Shoji Harmonizes Historic and Modern Elements

Bozeman, Montana:  Private space, soothing decor

Client: Seven Sushi
Project Type:  Major Renovation
Architect: Allison Gilley
Contractor:  Langlas and Associates

In Seven Sushi’s beautifully laid out dining area, shoji creates a private space for parties and events, but also provides an aesthetically pleasing division of space and a harmonic balance between the spaces.
Continue reading Shoji Harmonizes Historic and Modern Elements

How Doors Complete Rooms

By: Katie Comer
Doors are an essential part to every home’s design. Not only do they provide privacy, but they also make a house a home. From sliding doors, French doors, to various wood doors it can be hard to find the perfect match for your home. Remember that doors are the entry point to every room in your home, so make sure they match your design and style.

Here are a few of Modernize’s favorite ideas that can help you create a room centered around the perfect door for that particular space.

Sliding Doors

While sliding glass doors are very common in beach communities leading out to a balcony, that isn’t the only place they can be utilized to their full potential. When properly installed, they create an eye-catching element to your home decor and room space.

Sliding doors are easy to open and close, and also provide a lot of natural light in your home. They can actually make a house and a room feel bigger, since the sliding effect creates a larger atmosphere. Try sliding doors in a smaller bathroom to give the illusion of a larger space.
Wood sliding doors, like those that you can find at Cherry Tree Designs, can match your current design theme, which brings the space together for a more cohesive look.


A Room with a View

If you have a kitchen or living room space with a picturesque view, try using a door that complements this space. The last thing you want to do is choose an interior or exterior door that blocks your beautiful view.

Sliding doors, French doors, or double doors will be the best option to maximize your view. Many people opt for floor to ceiling windows, but replacing these windows with a door can provide a larger viewing space and another entry into your home. Incorporating a door into this space will allows for a connection between your home and the outdoors.

Having a larger door opening not only provides a better view, but it makes a small space look larger. The right door can make your backyard or back porch an extension of your home. A large glass door can make this possible, creating a serene outdoor space connected to your living space.

Closet Doors

A closet is the portion of a home that most owners like hidden. Whether you have a messy or organized closet space, you want to pick the right closet door that is functional and complements your style.

A traditional hinged door is perfect if you have a traditional design style and only want to conceal your closet. If you like a modern design style, try using a sliding door. Sliding doors come in a variety of styles, from frosted and translucent glass to mirrored or raised panels. If you want to get really creative with your room design, try using alternative doors. Or even try printed curtains over a doorway to create a style that is perfect for you.


How to Dress up your Flat Screen

An overview from Cherry Tree Design

Flat screen TVs may well be the best thing to ever happen to television – excellent picture size and quality while being light, sleek, easy to move, display or hang on the wall. But when it comes to interior design, it’s tough to shoehorn those big, shiny rectangles into a meticulously planned, gorgeously executed space.


Why designers hate flat screens

Unless you’re going with a sports bar or Star Trek theme, the shiny rectangle of a flat screen TV is a challenging object in the flow of a professional design.

  • They hog wall space that could be dedicated to fine art, interesting wall textures, furnishings or objects that have more personal meaning to the client.
  • They tend to become the focal point of a space, negating or competing with a planned primary focus, or at least creating disharmony among design elements.
  • In many cases, they are disproportionate in size when considering the space as a whole.
  • Placing a flat screen above a fireplace is literally a hotly contested topic. Issues range from the practicality of placing electronics in an area that’s meant to generate heat, to the not-fooling-anyone ruse of using the TV to take the traditional place of fine art.

Why homeowners love/hate flat screens

Some homeowners want a screen in nearly every room, while others are content to limit them to a few more conventional locations in the home. Either way, they present challenges.

