I simply cannot stop thinking about Japan. Having only recently returned from a wild and immersive 10-day trip, my emotions are high and I’m craving another taste of the bustling metropolis that is Tokyo.
But the more I think about it, it’s not the 7-Eleven chicken katsu sandwiches I religiously ate every day that’s left a lasting impression on me, but the sheer beauty of the architecture framing the cities. I would find myself stopping every 10 metres to take pictures of izakaya’s or apartment buildings covered in quaint coloured tiles and contrasting grout. This is when I realised I was in tile heaven and could bring this design insight back home.
Now, conveniently enough, we have seen an emergence of Japanese inspired tiles and design features filter through our collections over the last six months. This trend has been plastered over the Instagram and Pinterest mood boards our clients present to us and we cannot get enough of it.
Minimalist in texture and aesthetics, the Japanese inspired interiors we are seeing can only be described by the natural shift from the ever-popular Scandinavian approach to design. While both exercising a minimalist approach to creating functional spaces, the Japanese interpretation places greater importance on nature with rich colour palettes used to provide warmth. Think dark stained timber with accents of black and deep hues of red and green.
Japanese design places heavy focus on enhancing the personal experience within a space – it must be simple, comfortable and timeless to fit any environment. As well as this, the Japanese have an appreciation for craftsmanship and ancient methods of design and construction. With the Japanese-inspired tiles currently on the market, it is easy to see manufacturers carefully make these considerations, as the designs maximise the imperfections of the material.
Porcelain finger-look tiles are arguably the most popular design. Taking inspiration from ancient Raku pottery, the glazed mosaics offer variegated tones of a natural earthy palette. Some are textured with undulated surfaces and others flat and matte for a more modern interpretation of the ancient design. For the Zen space, the unique Kuroyaki range takes inspiration from the traditional Japanese method of preserving timber beams by charring the external surface. Tactile and visually beautiful, this collection fuses dark natural tones with decorative accents of Sakura, bamboo and Koi. You really only need to travel as far as our showroom to immerse yourself in the beauty of Japanese design – although I wouldn’t mind a one way flight to Tokyo right about now.
*As published in GT Magazine 4th May 2019