If you have been reading our previous articles about Japanese architecture and interior design, you know by now the importance of the natural environment and elements of nature to the Japanese people. If you haven’t, here is what you need to know.
Connecting with Nature
In Japan, nature is highly respected and loved. No one actually knows the real origin of this tradition or the philosophy behind it. Some simply say it has always been there, while others link it to the fact that Japan is surrounded by mountains and forests. Whatever the reason, the typical Japanese house will always have a garden to serve as a link between the inside and the outside.
The Japanese tend to establish a great connection with the natural environment. The natural environment is the symbol of purity, simplicity and peacefulness. Japanese architects and designers strive to mimic the natural environment to be able to create a minimalist design that projects peace and serenity throughout the space.
Bringing The Outside In
Since the Japanese culture embraces and celebrates nature, the best way to establish the connection between themselves and the natural environment is to introduce nature inside their homes.
The first thing that is taken into consideration when designing a Japanese home is the orientation of the spaces. Sometimes, homes are oriented towards the north or south to be able to view the mountains or water, but most likely they’ll be viewing a garden.
One of the most famous traditional methods to add the elements of nature is through the use of artful plants in decorating the space. Such plants are typically bamboo or bonsai trees. Palms, cherry blossoms and orchids can be used as well.
Another way to achieve this is to create openings in your space that allow the exposure to the outside natural environment. Such openings can be large windows, a sliding door, or the existence of a natural garden inside the home. This garden will often have a water feature in it, adding natural sound and scenery to the space which will reflect peace, purity and serenity.
Other Elements of Nature
The garden is the most direct ways to add elements of nature to the space. But there are also other ways the concept of nature can be added to the space. One of those ways is the use of natural materials in their raw form. For instance, the use of wooden flooring or natural wooden furniture, the use of tatami (carpet flooring mats made out of rice straws); and the use of shoji doors which allow light to enter the space through its translucent natural paper in addition to opening the space to the outside.
Nature’s Color Palette
Also, the color palette used for the space is another way to mimic nature. Colors derived from nature are highly recommended. Such colors are variations of the color brown which symbolize the trees, and gradients of white and grays, symbolizing the rocks and stones.
Natural elements in the Japanese style architecture are essential and cannot be ignored in design, as it is part of their tradition. And the Japanese have always shown resilience towards changing their core concepts and traditions, which is something that is highly respected.