Add Some Zen To Your Home With Asian-Themed Furniture

There's something about the feeling that is created by Asian furniture that just embodies serenity and calm. Whether it's the traditional, subtly complex style of wabi-sabi design, or high-end modern Asian furniture, it's undeniable that you can really improve the atmosphere of your home with a few simple additions. You don't need to go all out and completely redesign your home (although of course you could, we have several articles below that show you exactly how to do just that), but even the addition of a couple of pieces of furniture can have a huge impact.

Whether you use Korean furniture, Japanese furniture, Chinese furniture, or any of the other distinctive Asian styles, oriental furnishings are simple and easy to integrate into a more typically North American design style. For the longest time, my husband and I loved a combination of modern Scandinavian and Swiss design - extremely clean lines, and modern materials gave us an atmosphere we really enjoyed. But eventually this began to pale, as we began to feel a disconnect from our natural, earth-bound roots, almost like we were trapped in plastic wrap. We looked for a way to add some touches of natural materials and hand-crafted elegance back into our decor, and we decided that Asian themed furniture was the way to go.

After some serious shopping, we settled on a couple of pieces from Greentea Design, a contemporary Asian-inspired furniture company. We did all our shopping on their website, where it was easy to find the pieces we wanted. We could compare different stains and hardware styles easily, and when we'd made our choice, all we had to do was pick up the phone and call to order. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and even though we wanted to customize our piece, it shipped out quickly.

Asian Furniture Trends for 2011

 	Asian Furniture Trends for 2011The way we decorate our abodes reveals a lot about our personality quirks and eccentricities. Even if some of us do the interiors ourselves and some others hire interior decorators to do the dirty work, it’s still a must that we, as homeowners, know the latest trends in furniture and designs, if we are to keep up with the times.  For this particular post, let’s have a run-down of what the Asian furniture trend is all about this coming new year, 2011.

Asian Interior Designing Style

Asian furniture has always exuded a quiet, peaceful appeal. Whether you choose Chinese furniture or any other Oriental furniture, the 2011 trend is leaning towards the natural and tropical look.  As such, hardwood furniture, bamboo furnishings and natural home accessories will dominate this year. Asian rugs, decorating panels featuring scenes about Asian history and nature will be of utmost importance.  Low platform beds will flourish; bamboo roll ups as house windows will be used as an alternative to curtains; white, black, gold, ruby and emerald colors inside the home will more than thrive.

Asian Furniture Trends for 2011

Tropical Furniture Design

The tropical look of the upcoming season reminds us of the easy life — the sea, sand, sky all within our reach. Hence, blue and green colors will also sit well with the rest of the tropical theme while beige, light and dark brown will be best used in furniture. This is where wicker furniture come in. As for fabrics to be used in chairs like sofas as well as in beds, cotton and silk will be the trend. Palm plants, seashells and tropical flowers are the accessories that will best complete the look of an Asian tropical home.

Asian Furniture Trends for 2011

Traditional Furniture Design

For the more traditional design style, Asian furniture that offers comfort and relaxation will abound.  Oriental furniture featuring clean lines and simple designs will penetrate the market and give even the modern homes a more rustic and relaxing appeal. Because many people these days live in such harried lives, they clamor for space that will allow them to stay still for a while, rejuvenate those tired aching muscles and clear their minds. Traditional Asian furniture will do just that the perfect traditional Chinese furniture pieces will once again take a major piece of the furniture design pie. Thus, red, white and maroon colors will best be use to exude a more laid back and relaxing ambiance.

Asian Furniture Trends for 2011

The Asian furniture trend for 2011 generally speaks of a more relaxed atmosphere inside the home. And because of the ultra modern and busy life people live outside of their houses, this upcoming trend will surely offer the much needed soothing relief and comfort inside the home that only Asian furniture can afford.

Asian Antique Furniture

Asia is a continent with a rich and fascinating culture. Their long and significant history had greatly contributed to their art and lifestyles. To reflect their history, traditions and cultures. Asians have created different kinds of furniture which uniquely identifies them and represent who they are and where they came from. Asian antique furnitures consist mostly of bamboo, pine, silk, ceramics, porcelain glass and even shells. Adding a piece of antique Asian furniture brings in a feeling of relaxation and comfort to a home because it adds a touch of nature which connects a person to his or her earth-bound roots.

The intricate but pleasing designs of Asian antique furnitures produce an impression of quietness and peace. The furniture’s simple but eccentric design makes the furniture interesting and beautiful. It creates an exquisite and exotic ambiance to a room but at the same time builds a calm environment. It is a sight to behold when you have an Asian themed home because you would feel like entering a spa every time you walk inside your home because Asian furnitures give out a rejuvenating and relaxing appeal.

Asian antique furnitures are classy, elegant and will never go out of style. The designs have been passed on from generation to generation and are still being used until now. Asian furnitures are not only famous in Asia but also around the world. The Asian furniture designs have carved its way into the hearts of homes because of its simplicity and timelessness. It has captured the hearts of people in different parts of the world that is why the Asian furniture designs can also be seen in hallways, corridors, rooms, gardens and even bathrooms of people who are not even Asians. Adding little pieces of Asian furniture to your home gives an accent of Asia’s beautiful past and culture.

Asian-Inspired Bathroom Remodeling Concepts

asian inspired bathroomIn creating a theme or mood that you can build around a room, you need to define what style you want to incorporate it with. It’s the same as revamping your bathroom. One important question that you can ask yourself is, How can you make the bathroom space a retreat? Well, you can start by adding a touch of Zen and the sway of the Asian charm. As you may know, eye appeal is a crucial element in the bathroom scene. Besides style and design, bath remodeling ought to consider efficient functionality as well. In an Asian-themed bathroom, you can see and experience all of that and more. Today, modern Asian designs have embraced the concept of bathroom as an art form and most interior designers have let their creativity and heart well into fully accepting this oriental trend.

Generally, textures are important to consider with this design as they immediately add dimension to the space. You can choose earthly colors for your walls and for your different types of flooring options such as marble, glass or terrazzo. These can give the bathroom an edgier, calming and chic look that is typical in many bathrooms in Asia. You can also choose to coordinate or match the textures and design of nature collectively with your other Asian-themed bath furniture and accessories. Think about the textures and shades of wood, sand and stone as well as the black and white theme with a hint of gold and red for that striking impact. For instance, you can place black and white Japanese ornaments, mirrors, lighting and bathroom vanities in a way that works best for you. What’s more, you can incorporate these theme with other contemporary designs such as an Italian theme or Spanish design to make up your own urban version. Simple bamboo and coconut items can likewise accentuate different bathroom styles. By and large, it can’t be denied that the peaceful and subdued grace and appeal of Asian designs have totally inspire the idea of a bathroom as a sanctuary at this point.

