Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Gift From Japan

Knowing me quite well, my husband brought home just the right gifts from Japan.  First, a set of these clip on birds like the ones we used in our wedding (because they remind me of my late grandmother and Christmas at her house growing up).

I love the perfect packaging, with the paper "grass" and "flowers."

And second, a Japanese home magazine.  Or catalog.  We're not quite sure.

It kind of has the feel of an Urban Outfitters Home catalog, but the items for sale include some Ikea merchandise, making me wonder if it really is more of an editorial publication and not a single-brand catalog.

Whatever.  I found it really, really interesting to pore over the interiors.  I was most struck by the presence of so many of the trends going on over in this here hemisphere, going on over yonder, too.  The spaces do have what I would consider a Japanese aesthetic, but the trends are sparingly layered on.  I don't know why this surprised me, but it did.

For example, antlers and industrial lighting.

Those overscale wall sconces, an eames coat rack, tons of danish modern.

Framed text.

Black and White Stripes (though I believe these are wood slats or some kind of louvered blinds, not paint.  Cool, right?)

Cowhide.  Particularly striking in a country that once had no cows.  Also, that copper light fixture definitely qualifies as trendy.  (As a side note, I love that the woman in the background is wearing white pants with black elephant silhouettes on them.)

But then, there's something different going on in this next picture.  Foreign, I guess.  Though I never would have guessed Japan as the country of origin in a blind taste test.  What do you think is going on with that crazy wood triangle curtain holder thingie?

And here I love the sophisticated use of a spare aesthetic and serene palette.  I think that table in the foreground might be the dining room table, meant for floor sitting?  And please note the little chartreuse rug in the shape of a cat.

I think this last picture is so interesting.  So spare, yet the beautiful sport coats are hanging in the open, like decoration.  I wonder if this is a home space or some kind of shop.  It's sort of fun that it's all such a mystery.

What do you think: any interesting details I missed?  Could you live in a smaller, more spare space than we are generally accustomed to in America?

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