Japanese Style Kitchen – How to achieve the look for your next project

Japanese style kitchen

This Japanese-style kitchen is inspired by the family’s travels to the country.  Our client sought to recreate the ambience of a Tokyo noodle bar within the back-room extension of their suburban home in Blackburn, Lancashire. Incorporating several key Japanese interior design principles, here’s how we achieved our clients’ dream kitchen.


Natural Finishes – Shizen

japanese style kitchen natural finishes
Japanese-style kitchen designs frequently use natural materials and finishes. This is just as much for practical reasons as it is rooted in ancient Buddhist and Shinto beliefs. Japanese interior design philosophy follows the ‘shizen’ principle of naturalness over artificial. This informed our client who chose a rich walnut veneer, accompanying this with an earthy orange and mineral blue laminate for a personal touch.


Sliding Doors – Fusuma and Shoji

modern orange and blue kitchen
No Japanese-style cupboard can be without sliding doors. Synonymous with the Japanese aesthetic, ‘Fusuma and Shoji’ have been integral to Japanese architecture for centuries. Influenced by Zen Buddhist architecture, these sliding doors seamlessly connect interior and exterior spaces. They allow flexibility, privacy, and a harmonious flow between rooms. Our Japanese-style modern kitchen project incorporates this fuss-free approach to doors, embracing simplicity and space-saving concepts.


Integrated Living Spaces

built in hi fi furniture
Japanese homes are traditionally open-plan layouts which have emerged from a blend of the old court style and a conservative preference. These days, the trend continues as rooms still blend seamlessly with few internal walls. Our client embraced this approach for their extension project. The kitchen opens out to the dining area, the snug and their serene garden beyond, complete with a pond and tea house, in keeping with the Japanese style type.


Suspended Shelving

japanese style kitchen suspended shelving
Suspended shelving, often seen in traditional Japanese-style kitchens, reflects an attitude of practicality and minimalism whilst drawing upon the need to maximize space in compact homes. By elevating storage, the floor and surfaces remain uncluttered and allow light and air to circulate freely. The aesthetic aligns with the Japanese preference for simplicity and efficient use of space.


Hanging Tools – Wabi Sabi 

japanese style kitchen hanging tools wabi sabi
Japanese craftsmanship values tools as functional art. Hanging tools—whether kitchen utensils, gardening implements, or woodworking instruments—have their place in daily life. The practice stems from practicality, accessibility, and an appreciation for the beauty of well-crafted tools. It also echoes the ‘wabi-sabi’ philosophy of finding beauty in the ordinary. Our client displays their Japanese-style kitchen knife set over their chopping block, a dedicated space for the preparation of their beloved sashimi and sushi.


Uncluttered Work Surfaces – Ma

japanese knives hanging on wall
As Japanese-style kitchen interior design prioritises functionality and mindfulness,  clear work surfaces allow focus and simplicity. The concept of ‘ma’ extends to workspaces, emphasizing the balance between occupied and empty areas. Removing distractions fosters a serene environment conducive to creativity and productivity. We kept the surfaces free from clutter and provided the client with maximum cooking flexibility. They opted for the Siemens modular cooking system including an induction hob, wok burner and a two-ring hob making it ideal for our clients to indulge in their enjoyment of both the Western and Japanese styles of cooking,


Open Shelving

open shelving on kitchen peninsula
Open shelving is an integral part of the Japanese-style house kitchen. Functional items showcase their beauty through their usefulness, drawing inspiration from the country’s tea houses, where utensils and ceramics are intentionally displayed. The choice of materials, often wood or bamboo reflects again the embedded influence of nature. Arrangements follow the principles of harmony and balance. We added open shelving areas above the sink and to the front of the peninsula, allowing our client to showcase their treasured purchases from their travels to the country.


Slatted Wood Panels – Kumiko

trailing plant on walnut screen
Kumiko, intricate slatted woodwork, has its roots in traditional Japanese carpentry. Originally used in temples and shrines, it became a decorative residential architecture element. Delicate patterns allow diffused light to filter through, creating a sense of calm and beauty. Our clients wanted to incorporate diffused light as part of their Japanese kitchen ideas. We achieved this by incorporating veneered plywood slatted wood panels into their scheme.

Japanese interior design principles emerge from a rich cultural tapestry, blending ancient beliefs, architectural innovations, and a profound connection to the natural world. Each element contributes to the harmonious balance that defines the style. Our client was keen to adopt some of these key elements for their Japanese kitchen design and we were delighted to work with them bringing their ideas to life.

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