Asian design is arguably one of the most popular styles that are currently making the rounds. With interior designers borrowing generously from the many inspirational and often Zen-like elements of this style, it is probably the perfect time to take a look at some remarkable inspirations that will point you in the right direction.
In reality, the Asian style is a fusion of several different elements from across the region. It is often interpreted as a theme that is largely dominated by Japanese and Chinese influences. At times, the odd Indian motif sneaks through.
One motif you’ll almost always find in an Asian-inspired room is nature. Whether it’s scenes of landscapes, florals or animal life; small sculptures or collectibles; or a gathering of plants, driftwood or other natural materials; bringing the natural world inside creates a feeling of peace and harmony throughout the space. The gorgeous traditional bird and floral mural are shown here certainly adds impact to the room.
Here’s an Asian-inspired bedroom that not only looks good, but it also does good. Designed by Elizabeth Bomberger of Vivre Interior, the room is in an emergency shelter owned by Upward Bound House (in Southern California), and provides a temporary haven for homeless families with young children. The unit is decorated entirely with donated funds and materials; the lovely red Asian panels cost a mere $30 at a local swap meet.
Bomberger removed the headboard from a donated bed, then fashioned an exotic alternative by framing the panels with molding before painting the wall and molding a deep turquoise. As a final touch, she added the two silk red lampshades (donated by Zia-Priven lighting), along with the red accent pillow, which works to keep the color scheme vibrant and balanced.
Combine a love of nature, a minimalist sensibility, a subdued color scheme, and a tranquil vibe, and the result is a restful yet lovely bedroom like the contemporary Asian space shown here. Rustic wooden furniture with interesting angles creates a bit of drama, yet is not at all overwhelming or brash. Just a few organic touches through the accessories completes the tranquil feel. Lovely.
Asian style doesn’t have to be minimalist in nature, but it often is, particularly if the primary influence is Japanese design. Free of clutter and unnecessary furniture, simple in color scheme, and symmetrically balanced, the Zen-influenced bedroom eases your mind into quiet contemplation and restful sleep.
By far the most common type of bed you’ll find in an Asian-inspired bedroom is a platform bed. These sleek designs — which use a platform of slats, rather than a foundation or box spring, to support the mattress – are not only common in Asia, but are very popular wherever a clean, simple design is preferred. Mix a platform bed with other Asian decorating staples, such as nature motifs, minimal furniture, and simple color schemes, and the result is a peaceful bedroom that helps quiet your mind after a long day.
This Zen-inspired bedroom, designed by International Custom Designs, uses motifs from nature and a peaceful color scheme to create a relaxing and soothing room for sleep and meditation. Soft, neutral color is a common theme throughout Asian décor, although you’ll sometimes find shots of red, yellow or black used as accents. Notice the touches of nature throughout the space: potted plants, botanical artwork, and botanically themed bedding. The serene wall color here is Boutique Beige from Dunn Edwards.
Japanese Tansu-style cabinets are another common piece of furniture used in Asian bedrooms. There are many different types of Tansu cabinets, but the most popular design is called the step chest (Kaidan-Dansu); it resembles a mini staircase and is perfect for a small bedroom. A wonderful example of a step chest is this modern recreation used for storage in the media center of this contemporary Asian-style bedroom.
Shoji screens, or paper screens, are used in Japan to separate spaces in the home and are easy to incorporate into an Asian-inspired bedroom. The contemporary bedroom shown here (it was designed by Webber + Studio) shows off a modern version of the Shoji screen in the sliding doors to the closet and adjoining rooms. This bedroom also shows off several gorgeous elements, such as the exquisite artwork behind the bed by Roi James that resembles a calm water element, soft neutral wall color (Barbados Sand by Benjamin Moore), and luxurious Brazilian cherry wood floors.
Just as you don’t need to be French to love the casual charm of French country style, or have Greek roots to decorate with a Mediterranean-influenced theme, being of Asian descent isn’t a requirement for choosing Asian-influenced decor for your bedroom.
A blend of Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and other Asian cultures, the Eastern decorating vibe is peaceful, serene, uncluttered, and inspired by nature. It’s no wonder that people all over the world decorate with this versatile, tranquil, and slightly formal style. Whether you choose to incorporate just a hint of Asian style into your space or go all-out, here are some tips and tricks for adding a touch of Zen to your personal sanctuary.