  • Placement at ideal viewing level often can’t be achieved, for instance the above-the-fireplace configuration or the above/below kitchen cabinets placement often isn’t in sync with practical viewing habits.
  • Hanging or setting up a flat screen in the ideal viewing space can dictate the layout of the whole room.
  • There’s a perennial question of whether having a TV in the bedroom is bad for the relationship. Watching a good movie in bed together is a lovely idea, yet the reality is more likely a habit of dozing off to whatever’s on. And somehow, even when turned off, a looming flat screen in the bedroom still seems a distraction.
  • While many luxury homes have a dedicated home theater space, it’s common to also have flat screens in other livable areas of the home where often homeowners don’t want or need to see them – like family dinners or entertaining.


The “accept what you cannot change”

Depending on the space, and the homeowners’ or business owners’ preferences, sometimes it’s about figuring out what’s set in stone, and working around that. It might mean choosing the best possible location and ideal viewing height, then arranging other elements with TV as the starting point. Or going with the only large enough space, and compromising to some degree the best comfort and viewing angles to fit in with the overall design.

The do-without

Sometimes it’s the best option to forego the flat screen for certain rooms or spaces, in favor of making a better viewing situation elsewhere.

The cover up

Kind of along the lines of the old, bulky entertainment center, if the solution makes people think, “Oh, there’s a TV hiding behind there,” it’s just as problematic as, “Oh, there’s a TV.”  Some obvious work-arounds don’t improve much on just the appearance of the bare TV, like boxes and cabinets that don’t match the rest of the space, or incongruous drapes and shields making a surprise appearance.

The artful blend

Artful Flat Screen Surrounds
Currently, there are a number of good choices for hiding a flat screen within the beauty of an interior design, while in fact, contributing to the overall impression.

Yes, technically, they’re “covering up” a flat screen TV. But they’re doing so in a way that is integral to overall design, high-quality in terms of construction and function, and in such a way that it’s pleasing with or without the flat-screen-TV-concealing aspect.

In other words, the best flat screen solutions artfully blend the television into an overall design, while including practical things like ease of use, quality of construction and durability.

In summary, here’s what to look for in the artful blend for flat screen TVs:

  • An understanding of design goals
  • High quality construction, for both in-stock and custom projects
  • Ability to communicate about precise design and practical considerations
  • Hand crafting, with ability to consult with interior designers or construction pros
  • Ability to incorporate individual choices of artwork, photography, textures or traditional looks to suit a particular décor or taste
  • Durable hardware and construction to withstand daily opening and closing
  • Responsive customer service and sensitivity to timelines for both manufacture and delivery

Cherry Tree Design makes handcrafted doors, screens, interior elements and their own flat screen TV cabinet, the Flat Screen Surround in Bozeman, Montana. Their work is currently incorporated into many high-end residences and major corporations nationwide.


Some of The Top Secrets About The Art of Feng Shui

shoji room dividersChances are, you have heard the term feng shui — and maybe even some gentle suggestions that it may improve matters in your home. When it comes down to it, however, most Americans don’t even know what it is. 

What does feng shui mean? “Feng shui means wind and water, and for centuries Chinese practitioners have believed that how a building is oriented, what you have in it, and where you place those things can change the balance and flow of energy through your house,” ABC News explains.

Embrace Natural Lighting
A simple rule of thumb is to prefer and embrace natural lighting whenever possible. “Open the windows often, introduce feng shui air-purifying plants or use an air-purifier,” suggests. Consider installing large bay windows when and if remodeling, or paint rooms white and/or decorate with large mirrors to create the illusion of even more natural light in your home.

It’s All About De-Cluttering Your Life
Another key component of feng shui is eliminating clutter. In order to attract good energy and love, experts recommend getting rid of objects you are not likely to use. Furthermore, keep rooms devoted to a particular purpose. Keep bedrooms about relaxation, love, and sleep, for example, by avoiding using your computer or laptop in bed. If your bedroom is connected to your living area, experts suggest using Japanese room dividers, or shoji room dividers, or curtains to separate the spaces. Shoji room dividers or shoji screens are typically made from attractive woods, like cypress or cedar. Different colors, styles, and materials are also available.

