Japanese sliding doors, or Shoji as they are locally known, are a traditional feature in Japanese homes, and still popular today. Also popular across the globe for their function and style, Japanese sliding doors are known for their slight wooden frame with translucent white or cream paper between the slats. As the style developed across the world, as all good fashions do, the trend for dark wooden lattice sliding doors changed and became more functional for colder and more dramatic climates. Instead of paper, clear and frosted glass became popular. Instead of bamboo, more easily accessible and affordable woods and even plastics are used to help achieve a similar look.
Sliding doors bring a very informal touch into a home if used as internal doors. When open, they are seen as welcoming, like two open arms, which is a pleasant feeling to provide to guests and family members in your home. In only a few seconds, that welcoming feature can be closed off, part of the home kept private without appearing obtrusive, isolated, or secretive.
Japanese sliding doors will also provide you with temporary ‘open plan living’ style. Open plan living is more than an interior design style; it is a complete lifestyle overhaul and often requires structural changes to a home with traditional separate living, kitchen, and dining areas to make the home open plan and combine these rooms. With sliding doors, you can expend the space between each room and share light and decoration, but you will continue to have the option to close off the doors between each room when you want a more private enclosure, or you want to hide kitchen messes from guests you’re entertaining in living or dining spaces. If you’re considering a switch to an open plan home in the future, Japanese sliding doors are a great inexpensive and temporary option to help you decide if a dramatic lifestyle and home layout makeover is for you.
Sliding doors on the exterior of your home can help promote an indoor outdoor living style in your home. If you have a beautiful garden that you love to spend time in or you’d like to enjoy it more often alone or with friends and family, opening up Japanese doors gives much more open access to the garden and a very visible walkway into the outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to live in a sunny climate, keep open the doors to your garden to encourage your family to spend more time dining and socializing outside.
Traditional Japanese sliding doors, or shoji, are very lightweight and have a certain style. If this doesn’t quite match your home, you can select a design that is sturdier, or carries a different design. In Western homes, wooden sliding doors without handles are popular in contemporary homes with a sleek and stylish interior. More traditionally and very inexpensive, are wooden raised panel doors. Internal sliding doors aren’t expensive or time consuming to install and they can make a vast difference to the layout of your home, instantly providing you with more light, openness, and floor space.