How to create a modern Japanese-style room｜Nine points and examples
Modern Japanese-style rooms are popular among people who want to create a calm and beautiful space, or who want to incorporate Japanese style without being too glamorous. However, many people may not know how to create a beautiful modern Japanese-style room, as it is their first time building a house.
In this article, we will introduce some examples of modern Japanese-style rooms and explain in detail what you should know to make your room more beautiful.
First, here are the summary points of this article.
- Stylish modern Japanese-style rooms can be realized by knowing how to create each part of the room, such as wallpaper, lighting, curtains, and tokonoma (alcove).
- For an upgraded modern Japanese-style room, we recommend adding a stairwell, antique fittings, lattice decorations, and a hanging closet.
- If a modern Japanese-style room is connected to the living room, matching colors in parts will make a balance and make each room stand out.
<Table of Contents>
1.Eight examples of beautiful modern Japanese-style rooms
- 1-1.Japanese-style room with sense of nostalgia and present
- 1-2.Japanese-style room with sense of connection to living room
- 1-3.Japanese-style room with walls and tatami to add modern touch
- 1-4.Japanese-style room with simple tokonoma (alcove)
- 1-5.Eye-catching Japanese-style room with unique ceiling and entrance
- 1-6.Modernized Japanese-style room with lighting and vaulted ceiling
- 1-7.Corner Japanese-style room with beautiful lighting
- 1-8.Stylish Japanese-style room with hanging closet
- 2.Nine points to keep in mind when creating a modern Japanese-style room
- 3.Techniques to create higher grade of interior design
- 4.Tips for matching with living room
1. Eight examples of beautiful modern Japanese-style rooms
To begin with, here are eight examples designed by experienced architects for creating beautiful modern Japanese-style rooms.
1-1. Japanese-style room with sense of nostalgia and present
This Japanese-style room is decorated in the style of a traditional Japanese house with a nostalgic feel, but also has a beautiful modern touch. The large, eye-catching lighting creates a modern atmosphere. Furthermore, the latticework of the shoji screens is subtly changed to create a calm yet beautiful Japanese-style room.
1-2. Japanese-style room with sense of connection to living room
This is a brightly decorated Japanese-style room with an awareness of the connection with the living room. The color of the fittings, as well as the doorsills and kamoi (a doorway), are matched with the wood flooring to create a sense of unity. The Ryukyu tatami and the accent color of Tokonoma add a modern taste.
1-3. Japanese-style room with walls and tatami to add modern touch
This is a modern Japanese-style room with cool, bright white walls and fresh, young grass-colored Ryukyu tatami. The contrast between the tatami and the wall, floor post, and ceiling finishes that evoke the times creates a unique modern taste. This design is also a good reference for renovations.
1-4. Japanese-style room with simple tokonoma (alcove)
Simple plants and wall-hanging objects in the tokonoma (alcove) create a sense of wabi in contrast with the surroundings. The spotlight further adds a mysterious mood. This room is a good example of a stylish modern Japanese-style room with a simple decoration.
1-5. Eye-catching Japanese-style room with unique ceiling and entrance
The sloping ceiling and beams made of old wood create a rich space. The tokonoma, showing its presence by the lighting and color, and the arched entranceway, which resembles a fireplace in a tea ceremony room, are also unique. The Japanese-style room has the atmosphere of an old Japanese house with a modern touch.
1-6. Modernized Japanese-style room with lighting and vaulted ceiling
The square, modern lighting and an arched ceiling make this simple Japanese-style room stylish. The white wood and Mizuya-style shelves also add a Japanese taste to the room. This is a good example for those who likes simple decorations, but still want to give a strong sense of modernity.
1-7. Corner Japanese-style room with beautiful lighting
This is a small corner Japanese-style room with a beautiful line of cornice lighting illuminating the wall. The room partially has a sloping ceiling and a skylight for light, and the whole room is full of variety. The room is simple, yet stylish.
1-8. Stylish Japanese-style room with hanging closet
This is a stylish modern Japanese-style room with a simple design of a hanging closet and a floor-level window. The Ryukyu tatami, the texture of the storage door, and the latticework in the top pouch give the room a Japanese feel, while at the same time giving it a futuristic flavor.
Nine points to keep in mind when creating a modern Japanese-style room
We recommend you think about the room divided into several parts in designing it. We will now divide the room into the following nine parts and give you some pointers on how to design a beautiful room.
- Curtains, etc.
- Tokonoma (alcove)
- Fusuma (Japanese sliding door)
- Shoji (paper sliding door)
If you would like to consult with or be introduced to an architect who can design a modern Japanese-style room that suits you, japanese-architects.com's architect referrals are also useful.
