Archive for the ‘Asian Furniture’ Category

What is Tansu in Japanese?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Tansu is a traditional style of Japanese furniture that are designed to be mobile storage cabinets. The word “tansu” is used to refer to Japanese furniture in a general sense but has a literal translation meaning “chest” or “container.” Made using traditional hand woodworking tools, tansu furniture has been perfected as an art form throughout the centuries.

Handcrafted by tansuyas (tansu craftsmen), tansu is connected to many different types of Japanese furniture. Tansu places an emphasis on functional use over the aesthetic design. It’s bold and powerful presence captures an era known for samurais and traditional Japanese nobility. The focus on ergonomics is different in the sense that the functional use caters to a unique need; the need to be mobile and easy to transport.

Large Tansu Cabinet


Common Characteristics of Tansu Furniture

  • All tansu furniture hold two qualities in common; it is mobile and functional.
  • Heavy iron hardware.
  • Minimalist Design with straight lines and little ornate detailing.
  • Hardware was functional because iron was forged at this point in time.
  • Does not have legs.
  • Made from soft and hard woods; Keyaki (elm), Kuri (chestnut), Ezo Matsu (pine), Sugi (cedar), Kiri (paulownia), and Hinoki (cypress).
  • Rich wood grains.
  • Coated in a dry or lacquered finish.

Tansu embodies the exotic appeal of handcrafted Asian furniture while filling the need for highly mobile storage units. Tansu furniture often uses iron, a status symbol in Japanese culture and often associated with prominence and nobility. Once you understand the common features of tansu furniture, you’ll instantly be able to distinguish tansu furniture from other types of cultural furnishings around the world.


A Peak Inside Our Bedroom

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

As the owner of Tansu.Net, I am lucky enough to have access to a great deal of wonderful Asian Furniture. I am constantly asked by my online customers what furniture items I have chosen for my home and why. In response to these inquiries I have begun to photograph pieces of my home with an explanation of the Asian furniture items we chose. Please excuse the photography; I am far from being a professional!

For our bedroom my girlfriend (also the resident Tansu designer) and I chose the Tropical collection queen size canopy bed. We have both always wanted a canopy bed and this one is our personal favorite. Made of dark reclaimed mahogany the Tropical collection canopy bed is features clean lines, a modern tropical style and small accent details that are formed by the mortise and tenon construction this piece. If you look closely at the sides of the canopy bed posts and the matching Tropical nightstand you will see that the cross supports fully bore through upright posts and actually stick out the other side. Not only does this make for a beautiful design element but it also makes this canopy bed extraordinarily strong!

Because of limited space we opted for a queen instead of king size canopy bed. Of course if you have the space the Tropical king canopy bed is even more impressive visually than our queen.

Kobe 6 Drawer DresserFor the bed side table we love the matching Tropical nightstand but chose the 6 drawer Kobe dresser instead of the matching Tropical dresser. One thing many people ask is whether we recommend mixing our teak Asian furniture pieces with our mahogany pieces. Here is living proof that the answer is a resounding yes! The Kobe 6 drawer modern Asian dresser is made from reclaimed teak wood and looks great next to our mahogany canopy bed. Though the grain pattern on mahogany is tighter with more curls than teak, we use the same stain on both woods so the color similar between the pieces with each wood type offering its own tones. Design wise both of these pieces feature clean bold lines with subtle details that have made both of these items showroom favorites.

You can safely mix and match almost any of the Asian furniture pieces sold at Tansu even if made of differing wood. If you are unsure about a combination, give us call. We can help you decide whether individual pieces from different collections will complement each other.

