Decorating with Asian-Inspired Lighting
What is Asian-inspired lighting? Many people may think of the red pagoda-shaped lights made of rice paper seen in Chinese restaurants, but true Asian-inspired lighting can be much more sophisticated and subtle. Asian decor is based on the idea that the home is the source of serenity and prosperity, and the right lighting can help augment these areas in your own home.
a happy home is a peaceful home. A peaceful home is not one with bright, gaudy colors or jarring, visually distracting patterns. A peaceful home has clean, simple lines, uncluttered spaces and muted or neutral colors that encourage relaxation, with a few bold accents that add personality. In Chinese decor, this is often accomplished with deep red and shiny black surfaces; Japanese decor tends to include more natural brown and tan accents.
Prosperity is another important concept..
in Asian-inspired decor. Prosperity is not about mere money, but about the feeling of success within your life. Do you feel prosperous in your own home? Is your furniture well-crafted? Does it suit your needs and make you feel comfortable? If a stranger walked into your home, would they believe they were in the home of someone who is thriving, lucky and happy?
Lighting plays an important role in all this.
It is important for your sense of peace that the light be bright enough that there are no dark corners, but not so bright as to be glaring or obtrusive. It is important for your prosperity that the lighting be well-crafted and suit the needs of the room: big enough to make a clear visual statement, yet small enough so that it doesn’t overwhelm the other elements in the room. To show Asian influence, it may contain elements of wood or bamboo, bold red or orange colors, or even printed Kanji symbols. There are websites that allow you to configure your own Asian-inspired lighting with colors and elements that match those already present in your room, so that you are designing lighting to match your space and not the other way around.
And remember, you don’t need to go around placing Buddha statues or “lucky bamboo” on every available surface to create a feeling of serenity and prosperity — in fact, that would more likely do the opposite. The lighting is a natural focus in any room, so a little Asian style in your dining pendant or table lamp shades can have profound influence over how the room feels. Just keep everything else clean and simple, and let the lighting pull it all together.
Erika is a home decor consultant and textile designer who has worked in the industry since 2001.