Multifunctional furniture is a big component of Asian style. Futons can be used for sitting and as beds. Screens serve a decorative purpose and to divide areas and provide privacy. Small chests serve as nightstands and receptacles for personal effects, while also providing a surface that can serve as a small table. Futons have almost become ubiquitous today. Some retain their Asian looks, others do not. Properly speaking the word futon refers to the pad that can be rolled up and put away when it is no longer needed. This futon pad from West Elm is very Asian in its sensibility, and a boon for small spaces as well. Room dividers or folding screens are frequently used in Asian interiors. You can choose from intricately detailed and brightly colored screens to simple paper screens when it comes to room dividers. The intricately decorated ones may have accents or entire areas of gold and silver with black, red or other jewel tones. However if your Asian style room calls for a more simple treatment, there are plenty of choices in that as well. This version of a traditional Japanese shoji screen room divider has woven jute panels with the jute providing added textural interest and the tightly woven jute blocks light, adding to its functionality.
A Style All Its Own. The transitional decor is often confused with the eclectic style, but the styles are very different. Transitional will often use contemporary furnishings mixed with antiques, but even these old-world pieces will be sophisticated and have simple, classic lines. Eclectic styling is far less refined and consistent and often incorporates one type of item either as a stand alone or in a group. For instance, a living room eclectically styled would have two different end tables anchoring the sofa with two different lamps. A transitional decor room would probably have matching accessories. In a kitchen, the eclectic style would mean hand-painted cabinets and a retrofit island with different colored appliances; in a transitional style kitchen, it may include a reclaimed wood island with all matching stainless steel appliances. Window treatments would be simpler and more crisp in a transitionally styled room, while an eclectic room could have more ornate window coverings.
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.
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