Japanese style in interior design

The restrained and exotic Japanese style in the interior is consonant with modernity. It is often used to organize the space of small studio apartments, cozy summer cafes, living rooms or bedrooms. It is based on minimalism, striving for harmony with nature and self-knowledge through the world around us. The traditional style of the interior of Japanese premises was formed in the 16th - 17th century, but its basic principles are still relevant today.

Discovering Japanese interior design, it is important to feel and understand the philosophy of the existence and world view of the Japanese - the bustle of the world around is irrelevant, only the order in their thoughts and actions is important. Therefore, to achieve harmony with oneself does not require an abundance of furnishings, bright decor and expensive items of the executive class. It is enough to see beauty in the small, in everyday objects and surroundings. This style will appeal to pacified people who value order and consistency. At the same time, they very subtly feel the high aesthetics and beauty of the surrounding space.

Japanese style in interior design

History of style formation

Japanese interior design was shaped by several factors:

  • climatic conditions ;
  • constant fears of a sudden earthquake;
  • a dense population of the islands and, as a result, a small living space per person;
  • stinginess of the Earth’s interior to natural resources, , iron ore;
  • national traditions and life philosophy.

The main features of the Japanese dwelling were outlined in the 16th - 17th centuries. It was at this time that the middle-income strata of the population began to form, capable of luxuriously furnishing their dwellings. Occurred the birth of the capitalist structure of the state, with a clearly defined centralized power. The country's leadership was even more able to equip their homes in the latest fashion. However, this did not happen. Japanese philosophy oriented citizens to other values. The beauty and primordialness of the world - this is the true value, unlike all the benefits and achievements of mankind. Such views and preferences led to the fact that the premises were not decorated in a foreign manner, filling them with alien furniture, carpets, statues and other things.

Japanese style in interior design
The traditional furnishings of a Japanese home.

Moreover, historically it happened that the geographical location and features of the area contributed to the invention of the unique traditions of the construction of houses and other buildings. The Japanese built homes in the light of a possible earthquake. The walls of the house were made into teams, so that after the destruction they could be assembled as a designer again. The ancient buildings also differed folding foundation, which allowed the owners to disassemble the house, move it to a new place and assemble again. The inner walls of the original Japanese house are missing. This is due not only to the probability of an earthquake, but also the desire for free space.

Japanese style in interior design
A typical Japanese house.

It was the free layout that made room for a small dwelling feel. If the townspeople did not have the opportunity to afford a spacious house, and they had to live as a big family in a small dwelling, then they in every possible way took care of the free area. Therefore, the design in the Japanese style involves the use of a minimum amount of furniture, decor and textiles. The most related to this style is modern minimalism. Although in a traditional Japanese house there are no clearly marked rooms, but the entire area has a pronounced zoning. It is made with the help of multi-level floors and ceilings, bamboo and paper screens and partitions, diffused and accented lighting.

Modern Japanese style is somewhat different from the traditional design of the 17th century. Historical events have enriched the experience and capabilities of the Land of the Rising Sun. Events of the First and Second World Wars, technical and scientific progress led to new construction and design opportunities. Along with the natural materials available in Japan, concrete and metal structures, modern materials that imitate the surface of stone and wood, were used. At the same time, the desire to unite with nature, self-knowledge through the external environment, the vision of the beautiful in the small remained unchanged.

Japanese style in interior design
Interior of a modern apartment.

The basic principles of the Japanese style are

Today, creating ethnic Japanese style in interior design, they are guided by the following principles:

1. The theme of nature is at the heart of everything. If you are making out a country house in the Japanese style, it is important to arrange not only the house, but also the garden. The house should be its natural continuation and occupy a secondary role. The view from the large window and doorways should certainly open up onto a picturesque lawn, pond, fountain or bench in the shade of a curved tree.If the conditions of a city apartment do not allow to make it part of the natural landscape, then they try to decorate the interior with picturesque views. They use fountains, aquariums, grow small trees or bamboo in the room.

2. Light colors are preferred. The Japanese sought to supplement the beauty of natural materials with unobtrusive monophonic warm colors - beige, sand, cream, white. Often in Japanese interiors found black. However, the Japanese do not consider it as an independent color that carries a certain semantic meaning. It is only a background that allows to emphasize bright details.

3. For the decoration of the premises, they use natural materials or replace them with artificial ones, imitating the structure and design of wood, stone, bamboo, straw or rape.

