Monday, April 30, 2012

Home Decorating Themes Part 6- Asian

An Asian decorating theme is one of the most beautiful, elegant and exotic decorating styles. Although Asia is a vast continent with over 60 different countries and cultures, Asian decorating and décor is usually a reference to the styles, culture, art and fashion of the Far East, or what used to be referred to as the Orient. This includes countries such as China, Japan, Vietnam and Korea.

Asian style furniture has a very shiny, highly polished, lacquer finish. Exotic woods such as rosewood, mahogany, Poplar and bamboo are used to make exquisite furniture, which can be either intricately carved and painted or left very simple and plain with clean, straight lines.
Living spaces eclectic living room
Living spaces eclectic living room

Chinese Influences

Chinese style furniture has a very artistic, ornate appearance with beautiful, hand painted motifs, brass accents and/or intricate carved designs. If opulent settings appeal to you, look for chinoiseri style décor. Chinoiseri is a French word meaning ”Chinese-esque”. This term originated in the late 1800s and was first seen in Europe, as a decorating style influenced by Chinese art and culture. 
Asian Bathroom By Howard Wiggins of Howard Wiggins Interior Design in Nashv  sig  bedroom
Bright, vivid colors are commonly seen in Chinese decorating styles and in particular, the color red. Red is a color of good fortune in Chinese culture and is often paired with black or gold for a striking contrast. Other primary and secondary colors often used in Chinese art and décor are blue and yellow and green.
Vanessa De Vargas
Chinese porcelain has been highly sought after by collectors since the 17th century, when it started to become a prized possession of the upper-class in Europe and eventually, worldwide. The classic blue and white pattern known as Willow Ware is the most recognized style of Chinese porcelain. Jade and brass are also commonly seen in Chinese vases.
Displaying art collections contemporary living room

Japanese Influences

Japanese style furniture is more modest and simple in design. Shiny, lacquered finishes are still common. However, straight lines and minimal embellishments help create a harmonious balance with the minimalist approach of Japanese design.
Japanese style bedroom asian bedroom
This decorating style includes a lot of open space, neutral colors and a Zen-like atmosphere that is peaceful, uncluttered and natural.

craftsman teahouse asian living room
Traditional rice paper screens called Shoji screens can be used to create separate areas of a larger space while also diffusing the light. Combined with Tatami mats and traditional Japanese furniture such as platform beds and low profile coffee tables and end tables, your home will have an authentic Japanese look.

Japanese Master Bathroom asian bathroom

Natural Influences

Nature is a prominent theme in Asian decorating. Chinese décor has an abundance of animal motifs such as fish, butterflies, peacocks, cranes, tigers, horses, pandas, cats and mythical creatures such as dragons and the Phoenix. Japanese koi fish are commonly seen in Asian style art, as are a plethora of floral designs such as cherry blossoms, chrysanthemums, peony blossoms, roses and exotic plants such as bamboo and bonsai trees.

Hollywood Residence eclectic bathroom
Natural textures are seen in accessories such as straw mats, bamboo floors or blinds, rice paper screens and natural stone furnishings.

Asian Textiles

Asian textiles can truly be exotic treasures. Persian and Oriental rugs and tapestries are more than just decorative items. Often considered works of art, especially if they are antiques, Asian rugs and tapestries can command a high price.

Irene Turner at Home contemporary living room
Feldman Architecture contemporary family room
Chinese silk was once one of the most highly sought after Eastern treasures, and became the inspiration for the famous Silk Road trade route between the Far East and Europe. Silk can be made into many luxury home textiles such as sheets, bedspreads, duvets and decorative pillows.
Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Pillow

Calligraphy Pattern Pillow

Dragon & Phoenix Pattern Pillow

Asian Accessories

Asian style décor often features the beautiful and artistic calligraphy style characters that represent the words and letters of exotic languages such as Chinese and Japanese. These characters often appear on wall art, dinnerware or other decorative porcelain.

Kelly Mack eclectic powder room
Large Chinese fans or parasols make beautiful decorative ornaments. Silk wall scrolls, carved wood designs, Japanese Samurai swords and silk paintings make interesting and unusual wall décor.

