Japanese bedrooms are very sophisticated and timeless in appeal. This article will give you the best Japanese bedroom ideas to convert your space into a minimalist haven.
Asia is a continent rich in culture, tradition, history, and heritage. Generations of families have passed on their heirlooms through centuries. Some in the form of art and design ideas, while others in forms of furniture and beautiful homes.
The Japanese style of design has always been a source of immense fascination to the western world. Be it in real life or through a virtual world of films and series, Japanese bedrooms are the most eye-catching of them all.
While watching a Japanese Drama or an Anime, have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I could have a Japanese bedroom.” The design concept is not like the regular bedrooms we see around us. The look and the furniture used are quite interesting and rare to find in Western-world homes. Contrary to the myth, it isn’t that difficult to design one. Let me take you through some of the best Japanese bedroom ideas for your home.
In this guide, we will share:
- Difference between traditional and modern Japanese bedroom designs
- The right furnishing for a Japanese bedroom
- 12 great Japanese bedroom design ideas
- More Asian themed bedroom ideas
- Answers to a lot of questions!
Choosing the Theme of the Japanese Style Bedroom
Japanese culture is about simplicity, minimalism, and utility. This reflects in their design concepts, and that is how we need to plan for a perfect Japanese theme bedroom. Yes, they are minimalist, but when you look carefully, you can see that every Japanese house is either styled traditionally or else is modern. Naturally, bedrooms are designed accordingly.
Traditional Japanese Bedrooms
Have you ever heard of the word Washitsu? It’s a Japanese word for a traditional-style home. In English, Washitsu is known as Tatami Rooms. The minimalist room designs in a traditional Japanese home are built on the idea of practical purpose and clutter-free space.
Tatami bedrooms do not have any fixed beds. However, at night the Tatami-style bedrooms transform into cozy sleeping quarters. In the morning, the traditional bedroom transforms back into a large and spacious space as the futon beddings are folded and tucked away.
The idea is so unique that Tatami bedrooms are a favorite design concept many Western designers ask for. The unique ceiling and wall work are also a visual attraction in Traditional Japanese bedrooms. This is one of the best Japanese bedroom ideas to convert your living space.
Modern Japanese Bedrooms
Remember when I said their culture and customs heavily influence Japanese people? Despite modernization, the contemporary home is a beautiful amalgamation of the past and the present.
The concept of folding and tucking away the bed each morning has been given a new rendition in the contemporary Japanese bedroom. Modern Japanese bedrooms have raised platforms for the mattresses instead of tatami beds and mats.
Japanese bed platforms divide the room into two sections without compromising on the spacious and clutter-free theme. While one side of the room can work as a sleeping quarter, the other section can be utilized for dining or entertainment without any problem. This is how the idea of Zen Bedrooms was introduced.
Like Washistsu, Zen is a modern-day depiction of minimalism rooted in Japanese culture. Perfect for small and large homes alike, the Zen-style bedrooms are beautiful despite being minimalist and simple.
Furniture Choices To Go With The Best Japanese Bedroom Ideas
It is very important to note that a Japanese bedroom will always have a specific set of furnishings. It is quite different from any western design concept regardless of a modern or traditional look.
You cannot simply place a large dresser or wardrobe or even a large queen-size bed frame in a Japanese theme bedroom as it will completely look out of place instead of fusing harmoniously with the entire concept.
Below is the list of the most common furniture inclusions that creates a perfect Japanese style Bedroom
The most striking feature of a Japanese home is the sliding doors. Rather than going for normal hinged doors, the Fusuma does not need any additional space to open or close yet serves the purpose of a normal door. The sliding doors with translucent panels known as Shoji are also a great way to allow light to seep into the room without compromising on privacy.
Tatami and Futon
Tatami floor mat and Futon bedding are the traditional sleeping arrangement that many homes still have. The Futon consists of a heavy under-mattress known as Shikibuton, a Makura or sleeping pillow, and a Kakebuton or comforter. Additional Mofu or thick blankets are also added for extra warmth.
The traditional floor Tatami Bedroom concept has been given a modern approach by introducing Tatami Platform bed frames in many modern households.
Transom and Alcove
The transom is the large ventilation shafts placed over the doors to allow light and better cross ventilation. Transoms are generally made of wood carved with intricate designs.
Alcoves symbolize the heritage and importance of family. Traditional scrolls and vases are placed right behind the sitting area of the bedroom. The most important member of the family generally sits facing backward to the Alcove.
Tenjo or traditionally painted ceilings are also common to the room designs alongside the transom and Alcoves.
Also known as Tsuitate, Byobu works as a partition between a room’s sleeping and dining sections. It is a sort of privacy barrier that is movable and collapsible. They are mainly made of a huge wooden frame, and they generally have paintings, writings, or carvings installed in the partition panel.
Built-in Shelving and desk
Most bedrooms in Japan have Chigaidana (Shelves) and Tsuke Shoin (desks) to maximize the open space. The shelves are generally located under the Alcove, while the desk is facing the window to allow sufficient light and air to enter the room while one is working.
