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

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

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.”

Pic­tures: BATH­ROOM BIZARRE

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