Japanese-style kitchen: interior design ideas

Home interiors, designed following the Land of the Rising Sun’s traditions, are still popular in all corners of the world. And if a lot has already been said about living rooms, bathrooms, and even bedrooms in the Japanese style, then for some reason, kitchens of this design are much less common. In brief: the laconicism, rationality, and impeccable balance of furnishings, shades, and textures inherent in this direction are the best fit for the principles of modern kitchens.

If you value the natural serenity and organic severity of the Japanese style, in this case, it makes sense to think about creating a similar interior for a cooking place in your home or apartment. So you will ensure yourself both relaxation after a difficult day at work and the admiration of friends and acquaintances for your originality. 

Decorating a Japanese-style kitchen: key points

Despite the clarity typical of the Japanese in defining kitchen design principles, the rooms can be decorated in different ways, and the notes of individuality are quite acceptable. However, to convey the unique atmosphere of the East, you should adhere to the following rules:

  • Maximum free space. Of course, you should think that the Japanese style is exclusively for spacious kitchens. You need to take care of the main thing – the absence of everything bulky, redundant, and unnecessary. Japanese interiors do not tolerate excessive decor or things that are “out of place”.
  • Natural materials for decoration and furnishings. Natural wood, a little stone, ceramics, jute, rice and silk paper, linen, and bamboo are essential ingredients for a dish called “perfect Japanese style cuisine.” At the same time, do not forget that it is necessary to be guided not only by the principles of compatibility but also by the appropriateness in the placement of certain materials from the point of view of their safety and fire safety.
  • Daylight. Uniform and soft light are essential for creating a cozy and relaxing kitchen environment. The inflow of daylight will provide a large window without curtains. However, in most cases, this is not enough; therefore, lamps will come to the rescue, creating the necessary illumination for both the working and dining areas.
  • Rationality and balance in everything. Laconic light furniture, closed shelves and cabinets, everything is in its place and at hand – in a Japanese-style kitchen, everything is subject to just such laws.


The kitchen’s color scheme fully complies with the key design rules from the Land of the Rising Sun. Natural shades are the basis – beige, cream, all shades of gray, brown, and woody, as well as black, which in Japan symbolizes wisdom. Small bright accents are also acceptable – for this, dark reds and greens are used, less often dark yellow tones. At the same time, it is essential to maintain balance and not use all the permitted colors at once: three shades are the maximum.


In a Japanese-style kitchen, the color and texture of the materials for the floor, walls, and ceiling set the mood and such a vital authenticity, so maximum attention should be paid to the base’s design. It is not necessary to use too expensive solutions – harmony is much more important.


Wood remains the primary option for flooring in Japanese interiors. However, other natural materials look no less organic:

  • natural stone;
  • matt porcelain stoneware with stone texture;
  • jute and sisal mats.


The traditional (and most logical) solution for walls is plastering, painting in light colors, or pasting high-quality monochromatic wallpaper. It is also worth thinking about the wall’s design in the dining area – according to tradition, it should be accentuated and visually separate the place for eating from the working area. For this, the following techniques can be used:

  • staining in a contrasting color;
  • art painting in traditional style;
  • niche equipment for decorating or storing cookbooks;
  • Shoji installation or imitation.

It is worth dwelling on the famous Japanese partitions in more detail. Structures made of light wooden slats and translucent washi paper in traditional interiors can be used to decorate windows instead of doors. However, in small modern kitchens, authentic full-size shoji can eat up space and even create a fire hazard. That is why you should not get carried away with them; however, you can easily install one against the wall in the dining area or use its imitation if you wish.


The choice of ceiling design in Japanese cuisine depends on the room’s area and compatibility with other furnishings. This could be:

  • just a white ceiling – plastered or decorated with a matte stretch ceiling;
  • finishing with wooden beams – for a small kitchen;
  • authentic design with wooden beams that form coffered beams and stretch ceiling between them.


The Japanese-style kitchen environment is a true wasan (traditional song of praise) celebrating exquisite yet natural simplicity. You can’t go wrong if you choose furniture with the following features:

  • Mobility. Tables and chairs should be easy to move from place to place. In Japan, such furniture was preferred due to frequent earthquakes, but today such furnishings have become an integral part of kitchen interiors.
  • Simple, laconic forms. Linear kitchens with sleek fronts, dining furniture with clean, straight lines create a sense of soothing harmony and respectable rationality.
  • Natural materials. If you are dreaming of a perfect Japanese-style kitchen, you cannot do without wooden furniture. The wood structure is often not hidden, using only a thin layer of matte varnish; however, in some cases, in kitchens, you can also find minimalist cabinets with terracotta gray-green facades.

Also, chairs for such a kitchen can be soft. At the same time, natural fabrics are used for upholstery – primarily linen of natural color and texture.

Decor, textiles, and lighting

Additional kitchen design elements are entirely consistent with the traditional Japanese interior. If you are familiar with them even approximately, there should be no problems.


As mentioned earlier, natural light is precious in Japanese-style kitchens. For harmonious and comfortable artificial lighting, the following techniques are used:

  • hidden diode illumination;
  • spotlights;
  • traditional ceiling lamps in the form of rectangular made of rice paper, straw, or bamboo.

It is also essential to pay attention to different dining and working areas’ lighting scenarios if both are located in the kitchen.

Textile elements

In Japanese kitchens’ windows design, fabric draperies are practically not used—instead, light woven curtains and rolls, bamboo blinds, and roman blinds. Also, tablecloths are almost not found on tables; preference is given to individual bamboo napkins.


Non-functional accessories in a kitchen in a similar style are used to a minimum. However, you can easily give the interior a distinctiveness with the following items:

  • traditional ceramic vases;
  • wall scrolls and posters;
  • authentic figurines;
  • tatami mats;
  • fruit dishes or sushi sets.


Traditional japanese tableware in the kitchen create the much desired authentic atmosphere. Therefore, wok pans, santoku knives, sets for spices, sushi, and tea sets, kettles made of cast iron and ceramics should be in sight. But it is better to hide more familiar pots and pans after cooking in kitchen cabinets; otherwise, they will create a noticeable dissonance.

Japanese-style kitchen is an island of simplicity, serenity, and harmony. With its thoughtful design, both the process of creating culinary masterpieces and an everyday family breakfast are filled with special meaning.

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