Rouse Your Rooms

It’s an exciting period for layout in China. With a fast expanding rich class and a newly revived appreciation for its rich aesthetic legacy, China has surfaced over the global interior design landscape, yielding exciting new thoughts and strategies to modern living.

China Home: Inspirational Design Suggestions (Tuttle Publishing, 2012), by distinguished photographer Michael Freeman and Chinese architecture and design author Yao Jing, is a fascinating look at one of the world’s burgeoning design hot spots. Since the country’s modern design identity evolves, a heady mix of traditional to ultramodern styles is growing. While stark minimalism remains popular, Chinese designers are experimenting with melding contemporary tastes with hallmarks of Chinese culture and art.

China Home provides a tantalizing taste of these exciting new directions. Have a look at the tendencies below from this increasing global design centre.

Red for great fortune. China has a long tradition of assigning functions and qualities to colour. Red, the colour most associated with China, is that the colour of good luck and pleasure. It’s often the colour of wedding gowns and the cash-filled “red packets” handed out during Chinese New Year. Shots of crimson and a bold peony graphic suffuse this contemporary Beijing bathroom having a feeling of confidence and optimism.

Tip: A glowing red accent may add pizzazz into (and of course produce good feng shui in) any area. Look at giving fresh life to some languishing bit of furniture by covering it in a shiny coat of red paint.

Simplicity and serenity. “In the core of interior design is the art of bringing together simplicity, modernity, the modern, and nature to generate an environment of stability and serenity, with quality and craftsmanship that the focus of everything within its crispy lines,” clarify the China Home writers.

This dining area in the house of Ai Weiwei, a Chinese activist and performer, exemplifies this aesthetic. Natural components, especially the wood furniture along with the bamboo ceiling, take centre stage and exude warmth against the unadorned walls.

Minimalist modernism goes over well with Chinese design due to this attraction to simplicity. This white and gray open-plan living space is punctuated with red lacquer accents. The kitchen worktop may be used for both food preparation and dining table.

Tip: Start with stark white interiors as a canvas for your furniture. Chinese layout puts a high premium on well-crafted, nice wood furniture, and white partitions permit them to stand outside.

Small-space imagination. Saving distance is a must in China’s crowded towns. The smart elevated U-shape framework of this tiny bed in this small Hong Kong apartment turns it into a cozy nook by the window. It provides a loftier texture to the distance, and the area below the bed may be used for storage. With China’s population edging over a billion, expect to see more small-space design alternatives from using this part of earth.

Mixing new and old. This living area is an example of the mixing of influences in Chinese house design now. The tasteful outfit pairs clean-lined contemporary furniture with Chinese art icons, such as the Tang Dynasty horse sculptures and Ming Dynasty horseshoe seats. A photograph by modern artist Wang Xiao Hui presides over the fireplace.

Art deco, Shanghai design. After the outrage within the demolition of historic homes in China’s cities, a resurgent appreciation for Oriental architectural heritage has taken hold. One fashion admired the world over is China’s version of art deco that flourished in Shanghai in the 1930s. Many art deco buildings and homes sporting Shanghai’s distinct blend of Chinese motifs with the period’s grand components still stand, and a cottage industry has evolved around the restoration of the fashion. Shown here is your top-floor study of a restored 1930s British colonial house at the French Concession district of town.

Suggestion: Among the most popular Shanghai art deco bits are wool and silk rugs, known for their delicate floral designs and vibrant, saturated colors. Collectors of these rugs start looking for originals by Walter Nichols, the master carpet manufacturer of the era.

China Home: Inspirational Design Ideas, by Michael Freeman and Yao Jing – $24.95

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