Blessing In Red Fan

Pink Blessings Wall Fan

Laight Loft modern bedroom
silk painting
 Buddhism is one of the most common religions in the Far East and the likeness of Buddha is often used in Asian décor such as statues, figurines and fountains.

Asian Home Design asian living room
Accessories asian living room

Feng Shui

The Taoist philosophy of feng shui began in China over 3000 years ago. It is based on the idea that the natural living energy force called Chi can be balanced and harmonized in any given space to ensure the well-being and good fortune of the inhabitants.

Valerie Wills Interiors traditional living room
feng shui ball
Feng shui has become a popular design style in the Western world. From furniture placement, to color schemes, lighting, accessories and even architectural features, feng shui can impact every element of a home’s design scheme. While you don’t need to have an Asian decorating theme to use this design style, feng shui certainly fits in perfectly with Asian design.  
Monika Siebert Design Planning Inc  dining room
feng shui design

To see more Asian style decor for your home, visit my Asian decorating pages at HomeTreasureCove.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Home Decorating Themes Part 5- Tropical

I love tropical decorating styles. My blog and website are good indicators of how much this style appeals to me. If you can't live in a tropical paradise, you can certainly capture the essence of this region and bring it into your home.
Tropical, island and beach themes are popular decorating styles that aren't just limited to homes in warm climates or near the ocean. This casual, laid-back style fits in well with contemporary homes.  Many eclectic style homes also embrace the exotic, natural elements found in tropical style decor.
Bold, Colorful Kitchen eclectic kitchen
A tropical decorating theme can also be eco-friendly, as much of the natural wood that grows in tropical regions is considered sustainable, meaning the material is easy to renew.  Many fast-growing, tropical materials include: 
  • Bamboo
  • Teak
  • Rattan
  • Jute
  • Abaca
These types of plants can actually thrive with regular harvesting,  which promotes rapid regrowth.

Although many tropical style homes have a casual or contemporary feel, this style can also work in a more traditional setting, as you can see in the beautifully designed room below:

Todd Peddicord Portfolio traditional family room

The abundance of natural elements found in tropical style decor provides many rich and varied textures, such as wicker. Wicker furniture is constructed using materials such as rattan and other tropical grasses that are tightly woven together.

Bamboo poles also have a very unique texture with their jointed segments. Tropical grasses such as jute and abaca can be made into rugs, textured wallpaper and mats that have wonderful, earthy textures.

Notice all the great textures in this beachy bedroom, including the lamp, window treatments, storage baskets and chair:

Kids Beach Room tropical kids

 In addition to all the beautiful natural tropical wood found  in this style of decorating, you will see lots and lots of greenery. Tropical palms and ferns are the first to come to mind.  Other exotic tropical plants that make great decorative accessories include umbrella plants, rubber plants, banana trees, bromeliads and birds of paradise, which are flowering plants such as the one pictured in the tropical bathroom below:
Fleming Guest Bath tropical bathroom

Ownby Design tropical living room
 Tropical color schemes also include a pallet of natural colors in shades of blue, green, brown, coral, beige, tan, yellow and white.  These  colors are often associated with the beach or the ocean as well.  You can also add a few bold  accent colors in shades of red, orange or purple to represent the vivid tropical flowering plants found throughout the world.

Red makes a bold accent color in the following tropical bedrooms:

Nantucket in So Cal tropical bedroom
Newport Beach Project contemporary bedroom
contemporary bedroom design by orange county interior designer Jessica Bennett Interiors

 A tropical design scheme is perfect for those who want to bring natural elements and warmth into their home.  It's a way to create your own private retreat to escape the stress and pressure of the outside world.

There are numerous ways to create a tropical atmosphere in a room. Lots of natural lighting, light colors and an abundance of greenery can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Sun Room traditional porch
traditional porch design by san francisco interior designer ADEENI DESIGN GROUP

It's nice to know you can incorporate a tropical theme into almost any style of home, whether it's modern, traditional, contemporary or eclectic.  While it may not be possible to escape to some tropical island when you need to unwind, it is possible to create a resort style atmosphere somewhere in your very own home.