Asian-inspired décor is seeping into contemporary spaces everywhere. There’s something about its serenity, its soothing forms, and its balance that resonates beautifully with the streamlined feel of a modern home.

At its core, Asian design is a fusion of several different styles that range from the Japanese and the Chinese to exotic Indian themes.

Yet, for most, it is often dominated by Oriental influences that originated in the Far East several centuries ago. Ornate woodwork adorned with dragons, lanterns, lacquer furniture, and horrid colours we’d never imagine living with fill our heads with stereotypical nonsense.

In fact, most of what many of us consider “Asian” design is the stuff we’ve seen in tacky restaurants from back home.


If Asian-inspired decor could be summed up in a single word (which, of course, it cannot) it would be “calming.” The influence of such essential cultural touchstones as Buddhism demands colour palettes that are ultimately tranquil and serene.

Balance is another important element of Asian design, in terms of colour as well as texture.

Here are a few tips to help you get that Oriental look without it looking like the set from a 1970s James Bond movie.

Bright bursts of colour
An Asian-style interior is only truly complete with vibrant hues that stand out when placed in a calm, neutral setting.

A cool water feature
The sound of flowing water is considered both harmonious and positive according to Feng Shui, and a small water feature in the entrance room makes all the difference.

Including screens
The range of options is wide, from folding screens to the sliding doors that fills the middle of the room – you can put some elegance and sophistication into your home by separating your rooms without the harsh boundaries of walls.