10 Decorating Ideas for an Asian Inspired Living Room
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You don't need to buy a new set of furniture, repaint the walls or rip up the whole flooring in order to create an Asian-style living room. Incorporating Asian décor items with what you already have will bring about the oriental essence just as wonderfully. Consider the following items and pick a few that will aesthetically fit the look and arrangement of your living room. BUT don't randomly stuff them all into one little space, as people might mistake your place for a Chinatown pawnshop.
Asian-Style Paper Lantern
It is a tradition in China to hang up red lanterns during a joyous festival, whereas in Japan, people prefer simple white lanterns with auspicious paintings or symbols. So before you pick the color, think about what type of atmosphere you want to promote in your living room: cheerful, peaceful or both. If your ceiling is low, forgo a ceiling lantern and opt for a free-standing one instead.
Simplicity and harmony are the heart of Asian décor. Dress your windows with earth-tone bamboo blinds and say goodbye to ruffled draperies. This type of blind can blend in with any wall color and give the room a sense of airiness.
Asian Scroll Painting
What screams "oriental" louder than exquisite Chinese and Japanese scroll paintings? For an Asian-inspired living room, this wall décor item is a must-have. Hanging a large scroll painting on an accent wall will lend a stunning focal point, whereas rows of smaller ones will add more warmth to the ambience.
Bamboo Place Mat
Who said place mats only belong in a dining room? Decorating your coffee table with bamboo place mats is a cheap and easy way to highlight the oriental theme. Just make sure the color of the mats nicely coordinates with the shade of your table.
Laughing Buddha Statue
The laughing Buddha is a symbol of joy, kindness and prosperity. For an oriental-themed living room, a laughing Buddha statue sitting large and tall in a corner will make a magnificent focal point.
A boring carpet won't do any good for Asian theme decoration. Try using a large straw mat as an area rug to define the seating area or highlight a piece of furniture. Or you can also cover the whole floor with several straw mats by connecting them all together and holding them in place with carpet tapes.
Skip this section if you believe opening an umbrella indoors will bring bad luck! Oriental parasols are famous for their intricate designs, but they won't be able to boast their beauty unless you open them. Displaying a lovely parasol on top of a large cabinet or propping it against a piece of furniture on the floor will create a charming visual interest.
Asian-Style Tea Set
What make Asian tea sets stand out from the western ones are the dainty tea bowls or handle-less tea cups ornately painted in the oriental style. Even if you're not planning to serve tea in your living room, an old-fashioned tea set is still a great bric-a-brac to represent Eastern cultures. A porcelain tea set speaks of luxury and sophistication, but clay or cast iron one can also be just as lovely.
Shoji Room Divider
For a multi-purpose living room, a shoji room divider is a nifty décor item to have. Delicate and light, it helps define different areas without making the room appear cramped. And since it doesn't need to be hanged up or nailed down, a rearrangement can be done conveniently.
Tabletop Zen Garden
A zen garden is not lush with bushes, trees and flowers, but filled with rocks, sand and gravel. Instead of a pond with water lilies and colorful koi, there is only a large body of sand raked into the patterns of waves and ripples. This type of rock garden is uniquely Japanese, and you can bring it right into your living room to promote a peaceful atmosphere and the idea of simplicity.