If you want the “Zen” look for your home, there is no better place to start than the bedroom. One of the most popular new styles for young people these days is low-profile Japanese bed frames with organically colored quilts and textured floor coverings. Even people who used to swear by a coordinated “bedroom set” are starting to think out of the box when redecorating a bedroom.
In addition to Japanese bed frames, there are many other ways to make your bedroom into a peaceful oasis. An enduring trend in Japanese homes is the use of tatami mats instead of a traditional carpet. These padded floor mats are made from all-natural fabrics, woven straw and rush grass, which lends an added dimension of texture to any bedroom. More than just floor coverings, some homeowners choose use large tatami mats on top of their Japanese bed frames for added support beneath a futon mattress.
Rather than buying an expensive new mattress and box spring, a great way to transform a bedroom is by adding a futon mattress. Some Japanese bed frames are made in convertible styles that can turn a futon mattress into a couch during the day, which is perfect for studio apartment dwellers. Futons are covered with a tough and durable canvas fabric, so they can even be used on the floor. Either way, expect to see futons closer on a low profile frame than most Western-style beds.
Decorating a bedroom in true “Zen” style goes beyond the selection of Japanese bed frames to include a host of complementary décor such as Shoji room dividers, Ginza table lamps, Kotatsu tables and dark wood tables. Much of the popular Japanese furnishings available today are made in dark mahogany, espresso finished wood or black lacquer with contrasting rice paper accents. Calligraphy prints and Sumi ink paintings complete the look, as well as sculptural Ikebana vases.
A Shoji screen is another great space saver, and works well with a convertible futon frame to turn a bedroom into a living space. These decorative room dividers often feature a Japanese print on one side and they make it easy to keep clutter out of view.
There is no specific Zen color palette, but it’s safe to say that the natural earth tones and soothing neutrals are the best choices for a bedroom. Even if you just start out by looking for Japanese bed frames, they always look better with a comforter that is naturally dyed in earthy tones.