Archive for the ‘Japanese Decor’ Category

Tatami Beds – A New Way to Look at Sleep

Monday, May 7th, 2012

tatami bedsMost Americans have been conditioned to believe that they must sleep on a thick mattress to get a good night’s sleep.  This belief is as much a part of the culture as believing a chair is where one should sit.  But this is not true in other areas of the world.  For example, tatami beds are widely accepted throughout Asia as an ideal sleep surface.  When one considers the mainstream paradigm of traditional mattresses being the best solution, or that a 2 to 3 foot deep system of mattresses and box springs would be needed to get the “firm bed” effect,” it does seem a bit silly.  As more people seek out a firm bed for comfort, tatami beds are an ideal choice.

The whole concept of soft and comfortable mattresses being the ideal place to rest our tired bones might just be a myth perpetuated by the mattress industry.  In reality, most sleep experts find that rejuvenating sleep comes from surfaces with less “fluff.”  The Japanese seem to have perfected this concept through their popular tatami beds.  The preferred sleeping surface in Japan still seems to be a futon mattress spread out on the floor, or a Japanese futon set.

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Usher in Spring with Japanese Garden Fountains and Outdoor Zen Décor

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

japanese garden +supplies +fountains +zen +buddhaCreating a peaceful oasis in your own backyard is every homeowner’s dream, but it is not something that occurs without effort.  Spring is the best time to get started on a Japanese garden project and pick up Zen fountains, Buddha statues and other supplies.  But you may not be aware of what Japanese garden is supposed to look like.  Fortunately, there are countless books available on this subject alone.

The Japanese take their gardens and Zen décor very seriously and they go about the design of a garden in very deliberate ways, but there is no one method for creating your own.  Your backyard garden may look very different from someone else’s, depending on the space you have available.

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Tatami Mats for Sale – Beyond the Martial Arts Studio

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

tatami mats for saleIf you’ve ever visited a traditional Japanese martial arts studio or meditation suite, you may be familiar with woven rush grass flooring known as tatami mats.  But according to many of the top decorating magazines, the tatami mats for sale today are just as likely to be purchased by interior design firms and homeowners.  Made from 100% organic materials, tatami mats consist of a rice straw core that is both gentle and firm underfoot.  The woven rush grass that surrounds the core gives off a lovely scent, especially on humid days.

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Japanese Bedroom Furniture and Tatami Rooms Create a Peaceful Sanctuary

Monday, March 26th, 2012

bedroom furniture + tatamiWho wouldn’t want a room in their house where they could instantly relax, one where stress evaporated from the moment they stepped inside?  With so many people seeking stress relief through exercise and massage, surprisingly few will take the time to create a restful space in their home where they can truly unwind.  If this sounds like you, then Japanese bedroom furniture, Zen décor, tatami meditation mats and other Asian-inspired furnishings might be just the inspiration you need to create a relaxing room in your home.

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Shoji Dividers and Doors Can Redesign Your Interior Space

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

shoji dividers + doorsAre you looking for an easy and inexpensive way to give your home a facelift?  Shoji dividers and shoji doors may be the answer.  In fact, they have long been considered the “secret weapon” of professional decorators.  Whether you choose to decorate in Japanese style or you’re just trying to hide clutter, these artistic creations offer a simple solution that adds style to your home.

Most people who are familiar with shoji dividers have a picture in mind of a dark wood paned frame that is lined with translucent rice paper.  While this may still be the most popular style, it is just one of many shoji screens available today.  Japanese designed shoji dividers are made in a variety of fashionable designs, many of which feature monochromatic Japanese prints over solid hinged panels.  Shoji doors are a bit different in that they are designed to be hung in an opening between rooms and slide on tracks like a closet door.  No matter which Asian screen you choose, they all offer privacy without distracting the viewer from the center of the room.

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Enjoy the Great Outdoors – Add Japanese Water Fountains to Your Garden

Friday, March 16th, 2012

japanese water fountains + garden + outdoorsNo matter where you live in the United States, it seems like spring is starting a little earlier this year.  As a result, homeowners are starting to look outdoors for weekend projects and thinking about the condition of their garden.  Once you clear out the leaves and weeds, why not consider something to make your garden more inviting?  Japanese water fountains make the perfect focal point and they help you enjoy your garden even more. Adding a fountain to your garden gives it the added dimensions of movement and sound.

Even if your garden isn’t large enough to sit in, Japanese water fountains can bring the feeling of your garden into a sunroom or enclosed patio.  Most of the fountains on sale today are made for indoor use because the motors require electricity.  Attractive enough to stand on their own, they also coordinate well with Bonsai trees, Ikebana vases and Buddha statues.  These Zen design elements are surprisingly simple and easy to find at Chopa.com.

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Japanese Shoji Screens Give Your Home Zen Style

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

japanese shoji screensDepending on where you live, you may have already seen furniture stores that offer a range of Japanese and Zen furniture options, but do you really understand “Zen Style?” As Americans, we tend to accumulate a lot of “stuff;” stuff that clutters our countertops, tabletops and floors. How do we incorporate the principles of Zen and unclutter a living space without getting rid of everything we own?  The answer is simple:  Japanese shoji screens.  They may not have been designed with the intent of hiding our junk from view but they do an amazing job of it, nonetheless.

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What Goes Best With Tatami Furniture?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

tatami furnitureWhen tatami furniture was first introduced, it was the long-awaited answer to decorating a tatami room, but it has become a whole lot more.  People who love Japanese furniture often seek out tatami furniture for its ease and simplicity.  Starting with a foundation of organic fiber tatami mats, one might think it wouldn’t matter what you put on top, but it’s important to keep the rest of the room just as restful as the flooring.  Whether it’s a low-profile table topped with a Ginza paper table lamp, a soft futon mattress on a platform bed, or a subtle Japanese print, tatami furniture often has the same organic character as the flooring beneath.

Rather than focusing this article on the actual pieces of furniture, such as platform beds and shoji screens, I will make some suggestions for ways to accessorize a tatami room.  What goes best with tatami furniture?  Here are some unique options to consider.

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Japanese Style Home Décor Made Easy

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

japanese style home decorIs it time to renovate your home and give it a fresh new look?  As spring approaches, thousands of homeowners will be looking to Japanese style home décor for inspiration.  One reason for this is the way a Japanese interior can open up the home and make it more restful and inviting.  Rather than cluttering up their homes with piles of books, endless nick-knacks and over-sized furniture, Zen interior designers know that less is more.  Instead of looking for more ways to personalize their space, Japanese home decor focuses on the people in the room by employing neutral tones and low profile furnishings.

In a recent poll of U.S. interior designers, Japanese or Zen design is the most requested type of décor for the home.  Even those who choose a American contemporary furniture often include an element of Japanese style home décor here and there, whether it is a Shoji screen, a Japanese print or a futon bed.

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Japanese Garden Fountains – The Best Way to Relax At the End of the Day

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Japanese garden fountainsAs stressful as life can be, it’s still not common to find a restful spot in many American homes.  Busy families have a hard time controlling the clutter and making the time to create a spot for relaxation, but those who do can take some advice from the Japanese.  Zen gardens and sacred spaces often incorporate Japanese garden fountains as a focal point, and designers know they also work on a porch, a sun room or a meditation room.

For families who are looking to transform an indoor space into a peaceful oasis, the use of Japanese garden fountains is a very important element.  Below is an overview of some of the more popular fountains now available for sale at Chopa.com.

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