Asian decor pairs perfectly with modern design, so whether you want to add a splash of the Orient or theme an entire room, local experts offer these tips to help you pull it off.
Start the Right Way
Lose the clutter. Asian design is calm and soothing. It’s a clean style; less is more; get rid of unwanted distractions. With European design, tables are full and showcase a variety of decor, but Asian design is sparse, which is why it pairs so well with modern themes. Asian furniture usually sits lower to the floor, the same as modern styles. Avoid cliché pieces like red hanging paper lanterns.—Lee Haik, designer and owner of James Décor
Incorporate Big Pieces
You don’t have to do a complete overhaul to your home. A few large pieces like side tables, a chest or dining room buffet mixed in can give your space an Asian feel. Bamboo tables are popular and work with any decor. Bamboo is a natural product, and you can use it anywhere in the house. A vintage carved Chinese trunk can double as a coffee table. A room screen adds a lot to your abode and is a pretty focal point in a room. Instead of replacing all the furniture with Asian pieces, consider a dramatic piece here and there. Buy what you like and don’t be afraid of eclectic pieces. It’s okay to mix styles from different countries like Japan, China and Indonesia.—Robin Gilmore, Ms. Gilmore’s Tea Room and Vintage Suitcase
Add Colorful Throw Pillows
Throw pillows are an easy way to add a touch of the Far East to the living room. The key is to add colorful throw pillows—like regal red and opulent gold—to a neutral-colored sofa. Opt for solid colors and texture over busy patterns. Silk is wonderful but should not be placed in direct sunlight, which will destroy the fabric.—Lee Haik
Look at the Dining Room
The dining room is an excellent place to use an Asian theme. Paint the wall a rich red or gold, and accessorize the table with bamboo or Asian figurines. Try an Asian tea set on the table; Asian-inspired dishes are easy to come by. Consider changing a light fixture to a Far East design. A room screen is an excellent choice because it mixes well with modern and traditional designs.—Lee Haik
Elegant Asian Ceramics: Blue and white ceramics, like these vases from James Décor, are a popular way to add Asian accents to any home. The navy makes it easy to pair with traditional and modern spaces alike.
See What’s Trending
Bamboo is big in furniture and frames right now. I drive around the country on a quest to find bamboo pieces for her customers and her home. Blue and white vases and accents are back in a big way because navy is popular and can be incorporated into modern or traditional homes.—Robin Gilmore
Editor’s Note: James Décor offers custom framing, and bamboo frames are incredibly popular.
Bring the Outdoors In
Plants are another way to usher in a fresh design perspective. Tall grasses, live bamboo and bonsai trees are natural Asian elements. Other natural features, such as smooth stones, work well in a bathroom alongside the plants. If you add any type of water feature to your home—such as a fountain or koi pond—be sure it has a trickling, calming sound.—Lee Haik