Traditional Japanese Home Design is based on two foundations: Shinto and Aikido. Whatever is inside of the house, has some meaning and has specific symbolic meaning. Traditional Japanese home design is just one which promotes contact with the natural environment, light and privacy. Westerners often frowned on a traditional Japanese home interior because of its simplistic elegance and simplicity, because there is nothing that doesn’t belong here. And this is precisely why many choose it over more “modern” styles of interiors – because of the purity that it holds.
The walls are painted a deep shade of indigo, symbolizing nature. The fittings are all made from natural materials such as iron, and the tiles are arranged in geometrical patterns. The colours used are often pastel, representing the bright summers and gentle winters experienced by the people of Japan. When you step into a traditional Japanese home, you can almost feel the earth beneath your feet – it’s subtle, but it’s there.
The Japanese traditional home is also built around an image source. This is something very much associated with Feng Shui practice, where there is a balance between the earth, the water and the sky. There are many images used throughout the Japanese home interior – each representing something different. Each room uses these objects in a specific way to create an atmosphere. For example, the dining room uses chopsticks as a form of communication, the bedroom uses flowers and the garden uses the image of a bear.
The Japanese traditional house interior is all about the connection between the outdoors and the indoors – it’s all about being co-ordinated. To achieve this, there are many outdoor activities that take place. This could be taking a walk along a lake or by the beach, mountain climbing, strolling through the countryside, enjoying the sunshine on a beach, or rowing in a traditional koi fish farm. In addition to this, there are also numerous indoor activities – cooking, playing games, relaxing, playing cards, watching television, going for a meal, going for a walk, playing billiards, going for a drive, etc.
The traditional Japanese home interior design has many different elements, which must all work together to produce a harmonious, beautiful environment. The first element is the flooring. The floor is typically tiled, and it’s the main form of decor. Traditional Japanese interiors use natural stone, wood and a variety of other materials. These materials are combined in such a way as to create a beautiful effect, sometimes using an earth tone colour for the walls.
The next element is the doors and windows. These are used to create the image source or the theme. In the case of the traditional house interior design, the image source can be the garden, or the local lake, river or mountain. In the case of tiling, these would be the traditional brick and tiled floors. For the doors and windows, the design would be based around the image source.
The third and most important part of the traditional home interior design is the lighting. Most houses in Japan don’t have any kind of internal or external lighting, so the emphasis is on the outdoors. The light helps bring in the nature, and at the same time, it helps you to recognise where you are in the garden or in the forest. This is why the traditional Japanese design focuses on the use of lanterns, which are used to provide light. The use of lanterns can be seen not only in Japanese gardens but in many Bonsai plants and in Japanese architecture as well.
The fourth element is the storage. With the traditional Japanese home interior design, everything is kept in a proper place. Even the utensils are placed in proper places and are not just thrown about, like in the case of many western houses. The concept of space planning in the traditional Japanese house is such that every corner of the room is used for something. For example, in the living room, you would find the table, the television, the bed, the bookshelves, the collection of coins, and many other such elements.