When In Doubt, Follow These Feng Shui Dos and Don’ts
What are some quick rules? According to ABC, feng shui experts advise against storing more than one pair of shoes near the door. They believe that all electronics, aside from lamps and lighting fixtures, should remain off bedside tables, and they suggest adding things like rock gardens to give bedrooms a more relaxing and nature-inspired feel.

Is it time to feng shui your home? Even if it’s not necessarily your thing, it will likely increase your home’s value when it comes time to sell. Keep homes spacious, relaxing, and attractive by eliminating clutter and separating rooms with shoji room dividers.

Are Shoji Screens Right For Your Home?

sliding shoji screensIn ancient China, shoji screens were used for a variety of purposes, ranging from decoration for tea ceremonies and festivals, to simple room dividers. Traditionally made of out rice paper and bamboo, shoji room dividers eventually came to be recognized as a classic part of Asian decor. Now, in modern times, shoji screens and doors are becoming increasingly popular in Western interior design due to their unique look and international flair. Could they be right for your home as well?

Modern shoji screens vary in terms of function and material; while most modern homes use them as room dividers, it also possible to find everything from sliding shoji screens to shoji closet doors. In terms of material, shoji screens traditionally use rice paper to form the screen, but can be framed using a variety of woods, including cypress and cedar. It is also possible to find shoji panels with laminated rice paper, which makes them durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear in all rooms of an average house, including bathrooms and kitchens.

As a furnishing, Shoji screens are a useful and cost effective way to divide the rooms in a house and create visually pleasing living spaces. They are also a great way to play with light and decoration, since shoji screens are often decorated with intricately patterned lattice work, which accentuates the visual lines, light and shadow within a space. If you want to add an international, classic, and beautiful touch to your home, dhoji screens, whether used as sliding doji screens or traditional room dividers, might be perfect for you.

Four Fantastic Uses for Hanging Shoji Screens in Your Home

Hanging shoji screensMany homeowners and renters from all countries love the simple elegance that Japanese shoji screens can give a home, apartment, or other space. Traditionally made from bamboo and delicate rice paper, freestanding and hanging shoji screens today are made from more durable materials. Although shoji screens are most commonly attributed to Japan, they actually date back all the way to the Han Dynasty in China — almost 1,800 years ago! Today, shoji screens have a number of uses, and they can be used to beautify any home.

While some may associate shoji panels with Japanese style sliding doors and windows or with freestanding room dividers, there is another use for these attractive decor elements. Hanging shoji screens in your home can serve a variety of purposes and offer an alternative to other types of furniture. If you’re unsure how to incorporate hanging shoji screens into your home, check out some of these fantastic decorating tips:

1. Use shoji screens as decorations. Hanging a room screen on your wall as a piece of art makes an excellent statement in any space. Additionally, many shoji screens utilize geometric shapes and other patterns to add a balance of light and shadow to a room, which is a strategy used to pull any room’s look together.

2. Replace an old headboard with a shoji screen. Hanging shoji screens at the head of the bed is provides a great update to a bedroom. It also serves as an excellent replacement for an old or outdated headboard.

3. Hang shoji room dividers to split up a room. Using a shoji screen to divide a room is a perfect solution for sectioning off a larger space. While adding shoji screens to an open floor plan doesn’t create smaller rooms, it can give smaller sections of a room a purpose or designate specific spaces for a single task. For example, creating a smaller section in a living room can provide a play area for children or make a space for working from home.

4. Need privacy in a shared space? Hanging a screen between beds in a shared room, for roommates or for siblings, can prevent conflicts over sides of the room before they begin. Additionally, hanging shoji room screens in these spaces can make the room more attractive and hide clutter.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to hanging shoji room dividers. If you are interested in incorporating this look into your home, be sure to speak with a decorator or retailer who specializes in the application of these screens in the home.

Four Easy and Unique Uses for Shoji Screens and Doors

shoji screens and doorsIf you’ve ever seen the interior of a traditional Japanese home, whether in person or in a film, you’ve probably seen the shoji screens used to divide the rooms in these homes. Shoji screens date back several centuries and are traditionally made from bamboo and rice paper. Today, however, more durable materials, including waterproof rice paper, vinyl, and a variety of hardwoods and finishes, are used to construct these Japanese screens and doors.