There are two types of wallpaper: base cloth which is applied to a large area, and accent cloth by which the color or pattern is changed only in one area. Knowing how to select each type of cloth, which we will introduce next, will help you to avoid making a mismatched combination.
Base cloth color for harmony
For the base cloth, it is recommended to choose a color that matches well with the surroundings. For example, a calm color such as light beige or off-white will match with the accent cloth or dark-colored curtain. This will also make the accent cloths stand out more and make the Japanese-style room more beautiful.
Accent cloth for stylish look
Accent cloths make a room stylish and tighten the atmosphere of the room. We recommend darker colors with a Japanese feel, such as indigo and dark green.
However, too much accent cloths will create a heavy atmosphere. You need to see the balance of the room as a whole and adjust the area to apply accent cloth to avoid making mistakes. Of course, if you prefer a simple design, you do not need to use accent cloth.
Plaster and other painted walls are also recommended
It is also recommended to use painted walls such as plaster or clay walls for a Japanese-style room. Unlike wallpaper, painted walls have a natural texture that is perfect for Japanese-style rooms where you want to feel a sense of comfort and nostalgia. Today's painted wall materials come in a wide variety of colors and can be matched to a wide range of styles, from bright to classical.
The design of the lighting fixture and the color of the light have a great impact on creating the atmosphere of a modern Japanese-style room. It is important to first know the basic types and colors of lightings before selecting a design you like.
Decide on lighting type first
First, decide on the type of lighting that will play the main role. There are three main types.
- Pendant light
- Indirect light
A pendant light is a light that hangs from the ceiling. This is recommended for those who want to accentuate the design of lighting fixture, as it is low to the ground and clearly visible. However, be careful to choose a size that is appropriate for the size of the room, or the lighting may stand out too much.
Downlights are small lights that are embedded in the ceiling and have a simpler design than ceiling lights. It can be installed in a compact room without making the room feel too small, and can be used in any room design. You can also install multiple downlights, such as four or six, and use them as main lighting.
If you want to create a more modern Japanese-style room, indirect lighting is a must-have addition. Not only does it assist where brightness is lacking, it also serves to create light and shadow to make the room more beautiful. There are various ways to produce this effect, such as spreading the light by shining it on the wall, or highlighting the light and dark by shining the light only on some parts.
2-2-2. Create mood with lighting colors
The image of a Japanese-style room can vary greatly depending on the color of the lighting. The orange "light bulb color" creates a gentle and calm atmosphere, and is recommended for those who want to create a relaxing Japanese-style room. The bright white "daylight white" light makes it easy to read books clearly and makes food look delicious.
There are also a neutral color light or color-adjustable light. Choose the light while imagining how to spend your time in a modern Japanese-style room.
2-3. Curtain, etc.
In a modern Japanese-style room with windows, curtain is a part of the room design. First, let's learn about the basic types and characteristics of curtains, and then choose its colors and materials.
2-3-1. Select type of curtain, etc.
Curtains covering windows are divided into the following five main types.
- Roll screen
- Pleated screen
- Vertical blind
Curtains are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, making it easy to find the ones that match the design of the room. They can also be opened and closed quickly and easily by hand, and thus are ideal for people who do not want to have to wind up the strings like screens and blinds.
However, when opened, "tamari" of curtain gathered on one side is surprisingly voluminous. Therefore, in a simple modern Japanese-style room, it may look a little heavy. If you want to keep the design as simple as possible, consider the following roll screens and blinds.
A roll screen is opened by rolling the fabric up. When opened, it forms a tube above the window, so there is no "gathering" like a curtain. The flat surface of the fabric does not ripple like curtains, giving a clean look even when closed.
A pleated screen has fine horizontal folds on its surface. When opened, the screen folds compactly upward for a clean look. When closed, the folds accentuate the design and thus are recommended for those who want to create a varied design.
A blind is a series of thin horizontal panels. Even when the blinds is closed, you can easily adjust the amount of light by operating the bars and cords. The fine slits give a sharp impression, and is thus suitable for the atmosphere of a modern Japanese-style room.
A vertical blind is shaped as a series of vertical panels. Like horizontal blinds, the slits give a sharp impression, making them easy to match with modern Japanese-style rooms. Many of the panels are made of fabric, which is also recommended if you want to create a soft and gentle atmosphere.
2-3-2. Adjust Japanese taste with curtain materials
Once you have decided on the type of curtain and other materials, the next step is to choose the material. Depending on the material of the curtain, you can make the Japanese taste darker or lighter. Check the balance with the surrounding walls and carefully make your decision.
Fabric is a very commonly used material for curtains. A fabric with thicker weave threads will emphasize the texture of the material and strengthen the Japanese taste. On the other hand, if you want to keep the room simple and less Japanese taste, a flat cloth with thin woven threads is recommended.
