Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Visit to The Morikami Japanese Gardens offers design inspirations.

Visiting The Morikami Japanese Museum and Gardens is always a treat. Our Florida Chapter of IFDA was fortunate to have a private tour through the gardens that was simply enthralling.

The designer of these gardens, Hoichi Kurisu said “My hope is that visitors will let the gardens speak to them of timeless truths and rhythms which can provide therapeutic insights for today.”

This tree is not being trained as a Bonsai, but to mimic the clouds
We had heard that the very best guide was Freya. She was fabulous.  She gave such an informative and entertaining description of not only the gardens, but a history lesson and insights into the Japanese culture and philosophies.

Here Freya tells us about lanterns like these that were used to guide ships.

This bridge is one of many that we crossed on our tour. It is called the zigzag bridge because as you reach the end you turn a new direction.  Your view, or perspective, changes as you proceed,  much as in life.

What a pretty addition this would make to any backyard garden.

There were lanterns tucked everywhere.  Each one was different. Some were simple and rustic. Others were tall and elegant.  Adding a lantern to any garden or patio is a wonderful touch.  But why can't we use them inside as well?


In this garden the homeowner added lighting and bamboo water feature, 

Wouldn't a Japanese lantern look lovely on the deck of this tub?


As you walk from one garden to another you cross from gravel, to stone to wood, letting you know a new experience is approaching.  How could we incorporate that idea into interior design?  Frequently there is a change of flooring from one room to another but this goes beyond that.

mediterranean hall by Carson Poetzl, Inc.
This mediterranean hall by Carson Poetzl, Inc. (Courtesy of Houzz.com) shows a similar transition from one type of material to another.  It breaks up what would be a very long passageway.

Freya described the design of a meditation garden. One was as you might see in a monastery and the other like the one below would be at a private residence. She told us about how the Japanese like to “hide and reveal”.



We were told that the designer planned the pathway so as to direct they way we saw each garden (hide and reveal).  We were guided to waterfalls, across bridges, by streams and ponds, through bamboo forests, pine groves,  arbors and gates.  It was quite a journey.

When they hold weddings here, this is where the bride makes her entrance.  See how bamboo is put to work. They are retraining the trees that were damaged in a hurricane. 
The bamboo forest serenaded us.

What color is bamboo?  Look at all the pretty shades of green.
Bamboo grows prolifically and has to be thinned out regularly.  It is never wasted as you can see from all the ways the Japanese repurpose it!

Everything had a meaning.  These rocks symbolized a river.

In this Asian Garden bathroom I designed for a client we used similar rock as a back splash and also on the shower floor.
Lucky for us we found a ceramic tile that looks like bamboo to trim it with .

This gate creates that feeling of "hide and reveal".  We did not know what lay beyond until we passed through.

These roof tiles were fabulous, both in their design and black gun metal finish. It took three years to get replacements after the hurricane blew them off.
I could not leave without a visit to the gift shop.
For just a touch of an Asian feel add a Budda statue, sculpture of a kimono or even pillows in a gorgeous silk embroidered fabric.

Cool Bathroom Design Ideas Trend 2012 Modern and Luxury
(Courtesy of PInterest)

 A Bonsai plant, wall of bamboo or a lantern are all simple ways to inject the mystery of the Orient into your home or garden design.

Zen Bamboo Wallpaper -- Found on DeviantArt. Love how simple the image is and the use of the colors.
A wall of bamboo can be wallpaper or natural.
(Courtesy of Pinterest)

Wood on floor n on the wall then some stones make this balcony more natural
Don't you love this creative way to design a balcony?
(Courtesy of Pinterest)
What other ways can you think of bringing in an Asian accent to your style?  I was so inspired by my stroll through the Morikami Japanese Gardens.  The philosophies behind each element were fascinating.  The simple beauty of this design style transcends contemporary and traditional interiors.  How do you feel about adding dashes of Asian style to your home?

As always I invite you to share your ideas and experiences in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.
                                     Happy Decorating!

If you would like assistance with a decorating project please contact me at pictureprettyint@aol.com.

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