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Travel, Teach, Live in Japan

Tips for Capturing Japanese Decorative Style
By:Veronica Smith <veronica_writer@yahoo.com>

Japanese decorating has a simplistic look and style that promotes a restful and peaceful feeling. Unlike many Western styles of decorating, Japanese decorating places a focus on the essentials, without resorting to a lot of knick-knacks and clutter. The end result is a living space that appears peaceful, spacious, restful and uncluttered.

Simplify and Reduce
If you want to decorate using Japanese influences, the first step is to clear out all the clutter in your home. Japanese decorating simply cannot coexist with a lot of clutter, as this can disturb the overall balance and peacefulness of the design. Choose all decorating accessories with a lot of care and thought, using only those items that can create a harmonious effect in the home. Less is generally better than more in Japanese decorating. Strive to create an overall feeling of orderliness and harmony in the home.

Nature in Japanese Decor
Nature is very prominent in Japanese decorating. Colors are often chosen to represent nature, with an emphasis on light natural colors such as blues, greens and yellows. White, off-white and cream are also colors that are commonly used in Japanese decorating, as they can effectively create a serene and peaceful look and feel within a room. Other natural touches that are commonly used in a Japanese-styled room include plants and flowers, such as bamboo and other natural materials. One well-placed plant in a room can be very effective in Japanese interior design.

Small water fountains are also popular and are commonly used as part of an overall interior decorating plan. Other natural materials such as rocks, bamboo flooring, tatami mats and stone are also beautiful additions to a Japanese-styled room. These natural materials bring a sense of peace, harmony and tranquility to the room, which is extremely important in Japanese decorating.

Japanese Furniture Styles
Japanese furniture styles often have simple yet beautiful lines, with furniture often appearing to be solid, grounded and lower to the floor than Western furniture. Furniture is also often kept to a minimum, with an emphasis on only having furniture items that are absolutely necessary.

Adding a Focal Point in a Japanese-Styled Room
Although colors are generally muted and reflect the colors of nature, including one item in the room that can serve as a focal point is also common in Japanese decorating. This focal point can be vividly colored, such as a red pillar in the room or an art print with a brightly colored orchid. However, unlike many Western styles of decorating, this accent color is used in only this one spot, and is not repeated in other areas of the room. The focal point is often towards the center of the room, and in fact, Japanese decorating often pulls the elements of the room towards the center: For instance, furniture is often centered within the living room or bedroom, a large soaking tub is a central bathroom fixture, and food preparation areas are centralized within the kitchen. It is common to have walking area around the perimeter of the room, and the overall flow of a room decorated in a Japanese style has a very open and uninhibited feel.

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