Flooring & tiles

Japanese decoration idea – the tatami mat for the floor

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Tatami mats are a typical floor covering in traditional Japanese furnishings. They are made of rice straw surrounded by woven rayon grass. This creates a solid base that also offers comfort, which is particularly important in a culture where you sit on the floor. Unfortunately, the mat is used less and less in modern Japanese furnishings. That is why we would like to introduce them to you in this article and show you how effective and exotic the tatami mat is Japanese decoration can also look good in modern furnishings. let yourself be inspired!

Japanese decoration with comfortable tatami mats

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The tatami mats have been around since the 8th century. From this point on until the 12th century, the wooden floors were fitted with them in order to provide comfort for the nobility to sit on. Today’s Japanese decorations were also used for sleeping by the nobility and samurais, while the common people used straw mats for this purpose, which are called Gaza.

Japanese decoration for the zen interior

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From the 16th century it was then customary to equip the entire floor with tatami mats. Such rooms are known as Zashiki and were used to gather large groups. Soon the mats were also used to indicate the size of a room. The tatami mats as Japanese decoration became a unit of measurement, so to speak. The way in which the mats were laid depended on what the respective room is to be used for.

Traditional Japanese decor

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Around this time, the architecture and the furnishing style as we know it today from Japanese culture and which we call the traditional Japanese style emerged. This style is composed of the study rooms of the monks and the formal reception rooms of the military elite. Of course, the tatami mat as Japanese decoration was not missing in this mix of styles.

Tatami from the 16th century

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The tea master Sen no Rikyu, who had a great influence on the development of the tea ceremony, introduced the use of small tea rooms in the 16th century. These were equipped with rustic and natural materials and as you can already guess, the tatami mat was also included as a Japanese decoration. The tea master showed that simplicity can be beautiful. This simplicity has been associated with the tea ceremony ever since.

Japan establishment

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From the 17th century on, the tatami mats gradually took over the bourgeois houses and quickly became an essential element of every house. One reason for this is that the mats are perfect as Japanese decorations for the Japanese climate. The summer in Japan is warm and humid while the winter is cold and dry. The mats in turn regulate the humidity wonderfully. They make sitting and lying on the floor, which is typical in Japan, and walking barefoot more comfortable.

Japanese decoration ideas with tatami

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For the last 150 years, traditional Japanese furnishings have been increasingly replaced or at least supplemented by styles from the West. As a result, in most houses only one room is furnished with the tatami mat. These rooms are called Washitsu. Another reason the mats are no longer used as often as flooring and Japanese decorations is that they are relatively difficult to clean.

Tatami as a bed

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Instead, the Japanese no longer use the mats as Japanese decorations but for sleeping. A thin mattress is placed on the mat, which can be rolled up during the day. This saves space, which is known to be very small in Japan. These beds are known as futons. The mattress alone would be too thin for the hard floor without the mat. But these typically Japanese beds are also being replaced more and more frequently by Western beds.

Asian flair

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In spite of this, the tatami mat is and remains an element that is associated with Japanese culture. It is part of the Japanese identity. If you have also decided on this Japanese decoration, just set accents instead of covering the entire floor. We would like to remind you once again that the mats are not as easy to care for as a wooden or tiled floor, for example.

Buy tatami mats

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The calming look of the mats as a Japanese decoration as well as their pleasant smell and the feeling of stepping make them a perfect substitute for classic carpets. They are a perfect addition to a Zen-style interior or a modern interior that should be characterized by Japanese accents. But otherwise it is also a topping that should be considered.

Japanese style dining room

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If you have decided on a Japanese-style dining area with a low dining table and seats on the floor, the tatami mat is recommended as a base. Thin seat cushions often do not offer sufficient seating comfort, which is quickly given with the mats as Japanese decoration. If the mats are not exposed to constant traffic in the apartment, they will not get dirty as quickly.

Decorate with an Asian flair

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If you want a typical Japanese decoration, choose the tatami mats. Even if they had a certain use in the past and were not directly used as decoration, they can still be used for this in modern furnishings and give the atmosphere the desired Zen flair.

Embed mats in the ground

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If you have decided on a floor made of tatami mats, this variant is particularly recommended. The mats are embedded in the floor and there is no risk of tripping. This idea can already be planned when designing the floor. Such platforms are again well suited for later renovations. The Japanese decoration becomes part of the overall design of a room.

Friendly atmosphere

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The light color of the mats creates a friendly atmosphere and is a good option if your interior is otherwise very dark. Whether in the living room, bedroom or dining room, the tatami mats as Japanese decorations are perfect in any room and ensure the desired living comfort.

Combine mats with Japanese decorative items

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The Japanese mats can be wonderfully combined with other decorations that exude the Japanese atmosphere. This includes murals or room dividers with Japanese motifs, vases and sculptures, Japanese flower arrangements or furniture. Let your imagination run wild and use the Japanese decoration to create a unique interior.

Create a reading corner with a tatami mat

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Traditional Japanese decorations may no longer be so common in Japan, but the mat is becoming more and more popular in western countries. Don’t just decorate the floor. Go a step further and create a reading or cozy corner with the tatami mat, in which you can also take a cozy nap.

Relax in the garden

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The tatami mat also looks great outdoors. It is a popular relaxation item. Design a covered day bed or use the Japanese decoration for sunbathing and at the same time create an exotic flair. However, the mats should be stowed indoors when it rains and in winter. Otherwise the bindweed will be ruined by the high humidity.

Set up fitness rooms

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Equipping your own fitness room with tatami mats is definitely a great idea. The firm but at the same time comfortable floor makes various exercises more pleasant. This makes the Japanese decoration particularly useful in your interior. It is up to you whether you use the mats as a floor covering or as an accent.