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Journal

February 1st

Mixing Asian Styles to Create a Unique Space

Asian Eclectic style results in an exotic, distinctive space.

Being in San Diego we talk a lot about coastal and Mediterranean design styles, but Asian is more rare. I’ve recently had the opportunity to assist two different clients with incorporating Asian design into their homes, and it’s given me a new appreciation for this exotic look that some people call “Asian Eclectic.”

One of those clients just moved into a Spanish house with an extensive collection of beautiful Asian accessories purchased for a previous home. So I was charged with trying to blend those pieces with the home’s architectural style. Our first task was deciding which of the client’s Asian items were absolutes for the house and which could be set aside. For example, her master bedroom nightstands were particularly Asian in style and would have been too prominent to blend well. But her other bedroom furniture – such as her black rattan chairs – were less so, and we were able to incorporate those into a gorgeous ink-blue palette with cream and paprika accents. Carved wood nightstands and bench add to the look. Her three-foot-by-six-foot gold-lacquered panels provide another dramatic Asian influence on one wall.

What I found is that the room could successfully combine diverse styles if I allowed some pieces to relate to each other, such as the woods. We clearly kept several of the Asian pieces, but then we balanced them with Spanish touches, such as tile work around the bedroom’s fireplace and an iron chandelier and sconce in the sitting area. The overall effect is reminiscent of Moroccan, which tends to bring a variety of cultural themes together in one space.

My other client just moved here from Seattle and brought along a beloved collection of Asian art and artifacts that have been passed down through her family generations. Her furniture, however, is more transitional and not Asian, such as her Ethan Allen sectional sofa. So to create a balanced space where the homeowner’s Asian pieces could shine, we chose a neutral yet warm color scheme. Floors for the main living area were darkened from light maple to a rich brown, and grasscloth wallpaper was hung on most walls to give a textural accent. Light wall colors allow the distinctive statues and large Buddhas to take center stage without being overwhelming since the background is so simple. I liken it to a spa feel – striking, but in a livable way that complements the art.

By mixing different textures with Asian pieces, everything in the room is complementary.

I’ll admit when we began both of these projects I was concerned about how we could integrate Asian pieces into rooms that lent themselves to other styles. But as we moved forward, I saw again how the right combination not only makes an eclectic style “work,” but it gives the homeowner a strikingly unique space. I love these rooms and how they turned out, as do the clients.

If we can help you integrate Asian influences into your design – or with any of your redecorating needs – please contact us

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