Japanese style in interior design: a piece of Zen philosophy in your home

Japanese style in interior design is a kind of ethnic trend in minimalism, which implies refined color mixes and laconic forms in combination with extraordinary design solutions. This design direction can be easily recognized by the abundance of natural materials and flower arrangements (ikebanas). It will appeal to those who like simple, properly structured space with a minimal amount of furniture.


  1. Distinctive features of Japanese style apartment
  2. Lighting
  3. House in Japanese style
  4. Bedroom
  5. Kitchen
  6. Japanese style furniture
  7. Living room
  8. Bathroom

What makes a Japanese-style apartment different?

Apartment design usually begin with the selection of color scheme. Inspired by nature, the Japanese prefer mostly restrained light tones (milky, light beige and cream). These shades prevail when choosing the color of walls, furniture and fabrics. It should be noted that all surfaces in the apartment should be smooth. In general, this direction does not require much effort. Simply follow the correct color scheme and adhere to minimalism when choosing furniture. Japanese-style room design suggests:

  1. Relax island in the center of the room;
  2. Only necessary furniture of natural wood;
  3. Vintage materials;
  4. Bamboo sliding doors;
  5. Mix of wooden, glass and metal elements;
  6. Japanese-style ceilings are necessarily square or rectangular;

Lighting in Japanese style

Lighting of this style is of particular importance. Different kinds of ligths are able to create a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere in the room in the spirit of Zen philosophy. Pay attention to the modern ceiling lights under the “Shoji”. They are covered with paper, which is a mixture of cellulose and polyester, therefore it lasts longer. To create diffused lighting, you can choose bamboo table lamps or tatami lamps.

Pendant lights will also be a great choice. They are ideal for any space. Initially they were made of copper and they consisted of 4-6 sides. Today, these Japanese-style chandeliers and lamps are made of paper, glue and bamboo. Usually they are placed in well-lightened corridors.


Japanese style house

Houses are usually small and close to each other. The main features of a traditional dwelling: privacy, natural light, protection from the elements and close contact with nature, regardless of the size of the house and its location. Most city dwellers cannot afford homes for themselves because of limited land in the country, but Japanese apartments usually contain traditional elements such as a jacuzzi and a staircase entrance. The interior of the house often involves a single room with tatami. Elements of traditional interior design, inspired by Western architects for a long time, can be found all over the world.


The right way to design a bedroom is to start from the floor, gradually moving up. Mat-tatami is ideal to cover the floor . Traditional tatami mats are made of rice straw and are very comfortable to walk without shoes. If there are no tatami to cover the entire floor, just lay a small tatami mat in front of the bed.

Furniture that is used in oriental culture has low legs. Therefore, a Japanese-style bed for a themed room should be as low as possible. Complete the bed with bamboo details and place the basic lacquered chest of drawers next to it. Instead of a bed, you can put a mattress right on the floor.

When choosing furniture, it should be remembered that all items of furniture in the bedroom should meet only functional needs. Therefore, do not clutter up the space, leave only the most necessary decor items. The interior design of bedroom in the Japanese style does not tolerate excess.

Decorative items made from natural materials such as bamboo, rice paper or wood, will help to decorate the room. You can emphasize the bed and chairs with silk pillows. You can also hang silk curtains in the bedroom. Rice paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling will also add authenticity to the room. Choose one or two pictures of nature or cherry blossoms.


Japanese kitchen

The interior design of the kitchen in the Japanese style can not be attributed to a particular mood. The kitchen can be warm and cozy, as well as restrained and spacious. You need to create an attractive and comfortable place to spend time with friends and family.

As for the decor, with beautiful little things the interior of the kitchen will be perfect. Note the following:

  • Bamboo in a floor vase;
  • Panel with hieroglyphs or people;
  • Mats as seats or tablecloths;
  • Japanese-style dishes and chinaware: tea sets, bowls, plates;
  • Cotton Curtains;
  • Rice Paper Shades.

Furniture in Japanese style

Furniture should be contrast, for example, from lacquered wood in black. The Japanese prefer the furniture of elegant designs on low legs. It can be a low coffee table, and you can use low ottomans and pillows placed directly on the floor as a place to sit.


Living room in Japanese style

Minimalism in decor and simplicity of forms are signature features of the style. Therefore, should exclude unnecessary details, such as photographs, paintings, figurines and modern metal and glass decor items, from living room interior. Walls must be bright. You can buy white or cream wallpaper for the walls in the Japanese style on the fabric or plant-based.

You can soften the severity and add more comfort with the help of traditional plants (bonsai), inscriptions from hieroglyphs, images of sakura branches, as well as authentic accessories (katana sword). Details such as a screen, curtains with contrasting images will complement a Japanese interior.

The interior of the living room includes a flooring with bamboo or laminate flooring. Such floor is durable, practical to use, easy to clean and it does not afraid of temperature.


Japanese style bathroom

The traditional bath within this style is a deep bowl (ofuro) completely hidden in the floor. It is made from natural wood. Before you plunge into the bath, you should take a shower, which is located separately. Also in the bathroom there is a dressing area, separated by a screen or partition. To create an oriental interior in a small bathroom, you can apply styling with the help of ceramic tiles and panels. Pick up light, calm tones. The main wall can be made of wood or straw. A diffuse spotlight will be a great addition to a relaxed atmosphere.

Let’s take a video tour of beautiful modern country house, that has lots of traditional Japanese features:

See also some of our numerous cozy home stories:

Japanese style by Swedish designers

Japanese hotel Nobu in London

About Author:
Serge Pufik is the founder and mastermind of pufikhomes.com blog. Sergiy is an economist by profession, he worked in real estate and from childhood was fond of interior magazines. Together with his wife Anna they run design studio PH Studio, managing projects in Ukraine and far beyond.
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