Designing a Japanese-Styled Bedroom Designing a Japanese-Styled Bedroom
by Jessica Ackerman
Simplicity and naturalness characterize this style. Reflecting Japanese culture, a bedroom styled accordingly should exude calmness, incorporate clean open space, and have a place for each furnishing and accent in the space.
The main colors in a Japanese-styled bedroom should be soft and subdued, as opposed to bold and bright. Greens, grays, and browns that are natural and calming are ideal. Wood tones for furniture can range from lighter bamboo shades to darker lacquered pieces. Try to maintain the color tone of furniture throughout the room. Bold colors can be used sparingly, perhaps in a bright Japanese fabric used as wall art.
The appearance of stability and balance is important when styling a Japanese bedroom. To this effect, furniture including the bed, tables, and dresser drawers should be low in height. Clean horizontal lines and simple design are characteristic. Keeping the furniture low and selecting only pieces that are essential also makes the space look larger and more open.
A futon is a traditional Japanese bed that consists of a thick mattress lined with fabric, and paired with a comforter or blanket. Platform beds are the modern equivalent, with a bed frame designed with extra slats for support, such that a box spring is not required, only a mattress.
Natural light usually plays a major role in lighting a Japanese-styled bedroom. Artificial lighting can be concealed to blend in with the natural, minimal look. Standing floor lamps and hanging lanterns are also used. Choose lamps with wood bases and paper shades, and paper lanterns in a natural parchment color, in sphere or box shapes.
Natural textiles such as cotton and silk are often used for bedding and wall hangings. They may be left in their natural, unbleached state or dyed a dark blue. Bed sheets with colorful patterns and lots of embellishments would look out of place. A tatami mat is a typical floor covering in Japanese homes. Made of compressed rice straw, the mat edges are bordered in black linen or more colorful fabric.
For a more modern Japanese style, you might want to use neutral-toned bed sheets or carpet that has simple branch or grass designs to evoke a natural feel to the room. If you desire more color, add a decorative pillow that features Japanese embroidery.
A Japanese-styled bedroom is not the place to display your abundance of figurines or large collection of artwork, even if they happen to be Japanese. The minimal look requires that the bedroom be accessorized sparingly. Accent pieces should be carefully chosen and arranged – if you have a large collection, keep a portion stored away and rotate your displays. Select items for their quality and craftsmanship.
Shoji screens are quintessential Japanese accents. They are made of a simple bamboo or wood frame and translucent rice paper screen. Shoji screens can be used to divide a room or hide away unsightly clutter. They can create an entryway into the bedroom or serve as a window treatment. You may also wish to enhance the natural quality of the room by adding a tray of bonsai or simple ikebana arrangement.