In Western architectural style, a living room, which is also commonly known as a lounge room or family room, is usually a large area intended for socializing and relaxing.
These rooms are often situated in the rear of a home or apartment. Such a space can be called the back room when it’s near the main exit at the back of the house. A modern living room in this type of structure can feature leather furniture, decorative art, and a television set.
In Japanese architecture, the living rooms are meant to be more utilitarian. The furniture and other fixtures in these rooms are meant to accommodate the many people who live there.
As a result, the seats in most Japanese living rooms are low. However, the chairs themselves can be very high and have elaborate woodworks on the back. The art pieces in the living rooms of Japanese residences are usually small and usually relate to nature and the outdoors.
Westerners tend to place their couches and chairs in the middle of the rooms. As a result, the art pieces in the Western living rooms are usually high and close to the ceiling.
Westerners would rather have their couches and chairs placed at the end of the hallways because the hallway makes the transition from the living rooms to the dining rooms. In Japanese designs, the living rooms are always designed to connect the dining room to the kitchen.
Open Floor Plan
One characteristic that all Japanese houses should have is an open floor plan. This is important because an open floor plan makes it easy for the visitors to mingle with the other people inside the house. Most Japanese houses have a family room or two where the adults can hang out with the children and the parents can have their privacy.
However, the children’s room will be the opposite of the adult’s room. In an open floor plan, the children’s room or the entertainment space is the biggest part of the living room. This is where the coffee table is placed and the family gathers to watch television and play games.
Speaking of the entertainment space, the Japanese design philosophy of the living room revolves around a coffee table. The coffee table in the Japanese rooms is very unique and beautiful. They usually have very intricate designs on the top of the table. They sometimes have flowers and lanterns and they are placed on the table very exquisitely. The tables are usually accompanied by a cabinet on the side or the back of the living room.
Use of Artwork Pieces
Another characteristic of the Japanese home is the use of artwork pieces. There are many different types of art pieces that can be found in Japanese homes. Glass art pieces such as table lamps, candlesticks, and vases are used to decorate the living rooms. There are also many art pieces that are displayed on the side of the living rooms. Some examples of these art pieces are paper lanterns, chopsticks, rice-paper fans, and tetsubin.
The Japanese consider that comfort comes first before the beauty of the room. This is why the seats in the living rooms are much wider than the ones in the family rooms. In Japanese culture, the sitting arrangement is very important. The seats must be wide enough to accommodate the people sitting there comfortably. There are also wide sofa-set available in the Japanese home furnishing shops. These sofa sets usually contain chairs of different sizes and cushions of different colors.
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Another characteristic of Japanese furniture is the use of the open fireplace. Most houses in Japan do not have a fireplace. The fireplace is considered the gateway of warmth and happiness in Japanese culture. When there is an open fireplace in the living room area, the space designed for the fireplace is maximized. This means more space is available for other features that are essential for the Japanese living room.