Floor table with Zabuton
Since floor seating and sleeping are important in Japan, most Japanese bedrooms have low-lying tables with Zabuton or sitting pillows. Normal floor tables are better known as Chabudai. However, there is another type of floor table especially used during the winter months.
Kotatsu is a unique kind of floor table. These tables have heating underneath and a thick blanket surrounding them, making them perfect when the temperature hits a single digit.
Though most Japanese homes use Zabuton with the low table, there is a much more comfortable option too. Zaisu is a very unique kind of floor chair typically seen in Japan. The limbless chair has a backrest and is generally used while dining or working on the Floor Table. Also called Zaisu Tatami Chair, they are very unique in design.
Rather than traditional mats, many Japanese bedrooms have Sisal rugs which are made of cost-effective natural sisal fiber. The texture and color of the rug aside, they are very easy to clean and maintain which is why they are quite a favorite of many Japanese Households.
Bonsai is the pride of Japan. These miniature trees can be anywhere between a few decades to a few centuries old. While there are many myths and superstitions about these dwarf trees, most Japanese homes have live bonsai or a painting placed near the area that receives maximum natural light and air.
However, if you are planning to add a Bonsai, remember that it needs a lot of love and care constantly to thrive well. The infamous Japanese patience actually is believed to have come from pruning and caring for bonsai trees for centuries.
Twelve Of The Best Japanese Bedroom Ideas That Never Go Old
The word Shibui is a classic Japanese term used by designers to showcase the simple yet multifaceted aspect of a typical Japanese-style bedroom.
Based on the principle of Shibui elements, simple ideas and concepts can be used to design a Japanese bedroom with minimal effort.
1. Go with natural lighting and pastel shades of color
The Japanese theme is all about open spaces and maximized use of natural surroundings. This is the primary reason why most Japanese-style bedrooms have large and wide window frames to allow lots of natural light and fresh air to enter the room.
This is also why it’s best to use light colors and nude tones to accent the bedroom color and design. This helps in making the room appear bigger and naturally bright at all times.
2. Implement Tatami Flooring
Tatami flooring is the trademark highlight of any Japanese-style bedroom. Made from natural rice straw, these floor mats are a representation of Japanese culture and customs. These traditional floor mats are great as they are the perfect companions to floor sitting and floor bedding.
3. Keep it clutter-free
Japanese design is all about spacious and open space with minimal to absolutely no floor clutter. From shelving to study tables, almost everything is built into the wall or is tuck-able. Ensure all your furnishing is designed keeping in mind this aspect.
4. Stress on utilitarianism instead of beauty
Obnoxiously large inclusions are a definite no in any Japanese-style bedroom. Coincidentally even Korean Bedrooms have a similar theme of minimal clutter and maximum open floor space.
Almost every piece of furnishing in the bedroom has a dual or more functional purpose. For example, the traditional Tatami Platform bed frame comes with maximized storage space underneath. Similarly, the floor table used for dining is transformed into a heated sitting space to work and study during the winter months.
5. Add traditional sliding doors
One of the first additions to any Japanese room decor is the sliding door panel. They are a trademark style statement of Japanese theme. Incorporating Shoji-styled Peach Blossom panels is a great way to start the transformation. While the translucent Shoji work offers privacy without compromising on the natural light, the Peach blossom depicts the beauty of the pride of Japan, the Cherry Blossom.
6. Add texturing to the Ceiling
False Ceiling and lighting are a very common inclusion of any modern design. However, Japanese or Korean room decor is not a big fan of these concepts. Instead, most Japanese Bedroom decor has beautiful paintings and latticework done on the ceilings. Primarily known as Tenjo, this is a very amazing idea to add to the transformation plan.
7. Choose the right bedroom furnishing
Japanese bed style is often designed in and around the traditional Tatami theme. A platform or raised bed and a simple and multi-functional bedside table are the first basic necessity to add to the roo. This should be followed by a floor sitting table and a space partition.
8. Incorporate bamboo into the design
Bamboo is an eternal friend of Japanese culture. Bamboo shades, bamboo mats, and even bamboo furniture are common to any Japanese home style. Besides being inexpensive and durable for a long while, they provide a very interesting texture to the room.
9. Go with a traditional wooden theme
Japanese culture always prefers using natural elements in abundance while designing. This is the reason most Japanese-style bedrooms have a lot of woodwork instead of metals and plastics.
To go with the traditional outlook, it is best to have many wooden furnishings and frameworks around the room.
10. Add traditional Japanese accessories
Though Japanese decor is all about minimalism and simplicity, that does not mean it is devoid of beauty and vibrancy. Beautiful table lamps and nightstands, flower vases, and lanterns are common in any Japanese home.
Kanji and Haiku Painting along with motifs of natural elements are also a great way o enhance the Japanese theme of the room. In fact, adding a little of each of these components to your bedroom will only enhance the beauty and the theme for the better.
