There are zillions of interior looks that we love to create but those with an Asian twist make us especially happy.
From the sweeping lines of Chinese pagodas and their lacquered interior detail to the minimalism of Japanese pared-down buildings and their monochromatic interiors — we simply love far-Eastern style.
Better still, when we mix and match to create “fusion” décor — a look we utterly adore — we call it “pan Asian,” as it spans so many territories and countries. We’ll happily add rich Balinese teak detailing, for example, in a predominantly Japanese- themed project. Tip: If you yearn for a gorgeous Asian bedroom like the one on this week’s show, remember our maxim; “To fail to plan is to plan to fail.” OK, so it might sound like overly simple advice but unless you have a clear strategy your scheme runs the risk of becoming “floppy.”
When we scheme we make lists of every required detail. We figure out key pieces, then work the rest of our design (accessories, layers and ornaments) around these aspects. In our Asian boudoir we start off with wallpaper (check out www.thibautdesign.com for mind-boggling Eastern inspiration) and then build the scheme, in layers, from there. Tip: If you choose richly patterned paper, restrain other schematic aspects or everything will become too fussy.
Use these Asian-inspired pointers to stay on the decorating straight and narrow:
1. To elicit a Chinese feel, mix dramatic lacquer reds with black-painted furniture and set against pure white walls. It’s all about contrast. High gloss “wedding cabinets” are a great starting point, while decorative bird cages and lanterns will provide relevant detail.
2. Sometimes the best kit is right under your nose: Raid Chinese supermarkets for wonderful ceramics and brightly- coloured bamboo bowls.
3. To create the perfect backdrop for a Japanese scheme, keep furniture choices low slung and add touches of silver or gold.
4. Remember that fabulous décor doesn’t need to break the bank. Search junk stores for “key” pieces that, cleverly positioned, will flavour the rest of your scheme. We just bagged an entire Kimono-inspired silk bedding set for just $37 in Kensington Market!
For this week’s show we raided GH Johnson (www.ghjohnsontrading.com) for a black Japanese four-poster bed, added matching nightstands and did the rest via elegant white linens and shaggy black Mongolian lambs’ wool cushions from Sears. Tip: Remember that the best results are those that “whisper” rather than “scream” designer.
Our advice (as it would be with any “inspired by” scheme) is to add relevant flavour via gentle “decorative seasoning.” Visit www.greenteadesign.com for further inspiration and cross-Canada delivery.
And remember, of course, that a little goes a long, long way!
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