InspirationStyles and trends

Hello Oriental

While the Duchess of Cambridge (and her husband…) are currently touring Singapore, we’re left behind in Old Blighty thinking about all the Oriental ostentatiousness the royal couple will see. We know that they’ve been admiring an orchid named after them, the rather eclectic nomenclature Vanda William Catherine, and we presume that they will be admiring plenty of beautiful Far Eastern interiors too.

Image source: 79 Ideas

The allure of Oriental interiors is that they’re so vibrant and colourful, reflecting tropical climates and fiery food. They’re far from our own conservative style, Japanese minimalism excluded. When summer is waning (and the leaves are going), I prefer to indulge myself in the ostentatious rather than the sparse. The images below are a brilliant way of fusing simple, modern bases with strong Oriental colours. Makes it more interesting, doesn’t it?

Image source: Decorology

To get the Oriental look you can go overboard or inject some elements here and there. I prefer the latter, as I’m not brave enough to go all out. Cushions, paper lanterns and throws in the right material and patterns can be an easy fix. Calligraphy, bamboo, dragons and flowers (especially orchids) are the themes to go for.

In terms of bigger investments you can always aim for furniture from the Far East. As a student, my landlord had put a futon in one of our rooms and there was a bit of a stir about who would end up with this ascetic bed. Fortunately, we had a volunteer and she absolutely loved it in the end. Apparently, futons are supposed to be really good for your back, as it doesn’t sag your joints. The bed below looks a lot more comfortable however…

Image source: Crush Cul de Sac

What is key for Oriental furniture is that they’re almost like works of art (disregarding the futon!). Drawers or cabinets are often painted in strong colours and finished off with a glossy lacquer. They can be decorated (carved, painted on, have ornate handles etc.) and will be the key piece of the room. Classical properties with coving (such as the one below) are ideal to pair with Oriental décors. As Victorian homes tend to have decorative features too, for instance the fireplace, a ceiling rose etc.,  the two styles can be merged quite easily. Just stay away from the floral Laura Ashley. 

Image source: Zpotrze by Piekna

 Of course, if you think this is all too lame and too Westernised, take cue from the room below!

 

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