by 空間設計aun

6 steps to a modern Japanese-style home

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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The modern Japanese interior exudes effortless style, serenity and sophistication. It is a look that encapsulates the best of minimalism, the warmth and cosiness of Scandinavian decor and the best of Zen-style interiors. But how can you make a modern Japanese-style home? Well, here at homify we spend a lot of time pouring over photos of beautiful Japanese-style interiors. So we have whittled it down to the essentials and packaged it up with some of our favourite Japanese interiors. Come with us for a short guide on how to make a Japanese-style interior work!

1. A place to enjoy the outdoors

Nature is at the very heart of the modern Japanese-style home. It pops up in a huge amount of ways within the home. But for now, we'll explore the importance of a Japanese-style outdoor area. The outdoor area is almost always clad in wood and there are no big or splashy furnishings. Instead, there may be a simple grill, built-in wooden furniture or just space for portable furniture that is brought outside when needed. If there isn't the space or opportunity for an outdoor area, the view is often landscaped to create a perfectly framed window view.

2. Tatami room

Tatami rooms are soft and comfortable rooms that are meant to be used without shoes or even socks. They are used as living rooms and were once the hallmark of upper-class homes. But they are used in modern, middle class homes as well these days. The flooring can be a little delicate and it's best to use few, if any furnishings. Soft cushions are commonly used for seating. This lovely tatami room even has sunken floor.

3. Add a Japanese-style courtyard

 Media room by arbol

Courtyards are a huge part of the modern Japanese-style home. They might take the form of little glass-walled gardens or interior courtyards with outdoor access. Japanese architects often create homes with an L-shaped layout so an internal courtyard can be fitted. This allows for lots of light to penetrate the home and creates lots of private outdoor space. It also creates the opportunity to use the elements of natural to decorate the interior spaces as well.

4. Make the entrance genkan-style

 Corridor, hallway by FCD
FCD
FCD

Keen-eyed readers may have noticed that many of the Japanese interiors we present here on homify have home entrances with sunken floors. This is called a Genkan entrance and is a big part of the modern Japanese home. In a modern Japanese home, the flooring is often made from concrete and there is usually a humble wooden cabinet used to store shoes. The step that leads into the home is used to make one conscious of the moment when one passes over the threshold and into the private sanctum of the home.

5. Add some shoji walls

Shoji walls are one of those features that really define Japanese homes. These were traditionally made from rice paper, highly delicate and used for internal walls only. But in the modern Japanese home, shoji walls are often used externally as well. The delicate rice paper is simply protected by a wall of glass. Don't forget that they allow lots of light to pass into the home and are used to separate living spaces as well.

6. Use wood to create the ambience of a forest

Japanese homes are absolutely replete with wood and natural materials. Wooden floors, doors, ceilings and furniture are an absolute must. Metal, stone and natural woven materials are also popular accompaniments. But wooden materials should really draw the most attention. Finally, the prevalence of nature does not end there. The subdued colours of nature are also a big part of the Japanese decor.

If this guide has you excited to infuse some more natural elements into your decor, you'll love: 7 amazing indoor garden ideas to try.

What is your favourite feature in the modern Japanese-style home? 
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