These days western designers more and more often vote for oriental motives: Chinese style bedroom ideas or Japanese style bedrooms. The latter becomes the topic of our today’s guide.
Perhaps, you could remember a typical Japanese bedroom by Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films. It combines delicacy, lightness, connection to nature, and its own original style – it’s not a surprise that it has become so wide-spread. The whole space is filled with light and air. It is not only a place where you sleep – it is imbued with a philosophy of calmness and serenity. According to it, the fewer things around, the less fuss and anxiety. Simplicity and moderation are the foundation stones of harmony.
So, the key features of a traditional Japanese bedroom are:
- Minimalism. If there are not too many things in the room, there are not too many warnings about them.
- Naturalness. Feel closer to Mother Nature and become its part.
- Rationality. Every item is supposed to have its function.
These aspects are partially historically and geographically derived. In fact, only one-third of Japan has a favorable living environment. The rest is a territory of severe conditions where one had to survive. Add to it regular natural catastrophes such as typhoons and tsunami. Now it explains why people in this country prefer light constructions and only bare necessities. Besides, the problem of overpopulation makes every piece of private space precious.
These aspects are partially historically and geographically derived. In fact, only one-third of Japan has a favorable for living environment. The rest is a territory of severe conditions where one had to survive. Add to it regular natural catastrophes such as typhoons and tsunami. Now it explains why people in this country prefer light constructions and only bare necessities. Besides, the problem of overpopulation makes every piece of private space precious.
Now let us dwell upon the details of Japanese bedroom design.
Plenty of Space
As we have already mentioned, the major theme of Japanese inspired living room or bedroom is minimalism. Actually, Japan’s room design is the most laconic style of all ethnic ones to arrange the interior. Space here seems surprisingly empty in western people’s eyes. Only the functional items that play a certain role are present.
How to organize space almost without furniture? The first solution is to hide the stuff into built-in wardrobes painted in the color of the walls. Other potential places for keeping are different pedestals. It is a part of traditional Japanese style bedroom furniture, but they can be really spacious at the same time.
Pastel and natural colors are typical for a Japanese style bedroom – milky, beige, creamy, sand, pearl, dark-brown. As a rule, light shades dominate, creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony. However, if you come to peace and harmony in the surrounding of dark colors, act as you wish. Slate, grey, brown, and even black are at your service. The place should look in a way that lets your eyes and thoughts to have rest.
Green and red colors are also frequently used, but they are represented with either light or dark variants, not very bright and quiet. Remember about moderation: three colors are usually used in the interior and one of them is major. A traditional range of colors for Japanese themed rooms is tones of faded autumn leaves, seafoam, cloudless sky, blossoming sakura, shore stones, and full moon.
And of course, contrast color scheme will become a zest of modern Japanese bedroom. Use cherry, brown, and black to put accents. Let the furniture or accessories like cushions or bedcover contrast with the walls.
The most classic example of this is surely a combination of black and white colors. It goes back to the philosophy of Yin and Yang, two halves of a whole, the human’s endeavor to find a balance between male and female energy, the earth and the air. A hieroglyph painted black on the white wall looks very stylish and authentic. Simple white ceramic bowls will fetch out the black wooden shelf. The bravest of you may even paint the ceiling black.
Speaking about Japanese style bedroom sets there are two basic principles to follow.
First of all, oriental furniture is placed very close to the floor – it is an additional way to declutter. To picture traditional Japanese bedroom furniture you just need to imaginatively saw off the legs of a usual chair, table, sofa, or bed. Here the constructions are close to the earth, they are low, but comfortable enough. The most ethnic variation is just a mattress on the floor instead of a bed. But of course, no one calls for such ascetism. You may just opt for a Japanese bed design with simple clean lines and without the legs that everybody used to.
The second rule of thumb is: a Japanese inspired bed is a central piece of the composition. The perfect solution is to place it right in the middle of the room. But if you are short of space, you may come to a compromise and put it in the middle of the long wall.
It is possible to complement the modern Japanese bed with compact bedside-tables or shelves, but adhere to the common strict interior. By the way, traditional pieces of furniture are simple boxes for keeping literally everything, serving the aim not to overload the space. Cabinets are lack any accessories, decorations, or carving as well.
