Asian-style decor has become quite popular among Westerner’s in recent years. Japanese gardens are influenced by Buddhist, Shinto and Taoist philosophies with the thought that such influences will bring spirituality to the garden. It is with this hope that Japanese-style gardens have pieces such as garden benches, fountains and shoji screens. A Japanese-style garden is a place to meditate, relax and enjoy nature.
Japanese garden benches come in several styles. There are stone benches that have curves rather than straight lines. Rolls, swirls and carved dragon faces are some of what decorate these backless stone benches. Place by a pond with bamboo surrounding it and you will feel as if you have just stepped into a true Japanese garden. Opposite of these rounded benches with dragons carved on the side are simple teak benches, also backless. The teak slats are so close together that it almost looks like a single piece of wood. Stained a honey color, these benches are subtle and invite one to sit and enjoy the garden.
For a garden with lots of space you might consider an outdoor dining set. A slatted teak table, a perfect square in amber tones, compliments 4 teak chairs with a black stain. This set has clean lines and is very contemporary, yet the amber teak hints of Japan. Place a shoji screen at one corner, a fountain nearby and a statue of Buddha to set the scene for many serene dinners outdoors.
The sound of water is often present in Japanese gardens. Water represents serenity and purity and is therefore often used in gardens whether it is a pond, a small stream or a fountain. Whether it is the sound of flowing water, trickling water or the sound of water falling into water is a matter of preference. Consider a Japanese-style fountain. There are many styles to choose from. One popular style is a stone fountain that has a column with a lantern at the top. Water spouts out just below the lantern and lands in a large stone bowl. There are several patinas to choose from and each one is made to look aged and weathered. The soft lighting with the sound of water trickling into the stone bowl will make evenings outside a serene and relaxing experience.
Whether you choose a single piece of Japanese inspired outdoor furniture, or many pieces, your garden will most definitely be enhanced by it, and will become a much more enjoyable area to be in for you and your family, as well as an guests you have in your home.