Home Under the Asian Influence

From art and lighting to furniture, Asian looks pepper new design
January 9, 2017Andrea Lillo

BurkeOliverGalJulianne Taylor’s new collection with Oliver Gal includes the prints Foo and Books Pink, left, and Ginger and Marco Polo Library.
NEW YORK—Whether it’s the consumers’ desire for Zen or a touch of the exotic in their homes—or both—Asian culture has been gaining ground in home design.

Scot Meacham Wood, interior designer and High Point Market Style Spotter, cited chinoiserie and Asian looks as prominently peppered throughout October market. “Bold choices means a bold impact. I was seeing Asian-inspired patterns—in textiles, furniture details, and wall coverings—across the width and breadth of High Point,” he said in the market’s recent style report. “Echoing the trend in colors—these vignettes took chinoiserie patterns to the next level.”

While the Asian culture has been increasingly influencing design over the last decade, now “these elements have led way to what is now a more subliminal reference to Eastern culture with bright pop art colors and less traditional detailing,” said Julianne Taylor, who will debut her wall décor collection with Oliver Gal this month. “For example, we are seeing the iconic foo dog translated into vases and beautiful lamps in a variety of bold hues. It is still an Asian reference, but in a fun, updated look.”

Inspired by Taylor’s time living in Asia, the Julianne Taylor Style for Oliver Gal collection features 40 pieces of artwork highlighting the vibrant colors of Eastern culture with a twist of pop art. Koi, pagodas, ginger jars, umbrellas and Chinese ink brushes are among the themes of the works. The line will be shown at the Atlanta Home Furnishings & Gift Market and NY Now.

The design world is becoming more global, said Darrell Gardner, head of design, furniture and accessories for ELK Group International, and Asia has become more influential in the design community. India in particular has been “specifically influential,” he added, as “a country rich with artistic diversity and embellishments. There is seemingly an unending supply of decorative themes coming out of the country,” and the company has used these themes in smaller decorative accessories. He sees this look developing into larger scale case goods and lighting moving forward.

Last fall Currey & Co. debuted its Hiroshi Koshitaka lighting collection, which draws inspiration from Japanese architecture and culture. Items included the Marugoushi chandelier, which resembles the circular lattice and paper windows common in drawing rooms of many Japanese homes, and the dramatic Graduation Chandelier, a more than four foot tall fixture that took its inspiration from bento boxes and vintage indigo textiles.

“I can’t think of a time in design when some Asian influence is not around,” said Cecil Adams, creative director, Currey & Co. “Since the West first began to ‘discover’ Asia, the many countries and cultures of that amazing continent have influenced design, from the sumptuous fantasy of chinoiserie to the simplest wooden altar table ... With so much manufacturing for fashion home furnishings there now, you have designers experiencing the culture that it has to have influenced their work as well as their own personal living spaces.”

Andrea LilloAndrea Lillo | Fashion Editor

Andrea Lillo has written about a variety of topics, from beer gardens in Queens to kitchen design trends to residential caves. Having joined Home Furnishings News in 2006, she serves as Fashion Editor.

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