Whether you’re looking for simplicity in your home, or if you want something a bit different than the decor in most Western homes, shoji screens and doors make a luxurious addition to any home, large or small. Unsure how you can incorporate this look into your home? Check out these unique tips for using shoji screens and doors in any space.

1. Use shoji panels as art: Shoji screens can be mounted to a wall, to add texture to a living space. While many shoji screens and doors use plain white rice paper, others display traditional Japanese artwork or other patterns to add color and visual interest to a room. The frames of shoji screens can come in a variety of other colors and finishes as well, to match just about any decor.

2. Divide a room: Using shoji screens in a small or open plan space, such as a studio apartment, loft or shared bedroom, can create the illusion of several “rooms” in one. Whether you need to divide a room for privacy or if you just need to hide clutter, using a collapsible shoji screen is a quick and easy way to “fix up” a room.

3. Separate rooms with sliding doors: Shoji sliding doors can be installed in your home by a professional, so you have a way to separate one room from another. Whether you want to conceal your kitchen from guests in your dining room, or if you would like to divide a space for privacy, shoji sliding doors can provide an easy solution for sectioning off the rooms in your home.

4. Use shoji doors and windows: Shoji doors and windows can be used inside and outside the home and are perfect for an indoor/outdoor look. Shoji doors are perfect for the inside of the home as closet and room doors, but they can also connect to the exterior of the house. Shoji windows are another great feature that can add character to any home.

If you are interested in remodeling your home with shoji screens, or if you would like the portability of a collapsible shoji screen, be sure to find a retailer who can tailor these screens to your home’s needs.

Five Ways to Use Japanese Room Screens in Your Home Decor

japanese room screensJapanese room screens, also known as shoji screens, are a great way to give your home a modern flair and give new life to any room in your house. Shoji screens date back to 16th century Japan; traditionally, they were constructed from bamboo frames with rice paper inlays, but today many styles are made from more durable materials. These Japanese room screens can be used as room dividers, doors, and windows, and they are available in portable styles to allow you to change the look of a room any time.

Not sure how to incorporate Japanese room screens into your decor? Take a look at these tips below:

1. Use shoji panels to divide a room. This is especially useful for homes with more open floor plans. You can provide division between kitchens and living rooms, for example, or to give privacy to a separate dining area.

2. Japanese shoji screens make for great decor. You can place one in a corner to give life to “dead” space. Using two shoji panels can create a nice symmetry in any room, and a single shoji screen stretched out makes for an excellent accent wall.

3. Japanese room screens can be mounted on walls as a way to add art to a room. You can also use them as headboards or hang them up high on walls to give the illusion of windows. Some screens come with designs printed on them, but even a “plain” shoji screen can bring simple elegance to your home.

4. Need privacy? Room screens are an excellent way to divide up shared living spaces, or block out an unpleasant view outside. And if you’ve got clutter to hide from guests, room screens are a great way to “tidy up” quickly before guests arrive.

5. For those who prefer a more permanent fixture, Japanese room screens can also be installed as doors and windows. Use shoji sliding doors as an entrance to a patio or between rooms in your home. Shoji panels can also be used on closet doors and room doors, and there are even ways to incorporate these designs in your windows.

Shoji screens are great solutions for any room of the house. Their simplicity and design bring a touch of class to any home, offering clean lines and bright interiors. If you’re looking for your next home makeover project, shoji room screens are the perfect place to begin.

The History of Shoji Screens and Doors

shoji screens and doorsIf you want to add a touch of elegance to your home decor, shoji screens and doors, along with room dividers, window treatments, and other accessories, are an excellent way to do so. The design of these screens originated in Japan, with influence from Chinese room dividers and screens dating back to the 4th century B.C.E. Today these multi-purpose screens are a great addition to any room in your home.

Original Chinese screens and dividers were heavy, and were not created to move around. These folding screens typically served as partitions between rooms and folded through the use of cloth or leather hinges. In Japan, these screens evolved into several different forms with varying designs. One of the most common of these styles — the shoji screen–is named for its translucent paper set in wooden doors and screens.

