Picks and Pans Review: Japanese Style

updated 06/06/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/06/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Suzanne Slesin, Stafford Cliff and Daniel Rozensztroch

Showcasing more than 35 homes, apartments, inns and workshops, mostly in Tokyo, this book offers almost 800 color photos of characteristically austere Japanese rooms. It presents a broad range of styles and periods—contemporary apartments, old farmhouses, the modern homes of architects and even a century-old geisha house in Kyoto. City dwellers will be interested in the use of futons, mattresses that are stored in closets, then unrolled on the floor to turn a living room into a bedroom without sacrificing space. But for the most part, this book is more aesthetically interesting than relevant to American needs. Space in Japan is at such a premium that homes are small and decorative possessions far fewer than here. Some also will be disappointed that a number of the interiors seem so unexceptional. The authors, who have journalistic and design backgrounds, include a helpful catalog of American sources for Japanese products, everything from antiques to garden supplies. (Potter, $35)

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