Washi (Japanese paper) style
Washi-like materials add an elegant and subtle Japanese taste to a room. Therefore, even when used over a large area, it creates a Japanese-style atmosphere without heavy impression. Many lighting covers are also made of washi, so it is a good idea to create a sense of unity by matching the design.
Wooden materials have a strong presence and add a solid Japanese taste to a room. For example, wood-like materials can be used for blinds to accentuate the design of a simple Japanese-style room. If you use them in a Japanese-style room with many pillars, they can be blended in the pillars naturally.
2-3-3. Curtain color used as accent
The color of a curtain or the like will be determined by whether or not it is used as a design accent. If there are other accents such as wallpaper, it is better to use a subdued color for the curtains to create a calm atmosphere. Conversely, if curtain is used as an accent, it may be better to choose a lighter color for the walls.
Darker colors, especially for a large curtain, increases the presence of the room. Choose the color carefully while thinking the balance with the surroundings.
Tokonoma (alcove) is a space near the wall in a Japanese-style room that is raised one level above the floor. Since it has been found in Japanese-style rooms since old times, it creates a more Japanese atmosphere when created in a room. However, in a modern Japanese room, it is necessary to design it so that the Japanese taste becomes not too strong.
2-4-1. Decide floor and surrounding materials
The traditional tokonoma (alcove) is made of various components, such as the "toko" (raised floor), the "tokobashira" (floor post) on the side, and the "otoshigake" (above post). The more of these components there are, the more formal the Japanese atmosphere becomes.
For this reason, if you want to create a Japanese-style room that is more modern than traditional style, consider a simple tokonoma (alcove) with fewer surrounding components; even a single raised "floor" may be enough to create a Japanese taste in a modern Japanese-style room.
2-4-2. Change front wallpaper
When the wallpaper in front of tokonoma is used as an accent color, such as indigo, it will give a more modern look. A light pattern of flowers or kasumi (a small flower in the shape of a flower) can add a subtly stylish touch. A change in the wallpaper on the front side of the alcove adds spacious depth to the room.
Tatami is another point of change in creating a stylish modern Japanese-style room. Just by changing the shape and color, you can create a Japanese-style room with a very sophisticated image.
2-5-1. Stylish Ryukyu tatami
Ryukyu Tatami is an edge-less tatami used in the Okinawa region since ancient times. It is a simple-looking tatami that goes very well with modern Japanese-style rooms.
Square tatami also give the room a sharp look and make it more stylish. Moreover, since the color of tatami looks differently depending on the direction of the grain. The room will have a checkered pattern when they are arranged in different directions, which adds a sense of unexpectedness.
2-5-2. Colorful tatami for more fashionable look
For an even more stylish tatami, we recommend using colored tatami. Modern tatami are available in a variety of colors other than the common wakakusa and golden colors. For example, pale milky white or light cherry blossom color will give your Japanese room a gentle and warm feeling. Also, chic sumizome or indigo colored tatami will add depth and elegance to your room.
One of the most important factors in creating the atmosphere of a modern Japanese-style room is the amount of light that enters through the windows. If you can design the window, including even the amount of light, you can create a modern Japanese-style room that better suits your image.
2-6-1. Plan windows with light in mind
If you want a bright Japanese-style room, you need to make a large window, but also try to make the window in front of the room entrance. Light from the front makes the room look brighter and open.
If you want to create a chic Japanese-style room, we also recommend that you dare to make the windows smaller. The right amount of darkness will create a more relaxed atmosphere, and the focused light will add a modern touch to the room.
2-6-2. Change using floor-level window
A floor-level window is a low window near the floor. The nuance of shadow is added to the room. When you sit down, you can see outside through the window, so you can enjoy the change of scenery in the room.
2-7. Fusuma (Japanese sliding door)
Fusuma (Japanese sliding door) is used as closet doors in Japanese-style rooms and as partitions between other rooms. The fusuma paper applied to the surface of fusuma is very impressive. If choose it carefully, it can make a modern Japanese room more beautiful and stylish.
2-7-1. Select colors and patterns based on overall balance
If you want your fusuma to match with the room, choose fusuma paper with colors and patterns similar to those of the wallpaper. If you use a fusuma other than hon-fusuma with thick edges on its all four sides, you can use the same wallpaper as the wallpaper, making the fusuma more integrated with the room.
Conversely, if you want to accentuate the fusuma in a room, try putting up fusuma paper in dark colors such as indigo or dark green, or with patterns such as flowers. However, be sure to choose colors and patterns while making sure that there are also accents on the walls and curtains, that the colors do not clash, and that they are not too clingy.