Folding screens in Japan used rice paper for hinges, and, like Chinese room dividers, were created out of bamboo and rice paper.

In Japan, these screens had a variety of uses, not just limited to the home. Their uses included decoration for tea ceremonies, concerts, dances, and Buddhist rites, along with being used in outdoor processions or celebrations. It was also common for the screens of these doors and dividers to be painted with patterns and scenery, making them not only stylish home fixtures but unique works of art as well.

By the 16th century, European traders discovered these Japanese screens and doors and adapted their designs to their own purposes. For instance, the Jesuit missionaries found the folding design useful for teaching geography. However, trading bans in the 17th Century meant that Chinese and Japanese divider screens didn’t come to Europe until they were imported during mid-1800s.

Ever since shoji screens and doors came to the West, they have seen popularity in a multitude of forms for home decor. Throughout the world, shoji screens are most commonly used as doors, windows, headboards, closet doors, and room dividers. Many modern shoji panels have transitioned to the use of more durable synthetic materials such as plastic rather than rice paper, although more authentic styles are still available. In addition to bamboo frames, a variety of hardwoods are available to create just about any look and match any style in your home. Shoji screens and doors are an easy and stylish way to add an elegant indoor/outdoor look to all rooms in your home.

How Can You Bring Japanese Interior Design Into Your Home? Three Tips

japanese divider screensThis week, the Telegraph released a list of the top fine dining restaurants in Tokyo — some of which are the best restaurants in the entire world. In reviewing Yoshihashi, a place that’s as stunning as it is hard to find, they note that the restaurant makes use of eye-catching flower arrangements, tatami mats, and shoji screens, which have been a staple of Japanese design for many years.

You don’t need to be an award-winning Japanese restaurant in order to incorporate Japanese design style into your home or business. Japanese interior design emphasizes simplicity, space and harmony. Are you interested in blending this style with your own home design? Here are three tips for doing so.

1. Using Japanese Divider Screens to Break Up Harsh Light

  • Japanese shoji screens are wooden frames with translucent paper stretched over them. They are used as sliding doors, walls, or folding room dividers.
  • Modern window shoji screens are no longer made of paper alone, but are either placed behind glass or created with more durable materials so that they can be long-lasting.
  • Shoji Japanese divider screens are a great way to segment sections of a room. The advantage of these screens is that light passes through them, but is broken up and made softer. It’s a good way to ensure privacy without casting parts of your home into darkness.
  • Hanging shoji screens can be a great way to bring a unique, minimalist look into your home.

2. Concentrate on Natural Tones, Simple Shapes

  • Japanese ceremonial tea bowls, dating back centuries, are prized for the appearance they gain during usage. The unique brown colorings derived from the original kiln burning, and subsequent tea usage, are considered a part of their beauty. This emphasis on the natural and simple shape continues through Japanese design.
  • In other words, for a room that says “Japanese design,” you’ll want to stay away from heavily ornamented pieces, like imitation French furniture. Instead, look for simple square shapes, and pieces in shades of brown, black and white.
  • Clutter is anything but simple, so look to eliminate bric-a-brac from eyesight if you want your home to have a more Japanese aesthetic.

3. Accessories That Will Bring Japanese Style to Any Room

  • Tatami mats, made from rice straw, are used throughout Japan. You can either use them as a small sectional, or cover your entire floor. The dark border on the end of the mat pieces can help draw the eye across your room space.
  • The Japanese dining table is a unique piece and can be used either as its intended purpose — a dining table — or as a coffee table. This table sits low to the floor, and the chairs lack legs. Eating at the table typically involves sitting cross-legged or in a kneeling style.
  • A Japanese tea set is a relatively inexpensive investment that you can get a lot of use out of. These sets can be ceramic, porcelain, or cast iron. Teapots are usually round and ornamented, while cups are simple, lacking the handles popular in European designs.

Will you be using Japanese divider screens in your home? Let us know in the comments.