Monthly Archives: April 2014

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.