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Asian Design Style Tutorial

Here's a look at Japanese and Chinese interior design styles from the special online feauture Design Styles.

Asian style envelopes a variety of looks, including design elements from Japan, China, Vietnam and Thailand, among others. Japanese and Chinese interiors are detailed below.

Japanese
Traditional Japanese interiors are sized according to a 3' x 6' human form, represented by natural fiber floor coverings called tatami mats. Colors found in natural materials like bamboo and stone are used to create a serene, calm environment. Furnishings, although spare, include shoji screens, futons and low-profile tables that, in a traditional setting, are paired with cushions for dining. Lighting is a key design element achieved through an abundance of natural light filtered through natural fiber window shades. Low-wattage bulbs in rice-paper lamps add to the aesthetic. Silk fabrics featuring intricate embroidered patterns (like kimonos) can be framed and displayed as art.

Colors - Shades of gray, brown and green are offset with small spots of brighter hues found in Japanese florals like orchids, silk embroidered fabrics and pottery.

Accessories - Japanese interiors often include natural elements like water features that are not only beautiful to look at, but contribute to a feeling of calm and connection to the outside world.

Chinese
Chinese interiors are identifiable through highly-stylized or carved furnishings featuring handpainted designs on lacquered finishes, brightly-colored accessories and ornaments or statues of animals or mythical creatures. Red is used abundantly as a symbol of good luck.

Colors - Chinese-styled interiors are bold with bright colors used for accent. Dark wood tones and high-gloss finishes combine for a dramatic, sophisticated palette.

Artwork - Large-scale murals and scrolls depicting scenes, characters and legendary figures from China's history are common; the vibrant colors show the vitality of the culture.

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