Exterior Influences with a Hint of Japanese Style

The Tokyo Olympics 2020 have given us yet another excuse to glue ourselves to the TV screens. So, we thought we would stretch a link and bring you some soothing, Zen-like ideas to add a Japanese flavour to your exterior improvement projects…

A Peaceful Outlook

This courtyard presents a very peaceful and Zen-like approach to the main living area of the home. There are usually four elements which are considered to be elements of Japanese garden design; here we have representations of two of those elements … Stone, which is used to form the structural landscape and plants/greenery to add the details of colour change and movement. Create your own peaceful space with our Ark Silver Outdoor Slab  porcelain tiles. Arranged in precise lines and surrounded by pebbles for additional texture.

Green Screens

Here, our Ohio Outdoor Silver Grey Porcelain Slab tiles add a darker baseline to this garden design which has elements of Japanese style. The tall bamboo plants and the horizontal slatted screen fence panels are simple yet effective. Poured concrete walls, planters and seating are spare and simple, with outdoor cushions for added comfort.

A Peaceful Hideaway

Japanese gardens are designed to be tranquil and peaceful spots, a little getaway space for contemplation and even meditation. We rather like the new Samoa Bench with Roof from Habitat, which will be available later in the season. It’s made from eucalyptus and the storage bench can accommodate the outdoor cushions and accessories. Go for a weathered, plank-style look with our Vertige Wood Effect Grey Outdoor Slab Tiles – avoiding the maintenance of real timber!

Simple and Spacious

Create an understated garden with our  Granito Black Outdoor Matt Porcelain Slabs; the precision of screens, the planters and benches makes this a restful retreat. Of course, the trick is to keep it looking neat and serene at all times, so keep those garden clippers and broom to hand for a quick tidy-up every few days in the summer!

Featuring Water

A water feature is a definite must-have in Japanese style gardens. Water represents the life-giving element of a garden, and many people consider the gentle sound of flowing water to be soothing and relaxing. This water feature has been faced with our Nativa Dark Wall Tiles, which are a contemporary reproduction of split-face slate tiles, with all the random surface features found in real slate. If you need advice on which products to use for installing outdoor tiles, have a read through our advice here, or chat online or get in touch with our experts via our Contact page.

Shedding Some Light

Add some Japanese ambiance to your outdoor ‘rooms’ with some practical lanterns, such as this Natural Bamboo Lantern from Five & Dime Interiors. It’s handmade, with a glass candle holder in the centre.

Outdoors & Indoors

We’re imagining this glorious Japanese Garden Wallpaper, from  Dowsing & Reynolds as an addition to a bedroom that perhaps has doors opening into the garden, or perhaps on a dining room wall adjacent to a series of folding-sliding doors that open out onto a terrace. Bring the outdoors indoors, Japanese style!

A Traditional Teapot

Sip your Japanese tea in style with the Tetsubin Teapot in black iron from Kitchencraft. It has a stainless-steel mesh infuser inside, so can be used for all sorts of loose leaf teas.

Tripping The Light Fantastic

This bamboo lantern with a dark brown stained finish is the Asi Lantern from Idyll Home, with a glass candle holder inside the bamboo framework.


Japanese gardens feature natural stone, rather than concrete, so these Botticino Outdoor Grey Porcelain Slab will keep your outdoor terrace looking suitably calm and Zen-like. As previously suggested, team with greenery and slatted-style furniture for Japanese style. Remember, if any of our tiles are out of stock, we will always let you know when stock is due in, and in the meantime it’s usually possible to order samples, so there’s no excuse not to start planning your next project!

Japanese Reclining Style

Frankly, we think that it would be mandatory to have a Japanese-style garden if you had the pleasure of owning this Sole Bamboo Reclining Daybed from Beaumonde. It would also be a very good excuse for buying, or making some gorgeous cushions or throws, too!

On the Side

However Zen-like your outdoor space, it’s likely that you’ll need a couple of side tables – either for the tea-cups or the evening cocktails. This is the Hazel Storage Side Table by Habitat – an excellent little investment idea for indoors or outdoors.

And Finally…

We wanted to highlight our Kashmir Natura porcelain slabs, designed to replicate white granite. They have rectified edges, so the grout lines will be clean and precise, a huge advantage when designing an exterior with a Japanese style influence. For more useful info on the installation of large-format outdoor slab tiles, check out our Portico Installation Guide.

We love seeing your projects, so if you’re planning on incorporating any of the ideas explored here in your next renovation then do share your pics with us over on Twitter tagging @TileMountainUK or on Instagram!

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Linda has worked as a freelance interiors writer and blogger for many years; she has written for most of the major home and design magazines, including KBB Magazine, Grand Designs, Homes & Gardens, House Beautiful, Period Homes and Good Homes. She made the break and moved from London back to her home town of Shrewsbury three years ago and has just finished renovating her house. She also works in an interior design studio, produces copy for brochures and website, tries to tame her garden, aims to finish all the home furnishing projects she has on the go … and loves walking.