When looking at pictures of homes in Indonesia, Japan, India and the other countries of Asia, there is a sense of open space that makes them distinctive and recognisable.
From the minimalistic décor found in a Tokyo apartment to the breathtaking colours and hues of a home in Bali or Goa, there is just something about this particular type of design that exudes the exotic.
To create this look you can simply remove some pieces, and accessorise with others, to achieve a subtle change, or go even further and renovate an entire space.
A good way to begin is to get rid of clutter. Too many items sharing the same room simply doesn’t work when going for an Asian theme. Store, sell or donate things that you don’t need and create an open area, and then you can start looking at paint.
For a minimalistic Asian vibe, choose lighter shades between the white and eggshell or cream spectrum. If, on the other hand, you want a more Indian or Indonesian feel, you might choose bright yellows, oranges and fuschias instead. Of course, you can also make a very strong statement with black lacquer, red and gold which incorporates the Chinese element.
In order to make the painting process as simple as possible, go with a product that will cause minimal headaches and work. Valspar paint is available exclusively at A.L. Thompson’s Ltd. and is well-known for its excellent coverage. If your walls are in good condition and you are not going for a major colour change, no advance priming should be necessary. “It is one solution in one can,” says Dan Murphy, A.L. Thompson’s floor manager.
“You can also purchase your drop-cloths, paintbrushes, pans, rollers, masks and sprayers here,” he continues, “All you have to do is decide on a colour and you are ready to go.”
Carpets from Rugs Oriental in Galleria Plaza can make an incredible difference to a room, and not just on the floor. These beautiful handmade pieces are so intricately woven that they can hang on the wall as art.
Chinese silk rugs capture the light and appear glossy even under close scrutiny. Carpets from Turkey, Iran and Pakistan can be hung as decorative pieces, or put on the floor to really bring a room together and add warmth.
“The quality is so high that walking on them is not an issue, and their lustre only improves over time and use,” says the shop’s owner, Diana Quin.
If you really want your floors to embrace your Asian inspiration, you can consider hardwood to replace your tiles, or faux hardwood flooring that is hardy and incredibly realistic yet much easier to install and less expensive. Robert Wood Interiors & Lighting has a selection of options that will convert your tired tiles to sumptuous and rich flooring in no time at all.
Furniture can make all the difference, particularly when it comes to rustic, natural pieces. Absolutely Fabulous in Caymanian Village plaza prides itself on bringing in beautiful items from across the oceans, featuring teak and antique furniture and accessories.
“One of the best ways to achieve an Asian-inspired living room is to choose a main piece of furniture that you absolutely love,” says Sally Allison, owner of Absolutely Fabulous. “This will give you the springboard for colours, designs and shapes throughout your design.
“Absolutely Fabulous has a selection of certified Chinese antiques. If this doesn’t fit your budget, find a piece of artwork, vase or Asian-inspired wallpaper (which we sell), to start with. The wallpaper can be framed to make a stunning piece of artwork that is relatively cheap. Other factors to keep in mind are real wood and stone material to keep the design simple and ethnic. Stone, metal, wood and water are great ways of instantly bringing an Asian look to a living room.”
Accessorise your room with Asian elements, such as adding paper or silk lanterns, and bring plants into the mix whenever possible. Lucky bamboo can be found at many nurseries and will bring some much needed greenery to your space.
If you are lucky enough to be building a home from scratch and want it to embody the sense of Asian living, then you can start with an architect and construction company that can take your home from concept to reality.
Phoenix Group is well versed in what it takes to create such a residence. They can help pinpoint pieces of land that will work with the design, including factors like the position of the setting and rising sun.
Their Icon Architecture branch can draw up plans to the clients’ specifications, and then their Exeter Property Development and Phoenix Construction branches can take over.
“For an Asian model, for example, we can procure specialty items from the Far East and landscape the property to continue the concept flow from the home to the outdoors,” says Neil Rooney, managing partner for Exeter Development, Phoenix Group.