2-7-2. Design frame as well
Among the types of fusuma, hon-fusuma have thicker edges on all four sides. Therefore, if you choose black or other dark-colored edges, they may stand out unexpectedly in a Japanese-style room. If you want to create a modern Japanese-style room with a bright and light design, you should choose a white wooden rim or ita fusuma with a less conspicuous rim.
Shoji is used to separate rooms, and its paper and frames can be changed to stylish designs. As they allow light to pass through, shoji is highly recommended for modern Japanese-style rooms where you want to create a sense of brightness and spaciousness.
2-8-1. Change design of shoji paper
Shoji paper can be applied to shoji not only in Japanese paper-like designs, but also in a variety of colors, patterns, and watermarks. By changing the color or pattern in certain areas or combining multiple colors, shoji paper can be transformed from an unassuming presence into an accent in a room.
There are also designer shoji, which have a big picture or pattern printed entirely, giving a strong impact. If used in moderation, they can create a stylish Japanese-style room, although using too many of them may lose the modern atmosphere.
2-8-2. Devise spacing and color of lattice
Changing the design or color of the latticework on shoji can subtly enhance the modern taste of a room. For example, making the lattice thicker and increasing the spacing between the lattices will give the shoji a new feel.
In addition to the standard white wood, a wide range of colors are available, including warm natural brown, old-Japanese-style dark brown, and urban-style silver. If you are looking for something a little different from the standard wallpaper and fusuma paper to add a stylish touch, we recommend using a unique shoji latticework.
Woodworking (zosaku) materials in a Japanese-style room include wooden materials such as pillars, long posts, doorsills, and kamoi. Although they are not conspicuous, they can influence the taste of a modern Japanese room, so be careful to select them with the following two points in mind.
2-9-1. Color selection determines room taste
The colors of molding are mainly white for a new look, brown for a slightly aged look, and dark brown for a sense of history. The taste of the room varies depending on the color you choose. White wood is recommended for brightness and newness, natural brown for calmness and the balance with Western-style rooms, and dark brown for a more classical atmosphere.
2-9-2. Adjusting "harmony" with appearance of built-in materials
The molding materials can be covered with walls so that they are not visible from the outside. Therefore, adjusting the ratio of the visible materials can change the level of the "harmony" of the room.
For example, if only the shoji frame is visible as shown in the above photo, the room will have a simple and modern taste. However, if you can see a lot of molding as shown in the second last photo, the room will look more like a Japanese-style room.
3. Techniques to create higher grade of interior design
So far, we have seen the basic points for creating a modern Japanese-style room. If you want to take your modern Japanese-style room to the next level, the following four points are also recommended.
3-1. Stairwell and beams
A modern Japanese-style room with a sense of openness can be created by making the ceiling vaulted so that the beams can be seen. If the beams are made of new wood, the room will have a bright atmosphere. If the beams are made of old wood smoked by irori (Japanese-style fireplace), the room will have a stately feel.
3-2. Antique fittings
Using antique fittings for room partition creates a modern Japanese-style room with a more old-fashioned feel. Antique fittings can be purchased from specialty stores or have them made in an antique style by a fixture supplier.
3-3. Lattice decoration
Adding wooden lattice decorations makes a modern Japanese room even more beautiful. It can be used for partition walls, storage doors, or as an air conditioner blindfold. You can use a ready-made lattice decoration or ask a professional contractor to make it.
3-4. Hanging closet
A hanging closet is a closet with a hollowed-out bottom that appears to float in the air. This adds an accent to the design of the room and thus is recommended for those who want to create a unique Japanese-style room. If you use a floor-level window underneath, the contrast between lightness and the closet is created, making the room more beautiful.
4. Tips for matching with living room
To make a balance with the living room connected to the modern Japanese-style room, it is recommended to unify the colors as much as possible. If the colors are completely different in the living room and the Japanese-style room, it will create a disjointed atmosphere as a whole.
For example, you can use the similar color for the floor and door in the living room and the molding in the Japanese-style room, or make the wallpaper and curtains in the same family of colors for better matching. The tip is not to make all the colors the same, but to partially match the base color with the accent color. This will create the right amount of variety in the house and make each room stand out.
In order to create a modern Japanese-style room as you envisioned, it is important to think over the wallpaper, lighting, curtains, and other items mentioned above one by one. It is better to visualize the entire room as you proceed, so that you can create a well-balanced and beautiful modern Japanese-style room.
However, it may be difficult for a customer to imagine how the room will look like. Therefore, we recommend that you consult with an architect who has experience designing modern Japanese-style rooms and receive proposals.
Our japanese-architects.com service provides free introductions to architects who have designed sophisticated modern Japanese-style rooms such as the one you see here. If you are interested in creating a beautiful modern Japanese-style room, please contact us.