One of my favourite sections of our interior decoration books is the area that shows interiors from around the world. It’s a happy mix of design, culture and exotic locales.
Chinese Style: Interiors, Furniture, Details is a new addition to this collection. Author Zhu Wen goes beyond the clichés of Chinese decorating to explore the philosophical traditions that are embedded in the design and way of living.
She examines the influence of art on interior design: the colours borrowed from paintings, how calligraphy affects the structure of space as well as the influences of literature and carving.
She explores regional design within China and the incorporation of outside influences, such as Art Deco, and other foreign elements.
China Living (2007) by Sharon Leece reveals exciting new directions in contemporary design across China, both in rural retreats and homes in the big cities.
Two of my favourites are artist’s studios in Beijing. One is the minimalist home of a Chinese-Japanese photographer couple designed around a serene courtyard (p.140). The other is a loft that was formerly a cluster of state-owned military factory buildings (p.158).
In Chinese Style: Living in Beauty and Prosperity (2006), author Sunamita Lim explores Chinese cultural heritage in an American context. For example, Chinese red lacquer wedding cabinet highlights a cozy room with a moon window in an adobe home in the American Southwest (p.95).
So many places to explore in the comfort of your favourite chair.