Asian Furniture in Modern Homes

You have unlimited choices when it comes to finally getting that fabulous chance to be able to decorate your own home. The variety of furniture and interior decorations available today are as wide and deep as the ocean. You can choose to hire skilled and talented people to do this for you or you can be inspired by the trends you see happening in the furniture industry and apply your personal know-how and taste to your own home. You can go for the modern eclectic design, or go the rustic but contemporary route. Choose a theme that best suits your personality, lifestyle and voila — you can finally have that dream house of yours.

Asian Furniture in Modern Homes

Many people love to focus on a certain culture where they would get ideas for their homes. There’s French, Spanish, Indian, Indonesian… the list simply goes on and on. Today, many homeowners and even home interior decorators, go for the original and classic beauty of oriental furniture. Oriental or Asian furniture includes designs and styles from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korean, and the Philippines. The different cultures these countries have helped add to the exotic and exquisite ambiance of modern homes. Asian furniture has simple yet eccentric designs that are very interesting to look at.  Moreover, they serve to be very functional, if not multi-functional for smaller modern homes.

Asian Furniture in Modern HomesMoreover, Asian furniture typically uses natural materials that are eco-friendly such as the bamboo, or pine which is renewable. Dark kinds of wood are often used because they blend well with any other home furnishings you may have, plus, they help bring the entire home design a sense of mystery, exquisiteness and elegance not common in other contemporary furniture.  They are usually done with lacquer finish and if you want a cleaner and sparkling look, you can have them done in white lacquer finish too.

Asian Furniture in Modern Homes

When trying to find the perfect oriental pieces of furniture for your home, do a good research. You can start by reading all the other articles here to gain a bit more knowledge about the history of Asian furniture and what kinds could blend well in neutral and more contemporary surroundings. You may also visit your local furniture shops and see what they have in store for you. If going out of your way is too taxing, you can also check out the many furniture stores found online. Doing so will help broaden your horizon and give you enough inspiration to finally get that look you’ve always wanted for your home.

Accessorizing Your Asian Themed Home

Accessorizing Your Asian Themed Home

You have now furnished your home with that perfect Japanese Tansu and Chinese dining table. You’ve bought other Asian-inspired furniture like free standing kitchen cabinets, teak living room set, etc . which you all strategically positioned in your home. The walls have already been painted and everything seems to be in place. What’s left to do? Now that everything seems organized, it’s high time to accessorize your Asian themed home!

Accessorizing Your Asian Themed Home

There are a variety of  shapes, colors, materials, sizes and costs for antiques. Choose a few pieces that you can highlight the room with. Perhaps, an antique vase in your living room? How about an antique bedside table in your bedroom? A figurine on the coffee table in your living room! You also have to decide the central color theme that you would like use. If you have Chinese antiques, any of their colors would blend well with the other furnishings in your home. Or you may opt to stick to a smaller palette. If your budget is not that huge, instead of getting real antiques, you can opt to have some pieces reproduced. The material is still durable but it won’t be as costly.

Accessorizing Your Asian Themed Home

Furthermore, it is important for Asian themed homes to include natural aspects in the design process to help exude that Asian vibe inside the home. If you follow feng shui, have some items that represent its five elements (earth, water, wood, fire, metal) and surround yourself with positive energy, vitality and wealth. Make sure the light is flowing reely nside your home as this signifies the flowing in of blessings as well. Use mirrors in areas where light is limited and have some incense burning for added effect. You may also have some light fixtures with Asian-inspired designs, have some oriental rugs on the floor, a huge paper fan hung on a wall, a shoji screen divider to give depth to the room,   and dried floral arrangements in vases placed on top of your antique cabinets.

Having an Asian themed home is a sight to behold. You always feel as if you’re going to a spa when going home as the Asian furniture, accessories and decors give that relaxing and rejuvenating appeal. Therefore, it is not just enough to have the furniture but you must learn how to accessorize them as well.

A Quick Guide to Indonesian Teak Furniture

The Indonesian Teak Furniture is considered ideal for any outdoor setting because of its durable and strong quality. Even the oil coming from teak wood is often used by furniture manufacturers to treat other wooden furniture made of  American Cherry and Japanese Oak, tow kind of wood that are not resilient in outdoor settings. However, teak can also become vulnerable to weather elements once oil dries up. This is why teak wood is considered a luxury item among the many kinds of Asian wood furniture.

A Quick Guide to Indonesian Teak FurnitureIndonesia teak wood has fine grain surface and so it will not splinter easily. Its color varies from dark to light brown, with a very smooth surface that is resilient to  shrinking, swelling, and rotting. Because teak has naturally high amounts oils and silica, the teak wood can actually be preserved for several years. After a decade or so, teak can attain a silver-gray look caused by the natural weathering process that the wood sustains. It’s easy to bring it back to its original sheen though. Just apply some teak oil and your teak furniture will once again look as good as new.

A Quick Guide to Indonesian Teak FurnitureThe furniture industry in Indonesia soared after the 1998 crisis. Rupiah was still weak but there was no competition in the furniture industry. And because a huge proportion of teak wood supply comes from Indonesia, the industry made sure that they continuously keep a huge teak supply. Many people took advantage of the affordable rates of Indonesian teak furniture, which resulted to two sectors: The organized teak sector and the unorganized.


The organized Indonesian teak industry sector includes all major market players who use advanced technology and machinery to produce the furniture, hence, international manufacturing standards are applied.


The unorganized Indonesian teak industry sector includes small time carpenters, warehouse operators and exporters. No need to apply international manufacturing standards here.

A Quick Guide to Indonesian Teak FurnitureKnowing these sectors, it is then important for you, as a buyer, to know where your teak furniture came from. Keep in mind the quality of the wood used, who created it, were international standards applied, etc. The Indonesia teak furniture of your choice should showcase the art , culture and heritage of the Indonesian people. It should be attractive and durable, two things you get for buying such high end furniture.

Global Rising Demand for Rattan Furniture

Global Rising Demand for Rattan Furniture Up until recently, wicker furniture and other pieces made from rattan have only been used in Asian and tropical countries like the Philippines. But in the last few decades, the interest in rattan furniture has grown and now even colder countries in the West have adopted this stylish furniture in their homes.

Unlike most furniture made of wood, rattan can be used both indoors and outdoors. It is of superior quality and does not degrade so easily, plus it creates a tropical feel no matter where it is stationed, which is why many of the world’s top hotels and resorts use this kind of Asian furniture. Rattan is flexible and versatile so artisans who make these kinds of furniture have the option of combining it with other kinds of materials like hardwood, wrought iron, glass, leather, other metals, etc. to create a more artistic, classy and elegant pieces of furniture.

Global Rising Demand for Rattan Furniture What contributed to the global rise in popularity of this Oriental furniture are trade conventions and exhibitions which naturally exposed these products to a larger scope of audience all over the world. Because rattan can be easily mixed and matched with existing ornaments, furnishing and upholstery, its charm to the global market steadily increased as expected. Moreover, wicker furniture can withstand all kinds of weather. They are easily maintained and homeowners won’t have a hard time taking care of them, unlike some Chinese furniture for instance, with its intricate carvings and designs.

