the floor, so this prevents it from getting dirty.
Maybe you don't know this, but the room where you left your shoes is called the genkan . Unlike shoji, which aims to blur the boundary between the house and the garden, genkan, on the contrary, clearly demarcates the house, which is a quiet space, from the street and urban space, which are much noisier.
If you want to make your home a relaxing place, it may therefore be wise to make the entrance a separate place where you will only find the shoes and possibly a few accessories such as a wall-mounted key holder for practicality . To do this, purify the furniture as much as possible and choose it if possible with a natural material such as wood.
Choose natural colors
In keeping with the natural beauty of the outside world, Japanese homes generally contain simple colors taken from nature. The predominant colors come from the browns of the wooden elements and the greens of the plants. The floors are wood or gray stone tiles, and most walls are replaced with screens covered in opaque paper.
This design allows for a simple and very neutral color palette. So how can we imitate this in our own interior rooms? Try incorporating these natural wooden elements through shelving, wall panels and flooring, or add the gray tones of stone into your floors or even furniture.
Also, don’t forget to add plenty of green through natural houseplants as mentioned earlier. Simplicity is key when choosing your color palette. Look outside your windows to see what natural color elements you can incorporate into your home today.
Create a Zen meditation space
If Japan and its traditional culture manages to promote such a relaxing atmosphere it is of course thanks to all its minimalist codes, but it is also because they themselves are people of calm nature. This is partly because many of them practice meditation. Creating a room dedicated to this practice is therefore a plus which will allow you to completely dedicate a space to this relaxing style of decoration by bringing in accessories such as candles or incense.
Find a quiet place in your own home to place a cushion on the floor so you can meditate or just sit and relax. Don't forget to add a water point, so that its runoff drowns out any disturbing noises.
Paint the room in calming greens or browns, add some live greenery, play some calming music and you'll already have a great start! You have your own Japanese hideaway in the image of Zen culture.
Even if you didn't grow up surrounded by ancient Japanese culture, you can still fall in love with its very peaceful and deeply historically rooted design aesthetic.
To achieve this style, imitate its clean, simple and minimalist design in every room of your home. Add to your home: natural wood features, simple greenery, natural lighting, modern furniture, water features, a deep bathtub, plush floor cushions, sliding doors or screens, a mediation and lots of colors derived from nature.