At the first sight, you may think that floor is something that does not draw much attention. The truth is, the floor in a Japanese themed room often is one of the most essential details.
As far as you may know, it is a custom to be barefoot inside the house. While choosing the floor material it is strongly recommended to decide on natural materials – wood first of all. The natural wooden color makes a uniquely peaceful setting. As an alternative, you can select parquet or laminated material.
It is worth mentioning that nowadays we have an abundance of various finishing materials. So, it is acceptable to use even clay tile. But remember that it is cold material and you’ll have to shake an extra layer on the floor.
The thing is in other situations like in Japanese inspired living room ideas there is no need to use any carpets or rugs. But for the bedroom, an exception has been made. Traditional options are mats made of bamboo, gunny or rattan palm.
The most authentic cover for the floor is surely a tatami mat. It is expected to be made of rice straw, which is quite rare and pricey material. One more disadvantage is that it can be not very reliable. Not to spend a fortune you can be good with not very large pieces of tatami in bedroom design. Just shake them on the floor near the bed or in other highlighted areas.
Connection to Nature
People of this country are used to honor nature and think of their home as a part of it. It is expressed not only by faded, earthen colors in Japanese room designs but also by the usage of a wide range of organic materials. There is lots of wood: the flooring, panels on the walls, beams on the ceiling. Curtains are made of silk or flax.
Another way to get closer to nature is to house plants. However, huge and luxuriant plants would be inappropriate in oriental bedroom decor. Plants here are laconic yet expressive. You can opt for a traditional bonsai or ikebana – a composition of dry flowers.
The next point of Japanese themed bedrooms is sufficient daylight. Even Zen philosophy, which was born in Japan, teaches that a powerful flood of light makes a room completely harmonic.
Try to keep it in mind already on the stage of planning, if it is possible. A perfect room for a Japanese bedroom is one with the largest windows in the house.
Despite that artificial sources of light are also extremely important, especially when dealing with small Japanese bedrooms. The light in such a peaceful little world should be not very bright. Light fixtures tend to have simple forms, a sphere or a cube, for example. They are usually made of cloth, paper, bamboo, or glass.
Doors are one more special detail of Japanese bedroom ideas. These doors are absolutely silent and have an original folding construction. So, they do not merely emphasize the oriental spirit, but also save the room. Traditionally they consist of a wooden frame covered with strips of the board so that squares are formed. Above them, the major part of a cherry tree or nut wood is fixed.
If your room is big enough, folding screens will become a great addition to the Japanese bedroom set. Due to their lightweight construction, you can easily move them and slightly change the look of your place.
These Japanese bedroom decorations are also served the aim of creating some privacy. Many people decide to fence some areas off from the place of sleeping. It could be a table, a dresser, or a wardrobe. Sometimes the folding screens are used to conceal clothes hangers, dressing table, or various boxes and hampers.
As you may guess, the central figure on the stage is the Japanese style bed, so accessories are something that doesn’t matter. In fact, they don’t play the key role, but it does not mean they are completely absent. Without them, the picture would be incomplete.
These little but significant details in traditional Japanese bedroom can be represented by netsuke miniatures, jewel-boxes, fans, interior dolls in kimono, ceramic vases, and other oriental things.
An important place is given to ikebana and niches in the wall where works of art are placed. What is special about it: in Japanese room designs, a single wall is taken by only one picture or niche with a vase or a statuesque, which is the dominant accent. It is believed, that hanging several pictures on one wall is the same as listening to several songs at the same time.
The house is thought of as a living creature. That’s why Japanese style bedroom furniture and other items are made of natural materials like bamboo, silk, wood, hand-crafted rice paper. Many of them are hard to find and their price is rather high. It’s up to you, whether to take a strong line over it or purchase more affordable analogs.
Balance in Everything
As professional designers note, this style features a mystery and understatement. Everyone can find here something personal and read between the lines. The philosophy of the Japanese bedroom style can be described as simple beauty without grandiosity. According to psychologists, this type of interior is often chosen by sober-minded people who can see something attractive in everyday things. If you turn the features of this style into your favor, you will create a cozy, comfortable, and serene place.