Asian style decoration has become a hot trend in the first decade of the 21st century. Unlike previous waves of Asian design, however, the latest iteration takes a global perspective to create an eclectic mix that is both exotic and laid-back.
One of the intriguing aspects of this latest trend is that a decorator’s personal imagination and creativity can design a room based on a single Asian culture, or an exciting mix of the best the continent has to offer. The following guides will help decorators through the many and varied styles available in Asian decorating.
Pale, neutral wall colors are preferred for a pan-Asian look that will likely change frequently. With neutral colors on the walls, it is possible to go from the muted tones of the Zen-like natural motifs of the Japanese style to the more vivid colors of the Indian designs. Red, lacquered black and gold remain the mainstays of the Chinese interior design style, including the ornate designs of magnificent silk oriental rugs. An Indian design will feature vibrant colors from the subcontinent. When looking for flooring, peacock blue area rugs and deep red rugs would be the perfect choice to complement your Indian decor.
Dark hardwood flooring can serve as the foundation for any Asian design theme. Bamboo rugs, tatami mats, or bamboo flooring enhance the Japanese style, but all Asian designs look fabulous with Chinese rugs, Tibetan rugs, or other oriental rugs. It is even possible to go a little further to the impressive wool rugs from Iran (Persian) and Turkey in Asian styles.
Simple styles work best in Asian decor, but furniture should be of good quality, preferably dark wood or black lacquer. Simple furniture with a slightly rustic look fits well, but more elaborately carved pieces such as screens, chests of drawers, and even chairs make great accent pieces. The key to combining these varied styles is to choose just one more ornate piece, such as a chest or screen, and keep the rest of the furnishings simple.
Fabrics and Accessories:
Asian weavers have been creating fabulous fabrics for millennia, from Chinese silks to Indonesian batiks. These richly patterned fabrics can be widely used in Asian décor such as curtains, draperies, wall hangings, and even blankets. Area rugs are among some of the best examples of Asian weaving. They range from the simple textural patterns of Tibetan rugs, through the elaborate motifs of oriental silk rugs, to the boldly colored cotton rugs of India’s many cultures. If you choose to make a rug the focal point of an Asian décor, be sure to choose the right fabric for the use.
Rugs made from natural fibers, such as bamboo rugs and wool rugs, should be kept out of kitchens and bathrooms, where they are likely to be stained or damaged by water. Delicate silk rugs work best in rooms without a lot of foot traffic. If you’re using an Asian style in a room that gets a lot of use, it’s best to find rugs in Asian colors and patterns that are made from synthetic fibers. They will stand up to foot traffic and hold up to spills much better.
Finish off the Asian decor with accessories like art, wrought iron, wall hangings, paper lanterns, ornate silver, ceramics and pottery.