Global Rising Demand for Rattan Furniture Aside from these exhibitions, companies who manufacture such Asian furniture pieces also publicize their “going green” or eco-friendliness. They grow their own rattan plantation  so as not to endanger those already existing in the wild and in forests. They also go the extra mile by making sure that no child exploitation is practiced in terms of labor and manpower, thus, creating a market for consumers who are environmentally conscious.

The rattan furniture industry is considered to be a very active one. Its business transactions literally span across the globe. Because the raw materials used, like rattan and cane, are typically grown mostly in South East Asia, it is natural that most of the furniture manufacturing companies are located in exotic places like Java and Bali in Indonesia, and Cebu in the Philippines. Moreover, the making of this kind of Asian furniture is both an art and a craft. The artisans pass their skills from their generation to the next, and so on and so forth. Because rattan is treated during production, the wood itself can withstand the long manufacturing process. The labor is very intensive as the weaving itself is done by hand, which is why wicker and rattan furniture come out with the best possible quality.

Many rattan furniture companies in Canada and the US either import the finished products directly from these Southeast Asian countries. Sometimes, they also set up their own factories in their motherland. And so today, consumers get to enjoy the wide variety of rattan furniture and will continue to do so for a long period of time.

A Brief Tour on Asian Décor

A Brief Tour on Asian Décor The influence of the far East has greatly influenced home decorations and interior designs especially with the trends that we have these days. Our Western hectic lifestyle has proven to be very stressful and we just want something relaxing, serene and peaceful when we get home. This is where the simple and Zen designs of the Far East come in. It is therefore important to take note that many of the elements of these Asian home décor stem from two major schools of thought – that of the Japanese and that of the Chinese.

The Chinese Factor

Feng Shui originated in China. It is a Chinese principle of object placement and concept of space. When proper Feng Shui is applied inside the home, health and prosperity comes into the household. It is very essential therefore to practice Feng Shui in all parts of the home, most especially in the living room, kitchen, dining room and bedrooms to make sure that the flow of energy is at its best and most positive.

A Brief Tour on Asian Décor

The Buddha is a huge factor in Chinese decorations. Placing a Buddha statue in a very specific and strategic location inside a room can bring about the vibrant power of chi in your home. They are usually made of various stones but jade and bronze are the most popular of all.

Chinese dragons are also another important element in Chinese home décor. They help keep evil spirits away in your home.

The Japanese Factor

While Chinese home décor seem very colorful and vibrant, the Japanese style of decorating a home is quite the opposite. Japanese furniture features clean lines and designs. They are very simple and serene. Japanese furniture focus on spatial matters rather than the attraction of energies, thus, they have shoji screens to divide the living spaces. These room dividers separate the space for function and space for living and resting. Because Japanese spaces are usually clean, organized and oftentimes, quite vacant, the shoji screens transforms these spaces into more attractive areas with the help of the colorful designs of the screens. These designs are usually symbolic of nature — bamboo trees, cherry blossoms,   and rice fields.

A Brief Tour on Asian Décor

Light is also an important element in the Japanese home décor. This is why Japanese lanterns are known for their boxy shape that reflects substance and strength which are very much pronounced in Japanese history.  Even the screens made of rice paper allow enough amount of light to enter the living spaces, as well as their silk lanterns and paintings.

These two major influences in Asian home décor paved the way for most of the asin furniture we enjoy in our homes these days. Treasure and keep them for they will surely bring good luck and peace in your home.

Japanese Interior – Bringing Balance and Simplicity to Your Home

Japanese Interior - Bringing Balance and Simplicity to Your HomeWhat attracts positive and brilliant thoughts in a home is the simplicity of design. With simple styles, it’s like you are motivated to contemplate deep thoughts and philosophies, enabling you to dream big things and other wonderful lofty ideas. With simple Japanese interiors, you are allowed to go about your life with consistent productivity and constant vigor. Because the elements showcase controlled use of colors and styles, you are compelled to walk the path of human growth.

Japanese interior design consists of plain indoor structures,  is composed of unadorned furnishings , simple indoor structures, and only about one to two focal points. These elements go together in a harmonious way with each piece enhancing the look of the space making the entire room for instance appear austere and tranquil — a look that is favored by people who see peace and quiet in their homes.

Japanese Interior - Bringing Balance and Simplicity to Your Home

With Japanese furniture filling the interiors of a house, the texture and subdued colors used are basically clean and simple. Tatami mats for example, of such neat color and design can blend well in any kind of environment and in fusion with any other kind of house ornament and design. Shoji and screen partitions, when used in a home, can create an understated elegance that is incomparable with other kinds of solid partitions such as a brick wall. Japanese interior elements can hold their own when placed next to more elaborate furnishings and intricately designed furniture.

Japanese Interior - Bringing Balance and Simplicity to Your Home

The rustic beauty and elegance of Japanese wooden furniture is a vivid contrast to those found in English country and modern homes. They remain earthy and warm-toned instead of the usual vibrancy of colors.

The elements in a Japanese style interior aim to balance the look of any space. Japanese interiors tend to blend in rather than stand out. They flow and help circulate the energy around a home. This is why they can go well with any other type of furnishing and makes everything cohesive and more complete. By using lacquer chairs and tables for instance, monotony is broken, but it an elegant kind of way. They help polish the look of a home and make it more memorable to people who have seen it.

Thai Interior for Your Home

Thai Interior for Your Home

Art lovers all around the world adore and love Thai interior designs in particular. This is because these designs are clean, clutter-free, and tend to include a lot of mats and pillows to soften the look of wooden furniture and make it more pleasing in their eyes. The unusual textiles and fabrics used in Thai interior designs offer comfort and warmth, features that they consider lacking in today’s world of interior design. This kind of style is well suited for living rooms, bedrooms, the nursery and recreational space inside the home.

Thai Interior for Your Home

Thai furniture can be massive especially if you take a look at their lacquered beds make of seasoned teak, looking like something that you would see from the pages of the book, A Thousand and One Nights. A bed like this is typically seen in palace interiors and other aristocratic and royal surroundings. Thai furniture give off a harmonious vibe that makes any room look more dignified. If you add some ornaments and accessories like Buddha statues, incense, bells, flowers, and charms, you will come up with an amazing Thai interior look for your home.

Thai Interior for Your Home
Furthermore, in a Thai inspired home, lighting incense and candles in addition to just being ornaments can also bring protection to the family — protection from harm and adversity. This is one feature of Thai interior design that keeps the spirits happy and cared for. For instance, in wealthy homes, they have a room for altars where a Buddha statue is stationed. The altar is of special interest to Thai interior design lovers because it gives the house a sense of completeness not found in other modern homes. Industrious craftsmen in Thailand not only do traditional Thai furniture adored by many artists around the world, but they also produce pieces for export, especially to Japan. Since Japanese furniture tend to cost a lot more because of its superb elegance and style, Thai furniture penetrated the market together with the rest of the Western culture.