4. Furniture must be tending down. There are no high legs, backs, shelves, headboards. It has a smooth monophonic surface and regular geometric shapes.

5. Nothing in the interior should distract from self-knowledge. Therefore, the use of decor is reduced to the necessary minimum. Laconic forms, business-like strict, the furniture is low and straightforward, as the ancient wisdom says that life should take place on tatami - floor mats.

6. To indicate living rooms, bamboo or racial paper walls are used on a wooden frame; walls are removed. In the living space should be as much free space and fewer things.

Japanese style in interior design
Modern interior with an open layout, squat furniture and a characteristic niche in the wall.


To create a distinctive Japanese-style room design, they are based on pure colors.

The original Japanese colors:

Halftone is not welcome, the interiors do not use bright contrasting color mixing. Japanese philosophy tends to order, so it tries to eliminate chaos in everything. To get a beautiful interior, it is enough to use one pure color in combination with natural surfaces of wood, bamboo or stone. For example, the beauty and structure of the tree perfectly emphasizes the white color. A network of annual rings and knots can be seen against its background. To revive the calm color range, underlining the main areas of the room use a pure red color. This is the color of strength and masculinity.

Japanese style in interior design
A harmonious combination of white and natural wood with an emphasis on red.

Dark colors are also used to create a feeling of peace and harmony with the outside world. Most often, this effect is achieved due to the structure of a darkened tree in combination with black furniture. The dark interior in the Japanese style is not as common as light, but it is quite acceptable. The main thing is to achieve the geometric order condition.

Japanese style in interior design
Geometrically organized space in dark colors.

Japanese style in interior design

Ecological materials - the foundation of the style

In order to reflect the island flavor with its minimalistic features, choose the materials that were available to the indigenous people of past centuries . Materials that were freely available in nature. They were not exported from faraway countries and were not purchased from neighboring states.

These include:

  • cedar, maple, sugi or kiri wood;
  • stone tile;
  • reed and bamboo;
  • matting and wicker vine;
  • silk.

Even the design in modern Japanese style limits the use of linoleum, vinyl and plastic surfaces. It is permissible to carry out surface finishing using environmentally friendly artificial materials with a decorative surface for natural counterparts. For example, a laminate is chosen for the floor instead of wood; instead of natural silk, a more affordable and similarly woven fabric is used.

Japanese style in interior design
Modern materials in the decoration of the apartment in the Japanese style.

Japanese style in interior design


Japanese interior design is suitable for a seated person contemplating his inner world, meditating, resting at home from the hectic of the outside world. Therefore, all the furniture is characterized by the earthiness. As if the usual wooden furniture cut off the legs and put on the floor. The number of furnishings is limited, the smaller they are - the better. The room should not be anything extra.

Traditionally, the house has:

  • straw or matting mat;
  • a low table for tea drinking and food surrounded by small seating cushions ;
  • instead of a traditional bed, tatami are used or the mattress is placed directly on the floor;
  • the kitchen is equipped with a hearth and lockers with closed shelves behind which they hide all kitchen utensils; sinks are more often in the form of a bowl and the traditional wooden bath of ofuro (or similar in shape).

Japanese style in interior design
The room is furnished with simple wooden furniture with straight lines.

Japanese style in interior design
Modern Japanese-style bathroom.

Japanese style in interior design

Usually, wood was used to make furniture. The higher the position of the owner, the more valuable and expensive the wood was used. Treasure chests, cabinets, dressers could be made of inexpensive conifers, or, conversely, of durable and durable teak. Expensive furniture decorated with forged elements, varnished. At the same time, the cost of the furniture was not deliberate and did not catch the eye. It had a simple form, there was no lush decor on it. Modern furniture has adopted all these principles; it is notable for its interesting forms, squat design and naturalness.

Therefore, when selecting furniture to create a Japanese style in the interior, you can use two options:

1. buy genuine items from a historic store or flea market with a historical past;

2. or pick up suitable modern counterparts from the Japanese collection.

Japanese style in interior design
A table and chairs for drinking tea in the living area.

