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design style

Asian Interior Design Style

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Design by Katie Leavy

"Peace and vitality are the hallmarks of Asian interior design style."

Though various decorative styles originate on the world’s largest continent, the Asian interior design style has largely been influenced by Chinese and Japanese culture. If your life is hectic and you've been wishing for an interior style that promotes serenity, this Oriental approach may be the one for you. The Asian style carries a strong emphasis on peace and order.

Elements of Oriental interior design style have been incorporated into European style techniques for centuries. This influence can be seen in blue and white porcelain that plays into the Scandinavian look. And don’t forget the graphic Toile de Jouy fabric long used from casual to elegant settings in Europe.

Chinese interior design tends to be very graphic and opulent in its expression. Japanese style interior design has more of a minimalist, restrained nature.

Wood and bamboo are the natural choice of materials used with Asian interior design style. Use softer colors like off white, stone, parchment and mellow gray for a Japanese style effect. Use jewel tones of ruby, gold, sapphire and emerald along with ebony (black) if you want to emphasize Chinese style.

Wall treatments are typically plain colored in a Japanese styled space. On the other hand, for a Chinese approach try some large, painted panels with elaborate scenes from nature or Chinese cultural history.

Floors look best finished with wood, cork or bamboo products. Ceramic or stone tiling is also a option. Choosing a area rug made of natural materials like sisal and coir works well in an Asian inspired environment.

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Style tips:

- Consider Japanese style interior design especially if your space is surrounded by contemporary architecture. Its minimalist approach is a perfect compliment.

- Inject an oriental feel into your space by incorporating a lacquered wooden screen that displays a flamboyant Chinese design. Or choose a beautiful Shoji screen for a more streamlined Asian atmosphere.

- Windows are often left plain in an Asian interior. However, if privacy is a concern, consider a simple roll-up blind of natural material like bamboo, for example.

For more information about interior design and Feng Shui email Marie Burgos at  marie@manobluedesign.com and visit our site on www.manobluedesign.com

Contemporary Design style

picture-19 "Create modern simplicity with a contemporary interior design style."

Clean-lined is often how contemporary interior design is described, and for good reason. This modern approach focuses first and foremost on function and avoids the excessive ornamentation evident in many other styles.

Some people shy away from the contemporary design approach because they believe it to be too harsh or cold. This doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, I think that when contemporary interior design is well planned it can promote a sense of serenity and non-fussy simplicity.

Black, whites and other neutral tones tend to dominate the contemporary style scene, but you can leverage well-planned, accent features and accessories to provide dramatic punches of color. Large blocks of color placed against a neutral background can firmly establish a contemporary feel as evidenced in the bedroom image seen here.

Sleek lines are very important in this style. Choose clean-lined, modern furnishings and accessories. Avoid furniture with curved legs, for example, which suggests a more traditional style.

Windows in a contemporary interior setting often work well unadorned or at least edited in style. This approach emphasizes the architectural element, drawing attention to the shape and line of the window itself. If privacy is an issue for you, a good option might be natural, roll up blinds (like bamboo) mounted inside the window frame. These filter light and also introduce an element of texture. Simple roman shades could also be a privacy option.

Texture is a very important element in contemporary interior design style. Without texture your space might end up looking flat and a bit boring. Texture provides the perfect complement to the sleek, smooth surfaces of wood, metal and glass that tend to dominate this setting. A modern vase filled with coarse twigs, for example, can provide visual relief to the smooth surfaces around it. Additionally, a natural fiber, jute area rug with woven blocks of color can add a textural element to a smooth floor.

The appropriate combination of various design elements can establish a very ordered, yet interesting and refreshing environment - one that marks its place in a modern world.

Contemporary Style Tips

• Use natural, textural fabrics (jute, linen, etc.). These work great in a contemporary setting.

• Be bold (but not indiscriminate) when using color. Plan its impact.

• Incorporate furnishings with geometric shape.

• Be conservative with graphical pattern. It works great, but don’t over do it.

A contemporary interior works best with complementary architecture. This would be a great style for an urban or industrial loft, but might seem out of place in a Victorian mansion, for example. Think about context.

For more information about Feng Shui and interior design, email Marie Burgos at  marie@manobluedesign.com and visit our site on www.manobluedesign.com