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What are the Different Types of Asian Home Decor?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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One type of Asian home decor is Oriental. Its hallmarks are bright, jewel-toned colors and dramatic furniture pieces. Feng shui interior design focuses on natural materials and harmonic furniture placement. South Asian home decor features colorful, luxurious fabrics and detailed embellishments.

Artistic animal or flower designs are commonly used on bedding and pillows in South Asian homes. These motifs may include elephants or palm leaves. Indian and Pakistani designs may be embroidered, beaded or printed onto silks or cottons; exotic wall tapestries are also popular. South Asian home decor colors are typically rich shades of brown, red, orange, blue and green. Even smaller home accents such as candle holders are often detailed in both pattern and color.

The ancient Chinese design system of feng shui embodies nature as well as balances yin (female) and yang (male) design aspects. For instance, the color red is considered yang, while green is yin. The five natural elements of fire, water, metal, earth and wind are included in this type of Asian home decor. Smooth textures and solid surfaces provide stability according to the principles of feng shui. Rounded metal vases, platters and bowls accent this style of home design.

Oriental design is highly detailed with a vivid sort of beauty to it. Strong colors such as red, pink and teal are often used to accent black, white and gold. Ornately carved rosewood room dividers and highly polished lacquer furniture are commonly found in the Oriental type of Asian home decor. A classic example is a large, rectangular, lacquered black or red cabinet door with an oversized round metal latch.

Bamboo decor pieces are also extremely common in Oriental interiors. The bamboo material may be used for furniture or screens printed with nature scenes. Cherry blossoms, peacocks, pandas and dragons are popular Oriental motif themes for home decor. Building structures such as pagodas are also emphasized in this style. Language characters in Korean, Chinese and Japanese dialects form decorative touches on dishware, plates and vases.

Japanese decor tends to be the least detailed and the most streamlined of the Asian styles. Along with mostly black and white pieces, one bold section of a bright color such as red is typically used. This accent color is not used in small amounts all over, but only focused on a single design item or home feature. The room dividing screens most common to the Japanese type of Asian home decor are black-framed with white rice paper inserts.

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Discussion Comments
By Lostnfound — On Oct 16, 2014

@Grivusangel -- Yeah, my jujitsu instructor was crazy about Asian decor and when he built his new house, he wanted every inch of it to have something to do with Japan, or martial arts or something. Fortunately, his wife put her foot down and said he could have a "Japan room," but the rest was going to be a little more conventional. I don't blame her. Otherwise, he would have had katana swords on every wall, paper screens for partitions, and a dining room table where people knelt on cushions. He tends to go a little overboard with his hobbies.

By Grivusangel — On Oct 15, 2014

Something you always see in homes with an Asian theme are painted or carved screens. In every home I've ever been in where the theme was Oriental, there were screens. Some were bamboo, some were painted paper, some were plain rice paper, and some were carved.

I've also seen a lot of homes that had a carved, half-round door frame. I think that's called a "moon door" or something like that. The ones I've seen have been very ornately carved and sometimes had side pieces.

I think I prefer something like a plainer room with ornate accents, like a throw pillow, or a couple of vases or something. It's easy to stray from Asian themed into Asian decor shop.

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