Thursday 19 February sees the start of the New Chinese New Year – 2015 is the year of the goat. In China, the celebration is also known as the Spring Festival where many people clean out their homes and decorate using red lanterns and banners. Letting off fireworks and handing gifts of red envelopes with money is also customary. I’ve wanted to write a post about adding a touch of the Orient to your home interiors for a while, and what better celebration of Chinese interiors then the Chinese New Year?
One thing to be aware of if you’re looking for an interior inspired by the Orient is that it can easily become over-bearing. For a fresh take on Chinese interior style, less is more and I hope this post will give you some ideas to inspire you. I’ve seen several brands recently that are getting this look spot-on and you can create a really stylish and bold space. Take a look at the images below and if something catches your eye – click on the image to go through to the brand’s website.
To set the scene for this blog post – take a quick look at this Designers Guild video:
The Spring Summer 2015 collection by Designers Guild was inspired by traditional Shanghai gardens. This vibrant collection is a stylish and contemporary take on traditional Chinese florals. Designers Guild is famous for its innovative and creative high quality designs for the home, launching new seasonal collections twice per year to their loyal customer base. The video above showcases their ultra cool new collection which is filled with trailing peonies, roses and wisteria; soft washed linens, calligraphic bamboo leaves and willow trees. Take a look at the full Designers Guild collection here for more Oriental interior inspiration.
Symmetry is an important factor in Chinese interior design as it signifies balance. Placing a lamp at either side of a sideboard, bed or sofa will not only create balance, but the light will bring atmosphere into the room as well.
With strong Oriental influences and inspiration from old English blue and white china, the cobalt blue collection of cushions below adds a vibrant sophistication to your sofa.
One of my closest childhood friends is half Chinese (from Hong Kong) and I loved going to her home. It was like stepping into another world as we lived in Cyprus at the time. Her apartment was filled with traditional Chinese furniture, intricate rugs, vibrant soft furnishings and Oriental screens separating living spaces in the open-plan space. It was wonderful because it reflected her family’s heritage and told a story about where they had lived and travelled to.
Using natural materials in the home such as wood, stone, metal, silk, cotton and linen is important to Chinese interior design and essential for positive Feng Shui. These beautiful Chinese cabinets from The Nine Schools are not only symmetrical and stylish, but also very useful storage to help de-clutter and improve the pathway for vibrant chi. Chi is the ancient Chinese concept of positive energy and an important element of Feng Shui.
This beautiful chair comes with a handmade carved hard wood frame and a fixed seat. The seat is filled with duck feather. Available in Italian Silver or Renaissance Gold and in a range of fabrics from Darlings of Chelsea.
Chinese interior design aims to integrate houses with their surrounding nature so that there’s often a natural flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. Bamboo leaves, cherry blossom, willow trees are often found on walls, soft furnishings and tableware connecting the home to the garden. Wall stickers are a really cost-effective and quick way to add a little Oriental charm to a room – the Becky and Lolo ones below are beautiful. The porcelain Chinese rose tableware set below is from Pip Studio at Amara and available in a range of colours.
1. Shenzu ceramic Chinese table lamp from OKA Direct £225 | 2. Kraakware Chinese table lamp from OKA Direct £139 | 3. Hexagonal pavilion table lamp from OKA Direct £175 | 4. Oriental celadon silk cushion with Chinese button knot from Clippings £65 reduced from £85 | 5. Oriental charcoal silk cushion with Chinese button knot from Clippings £65 reduced from £85 | 6. Chinese desk organiser from Notonthehighstreet.com £49 | 7. Hexagonal Chinese lantern from Notonthehighstreet.com £19
*Prices are correct at time of writing but please check individual sites for changes to pricing