11. Use contrast as the base of the design
Asian culture is heavily inspired by the traditional Ying and Yang philosophy. Contrasting patterns are one of the key features of any Japanese home. This is probably the reason why many designers use darker furnishing with the pale or neutral room color. This gives a very balanced outlook to the atmosphere of the room.
12. Use of organic fabric
As mentioned above, Japanese culture relies heavily on natural and environmentally friendly design concepts. Wood, bamboo, and straw are used heavily in their architecture. Fabric is another important aspect that you cannot neglect while creating a Japanese decor bedroom.
The use of natural fiber like cotton and silk for curtains, blinds, futons, bedspreads is a must as Japanese culture rarely uses mixed or artificial fibers like polyester or georgette.
Most of the fabrics have big and bright bold designs and appliques of flowers and motifs.
Unique Asian Theme Bedrooms Trending in 2021
With the rising popularity of Asian culture in the west, many interesting concepts have been trending in the last year. Heavily inspired by the world of fiction and dramas, these themes are being transformed into realities.
An avid anime fan would rather call their bedroom Otaku Room instead of Anime Bedroom. The anime bedroom decors primarily have a few interesting and striking additions. Anime Posters and collage work on the walls, unique headboards added to the platform bed, banners and large backgrounds of the favorite character, and vibrant lighting is the first inclusions in the makeover.
Traditional blankets and covers are replaced with Anime printed bedspreads and covers. Shelving is added to display Manga and Figurine collections.
Like Japanese culture’s Zen style and theme, Oriental bedroom ideas are a traditional representation of ancient Chinese culture and art. Serenity and peaceful vibe are the primary consideration around which the traditional Chinese bedrooms are designed.
Korean Room aesthetics are similar to Japanese style in many aspects. White or neutral walls, low furniture, sliding doors, etc., are common in any Korean design. In addition to these necessities, Korean bedrooms have large mirrors with ample lightings with large built-in closets.
Thai inspired Bedrooms
A Thai bedroom primarily focuses on including lots of natural elements into its feature. So, most Thai sleeping quarters have aquariums, wooden work, and greenery incorporated into the design. Many Thai bedrooms often face a pool or waterfront also. Scented candles and traditional amulets, and trinkets are also adorned on the walls and shelves.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I decorate my room in Japanese style?
A Japanese room is a fusion of utility, clutter-free, comfort, and minimalism. Adding a Tatami bed (platform style or floor style), Fusuma, and Floor table rather than normal western-style beds, tables, and doors is the simplest way of transforming a normal room into a Japanese Style room.
How do I get a Japanese bedroom?
Japanese Bedrooms are easy to design. However, one must remember that traditional Japanese bedrooms do not have dressing tables, dressers, closets, wardrobes, sofas, and couches. They are very spacious and open theme. Primarily Japanese rooms have a sleeping quarter and a sitting and dining quarter divided by a Byuyo or wooden partition.
What is a Zen bedroom?
The modern multi-functional bedroom design found in most Japanese apartments is known as Zen Bedroom. These modern-style Japanese Bedrooms serve the purpose of a dining study room and a sleeping room. They are very simple and open in design. At first look, these bedrooms are often known to have a calming effect on the people entering the space.
What is tatami room?
When Traditional tatami mat flooring is used in a room to serve the purpose of sleeping and sitting in a Japanese home, it is known as a Tatami room. In addition to the tatami bedroom, the Shoin Tatami room and Sukiya Tatami room are other variations.
Shoin room is used for the entertainment of guests, and the Sukiya tatami room is used exclusively to hold tea ceremonies.
Why do Japanese sit/sleep on the floor?
The main reason for sitting or sleeping on the floor is to show respect towards centuries-old customs and rituals. However, another practical reason is because of the Tatami Flooring.
These floor mats are very soft and delicate. Large and heavy furnishings can cause damage to the flooring. To avoid that, most Japanese homes have the floor sitting and sleeping arrangements. Even the low table used for dining and work purposes is very lightweight and has a cushioned frame to prevent any harm to the tatami flooring.
How do I make my apartment look Japanese?
Japanese rooms are often very simple and minimalist at first glance. Additionally, they are always painted in very light colors. Vibrant patterns and designs are a strict no in any Japanese apartment.
Even the furnishings are very simple in design but have multi-functionality. Large size and intricate designed closets and wardrobes or even bed frames are a strict no. The Japanese Bed frame is primarily a raised platform on which the mattress is placed.
Make Sure To Plan It Wisely Before Starting
Japanese Bedrooms are the perfect example of maximum utilization of space without adding congestion or clutter. One must not forget about smaller details and the importance of traditional values and ideas ingrained in Japanese architecture.
Remember that Japanese room decors are always a reflection of the owner’s personality and thoughts. The right theme and color concept of a Japanese Bedroom is very crucial. Plan out the design concept based on the size and location of the room. Simplicity and minimalism may seem like very easy concepts to achieve, but choosing the right accessories to give the plan a final transformation is something one must be careful about.
Hopefully, with the Japanese bedroom ideas that I have mentioned above, along with a small beginner’s guide to the furnishing of a traditional Japanese bedroom, you can come up with an ultimate dream rendition.