Simple, peaceful and beautiful: these are the principles that come to mind when designing a room with a distinct East Asian feel. Attractively exuding pristine geometric features and stylish minimalism, the elegant Asian look has found its way into homes across the Western world. Because it harnesses a succinct balance of functionality and aesthetics, its appeal continues to grow. It’s easier than ever to create an Asian-inspired interior design in your home.
Start with the basics
Without getting into the sometimes complicated rules of feng shui, the quintessential layout is fairly straightforward. You want to create and emphasise space, which means minimal clutter and bright, neutral colours such as creams and whites.
This can be further enhanced by contrasting light, monochromatic hues with bold, striking reds (usually featured as an accent wall), and rich, dark wooden beams (dividing the walls and the ceiling) with matching furniture (much of which can be found second-hand for bargain prices). In essence, four-poster beds, chests of drawers, tables, and wardrobes can hit the mark between rusticity and refinement. A key feature of East Asian design is intricate geometric pattern work, which can sometimes be found on old chests. Floors should also be made of wood and broken up by simple rugs that tie into the rest of the colour scheme. Sometimes, small carpets with a section of ornate weave work will add that little extra touch.
Accessories and ambience
In following with the other key features of the room, little accents should also be carefully added, blending in beautifully with other elements while becoming focal points. Prints can use an array of pastel colours or black and white designs featuring the occasional bold colour; Chinese symbols or Japanese kanji can make effective yet non-overpowering prints. Light bamboo tones are ideal for smaller items of furniture such as jars used for storing (porcelain and granite are also popular) as well as mats and affordable luxury shutters. These help to balance out the bolder, darker tones and also convey a distinctly earthy feel, a must for interior design. Plants are another way of maintaining that earthy ambience, and bamboo stalks are perfect for their easy care, while bonsai trees are the ultimate challenge for the eager horticulturalist. These will freshen the room and fill it with that tranquil energy that is so important for the bedroom or living room.
Other accessories such as tiny statues, figurines and fans can also add flavour, but it’s important not to overdo it. Flower petals and incense make exquisite finishing touches, but these too should be used sparingly, if at all. The same principle should be applied to the lighting; a comforting, warm light gently contained by a lantern design should be the last touch you need to make your home exude that harmonious feel.
These characteristics can certainly be adapted, and you can transform your living area into a chic, contemporary setting or give it a slightly more antiquated look that draws on traditional decor. Think about the size of the room, the space it conveys, and the mood you wish to capture – follow that inspiration, and you’ll be set.