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Japanese Cabinetry: the Delicate Design of Tansu

by Kelly Richardson
Kitchens and Cabinets Columnist
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The Asian influence on home design and furnishing can be seen throughout the Western world. One of the prouder accomplishments of this culture is the delicate design of Japanese cabinetry. You can incorporate the look and feel of old world Japan into your own home with these versatile pieces.

Japanese cabinetry evolved from Tansu, wooden boxes and chests from the early 1600s. The Japanese knew a thing or two about organization and the conservation of space in small domiciles. Coupled with the Buddhist belief that an uncluttered room holds more promise than one that is well-furnished, Japanese cabinetry is characterized by basic shapes and clean lines. If you are a minimalist, the tenants of Japanese cabinetry will suit your personality just fine. Here are some of the finer points of Japanese cabinetry.

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Japanese Cabinetry: Characteristics

  • Combinations. Japanese cabinetry is often grouped into boxed combinations of containers that conserve space and keep items conveniently separated.
  • Materials. You can identify the Japanese influence on cabinets by looking for quality woods with metal latticework and hinges for reinforcement.
  • Designer. Custom designed Japanese cabinets often include a variety of nature and animal images.

Where to Find Japanese Cabinetry

You really have to see custom-made Japanese cabinets to appreciate their beauty and value. If you are interested in making this furnishing a part of your home design, here are some sources for custom Japanese cabinetry.
  • The Internet. E-commerce has made ordering traditional Japanese cabinets quite convenient if you don't mind buying a product that you can't see in person first.
  • Asian Antiques. Many antique malls and flea markets have Japanese cabinetry from time to time. Make friends with a staff member there for regular updates.

Japanese cabinetry features classy and tasteful designs with a simple aesthetic. Whether you order custom Japanese cabinets or stumble upon the perfect antique, your new Japanese cabinetry will add an international flair to your home design.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson covers the home improvement scene in major cities across the country. His articles appear in educational journals, periodicals, and e-zines.

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