How to use sliding doors and partitions in the interior

Shoji dividers not only form the appearance of a Japanese home, but also carry a practical functional load. With their help, you can easily change the layout of open living space. Usually they were made of bamboo and rice paper. They are often used instead of walls that are not able to withstand an earthquake. Shoji due to its light weight can withstand a cataclysm, and in case of deformation, they are easy to replace with new ones. Modern manufacturers offer several options for decent replacement of partitions - compartment doors with a characteristic pattern, panels with painted bindings for decorating walls or ceilings.

Japanese style in interior design
Sliding partitions

Japanese style in interior design

Doors and partitions, as well as portable screens, are able to transform the look of the room and create a cozy corner anywhere.

Window decoration

Not only the interior of window openings deserves attention, but their external appearance. Typically, the Japanese house was equipped with long canopy engawa, which allowed the house to penetrate the scattered natural lighting, and sent rain flows away from the home. Despite the fact that there are many windows in the Japanese interior, there is little light coming into the house, twilight reigns in the room. This is one of the characteristic features of style. Darkness and twilight are not afraid, they let him into the house.

For the design of the windows from the inside, use straight webs of cloth or paper. Their distinctive feature is that they can move not vertically, but horizontally. Ruffles, draperies or ruffles are not typical for Japanese screen curtains. In modern interiors, screen curtains are replaced by similar rolls or roman ones.

Japanese style in interior design

Japanese style in interior design

Japanese style in interior design


For flooring use durable wood, stone tiles, sea pebbles. On the floor you can lay tatami. The main thing is not to have them crosswise. This is considered a bad omen. The floors are also complemented with carpets of natural materials - vines, reeds, coarse yarn.

To create a Japanese style in the interior of a modern apartment use:

  • light parquet or laminated board;
  • self-leveling floor;
  • ceramic matte tiles.

Japanese style in interior design
Cozy floor with natural flooring.

Japanese style in interior design

Japanese style in interior design


Natural materials or their various combinations are used to finish the walls. For example, a room may have wood paneling around the perimeter. Or wooden lamellas are effectively combined with smooth plastered and pastel-colored walls. Also the walls with stonework can be interspersed with areas pasted over with paper wallpaper. Smooth walls are decorated with paintings or engravings depicting nature.

Japanese style in interior design
A modern version of the wall decoration.

Japanese style in interior design


The color and shape of the ceiling corresponds to the general style:

  • it should have a clear shape for example, a rectangle or a triangle;
  • the color of the ceiling can repeat the color of the walls;
  • for wallpaper, matte paint, stretch fabric, or hanging panels.

To highlight one or another zone in an open layout, ceilings are made in several levels, trimming each zone differently.

Japanese style in interior design
White painted ceiling, equipped with wooden beams and slats.


Textile design of the interior is made unobtrusive and cozy. Pick up natural fabrics of inconspicuous shades. For example, silk, linen, cotton or blended fabrics. Traditional drawings that complement Japanese textiles depict views of Mount Fuji, scenes from the life of samurai, hieroglyphs, and animal world.

Textiles are used for decoration:

  • windows;
  • sleeping areas;
  • seating areas;
  • screen

Japanese style in interior design
Textiles in an ordinary Japanese apartment.

Accents used in the style of

When creating Japanese interior design, they strive to achieve harmony and balance in the first place. Therefore, even with accents, the space of the room should look harmonious and balanced. As the decorative elements decorating the house, choose characteristic objects of bright contrast color or with a prominent pattern.

These can be:

  • paintings and engravings;
  • china and decorative vases;
  • tea set ceremonies;
  • rice paper or silk;
  • bonsai trees;
  • Japanese lanterns;
  • Buddha figurines.

Japanese style in interior design

Japanese style in interior design


Light plays an important role in creating the color of the oriental interior. An important feature of the lighting is the use of sources of diffused, rather than directional light. Lamps made of rice paper and bamboo are suitable for this purpose - Akari lamp. Including lamps and sconces in different parts of the room, the Japanese change the perception of the interior, illuminate specific objects or areas. This technique is extremely important for the separation of an open-plan room.

Japanese style in interior design
Combination floor and ceiling lamp made of washi rice paper.

Japanese style in interior design

Japanese style in interior design

Japanese interior design has obvious national features, making it one of the most sought-after ethnic styles among modern designers. It is characterized by the use of natural materials, national interior and everyday objects, the desire for harmony with oneself and unity with nature. To design a city apartment in the Japanese style, it is not necessary to follow all the national features; it is enough to pick up an interesting idea and embody it.

Photos of the design idea of ​​a modern apartment


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