Decorating with an Asian Theme

Looking for a way to dress up a drab room in your home?  Taking your living room or bedroom on an Oriental adventure could be the perfect excursion.  With it’s exotic flavor, Asian decor can be a beautiful decorating choice, but requires some restraint.  When it comes to the perfect Asian influenced decor, simplicity is critical.  When it comes to Asian design, less is more.

Color:  For the walls, think beige or tan, inspired by aged bamboo or rice parchment. This will create a nice base color for the room that can be accented with some bolder, Asian inspired colorless  Liberal use of black and white in furniture and accents can be desirable.  Mix in some green that conjures up visions of a dense bamboo jungle for a bold, expressive look or a jade sculpture to create more muted, tranquil space.  Use a health splash of red and gold to transport your guests to the Far East.

Floors: An obvious choice is bamboo flooring which looks great but can be costly.  A less expensive alternative is laminate flooring. However, any wood or laminate flooring will do just fine.  Terracotta tiling is another great option, but light stone and ceramic tile look great too. Avoid the temptation to use an oriental rug unless you feel strongly that it works. You’ll save a few bucks. Instead, seek out a jute rug.This loomed, natural fiber alternative offers a simple solution that supports your design theme well.A 6′ rug should run you somewhere in the $200 range.  If you’re on a budget, consider a wool blend or synthetic version.

Windows:   Embrace the ambient light in the room and use light silk drapes tied back with gold cord with tassels.   For a more casual vibe, consider roll-up bamboo shades. Plain blinds are fine, but you can also find bamboo blinds painted with oriental calligraphy or other Asian symbols and scenes if you want a bolder look.

Lighting: Chinese lanterns can be found in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes not to mention budget.   These are perfect.  Consider using candles to set the perfect mood.  Do your best to avoid modern or period-specific lighting.  Water plays an important role in Asian culture, so a lighted water treatment or fountain might make a good substitute for a lamp.

If you’re going to break the budget, this is where you might want to do it.  Traditional lacquered furniture is a mainstay of Asian dacor.  Most often found a highly polished black, red, gold or white it’s a centerpiece accent that can bring the Asian influenced theme together.  Think about a small table, trunk, armorer or stool.  These furnishings generally painted with scenes of life, landscape or floral designs.  Expand on the look with Wicker or bamboo furniture which perfectly complements a room decorated in Asian decor.

Decorations: This is an opportunity to exercise your inner designer and have a blast.  A Shonji divider can be used to separate the room and create more intimate areas. Buddha decor can be a fun, funky option.  Considering displaying a few Buddha figurines in various poses. A laughing Buddha statue is believed to improve one’s chances of prosperity, but at the very least can add a bit of whimsy to a room.  Feng Shui principles are based on promoting positive energy but there ideas are equally suited to good design.

Jade carvings, Oriental wall fans, silk paintings, Asian wall reliefs or lacquered wall art are perfect Asian decorating choices.  Porcelain vases or fishbowls make a great Asian decor accents as well. Ginger or tea jars, bonsai trees, bamboo plants, Asian clocks and mirrors are all excellent decorating options. The only thing standing in the way of your perfect Asian inspired room is lack of imagination.

Have a blast with all the great decorating options, just remember that in the case of Asian-themed decorating it’s important not to overdo it.  It’s important to make sure that the space is free of clutter, otherwise you won’t get the same effect.  Don’t overdo it. Use a few key decorative accessories to project your theme. You can always add more later.

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