Interior Design / September 8, 2018 / Nia Dozier.
Much like the Imari porcelain, Tansu furniture is often considered more of folk art that has grown into a decorator’s dream. With the sharp lines and practicality, it’s no wonder that more modern homes are starting to consider Tansu furniture a worthwhile investment.
The idea behind these pieces of furniture was that the people of the time did not have much space to store their extra possessions, but some organization system became necessary. Thus, Tansu storage containers were created to stored in fireproof lofts called Kuras or storage lofts. The boxes and crates were meant to be portable and easy to carry and move.
Each piece of Tansu furniture was carefully crafted to give each piece a specific meaning. The careful construction would often convey the region of the piece’s origin, the intended use, the status of the owner, the owner’s wealth, and in many cases the profession of the owner as well. Though Tansu has fallen out of favor since the beginning of the twentieth century in Japan, the use of this furniture style has grown to other parts of the globe.
Many manufacturers still create Tansu furniture pieces through the authentic Japanese style method to assure customers of the quality and stability. In the Kiri Tansu method, there are some steps that a producer will follow to maintain a semblance of authenticity.
The wood (in this case, Kiri, or also called paulownia) should be raw and untreated, staying as natural as can be during the gathering process. The logs can be about forty to fifty years old in some cases, and this is preferable regarding creating a sturdy piece of furniture that can withstand long-term use.
The fresh lumber that has harvested will them need to be dried in the sun and even exposed to the wind and rain to toughen up the wood for about one to two years.
Each piece is then crafted by hand using excellent tools and a wood maker with years of experience in building Tansu pieces. Wooden nails are used to secure the base to other parts. The use of metal nails is not standard practice, and any piece with these nails is not considered authentic Tansu.
The overall process of crafting a piece of Tansu furniture will depend on the complexity of the design as well as the speed of the craftsman. When the section has assembled, some designers like to brush the surface of the wood to enhance the overall look of the wood grain. Some manufacturers will use a Uzukuritawashi brush to complete this step and ready the surface for paint.
Some makers also utilize a special kind of paint that hinders decay and damage from moisture and mold, while others stick with a more traditional polishing powder at this stage. The crowning touch on the Tunsu furniture pieces is what separates the parts regarding elegance – the ornate hinges and other metal work creates an attractive appearance.
There are many advantages to using Tansu in your home that might appeal to one’s practicality:
Moisture proof, but not resistant. Pieces made initially been will move along with moisture conditions to prevent warping, cracking, and bending. In some cases, you can even refresh the wood so that it can maintain and used for many years. When Kiri wood use, for example, the pieces will not be flammable under any normal conditions. The appearance is attractive and appealing as well as smooth and comfortable. Many of the woods used to make Tansu furniture pieces are lighter in weight to be more movable and portable.
If you’re looking to incorporate Tansu furniture into your modern home, you have many options regarding utility and style. The woods that can use in Tansu include Mahogany, White Oak, American Black Walnut, Hard Maple, Cherry, Ash, and Cypress. Moreover, the colors that you can expect to find can range from golden hues to deep browns, red and blacks.
One of the more popular and useful pieces of Tansu furniture include colored cabinets. These cabinets can use in living rooms as entertainment centers. In a larger compartment, you can hide a television as well as additional entertainment equipment to keep the overall clean look of a simple living room design. The television and DVD player can see when used, instead of being the focal point of the room.
In the bedroom, these rich closets organizers make excellent storage pieces for clothing as well as entertainment equipment, while they can also become armoires and just decorative pieces that hold out of season items. There are also some smaller cabinets that can change the Tansu style. These are great nightstands or smaller end tables. You can often choose any number of drawers from two to five, one on top of the other, as well as add sliding doors that accent the top or include glass doors so that you can see within the cabinet. The addition of glass is a modern improvement, but they can make for excellent serving ware cabinets.
When you’re looking to incorporate Tansu furniture into your home, you will want to consider the size of the piece that you are choosing. Many of the more modern pieces tend to be very large, which can be helpful for storage, but not for smaller spaces. A different point to consider is the intricate metalwork that can be on the pieces. Can be distracting to other chosen décor schemes and works best with a simpler overall look to your home. However, if you’re looking for a more straightforward piece of Tansu furniture, you can also find these. Alternatively, you can choose a darker wood color to offset the appearance of the hinges and door/drawer handles.
Bolder rooms will want to choose something in a deep red for an exciting piece while more sedate rooms will want to stick with the golden hues of Cypress-based bits or darker pieces that match other pieces of furniture. Tansu furniture is a great way to start decorating a room, building a simple elegance around it, while also conserving precious space for your life.