Oriental style interiors have long fascinated the British public, and their introduction to the U.K is part of a rich and complex history informed by cultural, social and political changes. Before the times of cheap air travel and annual backpacking trips, 'exotic' culture was just that: distant and different. There was a tendency to group all yet unknown cultures into the same bracket, and use general terms like 'Eastern' and 'Oriental'. Of course, these terms are continually challenged and dissected in our modern, multi-cultural and more integrated world, but when it comes to design we still use them a lot to define certain styles that we still like to emulate and implement in our own homes. Oriental style interiors are as popular today as they ever were: here are some modern examples for those of you thinking of decorating your own home this way:
This black lacquer cabinet has a traditional, symmetrical design with two wardrobe doors and two small drawers. Symmetry is a common element of Oriental design, particularly Chinese design, and the overall effect is sleek and sophisticated. The polished silver brass panel provides a pleasant contrast to the glossy black finish.
Designer Colin Chetwood draws on natural plant forms to create dramatic, sculptural sources of light, such as this Asian inspired Crocus lamp. The use of Japanese and lacquered paper gives the lamp an authentic look, and the simple wooden stand fits in with the Japanese modernist trend.
This compact relaxation room is actually part of an extension leading off from a typical terraced property in Hackney. Horizontal timber boards made of economical Norwegian Spruce timber, along with the white washed rafters and large, garden-facing windows, create a sense of calm and serenity in this small cubby hole. The green leaf print on the cushions works to eradicate the border between inside and out, joining the garden and interiors together and creating a sense of space. It's a perfect spot for reflection and meditation.
Many of us are lucky enough to have travelled some of the world, seen some beautiful places, and collected a few trinkets and keepsakes along the way. Our bedroom often becomes a reflection of our own experiences, as we display our most personal and precious items that hold many positive, sometimes even life-changing, memories. The majestic décor and rich hues in this bedroom are a suitable backdrop for oriental style ceramics, ornaments and wall hangings. It's not hard to imagine our souvenirs from far and wide looking quite at home in this set up.
This decorative cushion by professional upholsterers Le Cocon is made from the finest quality Thai silk, which is actually quite difficult to find in U.K stores. In Thailand, the elephant is a National symbol and has special spiritual significance due to its association with Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Printed cushions with an authentic hand-made quality make a great addition to beds or couches in Oriental themed rooms—it's all about the little details!
Japanese lacquerware company Nakata Shikki, promoted by Rin crossing, a government-funded online platform for connecting Japanese manufacturers with buyers and designers, have created these charming Oriental themed cherry blossom dishes for seasoning or delicacies.
The purpose and design of these dishes is very much a reflection of popular Japanese cuisine and dining options: delicate and attractive, these designs prove functional can be feminine, and great attention to detail ensures a high quality finish- ideal for oriental style kitchens or dining rooms.
For more Asian style decoration ideas, have a look at this article.
Maybe you're also interested in Japanese gardens?