21 Fascinating Japanese Living Room Decor Ideas

Japanese Living Room Decor Ideas

If there’s one word that sums up a Japanese living room decor, it’s zen. Indeed, a Japanese-inspired living room exudes simplicity and peacefulness, which perfectly depicts the Japanese culture. It revolves around a clean and uncluttered look, with a love for nature.

When coming up with a Japanese style living room, the best approach is to infuse it with the elements of Japanese design, such as a tatami mat, sliding doors, wood, and natural elements. Here are some ideas when it comes to decorating a Japanese themed living room.

Japanese Living Room Decor Ideas

1. Opt for Natural Colors

Japanese Style Living Room

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Most Japanese homes feature natural colors that often consist of browns and greens. Neutral hues like gray and white are also widely used in the living space, which makes the room look soother and calmer. The use of wooden furniture is also evident in a Japanese style living room.

2. Keep Things Low

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If you wish to pursue a more traditional Japanese look, keep your furniture near the ground. Think of having low tables, low shelves, and cushions instead of a regular chair. This will also make the room appear bigger.

3. Allow Enough Light

Modern Japanese Style Living Room

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The Japanese consider access to light as a basic human right. Thus, one of the most popular Japanese living room ideas is to use natural light to illuminate the space. To achieve this, place the living room in an area that faces the south so that light can freely enter. This will encourage maximum warmth and natural illumination both during the day and night.

4. Be Playful with Textures

Japanese Style Living Room Ideas

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Although a Japanese themed room is all about keeping things minimal, don’t be afraid to experiment and play with textures. The center table can be made from wood planks and cinder blocks. Low cushions and potted plants can also become interesting accents of the room. Just make sure that colors will not be in conflict against each other.

5. Install a Genkan

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The Japanese believe that cleanliness is godliness, which is why keeping things clean is very important in Japanese culture. One way to keep your living room clean is to install a genkan. A genkan is a transitional space where shoes and other outside footwear are left to change into indoor slippers once inside the house. This will help keep the floor clean and the carpets useable for a longer time.

6. Keep in Touch with Nature

Japanese Inspired Living Room

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Japanese culture has a deep respect for nature. In order to maintain a connection with the natural world, an ideal Japanese living room design is something that brings nature indoors. One way to do this is to have an expansive window in the living room where a clear view of a natural landscape can be readily seen. The scenery of a mountain, waterway, or even a garden is suitable.

7. Place a Kotatsu

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Most Japanese families possess a kotatsu as a source of heat. This is a low table made of wood and covered with a thick blanket. During the winter season, a kotatsu can become a focal point in the living room.

Also Read: 15 Creative Room Dividers for Studio Apartments

8. Incorporate a Sliding Doorway

Japanese Decor Ideas

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It’s common to find a sliding door in Japanese homes. Sliding doors allow light to flow but not to the point where the screen becomes see-through. They are also framed in natural wood, so you will not have trouble finding complementing colors for other furniture in the room. Stained wood is acceptable, but it should not be painted.

9. Cover the Floor with Tatami

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The tatami is one of the most popular Japanese decorations for home. It’s a soft but very durable straw mat that’s frequently used in Japan as floor coverings. The subtle scent of tatami blends perfectly with wood to create a unique smell that defines traditional Japanese homes. Tatami mats are long-lasting and practical as well because they are flexible according to season. They remain cool in summertime and warm during the winter.

10. Decorate with Wooden Elements

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Wood is by far, the most prominent feature in Japanese living room decor. In fact, wood is pretty dominant in most traditional Japanese homes. Japanese would prefer wood over other materials, in part, because of the high incidences of earthquakes in Japan. In fact, wood is given great respect in old Japanese houses and are never concealed by paint to maintain the natural look. So if you want to infuse a Japanese feel into your living room, fill it with wooden furniture and decors.

11. Leave Some Space Unfilled

Modern Japanese Style Living Room

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A Japanese inspired living room is often free from clutter, which is why large empty spaces are often found in most Japanese homes. Foreigners may take this as an unwise use of space, but Japanese people see this as an avenue for creative thinking where the void space is meant to be filled by people.

12. Place a Chabudai

Japanese Living Room Table

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Traditional Japanese households use a chabudai instead of a modern high table. A chabudai is a very low table, often used as a room centerpiece. This Japanese living room table helps bring people closer together, which is what living rooms should be. This is perfect for those seeking a minimalist ambiance and an authentic Japanese lifestyle.

13. Less is More Approach

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In contrary to Western concepts, Japanese people tend to follow a very minimalistic and clean lifestyle. Keep clutter away, especially around the windows and doors, to allow more light to enter the room. Also, use lightweight and versatile materials for the accessories.

14. Bring Plants Indoors

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Putting traditional Japanese plants in the living room like bamboo and bonsai will help add a Japanese touch. Sleek plants, such as orchid and palm, or any kind of deep greenery are also ideal. Keep it simple and green.

Also Read: 37 Elegant White Sofa Living Room Decorating Ideas

15. Allot Space for a Tokonoma

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A Japanese-style reception room typically has a space to exhibit a hanging scroll, a piece of pottery, and other art pieces. This space is called a tokonoma. Often placed next to the wall, the host sits and receives guests with the tokonoma behind which implies that the art doesn’t overshadow the guest.

16. Sit on a Zabuton

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Thin Japanese cushions are called zabuton and are the Japanese equivalent to chairs. These are used when casually sitting on the floor or when eating. It also comes in pair with the chabudai where dinner is eaten by the family.

17. Hang Lanterns and Other Japanese-Inspired Lighting

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Additional accessories like Japanese lanterns and other Japanese-inspired lighting can make for perfect decor in the ceiling. You can hang in place a few pieces along with the centerpiece or at a specific area in the ceiling. Just make sure it doesn’t dominate the room.

18. Use a Fusuma

Modern Japanese Style Living Room

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For those with bigger spaces, you can use a fusuma for the walls. A fusuma is a removable rectangular panel that serves as a sliding wall. They are covered in thick paper, sometimes cloth, and can be moved to connect the living room to a different room.

19. Brighten-Up the Walls

Japanese Style Living Room Ideas

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Although the Japanese style living room ideas consist mostly of natural colors, you can add some colors to your living room if you want. Wallpapers and stickers can be used to brighten up the room, which is ideal for people who are not fond of natural colors. Wall stickers are easy to find and convenient to apply. Find a design that depicts a natural element, like a flower, a wave, or a mountain, and you’re good to go.

20. Use Carpets

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Although the tatami is the most ideal floor covering for Japanese style living rooms, feel free to use a carpet if you want. Go for plush carpets that will exude a feeling of coziness in the entire space. It’s also a good idea to settle with neutral colors, such as brown, grey, or white. Avoid carpets with colorful prints and designs because that does not go well with the concept of Japanese interior design.

Also Read: 33 Modern Condo Interior Design Ideas

21. Settle with Necessary Furniture Only

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You should have known by now that space is a very important element in a genuine Japanese ambiance. Therefore, be very mindful of the type of furniture to place in your living room. Settle with a limited number of important furniture only so that natural light and movement will not be interrupted. Besides, the main concept of a Japanese home décor is to keep things minimal and simple.

Wrapping Up

A Japanese living room decor is something simple that exudes a peaceful and serene ambiance. It helps to make your living room feel even more welcoming and relaxing. You can experiment with any look that you want, but make sure you stick to the main concept of minimalism. Add wooden elements, a few greenery, allow natural light to get in, and decorate with a few Japanese inspired accessories.

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