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What is the Asian Style of Decorating?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Jan 23, 2024
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Asian decorating usually refers to either Chinese or Japanese styles. These two Asian styles differ greatly. Japanese decor is traditionally very soothing and minimalist, while Chinese decor can be very dramatic and detailed.

The Chinese type of Asian decorating is known for its bright colors, especially red. Red is considered a lucky color and you can even paint wood red to get the Chinese look in your home. Other possible color choices for a Chinese type of Asian decorating scheme may be Chinese blue or yellow.

Dark woods are often featured in Chinese decor and they make a great contrast to any bright color used. Carvings and animal figures are common Chinese accent pieces and Chinese artwork is a must to get an authentic Asian style of decorating. Murals in which a whole wall is painted in a dramatic scene are a very traditional Chinese decorating look.

An easy way to create the look of the Chinese type of Asian decorating scheme in your home is to pick one bright accent color and keep all your wood tones dark to contrast that color. Next, add at least five or six fairly large pieces of Chinese art to the room. You could add silk pillows or curtains in your accent color and/or other colors if you need more drama in the room.

The Japanese type of Asian decorating is based on natural, earthy colors. Natural light is a big part of Japanese design, so this look may work especially well in a room that gets a lot of sunlight. Tatami mats, rice paper, plants and flowers provide most of the accents in the very sparse look that is traditional Japanese decor. The absence of bright color and clutter creates a calming atmosphere.

Floor pillows and tatami mats can help you start the Japanese type of Asian decorating scheme in your home. Furniture should be minimal and low to the floor. Rice paper screens and lamp shades offer a realistic Japanese touch. A few bonsai plants and a Japanese tea set placed on a table can add a lot of interest while still keeping in with the overall sense of serenity.

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