An Eastern flair
Awareness of the benefits of ancient practices, such as yoga and meditation, has led to demand for Asian-flavoured serenity and calm inside the home, explains Suzanne Frost
ASIAN-inspired decor and architecture have become fashionable, especially when there is a subtle fusion between Eastern and Western design philosophies.
Jasmin Kraneveldt, director of leading sanitaryware supplier Bathroom Bizarre, says: “The clean and uncluttered designs, as well as the nature-inspired inspiration for Asian-themes lend themselves particularly well to bathroom design and layout.”
Today, people spend a lot of time in their bathrooms — in fact, apart from the bedroom, it is one of the most frequented rooms in the home, being the first room we go to when waking up and the last one we visit before going to bed. As the bathroom has evolved from merely being a place of hygiene and functionality, into becoming a restful retreat as well, so has its design and decor progressed.
Kraneveldt says that “nowhere is this more noticeable than in Asian-inspired bathroom designs — boasting hallmarks of serenity, grace, comfort, balance and relaxation.” She provides the follow- ing tips on how to successfully incorporate an Asian flavour into your bathroom space:
“Simplicity is an essential quality of any Asian designso it is important to choose sanitaryware that reflects this.”
In the bathroom featured in these pictures, for example, the elements combine to create an elegantly simple and exceptionally well balanced layout. The clean lines of the various pieces of sanitaryware and the taps complement one another to produce an overall look with modern, yet highly functional undertones.
She says that the symmetry of the layout is another key feature in Asian design: “Asian traditions are built on symmetry and balance — from their religious beliefs, to their cuisine, and of course, their design. Symmetry in design requires a central axis, which is provided by a centrally located bath, with equal balance or weight on each side.”
The layout does not necessarily have to be a perfect mirror image; in fact, it provides more visual interest if it is not. As such, the toilet and the hand-carved wooden towel rail have been positioned on the left hand side of the bathroom, and to counterbalance this, a Balinese-style cabinet has been placed on the right hand side. This composition is balanced, yet not boring due to the choice of different pieces that are hosted on each side.
Asian themes all pay tribute to nature and incorporate various natural elements, says Kraneveldt: “Emphasise natural materials to enhance a sense of oneness with the natural world, which is characteristic of Asian design and spirituality. Try and incorporate this in all aspects of the room — from the colours you choose, through to the sanitaryware and furniture, the lighting, and the flooring.”
This bathroom features laminate flooring in Limed Oak, since it is an affordable option, aesthetically pleasing, hard wearing, and its edges are wax-impregnated; it is moisture-resistant as well. If you can afford it, solid bamboo flooring is also a great alternative, as are pebble mosaics and slate or sandstone tiles. The wooden floor complements the various mahogany furniture and accents featured throughout.
Other natural elements featured as accessories include a hand-carved stone Buddha candleholder, bonsai trees, a white orchid, and a tropical fern — all of which bring a bit of the outdoors inside. The featured back loofah sphere hanging lamp is an especially interesting addition — it is made from cross-sections of genuine loofahs that have been stained and stuck together.
“When it comes to the choice of colour palettes for Asianthemed bathrooms, the choice is really left to your discretion,” says Kraneveldt. “You can go with plain white, or muted, pale earthy shades akin to Japanese designs, you can choose bright jewel tones, like emerald green or ruby red, inspired by Chinese and Indian decor or, as featured here, you can choose spicy tones inspired by the robes of Tibetan monks.
“These oranges really make the dark wooden accents and white sanitaryware ‘pop’. They are a great choice, as they are able to instil a sense of warmth and serenity into the space, without being too overwhelming,” explains Kraneveldt.
“The great thing about Asianinspired bathroom themes is that they are timeless and versatile — allowing you to customise the design and decor to suit your individual taste and sense of style.”