How to find your inner Oriental

The serenity of Asian-style, particularly ‘Oriental’ interiors, has always been popular among design-savvy homemakers. Coming back to a tranquil abode is always welcome respite from the cut and thrust of so-called global lifestyles.

Mind you, the fascination for all things Oriental started hundreds of years ago when Western merchants travelled to the Far East seeking prized spices. They often also brought home many exotic finds, such as silk drapes, hand-woven rugs, ceramics, furniture and even plant species. “Exotic Asia” continues to inspire contemporary designers to create some of the more beautiful elements for the modern home.

Creating an Asian-inspired room is much more than just adding a few distinctive decorative objects. It takes care, precision and a clear thought process to create that harmony and balance. Around the world today, Asian design elements have become a fusion of several different styles that range from the Japanese and Chinese to the Indian. Tribal influences from faraway islands are also de rigeuer in many stylish homes. More importantly, contemporary pieces of furniture by European brands such as Poltrona Frau, Minotti or B&B Italia mix beautifully with these Asian pieces.

Spotted this season are brands such as Designers Guild and Osborne & Little who have collaborated with designers Matthew Williamson and Nina Campbell to create inspired home collections.

A popular theme seen in many Oriental-flavoured homes are the blue and white Chinese ceramic plates that made an appearance on the Andrew Martin wallpaper I spotted at last year’s Decorex show in London. What’s more, if you have not been so fortunate as to inherit the original Ming dynasty plates from your grandparents, you can now hang wonderful photographic prints of these rare plates on your walls.  

Drama reigns supreme when you have an exotic-design wallpaper by Osborne & Little featuring the peacock feather motif set next to a mid-century teakwood sideboard and a glass table lamp with a silky-brown paper shade. Very glamorous indeed!

So go on and have fun spicing up your home with today’s many exciting Asian-inspired design elements. Start with grandma’s crockery cupboard!

This article first appeared in The Edge Property pullout, 26 June, 2015.

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