Add Some Zen to your Den with Japanese Furniture


Japanese furniture is rapidly becoming one of the most popular styles available in North America. Its calm, clean design aesthetic combined with its passion for 'form meets function' modernity help it to blend well with almost any other design style you care to name. When my partner and I recently decided to remodel our home, we decided that we loved Japanese furniture too much to leave it out of the plan. With a number of online furniture shops, the great search was on!




We spent a lot of time looking around online to find some great pieces of furniture, but it was absolutely worth it - because the pieces we wound up with were completely gorgeous. We picked up a bunch of pieces from Greentea Design, an online Asian-inspired furniture company. We loved the site, and while we were trying to decide which combination of stain and hardware we wanted for our pieces, we were able to simply click a button and see how the piece would look!





We ended up going with a beautiful Hibachi Coffee table, a Lattice TV Stand with Iron Hirute hardware, and a Katashi Sideboard. We're already trying to decide which room we should do next, but without a doubt we know that Japanese furniture will be making an appearance. I've recently begun learning about wabi-sabi design, and I am trying to figure out how I want to incorporate that with the beautiful pieces we own. I'm hoping that I can even convince my partner that we need to remodel our kitchen with some of Greentea's beautiful kitchen cabinets!

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Finding Good Girl Names for Your New Baby

Disney Fantasia Infantil Minnie Mouse Clássica. - Bella CollezioneAs any parent can tell you, one of the most difficult parts of pregnancy has nothing to do with the physical aspects at all. Instead, it is picking out an appropriate name for your little one. This challenge is made slightly easier if you know the gender of your baby, since then you only have to pick one name, instead of two. Still, finding some great girl names for your new baby can still be difficult, even when you know that she is going to be a she. There are so many names out there that it can be hard to decide on one.

One common approach is to name your child after a family member.


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Via: Whole House Fan


Unique uses of Japanese room dividers

Room dividers are helpful furniture that will help you arrange different regions of your space. They may be used to segregate one area through another when it comes to use as well as design. This is a popular home novelty that was only available in China throughout ancient occasions, but it had been the Japanese which popularize this particular amenity along with oriental styles and design. The typical materials utilized in Japanese room dividers tend to be rice documents. They supply enough privacy like a divider along with a plain Asian feels with regards to design. Cloth can also be a option, but it is extremely poor with regards to blending using the lighting from the room.

Additional materials tend to be glass as well as plastic, a few of these incorporate designs of various designs from Asian to modern which will fit completely with each and every room. It’s very rare to locate these around shops or furnishings shops although, but you could have them customized should you desire. The most typical Japanese space divider styles are that from the cherry bloom the nationwide flower associated with Japan. Landscape designs will also be available in adding up to Japanese samurai next to with other characters. If you intend to utilize it as the dĂ©cor you may want to purchase Japanese room dividers which incorporate complete painting, through colored artworks.

Such as ancient Japanese families, you may use these partitioning if you would like some privateness. As pointed out earlier, they’re both simple to install and also to remove. This really is especially handy for children who’ve outgrown the actual stage associated with room discussing, and desire to possess a room of the own. Within these financially difficult occasions, adding a brand new room or setting up walls will end up being a very costly endeavor. Instead of construct the wall, a long term Japanese space divider may be the perfect means to fix divide an area into 2 smaller areas. In exactly the same way, a short-term divider may divide a sizable guestroom for those who have compared to one visitor to your house.


Decorate Your Home, Japanese Style

If you want an organic, one-with-the-nature look for your home, you would definitely want to check out Japanese interior designs. Japanese homes are designed in such a way that it gives your home a calm and light feeling by using natural materials with minimalist furniture pieces arranged in a very organized way. Here are tips on how to give your house that Zen look.

