The exotic style of the Orient harmonizes nature with exquisite artisanship
The Asian, or Oriental, influence can make a drastic difference in a home's decorating scheme. You can incorporate a few items into your own existing style or make a complete change.
The Oriental approach is much more than purchasing a few items and placing them around your home. Each piece should exude emotion and the buyer should appreciate the history, the texture, and the workmanship. Simplicity, harmony, unity, and nature are key elements in the Asian decorating theme.
Antiques and reproductions can be enjoyed equally and many modern objects and art pieces are reasonably priced.
Colors can be elaborate as in the brightest reds of a lacquered chest or subdued to reflect the elements in nature. Textures can be mixed, but care should be taken to let focal pieces stand alone. Table groupings can be dramatic, as in a small statue or spirit house sitting alongside a teapot or carved jade box. Water fountains can add a soothing background sound to any arrangement.
In Oriental homes, the collections will rotate periodically to suit the season or the mood. Some items will be stashed away while other favorites go on display. It is important to keep items to a minimum.
Wall hangings are not limited to art. Kimonos, kites, and fans are stunning when arranged on a wall. A Japanese shoji screen can be practical as well as colorful or elegant. Bamboo is a popular Asian element and baskets can be filled and draped with Oriental robes and throws.
Framed art is an economical addition. Japanese-style brush strokes or shadow-box framed origami are easy to find. A single piece of batik can become a do-it-yourself framing project.
Some items are symbolic; for instance, fish represent prosperity; a pair of mandarin ducks is the symbol of love.
Furniture is sparse and simple, but well-crafted. Natural woods can be stained or painted. Add floor cushions and a bench to fill in space. Tatami mats or a futon may also be used.
Include lighting in your Asian decorating theme. Paper shades, lanterns, and unique cubes can all be considered for your interior space.
Once your space is ready, you'll want to prepare a cup of sake, sit down, and enjoy the serenity that comes with your new style.
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