What to Expect in Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Furniture

What to Expect in Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Furniture

Grace and simplicity is what describes contemporary Chinese furniture. It has clean lines as well as elegant proportions as compared to its traditional counterpart. Contemporary Chinese furniture has risen in popularity in the Western part of the world due to its timeless design and very subtle sophistication that can fit perfectly in both the traditional and modern home styles.

Chinese furniture of contemporary designs are both exquisite and functional. For homes that are lacking in space, contemporary Chinese furniture can serve a dual purpose. A trunk can be turned into a side table for instance. It’s sleek, beautiful and very functional.

With regard to traditional and antique Chinese furniture, their designs tend to have elaborate and intricate wood carvings which are highly ornate in nature. The exquisite craftsmanship come in different colors and usually showcase a wide array of animals, rural scenes, ancient battles, dragon myths, and many more.

What to Expect in Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Furniture

If you plan to decorate your room with Chinese furniture, whether the contemporary or the traditional kind, your room must be free of clutter and clean so the flow of energy can bring peace, harmony and balance to the space. In terms of color, black, bold red and flashes of gold are usually the favorite picks of Chinese furniture designers. Even in contemporary pieces, traditional influences are still very much apparent like stressed edging, shiny lacquered surfaces, brass handles and hinges.

Traditional Chinese furniture shows excellent craftsmanship that had developed over the centuries. Lacquer is very much evident in the traditional kind where wood is treated with a shiny black or dark brown finish, plus painted scenery or hand carved style, gold leaf overlay and mother of pearl inlays. A variety of colors are used, with red as the most prominent one, for it represents happiness, prosperity and good fortune. There’s also gold which signifies good health and long life.

The manufacture of traditional Chinese furniture peaked during the period between the Ming and Qing dynasties. Furniture in the Ming era represented simple structure, amazing craftsmanship and very little decoration, showing the natural beauty of the wood. Qing furniture on the other hand,  had  larger and much more elaborate engravings. This is why handcrafted traditional Chinese furniture can be a fascinating center-piece for your home. Whether you get a cabinet, a trunk, a table, set of chairs, etc., Chinese furniture will make a wonderful addition to any given setting in your home.

What to Expect in Contemporary and Traditional Chinese Furniture

To reiterate, Chinese furniture designs always come off as attractive, simple, and timeless. Both traditional and contemporary kinds offer a bold statement to any room and each piece serve as work of art. You can actually show off your personal style and sense of creativity by the types of furniture you choose for your home.

Bedroom Feng Shui and How to Attract Romance in Your Life

Bedroom Feng Shui and How to Attract Romance in Your LifeDo you want romance in your life? Are you in need of intimacy that only a stable romantic relationship can bring? The answer is in your bedroom.

In the field of feng shui, the things that surround you in your daily environment can determine the level of blessings and misfortune that will come to your life,  whether it’s prosperity or poverty, love or broken relationships, happiness or loneliness. This is why, if you are in need of stability in romance, properly rearranging the look of your bedroom according to the right feng shui can bring success in your love life.

2.     Avoid having mirrors that can reflect your image when you’re on the bed. This can give you nightmares, worsen your health issues, and create more loneliness. If you happen to have a mirror that does this, better cover it up with a curtain every time you go to sleep. The curtains will also help bring the feeling of luxury in your bedroom.

3.    Be mindful of the things hanging above your bed. Make sure the pictures do not depict loneliness, sadness, and other negative things. Otherwise, these are the very things that you will attract in your life. Do you want a real relationship filled with passion and romance? Then hang a picture portraying that. Do you want to travel and be rich? Hang some photos showing those things. Avoid having abstract paintings, chaotic drawings, animals, violence and any other photo or ornament that reflects negative energy.

4.    You don’t want to flush away romance, prosperity and positive energy in your life, right? Therefore, close bathroom doors and keep the toilet lid down if you do have a bathroom inside your bedroom.

5.    Avoid sleeping under low beams as these things put pressure on your aura. If the beam crosses a person’s body or is between two partners, this could attract separation or divorce. Have a canopy instead to block the negative energy or have the beam covered with fabric or paint that matches the ceiling. Better yet, simply stay away from beams.

Bedroom Feng Shui and How to Attract Romance in Your Life

6.    You’ve probably heard of this already – take out TVs, computers, and exercise equipment inside your bedroom. This room should be for romance and rest. Therefore any other furniture or equipment that suggests otherwise should be put somewhere else inside the house.

7.    In terms of the colors and designs of your walls and furniture, make sure they balance both the feminine and masculine side. Otherwise, colors that are too feminine won’t be conducive to have a guy around and vice-versa. On the other hand, always make sure that there is a hint of red, pink or fuchsia to further bring out romance in your love life.

8.    Don’t keep things that has or depicts water inside your bedroom as this attracts emotional turmoil. A vase of flower with water is a no-no as well as paintings of the ocean or seascape.

9.    Get rid of anything that was from your past relationships. Throwing them away will allow new romantic energies to come into your life.

10.    The most important thing of all is the proper positioning of your bed. Make sure that the position of your bed allows you to see anyone who is entering the room. But let it not be directly in front of the door as this allows the romantic energy to just come and go and never stay.

Bedroom Feng Shui and How to Attract Romance in Your Life

By following these few basic rules in your bedroom, you can attract the positive romantic energy that you desire the most. Try them now and see romance come your way.

A Brief History on Japanese Tatami Mats

A Brief History on Japanese Tatami MatsTatami mats are a kind of traditional Japanese flooring which literally means “folded and piled”. They are classically made of rice straw to form the core then covered with woven straw. They are typically made in uniform sizes. On the long side, most of these mats have edging made of cloth although there are others that don’t.

A Brief History on Japanese Tatami Mats

Tatami mats were considered as home furnishings only used by the wealthy. They were primarily used as seating for the highest of aristocrats and Japanese nobility during the Heian period when the shinden-zukuri style of aristocratic homes used wooden flooring. The use of tatami mats then gradually came to be used as a covering for the floor of whole rooms  during the Muromachi period.  They were then called zashiki which literally means “room spread out for sitting”.

There are two kinds of tatami mats then. The woven mats, called goza, was where samurai and the ruling nobility slept, while commoners used the straw mats or loose straw for bedding. For the lower classes, had mat-covered dirt floors. Towards the end of the 17th century, tatami mats became more popular and started reaching the homes of the common folk.

In Japanese culture, tatami mats on the floor must be kept clean as if it were your bed or dining table. This is because these days, these mats are more commonly associated with Japanese  religious rites and martial arts like judo,  and must therefore be honored and respected. Because it takes quite longer to clean these mats, most Japanese prefer to just keep one in their homes as a sign of preserving the old Japanese tradition.

A Brief History on Japanese Tatami Mats

Today, very few Japanese homes even use tatami-floored rooms. The most common is to have just one tatami mat on the floor. For the few ones who still practice the traditional flooring style, their rooms are referred to as nihonma or washitsu which means “Japanese-style rooms”.

