Asian Interior Design
Eastern culture seeks to balance opposites in all aspects of life, and interior design is no exception. Much emphasis is placed on balancing the opposing forces of Yin and Yang through contrasting of darkness with light, solid with soft, and rough against smooth. Rooms commonly focus on a central object such as a hearth, a garden or an altar.
Japanese Interior Design
Japanese interior design generally furnishes a simple background by using neutral and natural colors. These colors serve to minimize feelings of clutter, supporting the Japanese interior design philosophy of simplicity. The color black is used to lend definition and form.
A single stroke of color or a dominant texture creates strong statements in Japanese interior design. Materials commonly used in Japanese design include cedar, rice paper, maple, bamboo, stone and woven wicker. Artwork consists of rice paper lamps, fountains and minimalist paintings depicting waterscapes, Geishas and Kanji.
Japanese design often includes display alcoves called tokonoma. Placing an odd number of objects in these alcoves symbolizes a natural or organic feel. Placing an even number of items in these alcoves symbolizes discipline.
Furnishings in Japanese interior design, such as futons, screens and tansu, tend to be minimal and multi-functional. Futons are used for sitting and sleeping and Shoji screens act as an accent pieces in smaller rooms or as room dividers for larger home spaces. Tansu are practical yet charming Japanese chests constructed in a step shape to represent mountains. These chests offer multiple cubbies for small treasures, clothing, dishes and other items.
Chinese Interior Design
Color symbolism is very important in Chinese design. Black represents the female (yin) and symbolizes rejuvenation. Red represents the male (yang) and symbolizes good luck.
Other colors commonly found in Chinese design include green, which is associated with nourishment, white, associated with immortality, and yellow, associated with the Earth.
Most often associated with China is the brightly colored and heavily ornate style originated in the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1911). Qing style uses rich, vibrant colors based on red and yellow, gold, turquoise, black and light green.
Today has seen a resurgence of the older style of the Ming era (1368-1644). Ming style is characterized by simplicity and restraint. Design is clean, simple and precisely symmetrical. Ming s style uses the colors red, white and black.
Traditional Chinese rooms are partitioned by latticed frames that provide privacy while allowing diffused light to pass through. DÃ©cor often includes simple floral arrangements, paintings, Chinese lanterns, and bamboo and silk scrolls. Common elements found in Chinese design include dark woods, stone or wood floors, and polished metals and lacquers.
Quality over quantity is the philosophy behind Chinese home furnishing. A single beautiful object carefully placed is more desirable than several mediocre objects.
Furniture is often made of dark woods, with chests and cabinets being particularly important. More elaborate items are inlaid with ivory, mother-of-pearl, jade, silver, and gold.