A touch of Asia: My oriental delights

I love picking up inspiration from my travels. From the architecture and interior design of restaurants and hotels to people’s homes.

Being half filipino, I’ve spent most of my  years travelling back and forth to the Philippines, admiring the wonderful traditional designs. The use of natural materials of bamboo, wood and capiz are beautifully handcrafted into home decor and are commonly used in south-east Asia.

I’ve tried to reflect these influences in our home accents, and here are some of my favourites.

Budhha wall art

I’m not a religious person, but I’ve always felt  if I had to choose a faith it would be buddhism. The philosophies and teachings are things I can relate to and apply in my life.

I came across this budhha wall hanging at a Thai arts stall in a London crafts market. There were so many to choose from but I just found this one striking. There was something calm and tranquil about it.

budhha-wall-hanging
Buddha wood carving

The design is carved into solid wood that folds in the middle, giving it a 3D effect. Of course, you can choose to have it flush against the wall if you want to – it will still look just as striking.

I love how the vibrant golds and greens radiate warmth, especially when the sun hits it (when we ever do get sunshine!)

Budhha close-up.jpg

Bamboo candle holders

In the Philippines, bamboo furnishings and decor are everywhere and traditionally handcrafted. We picked up these candle holders on our last trip there from a store in Manila called Kultura.

bamboo-trio-1
Bamboo tealight holder

These tealight holders were crafted from a solid bamboo trunk with some decorative finishes added. A nice touch in our bright and airy dining area.

bamboo-trio-close-up

bamboo-single
Bamboo candle holder

Silk cushions

I love searching  for  home accents online, and  you’ll be amazed at what  you can find abroad for a reasonable price. These elephant print, silk cushion covers came from Vietnam. It’s simple yet effective with the bold black and golds against a neutral colour.

thai-silk-cushions2
Silk cushion covers
thai-cushion-elephants
Elephants go marching in!

Asian-inspired vase

This may look like a strange goldfish bowl but it’s actually a vase. Asian styles usually have vivid and vibrant accent hues that stand out when placed in a neutral setting.

I saw this handmade, glazed ceramic vase in Debenhams eight years ago and thought it would make a lovely decorative feature in the lounge.

sphere-vase-side

sphere-vase
Asian-inspired vase

TOP TIP:

Rather than placing themed accents all in one room, dot them around the house to add  subtle touches.

My contemporary take on Far East style. Let me know what else you’d like to see.

contemporary-asian-theme

 

Inspiration is everywhere. Which part of the world do you get your design inspiration from?

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Cynthia Thompson

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