  1. Japanese homes don’t really play around with colors. Stick to neutral, earthy tones for your walls, floors, and furniture. This means going with warm colors like beige, off-white, brown, and grass green. Think about the color of bamboos, woods and stones. Get inspiration from nature’s colors. Walls usually have an off-white color and only use the green for accents.
  2. Don’t overdecorate. You want to have a really simple look for each room and accessorize moderately. Make sure the rooms look uncluttered, so avoid overcrowding an area with too much furniture pieces. Less is more!
  3. Japanese furniture pieces are kept on a low level. You also want to stick with wood materials and pieces that are crafted with a very minimal design.
  4. Rooms are usually divided not with walls, but with screens. The Japanese love having flexibility in the house and be able to join rooms if the need arises. The dividing screens are what they call Shoji. These are made from hardwood frames and rice paper. The rice paper is translucent enough to allow light from another room or from outside the house to pass through. This would allow you to have a diffused light inside the room. It is also ideal for windows to let natural light be diffused into the house.
  5. To accessorize your home, bring nature in by decorating with plants. Consider orchids and bamboo plants. Just place them sparingly on corners, tabletops, or on a huge empty area.

Culture Clash: Japanese Style

Japanese Shoji ScreensWhat is your idea of Japanese style? Do images of serene bonsai amidst softly flowing fountains come to mind? How about creamy walls, elegant traditional furniture and tatami mats? Then there are the exquisite kimonos, delicate fans and gentle lighting coming from shoji screens. But to some, Japanese style means plaid, 6-inch platforms, Gothic Lolitas and the brazen blonde hair and severely tanned face of the ganguro girl.

Current Japanese style is as far removed as it can be from the traditional minimalistic elements the country is commonly known for. A trip to Tokyo will quickly change any stereotypes a less-informed visitor would have; just a walk down the street will reveal less of the geisha and more of the in-your-face, fearless fashion that the Japanese youth have developed and embraced.

Yet with all these changes, the traditional Japanese household has endured. Shoji screens, expertly crafted furniture and tatami mats are still very much present even in the most modern of homes. This is essentially because of the tried-and-tested factors of form and function that the Japanese home innately possess.

The Japanese have a way of incorporating design and purpose in almost every aspect of their lives. Japanese inventions range from clever innovations to just plain silly contraptions ( just search the term “chindogu” and you’ll get what I mean). This ingenuity though, applied to furniture is nothing short of genius.

There are examples to be mentioned: the Japanese tansu or stepchest, a totally configurable set of pieces invented to avoid taxes is a clever storage and design solution for any home. Then there’s the hibachi, the indoor grill that is both a cooking appliance and heating implement. Japanese cleverness is abound and has survived the centuries.

So whether you are into the Japanese pop fashion or prefer the more traditional style, there is one thing you can rely on for sure: Japanese interior design, will and always be, an elegant, functional and beautiful choice for any home in any place.


Shoji Screen Solutions: Not Just Your Ordinary Screen

Japanese Screens for your homePerhaps one of the most distinct features of the Japanese home is the traditional shoji screen. Traditionally made from wood and shoji paper, the style of the shoji has evolved over the years while still maintaining its ancient charm.

The shoji can be incorporated in many ways in the contemporary home. Even if your house is not essentially a Japanese-themed home, it is easy to find ways to use this elegant Japanese screen.

As a divider between rooms, it effectively designates the specific areas without being too confining. Because of the use of shoji paper, these screens provide enough light to pass through while still giving each room the privacy it needs. It is the perfect solution for studio and loft spaces where walls are necessary, but construction is too much of a hassle.

The light materials of the shoji is also the perfect cover-up solutions for areas in the house you may be renovating or still in the process of fixing. It is elegant and stylish, yet easy to dismantle when the room it hides is ready to be revealed.

If you have a wall-full of entertainment gadgets that you would rather have hidden away when not in use, shoji screens are great for covering up floor-t0-ceiling areas. To use your entertainment center, simply slide the doors away for easy access.

Shoji screens are also perfect for keeping storage areas out of view. They are perfect for spaces under the bed, over shelves, under the stairs, or any storage area that needs easy access yet hidden from view.

Its innate elegance and beauty make the shoji screen a decorative piece as well. Use it as a background to showcase art, furniture or memorabilia. Anywhere you put a shoji makes the area instantly more attractive than it was before.

