Asian Style Basics, Different elements of Asian style have influenced Western décor for centuries. Today we are so used to these Asian influences that we do not even realize where they came from. The ball and claw foot, for instance, was originally inspired by a Chinese motif. Asian inspired furniture draws on Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese traditions among others. The Asian style, which encompasses the Far East, is not confined to any one country or culture and spans centuries. Far from having a single homogenous look, Asian furniture can be highly ornamented, with carved surfaces and bold color, or have very simple lines, free of any ornamentation with soothing neutral tones. When creating your own Asian-inspired interior, you can pick and choose from different elements. Maybe what stands out as the single most defining feature is a sense of balance and a lack of clutter creating balanced, uncluttered, and harmonious interiors. The red and black Chinese inspired chest is from Hooker.
Convey the feel of a French Polynesian bungalow with furniture made from teak, bamboo or banana leaf. Furniture made from rattan, wicker or water hyacinth also imparts a tropical feel. Include layers of organic texture with items made from woven seagrass such as area rugs, baskets, chairs and headboards. Provide an extra layer of privacy when needed with matchstick blinds on windows. Plantation-style shutters work well with wood paneling. Grasscloth wallpaper is another option for adding texture and color to walls. Bring in a touch of Tahitian culture with colorful, hand printed pareus. Pareus are brightly colored sheets of fabric that can be wrapped around one's body and worn as a simple dress or draped across a bed, the back of a sofa or the arm of a chair for a splash of color and pattern. Hang a collection of authentic wood Polynesian tiki masks or display carved tiki sculptures on a table or shelf. Hang a framed Polynesian tapa on the wall. Tapas are paintings on fabric, traditionally used as celebration dance dresses depicting tattooed heiva dancers, Marquesan women, aquatic animals and traditional Marquesan tattoo motifs. In lieu of traveling to French Polynesia to acquire these tribal treasures, look for them online.
Mediterranean furniture style. This style originated in countries north of the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Greece and Italy, and is often referred to today as "Spanish modern." Mediterranean-style furniture ranges from simply functional to extremely formal. Pieces are short, with ornately turned legs and feet; hardware is heavy and often burnished. Walls are predominantly textured. A bullnose edge is a common design detail on countertops and fireplace mantels. Here's how the style breaks down: Colors: Mediterranean colors echo those of the sea and sky and, depending on the region, can also include warm terra cotta, lavender and yellow. Tile: Mosaic tile designs embody the beauty of a Mediterranean interior. Bring the designs into your home on the floor or a kitchen backsplash or on something you can take with you if you move, like a mirror frame or a tabletop. You can also simulate the look of tile with a stenciled mosaic border on floors, walls or furniture.
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