Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is back this summer, with a new installment, The Green Legend. Inspired by the gorgeous style of these iconic films, we’re looking at how to inject some kick-ass Oriental style into your living room.
Oriental influences have been a major strand in European interiors for centuries, from the trend for ornate Chinoiserie 18th century furniture to the 1990s passion for Muji minimalism. Once again the high street is falling in love with Oriental style so there’s lots to choose from to add some eastern glamour to your home.
There are some basic elements of Oriental style that you can introduce for an instant hit of the look. Black and red are key colours, especially with a slight shine that reflects the lacquer finish found on much Oriental furniture. Look for glossy black side tables, benches and accessories, keeping to simple shapes and low heights. Add some rich red – ideal for curtains, cushions and even the floor. A deep red vinyl floor will add a smooth, slightly reflective surface that will add glamour and a simple base on which to add more decorative items.
A great way to add an Oriental twist to your room is to invest in a single piece of statement furniture. Specialists like Orchid Furniture have a wide range of traditional Chinese cabinets and tables that would fit the bill perfectly, but you can also find pieces inspired by these shapes on the high street. Think lacquered display cabinets, low coffee tables, slim consoles on tapering legs, and of course vintage trunks in polished red or black. Another very evocative element is a screen – look for a dark wood frame with decorative panels – perfect for creating a private corner for lounging in your kimono. Want to add an Oriental touch to an existing piece? Well a distressed paint job in black or red, followed by a coat of wax for a high shine is one option. Cheaper and quicker is to blow £20 on some red tassel ties – attach to desk drawers, sew onto a cushion or use as curtain tie-backs for a touch of Chinese elegance.
Once you have some of the basic elements in place – or if you want just a taste rather than the full look – then it’s time to add accessories. There is so much to choose from so don’t be afraid to mix it up. Beaten metals bowls and vases, wood chests and trinket boxes inlaid with mother of pearl, simple earthenware ceramics or tea-sets, framed fans and cushions in the typical flower and butterfly prints of traditional kimonos, red paper lanterns and parasols… bringing in some of these little elements will add coherence to the room.
Another key element is to add some evocative Oriental art. From simple wood-block prints, to classic images like The Great Wave at Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai, there are lots of prints that you can choose. Hang symmetrically in a grid or select one print in an extra-large format to create a kind of feature wall. Oriental wallpaper has a long and elegant history here too, with silk painted panels being the traditional way to bring pretty images of exotic flowers and other motifs in to the home. A both more practical and affordable option is a wall mural or wallpaper using traditional motifs.
Order free samples today and try out oriental chic style flooring in your home.