One of the newest, and most helpful, trends in the home decorating enterprise is the influence of Asian decor. The modern western lifestyle is a very busy one. People are always engaged in something important. Very often, the pace of life is too fast. The Asian decor scheme exudes a simplicity and attention to space that many find appealing. As one starts to think about how to approach an Asian scheme for their home or office, it may be helpful to know a few facts about the Eastern trend in order to better answer some of your preliminary questions.
A great deal of the basic elements in Asian home decorating can be traced back to two primary schools of thought. The first school of thought comes from China. The second tradition finds it origin in Japan. We will consider the Chinese school first.
“Feng Shui” is a Chinese idea which concerns the concept of space and the placement of certain objects in a particular area. Feng Shui associates the home atmosphere with good health and prosperity. However, there are various rooms in a house where Feng Shui is generally more apparent. The kitchen area is one such room. This room is considered “the heart of the home” in Chinese culture. For the Oriental figurine collector, the kitchen is therefore a good place to display a Buddha statue. Doing so may increase the influence of “chi” (the life force within living beings) in your home. A popular selection for this task is the Laughing Buddha statue. Frequently, jade is a suitable material for such a statue. In the Feng Shui scheme the Chinese dragon is also a selection which may increase the power of “chi” and ward off evil spirits. A good place for such a dragon could be your living room, or even your bedroom. Money frogs also make good display objects because they too symbolize wealth and fortune. In any case, Feng Shui is about having the right objects in your home for the right purpose.
The Japanese perspective is somewhat different. The Japanese tradition tends to focus more on spatial matters rather than objects in decorating. The Japanese use a special room divider to separate form and function in the living space of their house. This divider is called a “shoji screen.” This screen is made with rice paper. It often has vibrant colors and/or symbols. It is usually quite attractive. A few types of shoji screens would include the Bamboo Tree shoji screen, the Cherry Blossom shoji screen, and the Geisha shoji screen. In addition, “light” is a big part of the Japanese style of home decor. Lanterns are often displayed and used in this style of decorating. The lantern is like a box, which symbolizes strength and substance. They are often constructed with thin rice paper or from silk. These materials allow light to shine through them more easily, making it convenient to display images.
The concluding note on this subject concerns the use of cherry blossoms in both Japanese and Chinese interior design. In Japan, the “sakura” (or cherry tree) is held in very high esteem. During the season when the sakura blossoms an annual celebration is held called “Hanami.” In most Asian cultures, trees symbolize many things. In Japan it is also this way. Such a tree as this symbolizes beauty, innocence, and the fragile nature of life itself. In China the cherry blossom is also a celebration of the woman and her precious femininity. The cherry blossom indicates power, sexuality, love, beauty, and softness. The Chinese consider this flower to be as delicate and beautiful as a woman herself is.
Hopefully, this information has been of some help to you. The writer also hopes that some of your questions about Asian home decor have been answered. One of the most exciting things about the Eastern style is that it leads us toward greater self discovery. Asian home decor then is a process of discovery on every level!