Style Up Your Space with Japanese Screens

Shoji is a type of window, room divider or door that is used in Japanese architecture and is made up of translucent rice paper spread over a frame of wood that holds together a sort of grid of bamboo or some other kind of wood. Collectively, they are more popularly known as Japanese screens which have now become a popular feature in small contemporary home design. Below are the top reasons why Japanese screens are a must in many contemporary spaces.

Style Up Your Space with Japanese Screens

-          Japanese screens create a sense of privacy in places where there used to be none, especially in small spaces, like a studio apartment.

-           Smaller apartments and studio spaces most often have one generic look largely because of the limitation that the space imposes. But with Japanese screens, people can get more creative with the space, no matter how small. They help define the area by stylishly dividing the living room area from the sleeping area for instance, or dividing the kitchen from the closet. With Japanese screens, there are endless possibilities. Your imagination is your limit.

-          For bigger spaces, like a huge bedroom, for instance, one can establish a changing area with the use of Japanese screens. Whether you are living with your spouse or roommate, anytime you want to change your clothes in private, you can do so within the confines of the area created by the Japanese screens. This way, you not only get the little privacy you want, you get it in style too.

-          For people who are thinking of redecorating their home Asian style, having a Japanese screen set up will bring authenticity into your Asian inspired design.

-          Japanese screens come in various sizes, different patterns and prints, and made of different materials. A 2 panel screen would be perfect for smaller rooms while 4-6 panel screens would go well for bigger master suites and entertainment areas.

-          Japanese screens are very light which therefore gives them portability and can be easily transported from one room to another.

Whatever your reason is for wanting Japanese screens, they are stylish and authentic enough to create Asian inspired decoration in your home. They exude a special quaintness and elegance that is perfect for almost any room. Create an oriental décor in your home even with just a few well placed Japanese screens. Add some other oriental accents and you will surely give your home a more relaxing Oriental vibe.

The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian Furnishings

Asian furnishings do not only include formal pieces like Japanese Imari, or Chinese porcelain, or Oriental rugs. They also include less formal pieces that can go a long, long way in setting the Asian tone of your room. Go over these best tips on how you can decorate your place with Asian furnishings and see the ambiance of your place change from cluttered and stressful to organized and relaxing.

Japanese Obi (Kimono Belt)

The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian FurnishingsDisplay one on your wall or  stand or put it on your table as a table runner or on your chest as a chest runner.

Japanese Tansu

The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian FurnishingsJapanese tansu is perfect for the kitchen. They are traditional chests with several compartments and sliding grated doors. Aside from the kitchen, they can also be placed inside your home office or the family’s entertainment center. Depending on the size of your Japanese tansu, you can actually fit a TV inside one of its cabinets. The smaller sizes would be great for your bedside table. Because Japanese tansu’s design is linear, it can really go well with any modern décor.

Sake Jugs

The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian FurnishingsSake jugs are not just used for drinking sake. You can also use these things for decoration. Use those with Japanese writing.

Japanese Hibachis

The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian Furnishings

They are originally used as heaters and come in various shapes and sizes. You can use Japanese hibachis today as planters for holding orchids for instance. If you want to be more creative, you can top it with glass and use it as a coffee table. You may then display other ornaments on top like Indian incense burner plus an old abacus for stylish effect.


The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian FurnishingsKimonos are not just worn. They can also be used for decoration as well. Since they are very long, they look formal enough to be displayed in either the living or dining or bedroom by hanging one on the wall. You may add a Japanese fan in there for accent.

19th Century Chinese Apothecary Chest

The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian FurnishingsYou can store your CDs in here as well as your clothes and accessories.

19th Century Chinese Jar

The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian FurnishingsTurn this ancient jar into a lamp. Let a local lamp shop on your area do it.

Japanese Granite Lantern

The Best Tips For Decorating Your Place With Asian FurnishingsHang these lanterns either indoor or at the patio to add color and vibrancy in your space..

These are the best tips you can apply to your home to achieve that Asian inspired look for your home. Once you do, notice how more calm and comfortable you will feel inside your home. Try it now.

Furniture Design Trends in 2010 and Beyond

Although the world is still suffering from recession, particularly the US, it is very much apparent that the interior design and furniture industry will continue growing. We are still in 2010 but  there are already up and coming trends  for the following year.

For the current year, the trends in furniture are those that are eccentric, flamboyant, and optimistic in terms of the furniture material, design, color and look.  Below are the top trends that will continue to influence the world of furniture design and interior home decoration.


Color must exude glitz, elegance and glamor. Strong colors will continue to make its presence felt and will make a bold enough statement.

Furniture Design Trends in 2010 and BeyondPurple made a grand come back early this year after a long absence and will continue to stay until early next year.

Furniture Design Trends in 2010 and Beyond

Other colors that made way this year are the metallic ones like silver and gold. Red, yellow and blue have also made their presence known. And because almost everyone is into the green movement these days with all the eco-friendly campaigns going on all around the globe, the color green has been seen in almost everything these days.

Minimalist Design

Minimalist designs are in! Thus, Asian inspired furniture made a big comeback and will continue to proliferate the world of furniture and home interior design until the next several years.

Furniture Design Trends in 2010 and BeyondMinimalist design never really goes out of style. With Asian inspired furniture, rooms get their minimalist look with a twist and a breath of fresh air. This involves floor seating arrangements, low linings and clean lines which are always featured in Asian furniture pieces.

Furniture Design Trends in 2010 and BeyondComfort is giving way to style but practicality will always be included in the equation. Thus, modular furniture became popular. They help maximize the space you have in your home. Furthermore, Japanese animate prints are also a must this season.

Royal Flamboyance

Furniture Design Trends in 2010 and BeyondFor those who are not into minimalist designs, don’t fret. This year’s trends have something in store for you. If you want flashy furniture and interior decorations, just incorporate silver or gold in your furniture.

Furniture Design Trends in 2010 and BeyondUse glamorous curtains. Employ tall floor lamps and use those made of iron or chrome.

Pop Inspiration

Europe always has a say about what is trendy or not in the furniture and interior design industry, especially Italy. Italian designers have put their feet down and dictated that state of the art materials and fabrics should be used in designing pop inspired furniture. Strong colors and round shapes define its cartoonish and pop inspired look.

Furniture Design Trends in 2010 and BeyondFurniture pieces become interchangeable which allows flexibility in style. Usually, this pop inspired look is a must if one is shopping for office furniture to make the place of work more fun and enjoyable.

Any of these four top trends will be great anywhere. Just make sure that you stick to one. Don’t mix and match these top trends for maximum effect and impact.

Dining Room Feng Shui

Applying Feng Shui in the placement of furniture in your home is an essential element when trying to influence the flow of qi or energy inside your home. The important thing to remember is to not obstruct the flow of qi (pronounced as “chi’). Therefore, you shouldn’t cram so many furniture and ornaments in a particular space, especially if it’s a small one. There should be enough room for energy to flow above and underneath the furniture as well. This is most applicable to the focal points inside your house like your living room.

