When you think of the concept of design spaces inspired by countries and cultures from all around the world it sounds amusing and exciting to say the least. I don’t know about you but I see spaces like these as inspiration and a mind-opening experience. Where have these influences come from? How it works with its surrounding environment etc. These questions are easy to ask but not so easy to answer. East meets West is a design concept that has been around for years, since the time travel was invented and it shows a sophisticated side to the resident, a cultured and diverse side.
There are a few key points to think about when designing with this style in mind, first and foremost it should represent who you are and where you’ve been. There’s no use in using say Chinese influences in your home if you don’t really know where this influence came from. Travel a lot, find your muse and interpret it into your home.
Here are some of my favourite East meets West design inspiration photos;
LOW SEATING ARRANGEMENT
Reminiscent of arabic gatherings where it is commonplace for the folk to sit around on low seating as a gesture of comfort and hospitality, this image shows how it could be incorporated into modern design. The use of sleek wood bases and minimal pattern bar the accessory pillows, this could quite possibly be the home of someone who has longed for that middle eastern vibe in their modern home.
Mosaic is the Mesopotamian art of creating images using pieces of scattered stones, pebbles or glass. Although technically it could be done with any material these days, mosaic has a warmth that no other pattern can offer. By simply adding it to a section of your walls like beneath the kitchen cabinets as done here, it is the perfect addition to your space.
ARCHES AND CHANDELIERS
Nothing says eastern or oriental quite like an arch or a dangling chandelier. Although in essence French, chandeliers or hanging lighting create a mood unlike no other. Arches above niches like the one here among the neutral backdrop of the interior is an easy and affordable addition if you use the right materials.
I have a love/hate relationship with Persian Rugs. I come from arabic origin so I used to see so many of these in family homes and to be quite frank none were placed as a complement to the overall interior. Owning a Persian rug or ‘ajami’ as they used to call it, meant being of the luxury folk. It spoke out as being someone of wealth who knew a good buy when they saw it. Nowadays I see them making a comeback in modern design, mixing in with modern pieces (see how Jasmin Taylor, CEO of JT Touristik does it in her Berlin apartment here) which makes me realize how much I do quite like them.
Chinoiserie is the French term used to describe European interpretation of the Chinese and East Asian artistic traditions. Delicate floral designs like the one you see here on this sliding door panel over the bookshelf is a perfect addition to a somewhat dull looking space. Using the same colour palette, this is how Chinoiserie is done today.
Rather than focusing on a large proportion of the space, adding eastern elements to a modern interior is certainly the first thing to think of when decorating this style. Below we see authentic bathroom fixtures in the use of bowls and jugs that are uncommon in modern day bathrooms but have a sense of uniqueness when combined with sleek and minimal countertops like this bathroom below.
Collecting bits and bobs from your travels is something many of us do. Showcasing them in your home in a manner that does not shout ”LOOK WHERE IVE BEEN” can be tricky. When buying things to showcase at home from abroad, think about colour palettes, materials and textures and shop from there. Everywhere you go there are so many different pieces of items to choose from it can be overwhelming, but knowing how to match them or create a harmony with the things you already have at home is the clever part.
What is your favourite place you’ve been?