With its balance of function and style, the shoji screen is both a solution and a decoration, a wonderful addition to your home.


Futon Fun: Not Just For Sleeping

The futon is a curious and clever Japanese invention. Essentially just a roll-out mattress, it has achieved fame and a certain cult following. It traditionally is just supposed to be laid out on the floor, but modern design has made the futon evolve into other forms and purposes.

The futon is easy to store and completely adaptable, making it the perfect companion to any room in the house. Its adaptability assures that any member of the family can use it for a variety of activities.

On a frame, the futon can double as a sofa or a guest bed. It’s a great alternative to a pull-out bed or the sofa for the occasional houseguest. It’s even great for lounging nights on the floor. Just throw in a couple of throw pillows, a nice warm blanket and a feel-good movie in the DVD player. Add on a tub of freshly cooked popcorn and it’s a guaranteed stay-in hit.

Your kids can have an amazing time with the futon as a play area. Wonderfully comfortable, it’s perfect for as a floor mat or even an outdoor surface for garden play time. It’s a wonderful thing to have when enjoying a great day of sunshine outdoors or a nap by a shady tree.

For small spaces, the futon can serve its traditional purpose as a sleeping area. Save room and space in your bedroom by adapting this Japanese essential as a permanent fixture in your bedroom. Roll it up during the day and you have all the space you need for work or play.

Globalization has allowed us to accept other cultures’ traditions, which include design and furniture. We accept, adapt and adjust these elements and make them our own. Futons are just a small example of the benefits of looking into other cultures as inspiration for designing our own homes.


Cool As Sushi: Japanese Interior Design

Eating sushi is a divine experience. A finely-cut sliver of fish dipped in Japanese soy sauce with that subtle hint of wasabi is the perfect mouthful of food. It’s also a visual feast as much as it is a gastronomical delight; precision, balance, design and style, all present in a single plate. Much as Japan’s most famous dish is a culinary marvel, so is its touch in the world of interior design. Japanese design influence has taken the world one room at a time, and its traditional and contemporary counterparts have taken the world by storm. Or by tsunami, just to keep with the theme.

The Japanese are known to be some of the coolest people on earth. Often fearless, sometimes audacious, Japanese design is respected globally and inspires many other designers in their own creations. “Cool” is one of the best words to describe it, and walking into a Japanese-themed room certainly brings that feeling to the surface.

Clean lines, muted tones, balanced interiors; these are only a few elements that you will find in a Japanese-inspired room. It inevitably evokes a need to be still, to be serene, to be aware of yourself as you move through the space. It seems like your whole being is being shifted and moved to a place of equilibrium. It is all at once natural and alien, organic and industrial, a true reflection of the essence of yin and yang.

When you settle in it, the room reveals more of itself to you. Clean, modern lines somehow complement a traditional Japanese cabinet. Neutral tones go well with rich wood finishing and strong steel straps on rice chests. Calming sounds from an indoor Zen fountain is a strong contrast to a gong that indubitably possesses strength.

It’s all this that makes a Japanese room, “cool”. For the very word is a balance of hot and cold, of richness and minimalism, a perfect contemporary word for old-world style.


How to Choose Japanese Furniture

You may be looking for interesting furniture to give new life to your home and have decided to look to Japanese design for inspiration. There are certainly many pieces of Japanese furniture that will make your home unique and elegant at the same time. The question is, how do you choose the right pieces for your home?

First off, decide if you want an antique or a contemporary piece. If you go for an antique piece, be prepared to spend a little extra, as these pieces are not easy to come by. If they are in great condition, then the more expensive they will be. However, the contemporary pieces manufactured right now are based on traditional Japanese design using materials that are still very much in line with how they did it before.

If you do choose contemporary Japanese furniture, make sure the manufacturer is knowledgeable in the traditional techniques and design. They should know the history of each piece and adhere to the elements of the piece.