For dining rooms, there is a slight difference in the application of Feng Shui. In the past, dining tables are considered as altars in Feng Shui. But nowadays, with working moms and people handling multiple jobs, the dining rooms aren’t used solely for the pleasure of dining and nourishing oneself anymore. These days, dining tables double as a worktable or home office or a place where one does personal projects. Therefore it is important to follow these simple Feng Shui techniques to ensure that the flow of energy in the dining room is optimized for better health and well-being of the people using the dining room.

-      If possible, the dining table must be free of mail, paper, clothing, and other junk that can pile up on the table.

Dining Room Feng Shui

-      Use your dining table everyday for dining purposes. When this is done, abundance will follow particularly in the financial aspect of your life. When your dining table is allowed to gather dust, then so will your finances.

Dining Room Feng Shui

-      Dining room tables must be either oval or round in shape.

-      The size of the dining table should be proportional to the size of the room. Having a big one that cramps the space will attract pressure in family relationships and bring about indigestion. Avoid dark furniture color if the space is too small. This will bring about dark ambiance in the dining room and will block the flow of positive energy.

-      All the legs of your dining table must be balanced and not wobbly. The chairs must be in even numbers and both table and chairs must be made of durable wood to allow abundance and prosperity to flow.

-      Declutter your dining room and take away especially those “junk” from a long time ago. Otherwise, you will feel stuck in the past and will hinder you from moving on towards your goal.

-      It is okay not to leave any extra space in your dining room. The table must be at the center of the room and the chairs must allow enough room for each person to get up from the dining table.

-      The flow of energy in your dining room must be gentle. It would be perfect if you have two entryways to your dining room but must not be directly opposite each other. Otherwise, the energy will just zoom in and zoom right out. If this is the case however, have a crystal ball or chandelier over the center of the dining table to help balance the qi and not let it flow through the room too quickly. This will also help the people dining in that room practice more healthy eating habits.

-      Having a mirror in your dining room is always good. Make sure it reflects something beautiful like a piece of painting and other artwork or a nice view outside the window. Having a mirror that reflects the food on the table will visually double your food which symbolizes the double flowing of money in your life. But if it’s junk or papers that are reflected in the mirror, this means that you are doubling work and junk in your life.

Dining Room Feng Shui

-      If you want to have good conversations with the rest of your family while dining in your dining room, and you want to focus on what is happening at present, make sure that you have put away any object that symbolizes the past, like picture albums, boxes of old papers, etc. Put them instead in your family room and not here in your dining room.

Following these Feng Shui tips for your dining room is a great way to improve the flow of energy and blessings in your life. As the dining table is a symbolic piece for abundance and prosperity, having the right Feng Shui in this room will bring about health and wealth in your household and in your life.

The Feng Shui of a Living Room

The Feng Shui of a Living Room

Feng Shui is an ancient philosophy that involves the proper control of energy flow into any living spaces so that the energy can be harnessed to bring about better health, more wealth, love and lots of happiness into the lives of the people living there.

Because the living room is the focal point of most houses, it is essential to discuss the proper way of applying Feng Shui in this part of the home. The following are some of the most important tips you should follow when arranging your furniture inside the living room:

-          Do not put any sofa or any seating arrangement directly in front of the door. Doing so will make the energy flow directly hit you which won’t be comfortable. And when you’re not comfortable, negative energy ensues which can cause a ripple effect of other negative energy inside the household.

-          Place your sofa in an area where you can have the most expansive view of the room and the entry. By doing this, you open up more space which will make more energy flow inside your living room and into you.

The Feng Shui of a Living Room

-          When planning for the shape of your living room, always make it rectangular. This is the best shape for this kind of space in Feng Shui because rectangle is the natural energy flow enhancement construct. If this is not possible, there are ways you can apply to make it possible. You can place plants and mirrors to balance the energy flow and make the room look so much bigger and rectangular in shape. You can also use a divider or an indoor fountain in a particular area of the room that shows weakness.

-          When arranging the furniture in your living room, do so in circular arrangement. Don’t let any chair have its back to a door. If it can’t be avoided, make sure you hang a mirror at the opposite wall so when you sit on the chair, you will still be able to see who’s coming in. Having a mirror there will also redirect the flow of energy in the room.

The Feng Shui of a Living Room

-          In any weak areas inside your home, use wind chimes, plants, lights, crystals, and any kind of greenery to balance the energy that’s coming and going, and to make the energy flow constantly as much as possible into the room.

-          If you have exposed beams in your living room, hang some chimes at various places of the beam to direct the energy flow downward.

-          Use color in your living room especially if it looks empty and unbalanced. Add something pink or reddish to improve the energy flow in that corner of the room that looks weak and stark.

Applying these essential Feng Shui tips in your living room looks easy enough. There is no harm in trying and the benefits you will get will be tremendous. You will attain peace of mind and slowly, you will begin to see how proper placement of furniture in your living room will bring about more positivity in your life — more blessings, better health and peace of mind.

The Basics of Feng Shui

The Basics of Feng ShuiFeng Shui literally means wind and water. People believed it to have begun more than 10,000 years ago in the land of Tibet and have now been practiced in China for over three millennia.  It is considered as one of China’s ancient systems that uses the laws of both Heaven and Earth. Applying this ancient law in one’s daily life helps one receive and improve the positive flow of energy.

The Basics of Feng Shui

Historically speaking, Feng Shui was first widely used to properly orient structures with spiritual significance, like dwellings, tombs and other spiritual places, in an auspicious manner. The proper organization of the structure in reference to space and placement adjacent to local natural features like bodies of water, the sky, moon, stars, etc., can be determined by using a certain types of Feng Shui.

Though the practice of Feng Shui was banned in China during the 1960’s Cultural Revolution, it has since grown in popularity especially in the United States. Feng Shui has become a huge part of the Western lifestyle and is now being applied in the construction of several office buildings, city parks, art museums as well as the exterior and interior of various homes.

The Basics of Feng Shui

You may call this concept or practice “new age”, or “pop culture”, or simply insane. But the truth of the matter is, more and more people have been practicing it and experiencing for themselves its wonderful effects in every aspect of their lives. It’s not surprising then that Feng Shui is now being consulted even in the placement of furniture in people’s offices and homes. It is now seen as a philosophy of organizing your living environment, like your home, in ways that can bring about peace, health, wealth and success. Who wouldn’t want that?

The Basics of Feng Shui

The living room is more often than not considered as the focal point in any home. As such, this is where most of the energy come and flow and must therefore be harnessed properly with the right kind of Feng Shui.

The Basics of Feng Shui

Here’s a very basic example. In Feng Shui, it is important to remove clutter. Clutter in your living room, or any of your room for that matter, is a reflection of how cluttered your mind probably is. This will break the flow of qi (pronounced as “chi” which means energy) and is very much counterproductive to your sense of peace and relaxation.

