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10 Ways to Use Shoji Screens

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Shoji screens are used everywhere from George Nakashima's Reception House to actor Vincent Kartheiser's tiny Hollywood bungalow, and they remain a time-tested way of allowing light in and keeping clutter behind the scenes. Here are 10 clever ways to show some shoji style.
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  Abrams' 2011 Artists' Handmade Houses features beautiful images by Don Freeman and text by Michael Gotkin. Here we look at the homes of Russel Wright, Paolo Soleri, and George Nakashima. Nakashima's small kitchen features a cupboard with sliding shoji screens.

    Abrams' 2011 Artists' Handmade Houses features beautiful images by Don Freeman and text by Michael Gotkin. Here we look at the homes of Russel Wright, Paolo Soleri, and George Nakashima. Nakashima's small kitchen features a cupboard with sliding shoji screens.

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  The living room in Nakashima's Reception House features several Greenrock ottomans and a Buckeye burl coffee table, and more shoji screens at the windows. 

    The living room in Nakashima's Reception House features several Greenrock ottomans and a Buckeye burl coffee table, and more shoji screens at the windows. 

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  Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser has all he needs in his compact, 580-square-foot Hollywood abode, where shoji screens run along one wall and conceal his closet. Photo by Joe Pugliese.   Photo by: Joe PuglieseCourtesy of: Joe Pugliese

    Mad Men’s Vincent Kartheiser has all he needs in his compact, 580-square-foot Hollywood abode, where shoji screens run along one wall and conceal his closet. Photo by Joe Pugliese. 

    Photo by: Joe Pugliese

    Courtesy of: Joe Pugliese

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  The custom screens, designed by Funn Roberts, not only conceal the closet, but extend to provide privacy for the adjacent shower and soaking tub. Photo by Joe Pugliese.   Photo by: Joe PuglieseCourtesy of: Joe Pugliese

    The custom screens, designed by Funn Roberts, not only conceal the closet, but extend to provide privacy for the adjacent shower and soaking tub. Photo by Joe Pugliese. 

    Photo by: Joe Pugliese

    Courtesy of: Joe Pugliese

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  The kitchen of architect David Baker's San Francisco home is aligned behind sliding fiberglass-and-bamboo shoji screens. Devoid of cabinetry, the room is fitted out with industrial cantilevered shelving from E-Z Shelving Systems in Kansas City. The red tiles behind the stove are from Heath Ceramics. Photo by Dave Lauridsen.   Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

    The kitchen of architect David Baker's San Francisco home is aligned behind sliding fiberglass-and-bamboo shoji screens. Devoid of cabinetry, the room is fitted out with industrial cantilevered shelving from E-Z Shelving Systems in Kansas City. The red tiles behind the stove are from Heath Ceramics. Photo by Dave Lauridsen. 

    Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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  For Katie and Scott McDonald, moving into a Rhode Island family home meant recasting the previously renovated house as a sanctuary of peaceful, Japanese-inspired design. “The meditation room is where we get our Japanese ya-yas out,” says Scott. “I wanted yukimi, which means ‘snow-viewing,’ shoji screens because they open from the bottom as well as side to side. Glen Collins, a guy in Oakland, California, is the one American I could find whose company makes them.” Photo by John Horner.   Photo by: John HornerCourtesy of: COPYRIGHT 2011, JOHN HORNER

    For Katie and Scott McDonald, moving into a Rhode Island family home meant recasting the previously renovated house as a sanctuary of peaceful, Japanese-inspired design. “The meditation room is where we get our Japanese ya-yas out,” says Scott. “I wanted yukimi, which means ‘snow-viewing,’ shoji screens because they open from the bottom as well as side to side. Glen Collins, a guy in Oakland, California, is the one American I could find whose company makes them.” Photo by John Horner. 

    Photo by: John Horner

    Courtesy of: COPYRIGHT 2011, JOHN HORNER

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  In the hallway of a Toronto renovation, a set of sliders shows off a mix of influences from shoji to Schindler, with multitoned wood reflecting the sunlight. Photo by Juliana Sohn.   Photo by: Juliana Sohn

    In the hallway of a Toronto renovation, a set of sliders shows off a mix of influences from shoji to Schindler, with multitoned wood reflecting the sunlight. Photo by Juliana Sohn. 

    Photo by: Juliana Sohn

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  Daisuke Tokuyama told Japanese architect Makoto Tanijiri that he wanted a light-filled home for his family of five—a tall order, considering his narrow property in Hiroshima was boxed in on three sides. To creatively solve the problem, Tanijiri skipped conventional walls altogether and, taking the shoji concept to a new level, wrapped the entire three-story steel structure in polycarbonate plastic. Photo by Toshiyuki Yano.    Photo by: Toshiyuki YanoCourtesy of: Toshiyuki Yano

    Daisuke Tokuyama told Japanese architect Makoto Tanijiri that he wanted a light-filled home for his family of five—a tall order, considering his narrow property in Hiroshima was boxed in on three sides. To creatively solve the problem, Tanijiri skipped conventional walls altogether and, taking the shoji concept to a new level, wrapped the entire three-story steel structure in polycarbonate plastic. Photo by Toshiyuki Yano.

     

     

    Photo by: Toshiyuki Yano

    Courtesy of: Toshiyuki Yano

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  Architect Maurice McKenzie borrowed the shoji concept throughout a 1980 home he designed in Borrego Springs, California, with light woods and industrial-strength paper. Photo by JUCO.   Photo by: JUCO

    Architect Maurice McKenzie borrowed the shoji concept throughout a 1980 home he designed in Borrego Springs, California, with light woods and industrial-strength paper. Photo by JUCO. 

    Photo by: JUCO

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  A family discovers the joys of DIY design—and muddy feet—in their home made up of distinct pods that blends harmoniously with its surroundings in the rainy mountains of Kauai. The bathroom walls and the shower are made out of polycarbonate, based on a shoji screen model that allows light in.   Photo by: Linny MorrisCourtesy of: Linny Morris

    A family discovers the joys of DIY design—and muddy feet—in their home made up of distinct pods that blends harmoniously with its surroundings in the rainy mountains of Kauai. The bathroom walls and the shower are made out of polycarbonate, based on a shoji screen model that allows light in. 

    Photo by: Linny Morris

    Courtesy of: Linny Morris

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