The traditional Japanese architecture and lifestyle is for many architects a source of inspiration. The fascination that we Westerners have for Eastern interior design is easy to explain: peace, space, serenity, silence and keen eye for detail. These are elements for which we, in the hasty Western, secretly long for. How can you reach this at home? Let me try to explain today.
The Japanese love uniform open spaces. “Less is more” is only an understatement. A first lesson we, people from the West, should learn. No bits and pieces, no scrappy decorations. No, we only need what is necessary and efficient in a home. All the rest only takes space and we don’t want that, because it shatters the peace.
The different rooms are mostly open and are connected to each other directly. Very often you find indoor gardens or elements as such inside. The Japanese are in love with nature and the peace it brings with it. No matter what, they will always implement it in their rooms. Yet, when a partition is required, they will use transparent or half transparent materials, like glass or canvas. Actual walls are avoided.
They are also masters when it comes to minimalism, which shows strongly in their choice of furniture. This does not mean they have no keen eye for detail. On the contrary. Just because they try to keep their spaces as much as empty, each piece of furniture is very well-considered. Straight lines, square-shaped objects and neutral colours totally belong to this lifestyle!
In terms of colours, Japanese opt for neutral shades. White, black, dark brown and grey often recur. Flowers and plants brighten up the whole package. And if they decorate, they will use items like tropical bamboo or rice-paper.
I think the Japanese lifestyle is so interesting and definitely worth looking into it. Especially because it involves history and philosophy. Anyone might know a good book on this theme? I would love to hear from you!