Shoji swooning

Morning morning!  So let’s continue the Japanese theme today by looking at all things Shoji.  The main facets of Japanese interior design focus on concepts such as simplicity, uncluttered spaces, raw natural materials, privacy, and having a flexible living space in order to make the most of your home.

Shoji screens provide the last three of these ideals: a wooden frame combined with translucent rice paper, these act as sliding walls, room divider screens or even windows/doors and provide privacy while allowing a gorgeous diffused light to enter the space.  As sliding panels, the home can also be reconfigured into various ‘rooms’ as necessary.

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So here are a few very traditional Japanese schemes, to show you what I’m going on about…

Tatami mats are usually used on the floor – made out of rice straw they are traditionally a fixed smallish size, so many are used next to each other.  I’m having a bit of a sisal rug moment right now (along with, err, the rest of the design world) and these look pretty similar.

I think this is actually a set of Fusuma sliding panels: made of a wooden frame with hand-painted cloth or paper, they act very much like Shoji screens in terms of allowing a flexible living space.

And this one is pretty stonking, no?!

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And here are a bunch of Japanese-meets-Western interior design schemes, which are perhaps a little more relevant to us. 

Another gorgeous Fusuma screen:

Totally enamoured with these floating shelves set onto a Shoji panel:

And this quirky bedframe sits perfectly against its more traditional backdrop:

Yes to the bamboo ladder!

LOOOOVE this shot – it did just occur to me though that you’d have to use frosted glass or some such material in bathroom screens, as I guess steam wouldn’t do the rice paper any favours.  Soggy Shoji can never be a good thing…

A very chic set of pantry doors!

And it’s also a great way to create privacy for overlooked windows, a much sleeker option than sheers.  I think these are actually fake windows, so it’s clearly also a fab way to break up large horizontal expanses of wall: 

A fabulous dark and moody option for a study:

And I love me a good barn door I do, especially when combined with some Shoji! 

Or alternatively, to get a Japanese vibe going forget the Shoji screens and just paint a panda on to your bedroom wall…

Ha, KIDDING.  Oh wait, do you even get pandas in Japan?!  I know not.

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In case this has inspired further Shoji oogling, check out these stores for sourcing options.

The place to go for bespoke wall panels is definitely Pacific Shoji Works

Hayneedle has a whole load of options, for both panels and screens:

The Room Divider Store has a few beauts:

And Oriental Furniture will do you any colour of the rainbow:

So what do you think?  Time to add a little zen to your space…?

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