Bring on the oriental charm

Bring on the oriental charm

Don’t we all want to live a harmonious space that allows us to relax and rejuvenate? Bindu Gopal Rao vouches for the effectiveness of a zen element in your home decor. It can help banish the day’s stress without burning a hole in your pocket

After a hard day’s work, your home gives you the much-needed solace and comfort. To maximise this effect, try adding an oriental element in your decor.

In fact, incorporating oriental elements in home decor has been popular in Indian homes since the days of the British Raj. And if you are looking for a makeover with some oriental elements in your home, it’s quite simple to do so.

Wondering how? Here are a few things you could do. The oriental or Asian theme in home interiors primarily refers to styles from China and Japan.

“It covers sleek furniture with low silhouettes, the nature-inspired elements that create a zen space and rooms with neutral colour palettes, vibrant and rich accents. The theme works around achieving less clutter and more of nature indoors to welcome a peaceful energy into one’s home and life,” explains Tina Srichand Menda, architect and lead interior designer, Unishire.

“Furthermore, the decor elements mostly aim to create a serene environment that has clean and straight lines, natural elements and simple organic furnishings.”

Inspirations galore

If you are looking to bring in a bit of the orient into your home, there are many options that are available today. For instance, for an exotic oriental ambience, hang a few stylish hanging paper lanterns, silk fabric and paper lampshades. Carefully placed candles can also work their magic.

While exquisitely carved, lacquered furniture such as tables, sideboards, and armoires are often used in a home, it is best to use it as an accent in an oriental theme. “Accent tables or sideboards, vases, and well placed silk tapestries can beautify a room and add the oriental mystique,” avers Anagha Dandekar, founder, Hardware Renaissance.

Oriental interiors instantly evoke an image of serenity and tranquil calm. One of the best ways to bring in this calm is by using the right colours. “Firstly, use neutral colours and add a hint of vivacious hues. Gentle cream, understated light blues and even an elegant grey with a hint of pink of cherry blossoms, reds and purples are all an integral part of the Oriental style,” says Sagar Datta, founder, Casa Interio.

The oriental theme is known for the use of bold colours in the accents. “Red, symbolising joy, good luck and fortune is often used to make a statement in the form of silk fabrics, painted woods, lights, carvings and flowers,” adds Tina.

Less is more

The oriental theme is all about light, open floor plans where positive energy can flow throughout the space. However, to do this, the space should not look cluttered.

“The subsequent harmony created by objects should be enhanced through the use of other natural design elements like wooden blinds, bamboo details, and Asian wall art. Also using Chinoiserie details can help,” says Parull Mahaajan, owner and principal designer at House of Design LLP.

Chinoserie is a French term which denotes a decorative style in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century, characterised by the use of Chinese motifs and techniques.

Bringing in the Orient needn’t just stop here. “Glass partitions, natural stone decorations, wooden floors, bamboo blinds and a few organic textures in a poised fashion are other additional elements one can implement in the home. Water is another wonderful way of ushering in oriental style with ease and simplicity. The sound of flowing water is considered both harmonious and positive according to Feng Shui,” says Sagar.

To bring in a bit of Feng Shui for balanced proportions, you can consider incorporating the Buddha, an iconic example of the traditional oriental decor element.

However, if you do not want to go all out with an oriental theme, you can add a few oriental elements to your existing theme  easily. This can be done through small changes that reflect the ambience of the orient.

“One of the first things to do is to reduce the number of small objects and furniture and add some accent pieces such as carved or painted tables and an oriental carpet or rug. Paper hanging lamps, wall art with framed silk or bamboo, Japanese or Balinese style candle holders are some perfect accessories you can add to your home,” advises Anagha.

Adding Oriental accents is an excellent way to experiment with your home without burning a hole in the pocket. The important thing is to aim for a sense of balance to have a visual harmony.

In terms of furniture, you can consider opting for those that are low in height and have clean, simple lines. “You can pair up your existing contemporary furniture with a few quintessential pieces like futons and chabudai. You can also replace your hinged doors with translucent sliding ones. Embrace natural materials and textures like bamboo, wood, stone, etc,”adds Shagufta Anurag, chief design evangelist, Livspace.

Furthermore, you can also look at several other decor elements. “For instance, you can bring in a touch of nature with indoor gardens and water fountains. Incorporate natural motifs and florals, including cherry blossom motifs on upholstery fabrics, tapestries wall art and rugs. Instead of the traditional cloth-based drapes, you can consider using bamboo screens.  Furthermore, oriental accents like Chinese vases, painted fans, Shoji screens, Chinese lanterns and statuary are some ways you can bring in the Oriental vibe,” elaborates Shagufta.

Modern influence

The recent trends are more towards contemporary oriental styles, particularly Japanese. Streamlined aesthetics that incorporate Japanese bamboo, linear wood cabinets with simpler carvings, and rustic contemporary wood elements highlighted with natural metals are popular.

“Low-watt bulbs in rice paper lamps, framed silk fabrics featuring intricate embroidered patterns and rice paper screens definitely bring the oriental feel. Flooring is another integral factor of the oriental scheme; rugs in the oriental style can make your room look interesting. The perfect flooring for an exotic and colourful style is sisal mats or oriental rugs in neutral colours,” suggests Ujjwal Trikha, founder & CEO, FurnitureDekho. com.

Or if you are looking for some authenticity, you could keep a traditional Japanese tea set on a sideboard. Or, lamp stands with Oriental motifs is another popular way to bring the exotic mysticism.

If you are looking to add a Japanese inspiration for one of your rooms, sea grass mats are a great choice.

“This season, there will be mixing and matching of various colours, prints, patterns, fabrics, designs and textures to extend one’s personal style to their home with their favourite summer colours. Oriental themes and nature-inspired decor can be incorporated in various ways like bedsheets, duvets, pillow covers, curtains, bath and hand towels, carpets and rugs, cushions, etc,” inform the design team at Welspun.

Whether dramatic or understated, calming or classy, oriental themes offer an amazing way to give your home an impeccable and exclusive appeal. So, with these new ideas, get ready to ‘re-orient’ your home!

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