Art & Home – April 2015
The latest edition of Art & Home is here! This month we’re showcasing tranquil, harmonious environments inspired by Asia that provide refuge from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
Because the external world seems to be in a perpetually chaotic and frenzied whirlwind, internally, serenity is always in style.Creating a calm, meditative state within one’s home with an environment that’s at once soothing, orderly and sophisticated, can be achieved by incorporating earthy colors with inspired furnishings and restrained accessories, so each room is a serene, tranquil haven.
The hallmark of this approach: Asian-inspired décor, which utilizes classic elements from exotic nations such as China, Japan, India and Nepal: a Mongolian area rug; an antique, blue and white Chinese vase from the Ming Dynasty; a delicately hand-painted Japanese screen; an ornately carved console or chest. The Zen is in the details. “Clients want touches, not whole spaces, to look Asian,” said French native interior designer Marie Burgos.
So the key to a successful design is not to recreate period rooms, noted New York City interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield, but rather to employ economy of design with carefully selected, refined furnishings that have clean lines, combined with a selection of ornamental pieces, for an eclectic effect. “Contemporary Asian styling is less ornate than in previous years, less formal and rigid,” added Andrew Hunter of Sotheby’s International Realty in Thailand.
Additionally, the principles of feng shui are sometimes utilized to emphasize an uncluttered, open flow throughout the spaces, and to accentuate harmony and balance. To that end, New York-based Burgos incorporates the five natural elements –wood, fire, earth, metal and water—in her home designs. The elements needn’t be literal, she emphasized. The earth, for instance, can be represented with a collection of terra cotta vases or stone tiles. Fire can come into play via an interpretive lighting fixture, while a pop of red in a painting can serve the same purpose. But it’s best to keep the overall color palette in neutral tones to underscore the desired intent: a peaceful space.