The Basics of Feng Shui

Another thing to make sure of when arranging your living room is to take note of what you see upon entering your room. If you see a wall directly opposite you upon entering a room, this will hinder you from reaching your dreams. Therefore, you must place something there like a vanity or side table with a pot of flowers perhaps to soften the flow of energy into that room. However, if you feel uncomfortable with the furniture you have placed there, then this is not good practice of energy flow either. Make sure that whatever you put in there to soften the flow of energy will make you feel comfortable and more at ease than if there was none.

The basic idea here is for you to be able to control the energy flow such that it won’t be too fast nor too slow because either of the two extremes can make the people living in that house sick and unhappy. The same goes for any of the rooms inside the house. Apply this basic principle of getting rid of clutter and placing certain furniture or ornament at similar places and see happiness and health begin to flow into your household.

A Look at Chinese Calligraphy, Stools and Chairs

A Look at Chinese Calligraphy, Stools and Chairs Calligraphy’s local name in China is Shūfǎ, which means “the way or method of writing”. In this great country, the hieroglyphic writing culture immensely influenced their furniture tradition, such that laws of hieroglyphic writing, furniture décor and design have always exuded deep symbolic meanings. For Westerners who are interested in owning this unique kind of furniture need not know the exact meanings of these symbols and signs, nor follow the feng shui rules. It is enough for them to know that Chinese furniture such as these are both comfortable and elegantly beautiful. Enough reasons for them to pass the furniture from generation to generation.

A Look at Chinese Calligraphy, Stools and Chairs Another popular type of Chinese furniture is the stool, which appeared almost at the same period as the couch. Many even say that the couch has evolved from the stool since the latter was so primitive in its structure — basically just a block of wood or stone tile. Sometimes they come in various configurations  with the help of wood, reeds, bamboo, roots of trees, stones and ceramics. In wealthy homes, the stools feature precious wood with a special lacquer coating. As stools developed, high scaffolding was used for the privileged which were later turned to beds while common people continue to sleep on the floor. Then the enterprising Westerners came and turned these beds into some kind of tea houses. This foreign influence basically came from the Silk Road Caravans.

A Look at Chinese Calligraphy, Stools and Chairs

From Chinese stools, Chinese chairs soon followed.  It was considered as the most perfect sculptural form of furniture with intricate carvings and artful brushstrokes of calligraphy.  During the Ming and Qing dynasties, chair conveyed certain social status as it refers to human achievements. As such, they were used in royal ceremonies to honor dignitaries and officials.  Back then, Chinese chairs with a back-yoke was the most advanced and most  famous. They demonstrate power, strength and dignity. These chairs were always made of solid wood with a lot of carvings and decorative symbols.

A Look at Chinese Calligraphy, Stools and Chairs

Today, many people from all over the world still continue to embrace the beauty of these Chinese furniture. When renovating or building homes, even Westerners set aside a certain budget and home space, to allow these designs to permeate in their homes. Having said this, it is but natural to expect that the adoption of calligraphy, carvings and intricate designs will live through for many decades to come.

Chinese Furniture Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Chinese are considered exceptional craftsmen who had mastered the art of ornamentation and design. Because of this, Chinese furniture feature a lot of décor, extreme carvings and beautiful styles. Minimal hardware is used and most of them are quite heavy. Particularly, their forms developed along three distinct lineages dating back to as early as 1000 BC. These three lineages are: The Yoke and Rack, which are based on post and rail seen in architecture), and Bamboo construction techniques, all of which are based on frame-and-panel construction.

Chinese aesthetic of today originated in China as far as 1000-1500 BC. The kinds of furniture that can be viewed in some of the artwork during that period include woven mats with arm rests, and low tables with seats. As early as this time, both simple and intricately designed pieces have already been developing.

Typical Chinese furniture like chairs and tables are extremely decorative and showcase a variety of styles, but are low like those of the Japanese. This came from the practice of sitting on the floor because sitting on chairs was not a common practice back in ancient times. They were reserved for more formal occasions usually pertaining to royal courts.

When Buddhism reached China in AD 200, the idea of Buddha sitting on a raised platform gave rise to the use of chairs. It depicts honor as one sits on raised furniture which eventually became a common practice among royalties and dignitaries at that time. Longer versions of such chairs were then adopted, giving rise to the use of beds and daybeds.  Taller versions of such structure were then made into tables and eventually, a variety of portable ones were made for nomadic tribes of the North and West who used them for conveniently mounting their horses. Much later on, the hourglass-shaped stools developed which until today is still used throughout China.

Today, when you look at simple Chinese chairs for instance, you will notice that they are finished with great perfection in mind. This is done by employing a lot of carving, hand painting and heavy use of lacquer. The carvings and paintings depict the day-to-day Chinese way of living, including those of the royal court as well as natural scenery. Many Chinese furniture pieces also use traditional and abstract symbols depicting the spirituality of the Chinese race.

Though Chinese furniture are generally full of ornaments, there is still a distinction of make from region to region. Those manufactured in the north are more ornate in nature, while those from the south are more functional.

Eventually, Chinese furniture progressed independently of Western furniture but created a variety of similar forms including tables, chairs, stools, beds, cabinets, and sofas. In the succeeding years, Chinese furniture will continue to flourish and grow. They are an important part of the culture of the Orient and will always be considered for its aesthetics and utility.

A Brief Glance at Korean Furniture

A Brief Glance at Korean FurnitureTo understand the design used in any piece of Korean furniture, one needs to understand the characteristics of traditional Korean living spaces.  Generally, they make use of fault wooden structure made of natural materials. This means that the living spaces progressed based on how the houses are structured. Maru, for instance, is made with planks and ondol, which pastes the paper lacquered with bean oil on the surface, is representative form of the room floor.

A Brief Glance at Korean Furniture

To compare it with Japanese furniture would be like comparing apples to oranges. If Japanese furniture features simplicity and fine lines, Korean furniture features more gracious and ornamental carved patterns and intricate designs. This is because Koreans are fond of the use of symbolism. They are quite a religious race and they give attention to favorable signs like butterflies, turtles, and cranes, many of which are featured in their furniture pieces.

A Brief Glance at Korean Furniture

However, there are also some solid pieces that offer more functionality. For this type of Korean furniture, they use forged iron hardware, particularly for chests and drawers. These are made for the women of the house because they are more feminine in appearance than any other kind of Korean furniture. Aside from chest drawers and blankets chests, this type also includes dressers.

A Brief Glance at Korean Furniture

In the manufacture of Korean furniture, expert craftsmen always maintain a balance between aesthetics and functionality. This balance helps express the Korean ancestor’s culture, soul and life. And because it is based on 5,000-year long history, Korean furniture has always been known to exhibit natural beauty with design, characteristic color and unique ornaments.

The Japanese Tansu

The Japanese TansuWhen you translate the Japanese word tansu, it basically means joined wooden boxes. Tansu straddles the line between folk art and furniture.  It embodies the essence of Japanese antique cabinetry which was made from 1860 to 1910 during the Meiji period. What they had in mind was having a piece of furniture inside their little homes that can save space and minimize clutter. This gave way to the proliferation of tansu furniture, most especially the portable chests that were used in storage lofts or what Japanese call “kuras” or fireproof storage places.

