We can’t all build our lives in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan- the Chinese region of alpine lakes filled with the reflections of the surrounding landscape. The commitments that bind us to our home cities often mean that the spaces in which we live, lack sentiments of serenity and tranquil calm.
Whilst we’re engrossed in our fast-paced urban lifestyle, there’s nothing quite like returning home to harmony and orderly design. We turn to the Far East for insights into the ancient Chinese guidelines for staging a room to take the edge off of life’s external pressures.
Drawing on inspiration from the Far East, Chinese themed interiors contribute to wellbeing and sense of purpose by ushering in harmony and balance. This is much more than adorning your living room with a few distinct decorations and Chinese lanterns.
Rather, to strike this balance and create a room that evokes feelings of calm, tranquillity and prosperity; designers should approach the task with care, precision and the ability to know when to avoid ill-favoured additions.
What are the elements that mark a distinction between Oriental design and Scandinavian design? And how, if at all, can they be replicated? After all, Asian design is essentially a fusion of different styles, which when combined produce spectacular notions of mindfulness. Standing alone, each element may well evoke something different.
But not just any slapdash backdrop will do. Remember, the design is enclosed within the four walls of the room. Oriental designs are largely inspired by nature’s own backdrop. As such, neutral and earthy colours will best accommodate other essential elements for this style.
Keeping the colour pallet of your backdrop neutral is not to say that white is your only option. In fact, more natural colours like cream, understated blues and hues of green will work well to provide a relaxed, laid-back and zen ambience.
Many furnishings and decorative motives used in oriental design boast organic and sustainable characteristics. This aspect should appeal to eco-conscious homeowners as well as those seeking the recreation of the blissful style.
Not only is the use of natural materials in interior design a good way to make a home more environmentally-friendly, but they also lend to the physical and mental wellbeing of its occupants.
When thinking about Chinese interior design, you’ll probably conjure up images of bamboo plants, wooden blinds, smooth polished rocks and intricately woven tatami mats that rest under potted plants and shrubs. All of which come together to create picture-perfect harmony and natural balance.
There’s much more to the inclusion of plants than mere aesthetics. There’s evidence to suggest that keeping plants indoors contributes to better health and cleans the indoor air. Plants create oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde. It’s one of the most effective ways to easily counteract the negative effects of city living.
They’re also believed to make people more creative, productive and energised. Use them to generate overall higher levels of wellbeing- a cornerstone of Chinese interior design. Allow natures goodness to shine by keeping all other accessories and furnishings as organic as possible.
One of the central themes that run through the interiors of the Far East is balance. This key defining aspect of the style should be adhered to with regards to absolutely everything. Whether its floor space, colour, furniture placing or the inclusion of textures and other elements.
The balance between what we see and what we feel should be carefully measured in terms of interior design strategy. For example, if a room is cluttered with too many things to look at, the focus is taken away from the feel of the organic woven carpet beneath your feet, perhaps.
Consider dividing rooms into smaller segments to make this balancing act much easier. For open-plan homes, it can be difficult to create a seamless flow between different areas, making it hard to incorporate themes of harmony and serenity. By adding glass partitions, natural stone furnishings and plant-based material decorations- all the different textures should come together in a poised fashion.
As far as modern Chinese interior design goes, the history of China has a great deal to say. Cloisonne is an ancient technique uses to make decorative furnishings from metal. In many cases, wires are soldered onto the metal form- like vases or boxes, in decorative patterns which are then filled with enamel or coloured glass- to create a mosaic effect.
Such a delicate design and furnishings appealed to Chinese taste in the 14th Century and today, you can expect to see quite a few Cloisonne pieces in a Chinese interior. 4Look out for such pieces for the perfect addition and final touches to a modern interior, draped in inspiration from the Far East.