It seems like the more complicated our lives become; the simpler we get with our taste in home furnishings. Perhaps this is because most people want their home to be a peaceful place of quiet relaxation at the end of a stressful work day. Unlike the fancy curio cabinets and scrolled edges of Early American furniture, today’s homeowner craves the Zen style of a Japanese furniture store. In a sense, the type of furniture found here is a lot like the Mission style furniture of the Old West or the Puritan’s simplistic Shaker styles. Like these less fanciful furnishings, the type of décor found in a Japanese furniture store comes from a culture that is free from pretense.
Interestingly, the same culture that celebrates the simplicity of the futon mattress, a platform bed or a rice paper lamp is just as likely to dress women up as Geishas in a fancy embroidered silk kimono. But the Japanese figured out early on that the home should be a place of serenity. Most Japanese homes are still influenced by Zen furniture styles, including low-profile furnishings, soft lighting and organic rice straw mats on the floors. Instead of filling up the home with trinkets and curios, the Japanese homeowner wants rooms to flow effortlessly into one another, allowing for a natural flow of energy throughout the home.
As Americans begin to adopt similar attitudes to home furnishings, they are finding the Japanese furniture store has a lot to offer. Instead of merely buying an extra futon for the guest room or getting a shoji screen room divider to hide a home office, more and more Americans are looking at adding a sacred meditation space or Tatami room to their homes. From Sumi ink paintings to the latest Ginza table lamps; meditation cushions to garden Buddha statues, there is always something unique to be found at a Japanese furniture store.
In general, Asian furnishings exude a quiet and peaceful way of living, with most of the latest styles leaning towards tropical woods and organic materials. Hardwood end tables, bamboo floor mats and decorative Noren wall hangings accentuate the tranquility of a Zen-inspired room, while low platform beds and shoji doors give it a feeling of space.
For the best example of what a good Japanese furniture store has to offer, skip your local furniture warehouse sale and shop online at Chopa.com.