5 Ways To Work With The Oriental Style

Create up-to-date interiors with traditional Asian pieces

Original Article: Chat Fores Photography: Dairy Darilag and Miguel Nacancieno (Main Photo)

With roundtrip flights costing around $100 to Hong Kong and $300 to Bangkok, no wonder Pinoys are lapping up goods of the region. There's the famous Chatuchak market in Bangkok, Hollywood Road in Hong Kong, and Ben Thanh market in Saigon. If a furniture store opens in Manila, chances are it specializes in Asian finds. 

Before your home ends up like a bodega in Chinatown, keep these decorating tips in mind.

1. Choose which oriental style you want to emphasize. Oriental goes beyond Chinese goods. It's an umbrella term that spans the whole of Asian style, including the popular Javanese or Balinese, Thai, Japanese, Indian and Filipino. 

2. Use oriental pieces only as accents. Your interiors can be basically modern—think square-edged sofas with curbe-type armchairs and chrome-finished floor lamps. For example, to add Asian flavor to minimalist space, bring in a red-lacquer Chinese cabinet to complete the look. 

3. Use one or two colors only two colors only to complete your oriental pieces. Start with a base color such as ecru, the most accepted versatile color. Then choose any accent color your desire—anywhere from burnt orange, celadon, lemon yellow, coffee, burgundy, etc., which are beautiful colors for Oriental pieces.  

4. Group together similar pieces to avoid a cluttered look. If you have assorted collections—say, blue and white plates, celadon jars and Japanese ceramics—the best way to display them is to group per type. This emphasizes their value and puts order to your home. 

5. Mix oriental with other furniture styles. A simplified classic Louis XV or Bergere armchair can look good with a Kang Chinese table (a low table with bulging legs and horse-hoof feet). Make sure the chairs have no gilding (gold-leaf finish) or rococo carvings. Upholster the Eurpoean chair with an oriental-looking fabric. 


Sifra Interiors & Objects

  • Greenbelt 5, Paseo De Roxas Cor. Legazpi St, Makati, 1223 Metro Manila
  • (02) 501-3220


Purple Orchid Home

  • R2 Level Powerplant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City


Noble Dream House Gallery

  • Suite 110, 112A, G/F, LRI Design Plaza, Makati City
  • (02) 871-3050


Read the original article ("Oriental Accents") in the August 2004 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

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