The rest of the decorations you see are items unique to us that we’ve picked up at various places ranging from the exotic markets of Asia to the not so exotic corporate stores of America. If you see something you like let us know, perhaps we can pick it up next time we are out in Chiang Mai or Target: )

New Asian Furniture Retailer

Thursday, June 4th, 2009 has changed ownership in the fall of 2006 and is now offering Asian furniture importers and manufacturers an online market place to feature their products. was purchased from hand made tansu furniture maker Petra by LTDTrading, a privately held internet retail group. LTDTrading specializes in Asian furniture import and sales including Asian Platform Beds, Asian bedding, bedroom furniture and more. changed hands to its new ownership in the fall of 2006 but has been under construction until now. The new site offers visitors an easy to navigate online shopping experience complete with product details, general buying information as well as educational resources about Asian furniture. hopes to become one of the internet’s top selling Asian furniture retailers by providing casual shopper and furniture connoisseur alike a great selection of quality imports at a competitive price.

When we asked owner Benjamin Harvey how his new business has gone until now, he replies with a smile, “so far I’ve been really pleased with the progress of the new website. Our web development team has done an excellent job with the design of the site, but more than anything we are pleased with the quantity of traffic we have received. I am very excited to finalize which suppliers we will be working with and begin adding products to the site.”

The types of products that will be featuring on the site varies from small Asian decorations such as Buddha statues to complete Asian platform bed sets. Most of the larger furniture pieces are made of reclaimed wood and are one of a kind pieces rather than mass produced items. I had a chance to see some of the products that will be featured on the site and was impressed by both the diversity and uniqueness of the products. “We try and select modern Asian furniture pieces that have a distinct ethnic flair, yet will blend well with contemporary American homes” says Harvey. Harvey predicts that his best selling products will be platform beds. Platform beds he says have become increasingly popular with designers and home buyers in recent years and can really make a statement in the bedroom. They are simple, sleek, low to the ground and work well with most types of mattresses including popular memory foam mattress.

When asked when will be open for business Harvey had this to say; “we already have some bedroom furniture products for sale on the site though had originally hoped to be fully operational by spring of 2007. We may still meet that goal but due to the vast selection of Asian furniture imports, we have been taking more time than expected to decide which products to carry. We do expect to be fully operational by the middle of the year at the latest.”

You can visit at or click to view the Asian bedroom furniture products that are ready for sale. But for the larger Asian furniture pieces that I had a chance to preview, shoppers will have to wait just a little bit longer.

Feng Shui Properties of Asian furniture and Indoor Fountains

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

One of the mainstays of Asian inspired homes is to enhance both function and comfort through feng shui design. Feng shui disciplines recognize that everything in the world is made of up energy charged atoms that are in constant motion. Through Feng Shui we can learn to balance these energies. Choosing the right Asian furniture and specialty home decor items such as wall fountains can help to balance these energies and improve the look, feel and function of your home.

Feng Shui focuses on a maintaining a balance of five elements; water, metal, earth, fire and wood. It is quite common in today’s contemporary home to have ample metal. Metal can be found in some obvious places such as furniture, appliances and hardware but also in our walls in the form of plumbing and electrical wires. Fire of course is less common but can easily be added to a home through fireplaces and candle. Earth can be found quite commonly in the form of stone tiles and brick. Wood and water or most commonly underrepresented elements in contemporary homes and can greatly improve the atmosphere of a home if added.

At Tansu we import beautiful wooden Asian furniture that has been handmade from eco-friendly reclaimed teak or plantation grown teak. You can also find specialty Asian furniture pieces that are made of reclaimed mahogany. To us, how your furniture is made is just as important as how it looks. We only purchase quality crafted Asian furniture made from sustainable materials by well paid laborers. We also carry a limited selection of indoor wall fountains to add the soothing sight and sound of water to your home.

Indoor fountains can come in many shapes and sizes. Most of the indoor fountains we import are smaller fountains designed for desktops or for corners. For customers looking for a larger wall fountain we recommend Any of these style fountains will bring balance to your home through the introduction of flowing water. As water flows it releases negative ions which are clinically proven mood enhancer’s.

For more information about indoor wall fountains or our teak Asian furniture collection please browse our site or give us a call. We would be happy to help guide your Asian furniture selection so you can create the Feng Shui home of your dreams.