A few years ago, Eastern delights were the height of interiors style. You couldn’t open a glossy magazine without seeing a stone Buddha peering up at you, a couple of ornately carved chests and a wilting orchid or two. It was a reaction to shabby chic, which had previously been so prevalent, in that it was sleek and exotic – two properties you can definitely not assign to the vintage-style chandeliers and dining chairs that had previously been so popular.
And now, following last year’s re-foray into shabby chic we go back to Bangkok, return to Rangoon, have another try at Thai with the resurgence of Eastern influence. But it’s a very different look this time around – forget the mini water feature of yore and focus on the sensibilities instead. At Heal’s, above, they have taken lamps in ornately angular shapes that wouldn’t look out of place in a Japanese zen garden, and mixed them with soft greys hits of bolder colour for a fully contemporary feel. Touches of smooth dark wood nod to the Eastern trend without being overruled by it – and are the quick way to go east without going over the top. Look for wallpapers with delicate floral prints or painterly patterns, try storage and tables with gently curving sides and a polished finish. Lay rugs in bright colours with gentle patterns, and leave at least two walls a neutral shade of grey, allowing you to focus on the shapes and prints in the middle of the room.
The whole look is about a relaxed glamour, a stress-free oasis of calm, rather than decking out your living room in tatami mats. It should make you feel balanced, peaceful, but without having to go to the fuss of feng shui-ing your furniture – the beauty of Eastern is its ease. So pour yourself an earthenware cup green tea, sit back relax, and reach your own stage of inner nirvana.
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Pip McCormac, Guest Editor
View all posts by Pip McCormac, Guest Editor