The Japanese look is taking off in a big way, thanks to its simple elegance and minimal edge. Our top interior designers in Los Angeles show you how to do it….
Simplicity and space are the main tenets of the Japanese philosophy when it comes to interior design.
These are usually wrapped around the principal of Zen – that of living in peaceful harmony with one’s surroundings. And nowhere does this matter the most than the place where you lay down to sleep at night!
Whether it is on the exterior of Japanese architecture or the open, multi-purpose interiors of the rooms, the Japanese like to embrace Zen wherever they are.
When our designers come to try and theme your bedroom into a Japanese style, they will usually begin, as the Japanese would do, from the bottom up.
The first place that they will start will be with the floor.
In Japan, the floor is not a cluttered place and carpets are not popular.
Tatami mats are traditional mats which are made from rice straw. These are simple and natural textures and very comfortable to have under bare feet.
This does not have to extend to the entire floor and could be used simply to cover the main areas that you walk over regularly, a bit like an area rug.
The bed needs to be made as low as possible and placed in the center of the room.
Traditionally, most furniture in Japanese homes is centered in the rooms.
You could opt for a traditional Tatami mattress or possibly a futon, but our designers can still work with a more traditional bed if you prefer.
The bedstead, if there is one, will be a simple oblong construction. Dark woods are popular materials and there may be dark wood flooring underneath the main bed area.
The palette in Japanese homes is usually for natural colors. This may mean neutral earthy tones such as browns and beiges. It may also mean whites and creams.
We are not suggesting that you can never use bolder colors such as reds or blues. But merely that these would be used in accessories and placed sparingly around the room.
Returning to the natural theme of Japanese homes, our top interior designers in Los Angeles will try to eliminate as many traces of synthetic materials as possible.
We would probably do this in most rooms, given the chance, but with a Japanese themed design, it is paramount to give nature the starring role.
So this means natural materials abound in your Japanese bedroom.
The materials that we would be looking to employ would be things like bamboo, paper, wood and silks.
The Japanese especially love silk and where better to use it than in your bed sheets and accessories?
Paper can be incorporated into the design in the shape of paper lanterns and light shades.
Another eye should be brought to the balance between the materials. We will be looking to bring equilibrium to your bedroom and that means equalizing the amounts of materials that we use.
Natural lighting is important in Japanese style design.
Here, our designers main aim will not to be to block or shade the window overly, but simply to allow the light to flood in.
We do know that often this will not be practical, particularly for a bedroom and especially maybe one which overlooks a busy street.
To help with the privacy considerations that our top interior designers in Los Angeles are experienced in, they may suggest shutters.
This will still maintain a Japanese themed effect throughout the room but also allow for privacy.
Another option might be some kind of bamboo shade. Many Roman shades are made from bamboo and these straight away add a Japanese element to any room – even one that isn’t trying to achieve it!
One thing is for sure – our designers will be trying to maximize the natural lighting as much as possible inside your Japanese styled bedroom.
Bring Nature Inside
Bonsai trees are traditionally Japanese but bringing the natural inside your Japanese themed bedroom could be as simple as a vase of flowers.
But you might want to choose the bouquet carefully – the Japanese do not traditionally go a bundle on large floral arrangements and instead prefer the simplicity of one or two flowers, usually with green around them.
In fact, you could swap the cut flowers for an orchid plant or perhaps a small palm in a plant pot.
A bonsai tree makes a great addition to any bedroom, Japanese themed or not, but we don’t have to stop there.
Nature is important within Japanese culture and that means celebrating it inside the home.
Bamboo could work both as a beautiful arrangement and an acknowledgement of the outdoor world.
Sliding doors and screens are employed in traditional Japanese design and our talented home designers will certainly be able to find a way to facilitate them into your bedroom design, if you want to add this final touch.
A screen might be more easily achieved in most Western homes than completely re hanging and re designing the door and because they are traditionally made from translucent paper, allow the light to flow through the room whilst still offering some privacy.
Although, most modern day screens in a Japanese style are often made from glass panels and have a wooden frame.
Silk screen prints are extremely popular in Japan and some individually made prints of flowers, for example, could add the Japanese touch to your walls.
Often a single word will be framed in a Japanese bedroom. This is supposed to be a word which denotes something that will aid the occupant of the room. Such designs are normally a black inscription, in paint on top of a white sheet of paper or silk. This is then usually framed in black wood.
Might we make a suggestion that you keep a maximum of three prints to a room and try and emphasize the simplicity of the walls?
Japanese rooms are not cluttered affairs and the walls are not brimming with posters and pictures.
We would also suggest the walls in the bedroom all be painted one, firm color.
In Japan, the bedroom is traditionally a retreat and a place to escape to.
This generally means that it is only meant for sleep.
Now this can sometimes come at odds with our busy, Western lifestyle.
Top interior designers in Los Angeles such as our team know that you may require just a little more from your bedroom than just a place to lay your head. This is why we will work hard with you to overcome those problems.
However, our approach would be to keep it as simple as possible.
Any furniture – and it really should be as minimal as possible – ought to be very low and very discreet.