The Japanese TansuThere is drama behind every creation of tansu furniture. The combination of beauty and utility of each piece carries with it a unique piece of Japanese history. You can tell a lot by scrutinizing the intricate and careful construction of tansu furniture, like its place of origin, the owner’s social status, intended use, wealth and even the profession of the owner.

Tansu furniture was the dominating force in the world of Japanese furniture design, whether they be in designing samurai chests, inventory chests, merchant’s chests and even Mizuya or kitchen tansu amd Cha-do or  tea tansu, that is, until Western designs began to play a part in influencing Japan at the start of the 20th century.

Even today, various designs of Japanese furniture are recognized because of their traditional tansu origins.

The Japanese Tansu

There are hundreds of substyles of tansu designs but so far, the most popular style is Kaidan Tansu. They are pieces of trunks stacked together in the shape of stairs. With this kind of design, their aesthetic appeal increasingly grows especially for today’s modern homes.

There are now several other trademark designs that are being used for Japanese furniture. This includes platform beds featuring Tatami woven grass mats. In general, Japanese furniture designs always exude simplicity, and often uses clean and boxy lines.

A Look at Japanese Furniture

A Look at Japanese FurnitureOne of the ancient civilizations that has always fascinated the West since its arrival in the 16th century is Japan. But then Japan closed its doors which opened a port to other foreign trade. It was only during the mid-19th century that the trade between the West and Japan opened once again. So when the Victorians came in for a visit, they were astounded by the bare rooms of Japanese houses as compared to their own.

A Look at Japanese FurnitureThe starkness of Japanese rooms is based on Ma, which is the balance between objects and the space they occupy. This is why Japanese mats, tatami matting in particular, is a fundamental factor in Japanese interiors. These mats are made from rice straws woven together, covered by igusa (rush) and edged by decorative cloth. They absorb heat and moisture inside a room where people walk, sit and sleep. They also help measure the dimensions of rooms in Japanese homes. For instance, a doorway should have an equal dimension as those of two tatami mats for length and one tatami mat for width. Traditionally, each tatami mat is about 180cm x 90cm wide. They are used for seating as well as for sleeping and flooring.

A Look at Japanese FurnitureTo divide the spaces properly, they use shoji screens on wooden tracks which can be removed to let the outside in. They are made by pasting thin shiji papers on lattices. As such, Shoji screens are also used as curtains since they indirectly let in light inside a room.

A Look at Japanese FurnitureAs for the doors, Japanese use fusuma doors which are made of thick fusuma papers on frames. In many Japanese homes, rooms are divided by only fusuma doors. The color and design of fusuma papers used depend on the personal style of the owner.

A Look at Japanese FurnitureFor cabinetry, many Japanese use the beautifully designed antique tansu, and for tables, they prefer the low ones called kotatsu with electric heaters attached to them. In order to stay warm during winter, Japanese folks put their legs in kotatsu covered by futon and blankets.

A Look at Japanese Furniture

Basically, Japanese furniture feature utilitarian, simplistic, minimalistic and Zen designs. They use the grains of the wood that are visible and very fine. They have flexible boundaries such as movable screens and sliding panels so they can let the outside in. The furniture pieces are low off the floor, many of which are used for storage. They are usually made of  organic, natural and solid materials like wood (elm, kiri and gingko), paper, bamboo and cane. Very little carving and other ornamentation is used and it can go well with almost all decors present in any room. However, one would notice that the ornamentation on drawers is always hand forged iron pieces. The colors are muted but have red, gold and black accents. Japanese furniture is famed for its joinery and this kind of style is actually the defining influence on the spread of minimalism in the 1990s.

Today, the interest in all things Japanese is rapidly growing, from cosplay and animation, to sushi and high tech gadgets.  For Japanese interiors, the current look is drawn from  Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai elements creating a fusion of Oriental styles.

Asian Furniture History – Bringing the Past to the Present

Asia, being the largest of all continents in the world, is comprised of very unique countries with varied and very distinct cultures. Each country in this region follows a deeply-rooted tradition which is very well reflected in their way of life, particularly in their furniture. Because of the different characteristic traditions that each Asian country has, it is quite difficult to classify Oriental furniture as there are numerous variations which are all impeccable and refined in their own unique way.

To further elaborate, here are the general characteristics of each type:

Asian Furniture History – Bringing the Past to the Present

-          Japanese furniture is usually made of solid slabs of wood from the Gingko, Elm or Kiri tree.

Asian Furniture History – Bringing the Past to the Present

-          Chinese furniture is characterized by the use of heavy lacquers, bamboo and uncarved wood as well as its flair for being extremely decorative.

Asian Furniture History – Bringing the Past to the Present-          Southeast Asian furniture is typically dark brown in color, showing a lot of Hindu-influenced carving

Asian Furniture History – Bringing the Past to the Present-          Korean furniture uses various signs and symbols as a reflection of Korean spirituality.

Asian Furniture History – Bringing the Past to the Present-          Taiwanese furniture has a very distinct black ink decoration.

Asian Furniture History – Bringing the Past to the Present-          Philippine furniture is typically made of rattan, bamboo and exquisitely carved wood.

Asian Furniture History – Bringing the Past to the Present-          Every handcrafted Asian furniture is always very detailed and shows highly artistic styles.

On the other hand, the general public oftentimes thinks of only Chinese furniture when Asian furniture comes to mind. The reason for this stemmed from the fact that China’s dynasties have tremendous influence over other Asian countries which have later on trickled down to the Western part of the world.

To give you an example, the history of Chinese furniture goes as far back as the 14th century B.C. But if we are to include periods earlier than the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), there have already been few exquisite furniture pieces prior to this time. We can even gain knowledge about these pre-Ming pieces by studying China’s earlier representations such as their archaic tomb models, stone engravings and paintings. During ancient times, Chinese used low platforms or mats for sitting. It was only around the 10th century AD when chairs made common at high tables.

Eventually, this Oriental influence came to Europe in the 1800’s. When the British rule of India and Burma promoted furniture from the Asian region, with intricate craftsmanship, value and quality, they became popular with the rest of the world. Furthermore, China’s influence became more profound in the early 1900’s right after World War I. And with the increasing frequency of travels between the West and the East, people from all over the world get acquainted with authentic Oriental furniture designs, allowing them to bring back home many of these elegant pieces.

Because the quality and craftsmanship of these aesthetic furniture pieces were discovered by historians, colonialists as well as travelers, the same characteristics are able to keep them in such high demand in the global market, which has been steadily increasingly since the 1900’s as fuelled by export demands. These demands are steadily met, thanks to the abundance of available raw materials, a large number of skilled workers and companies specializing in Asian furniture.

Now, more and more Asian countries like Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines and Thailand are becoming renowned for their uniquely traditional furniture designs. The demand is steadily growing, particularly from one of the world’s largest market, which is the United States. It is presumed that this trend will continue for many years to come as quality furniture are continuously provided and rigorous production standards are continuously met.

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