The advantage of using contemporary Japanese furniture is the way it has been configured to accommodate your modern lifestyle, yet still have that distinct old-world style. Traditional style and modern innovation combined assures you of a quality piece of furniture that will last you for a long time. These pieces use the finest quality wood and you can even choose the right finish that can go with your existing home design with no adjustments necessary.

Make sure the manufacturer of your Japanese furniture is one who has a great reputation in the field. Look for warranties and great customer service. Knowledgeable staff are also a plus; if you need help in planning out the design of your home they can probably assist you in making the right choices.

Japanese furniture could be a great addition to your home. Just one piece can transform a whole room and give it a whole new look and atmosphere.


Unusual Japanese Furniture for Your Home

Japanese Coffee TableFor a do-it-yourself home designer, sometimes making your home look unique, tasteful, yet remain comfortable could be a challenge. Nobody wants a generic, boring home. Following on the trend towards Asian design, Japanese furniture is a great way to add spice to your interior design. Not only are Japanese-themed furniture interesting and attractive, they are functional as well.

Looking for a unique coffee table? Try the Hamachi-inspired Japanese coffee table. The Hamachi is the traditional indoor grill used by households in Japan for cooking or warming the room. It is reconfigured so that the place that usually holds the grill is a beautiful showcase area for your collectibles.

Another unique coffee table solution is the use of a Japanese rice chest. No, you don’t have to keep rice in it! Its adequate size and surface area makes it a great addition to any living room and doubles as a storage solution as well.

The Japanese tansu is probably one of the most distinct pieces of Japanese furniture and has many uses in the modern home. It fits well into any room as storage with its many cabinets and drawers. The modern translations of this old traditional piece gives you modern convenience with old-world style. Your office, kitchen, bedroom, living room or dining room will be surely be made more interesting with the use of the tansu.

If you have Japanese furniture pieces in your home, it would be nice to complement them with other home accessories to tie up the look. You may want to consider a scroll painting, a bonsai or even a tiny indoor fountain.

It’s good to know that there are simple solutions to give your home a fresh new look. Your visitors will surely notice your subtle additions and your unique furniture make for great conversation pieces. Japanese furniture is a simple solution that packs a lot of style and elegance.


Bringing the Outside In – Japanese Gardens As Interior Design Inspiration

Japanese gardens are known for their simple design, use of natural materials, and tranquility. They are commonly called Zen gardens and are ideal places for relaxation and meditation. If you are a person who likes the nature and serenity, incorporating these elements can be achieved using some elements of the Japanese garden. Because of its simplicity, it is a garden style that is so easy to incorporate into an indoor setting.

A simple element that is easy to incorporate is the bonsai. Bonsai is the Japanese art of miniature gardening. Bonsai plants are beautiful and elegant living pieces of art. Having one in your home will give your surroundings a distinct Japanese feel.

Another great element is the koi pond. An indoor koi pond needs a spot with a lot of light, and near an entryway such as a window or a door for easy maintenance. If you are getting a contractor to build a koi pond for you, make sure they are knowledgeable about koi ponds in particular. The pond should be at least 3 feet in depth. To bring out the colors of the koi, make sure you use a dark liner for the pond.

For lighting you can also use Japanese garden lanterns and use them inside the house. These are typically made of stone. Inside, they will provide some mood lighting as well add an element similar to a sculpture to your home. You can even incorporate the garden lamp into a simple pocket garden in your house that consists of a single bamboo plant, sand and maybe a tiny indoor fountain.

However you decide and whatever elements you choose in bringing the Japanese garden as part of your interior design, it is important to keep it clean and simple. Clutter was never an element of Japanese design. In the case of this design style, less is definitely more.


The Japanese-Themed Kitchen in the Everyday Home

Kitchens are one of the most action-packed sections of the house, and clutter is almost inevitable. With all the gadgets, containers, appliances required for cooking, plus the working space essential to a functional and effective kitchen, it is no wonder that the kitchen ends up as on of the disorganized rooms in the house.

Incorporating the Japanese design elements of simplicity and minimalism to a kitchen may prove to be the solution to a classic yet contemporary kitchen design setup. Using natural materials and subtle tones also lend a peaceful atmosphere that balances the hustle and bustle of everyday meal preparation.

