Interior Styles: Traditional Japanese


Good Morning all. How was your weekend? It was a lovely weekend for us over here. Although the rain has been replaced with a cold snap and the threat of snow, it was blue skies and sunny for some of it. As a result, we were out and about, rugged up from head to toe enjoying good food and friends.

For the interior styles column today we head east to the wondrous world of Japan. I’ve been a lifelong fan of the Japanese. I grew up on watching Anime (Japanese cartoons) which my husband and I bonded over when we were dating. But it wasn’t until we traveled to Japan together, that we fell in love with both the country, it’s people and each other. If I had to choose any country in the world that I would return to, this would be it. I could go on and on, but that’s another story for another time.

Traditional Japanese interiors must be one of the most recognised in the world. It’s safe to say that all modern zen-inspired interiors would have gotten their roots from here. The foundation of these interiors are based on minimalism and simplicity, with a strong emphasis on bringing nature into the home.



  • These interiors have a strong relationship with nature. In fact, there is always an external wall in the house that is removable to create the integration between the outside and in.
  • There is a lot of veritcal and horizontal detailing in a Japanese home. These details are always made with wood.
  • Shoji screens are wooden frames with rice paper in the middle. These frames are used throughout the house as movable sliding doors creating a flexible open plan space. The rice paper allows natural light into the home in the form of a translucent glow.
  • High traffic and functional areas such as the hallway and kitchen have wooden or stone flooring. Other rooms where people would normally sit, socialise or sleep are covered in Tatami Mats which are a traditional style of floor covering made out of rice straw.
  • Though walls were tradtionally made  of mud, they are always a muted beige colour
  • Furnishing and accessories are minimal and simple needing to perform some sort of function.





At first glance you might think that this type of interior has no place in a typical modern home. However when I think about the key elements, I realise that we are actually already living with many of the elements that are derived from this style. For example, my house is open plan,  I have a sliding door that opens directly into my garden and my kitchen floor is made of stone tiles. How about you? Do you like this style? Do you have any of the key elements in your home? Please do tell I’d love to know.

I hope you have a happy Monday, till tomorrow. xD

Image source: Japan Style by Noboru Murata and Kimie Tada


2 responses to “Interior Styles: Traditional Japanese

  • tina @colourliving

    Wow, how nice to hear your story with your husband!

    I have to say that Japan is top of my list! Everything tells me I will love it and I can’t wait… from the food to the interiors to the Zen Gardens, to stationery, books, typography… shall I go on?? maybe not:-)

    I think one can re-create that style here in the UK. The only problem I forsee is the weather. Warm dry weather would help x

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