Joinery is the process of jointing timber together, using selected joints for strength, flexibility, toughness, and appearance. Rank amateurs may resort to screws and nails to keep them together. Skilled carpenters use wood dowels and wood glue. However, authentic Japanese joinery bed frames rely on the joints themselves.
Making a Japanese joinery bed using Kumiko woodworking art
A traditional Japanese bed frame is an open rectangle, with cross slats and corner legs to support a Tatami bed mattress. Skilled carpenters assemble them following the Kumiko method. This involves first preparing the individual pieces, and then press-fitting them together after finishing with chisels, planes, saws, and other hand tools.
Traditional Japanese joinery beds we love
Japanese joinery bed frames were originally reserved for wealthy people, while the rest slept on the floor. Perhaps that’s why the Japanese people still like their mattresses hard! I adore the simplicity of this picture with not a touch of clutter in sight! Of how refreshing this is compared to my bedroom…
This image harmonizes the simplicity of Kumiko woodworking art which you can learn online. There is a place for everything in this room, and space for my imagination to breathe. However, I suppose Japanese joinery beds inevitably entered public domain and the workers were allowed them too.
Detour – I want a Japanese joinery bed frame now!
There are loads of different designs following the art of Japanese-style joinery. Follow this link to discover the Japanese joinery tools you need, to ensure a good night’s sleep on a Japanese bed frame you made yourself. And when you are ready, join an online wood working course to perfect your skills.
For a buy it now bed, quick fix, I particularly like the minimalist industrial design of this japanese joinery style bed frame available from Zinius on Amazon
This japanese platform bed from Haiku Designs is an an absolute stunner. I sleep on this in my dreams. I also dream of having a room so neat and minimalist in design (and upkeep). I wonder if they include a minimalist housekeeper to help me be so neat and organised?
More traditional Japanese joinery beds we love
I loved this bedroom the moment that I saw it. Because it follows through on the minimalist Japanese concept of ‘less is more’. The bed, and the layout are simplicity themselves. Although I would have preferred to see more of the bed frame, especially where the legs join the base.
Remember these principles when working with the best Japanese joinery bed frames. Use as few materials as you can, and if possible no metal fittings for the sake of global warming. Climate change and COVID are nudging us towards simpler, home centered lifestyles. Think of the money we save!
This absolutely minimalist japanese bed frame design from Zentai in Australia really speaks to the “highly organised and minimalised me”. Simplicity of form and function speaks deeply. Many designs like this have a simple japanese interlocking bed frame that doesn’t require tools to assemble. I quite like my tools, and let’s face it, we’re only (hopefully) going to be assembling the bed once. Okay, maybe two or three times if we are renting.
How to Build a Japanese Style Bed Frame
First, obtain a plan, or at least a drawing of the style you like. There are loads on Instagram and Twitter. One cool thing I really enjoyed was making my bed the size I wanted, so it fitted into my bedroom perfectly. the design below is a popular japanese joinery bed frame with headboard.
5 More Examples of Japanese platform bed joinery
This Japanese joinery style tatami bed frame from Floyd looks so peaceful, like I just woke to the sound of breezes caressing the crisp white walls. I don’t know for sure if Floyd use japanese joinery techniques in making this frame. But I do absolutely adore the look with the simple canvas suspended storage drawer underneath. I deeply speaks to me.
This one is for my dreams if I ever get there
I am happy supplying Japanese hand tools on the internet, and sharing my woodworking experience. However, if I win the jackpot someday this is going to be the Japanese bedroom for me. The japanese joinery platform bed again is very simple. Can you see the theme here?
Sure, it looks like a Hotel room somewhere….don’t judge me! Maybe I’ll travel more when I’m rich too! Probably not from wood carving and blogging about it though. Hmmmm…
A little box bedroom for over nighting only
I’ll tell you a little secret, just between you and me honest when I was over in Japan researching joinery bed frames. And figuring what a Tatami was while I stayed in inexpensive hotels I could afford. Although the view was not always great as you can see from this photo.
I say life is for living however it pans out. I carry my compact set of wood working tools everywhere I go. And when I have a spare moment I start whittling which is the best way I know to make friends.
It feels as if I have been up all night writing this blog. This relaxing bedroom looks perfect, so if you don’t mind I’ll slip away to my dreams. I hope you enjoyed my Japanese joinery bed frames as much as I did. See you again real soon.