One of the interesting elements that you can incorporate into your kitchen from Japanese kitchens is tabletop cooking. For those with space issues, deleting the layers that make up the process from cooking to serving is beneficial. This can be acquired by using a Japanese countertop with a teppanyaki cooking surface or a Japanese grill. Incorporating tabletop cooking will allow you to cook and serve hot meals from the same area. The mere addition of kitchen stools around the kitchen-cooking island turns the counter into a meal area as well. When not in use, the cooking area can be covered, providing more preparation area for other meal requirements.

Using Japanese style storage, such as tansu (step cabinets) is an attractive deviation from the common shelf and cabinet setup in most homes. Tansu are highly configurable, allowing you to position them in a way that will be appropriate for your needs and the space available. Its numerous storage drawers and shelves can store anything from tableware, to cookware, to dry ingredients and recipe books and cards.

A Japanese-style kitchen is as functional as it is attractive. Its unique design is also inspiring, and you may find yourself whipping up new Asian-style meals by being surrounded by Japanese elements alone.


The Home Makeover: Going Japanese

Your interiors may have needed a makeover for quite some time now, but you can’t seem to decide what style to choose as the theme for your new home design. The trend for interior design is pointing towards the Orient, and high up on a lot of wish lists is a Japanese-themed home. What makes Japanese homes so appealing? There are lots of elements to a Japanese home that make it a beautiful, comfortable space.

First off, Japanese design is all about balance and space. It incorporates clean lines and muted, understated colors in a simple, uncluttered area. The relaxing and stress-free environment is beneficial aesthetically, mentally and emotionally.

Japanese design uses a lot of wood and other natural materials for everything. Wooden floors and wooden furniture are common. Stone surfaces and indoor fountains lend to the feeling of nature and serenity present in Japanese homes.

The Japanese also consider function along with aesthetics, and you will find that many Japanese-inspired pieces are useful as well as beautiful. Step boxes as dividers also act as storage solutions; chests as coffee tables hide away beddings, books or anything that needs storing.

The Japanese are famous for their quality workmanship and this is not lost on furniture from the region, or built according to the traditional standards of their culture. Pieces are built to last and are beyond trendy. Japanese furniture transcends time and is a curious mix of both the classical and the contemporary.

Adopting the Japanese style to your home will give you a timeless atmosphere that feels like a breath of fresh air each time you enter. Its serenity and clean lines will inspire you to relax, take time and spend a moment or two by yourself or with your loved ones in your home.


Elements To Give Your Home A Japanese Theme

Japanese interior design is becoming immensely popular. With its clean lines, relaxed atmosphere and design that merges classic with contemporary, it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing this style for their homes. If you want to incorporate Japanese design into your existing style, there are a few key elements you could incorporate to give your home that distinct look.

Japanese cultural pieces are a wonderful way to add a touch of the Orient to any room. A Japanese gong is a versatile piece for any room. You can get them in a variety of sizes, either using them singularly or in a combination. There are floor gongs and there are also hanging gongs that you can consider given the space available in your home. Aside from gongs, you can also consider Japanese scrolls with calligraphy or traditional Japanese artwork.

Japanese furniture is also very distinct and a single piece adds a lot of flavor to a room. The kaidan tansu, or Japanese step chest is a wonderful addition to any room. Its versatility allows it to be configured according to your needs. It can be a storage cabinet, or a room divider, and is not only beautiful, but functional as well. You can also have an interesting table that serves as the room’s highlight piece. It could be a chest that also serves as a coffee table, or one that is fashioned after the Japanese hibachi. The latter incorporates the Japanese indoor grill into a beautiful showcase window for your collectibles.

Another simple solution is using woven mats on the floor, a traditional element in Japanese homes. Some also incorporate the use of shoji screens, another traditional element and use them as room dividers or as purely decorative pieces.

It’s not hard to incorporate Japanese design at home. All you need is a few easy pieces and some creativity.


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