Oriental Design Ideas and Styles

Admiration for all things eastern is not a new obsession. Over the years, Europe has returned again and again to the style that brings with it all the mystery, artistry and exotica of the Orient to warm and enliven our lives. In the eighteenth century, chinoiserie, as the style was known, was much in demand. With the opening up of the trade routes came a taste for new and unaccustomed delights. Fine china, lacquerwork, gorgeous silks and beautifully worked carpets were the chief benefits for the home. At first a prerogative of the court and the aristocracy, but gradually filtering down the social scale via the merchant class, this style was enthusiastically received, adapted and adopted.

Even though home-grown interior design in Europe was probably at its zenith, so exciting was this new style that it was readily taken on by artisans who reinterpreted their familiar European designs with one eye on the Orient. In some cases this must have been disastrous, but history is kind and all that remains today are the finest examples of East meets West. Classic among these must be the work of Thomas Chippendale. Through his ingenuity he was able to merge two very different idioms, producing the familiar Chinese Chippendale style still so popular today.

Historical references apart, oriental style, as it is adopted in Perth luxury homes, can be roughly broken down into three differing interpretations: South-east Asian Decorative, Oriental Ethnic and Japanese Minimalist.

South-east Asian Decorative style combines brilliant pure colors with gold – shocking blue and iridescent pink being particular favorites. All kinds of imagery, fabulous fabrics, parasols, kites, lanterns, and wood carving of a standard long since diminished in Europe, are featured. The music is of the ‘tinkly’ kind and the smells are those of incense: sweet and alluring.

Ethnic, summons up a much simpler style, without ostentation. Furniture is hand crafter – carved or turned teak, bamboo, rattan and cane being particularly in evidence. Accessories are predominantly of the utensil or ritual variety. Fabrics are dyed the natural way and reflect the colors of the earth and vegetation. The smells are those of the warm earth mixed with exotic spices.

The last grouping, Japanese Minimalism, provides an image of serene peace, clarity and order. Colors are neutral and wood is strongly featured. Every-thing is pared down to its bare essential state. ‘Less is more’, and everything in this interior is justified, all superfluous matter having been jettisoned. The straight lines of the architecture are relieved by the elegant curves of fine china bowls, bamboo leaves and sweeping calligraphy. Embellishments are few and well ordered and accessories vary from large-scale pots and plates to precious small items of ivory and jade.

The key to interpreting any of these variations is to start with a fairly bland, naturalistic background and to build up your theme gradually, layer by layer.


Interior walls frequently tend not to be the solid structures with which we are familiar in the West. More typical are screens. These may be movable and designed with dominant horizontals as in the Japanese tradition or carved into a fretwork of swirling flowers or strong geometries. Painted folding screens are also a feature and black lacquer a favorite finish.

Grass-cloth wall coverings give a luxurious feel to a room and precious panels of hand-painted oriental wallpaper make a stunning statement in a formal dining room. Apart from these examples, walls tend not to feature strongly beyond forming a background for the room’s contents – plain soft-white-painted walls are a safe alternative. Floors tend to be of natural materials: wood, of course, but also terracotta tiles, natural matting (such as jute, sisal or coir) and oriental carpets.


On the whole, oriental rooms tend to be much more sparsely furnished than their counterparts in the West, an economy to be admired as much from a spatial standpoint as a fiscal one. Teak, a wood strongly associated with the East, is used both as a building material and for constructing furniture. Cane, rattan, ebony, bamboo and lacquerwork are also featured. Seating comes in a variety of guises, but mostly it hugs the ground. A traditional Japanese futon bed based on a low slatted frame and with a roll-up mattress is a useful item that can also serve for seating during the day. Wooden shutters are a typical window treatment and mosquito nets a suitable bed or window dressing. Silk, as a furnishing and fashion material is closely associated with the Orient, and toile de jouy, with its depiction of daily life, an excellent material for summoning up eastern images. Fine embroidery is executed widely and batik a specialty of southern Asia.

Lighting And Accessories

The most evocative light fitting is probably the lantern. It is seen throughout the East in various guises and can be made of any number of materials, including paper. Particularly attractive are stone ‘temples’ which can enclose candles to light a garden at night. Few accessories are used, and these are generally hand-crafted and delicate. Precious stones and ivory are much in evidence.

DIY Loft Conversion Guide

A loft conversion is a cost effective way of adding an additional bedroom to your home with out the extra requirement of external floor space. Alternatively the extra space could be used as a gym, office or toy room for the children.

Although the floor space of a loft is usually quite considerable, it’s worth remembering that the sloping ceiling will limit headroom near the walls. The help reduce this problem and maximize the available space, customers often opt to include dormer windows, however if your loft is big enough then you may only opt for skylights that will fit flush with the existing roof.

Planning Permission

Occasionally a loft conversion can be done without the requirement for planning permission if the following criteria are met –

  • The internal volume of the loft will not change.
  • If you had a dormer window fitted then this would alter the internal and external dimensions of the property and planning permission may be required but if you were looking to use skylights then the volume would remain the same.
  • No part of the new London loft conversion, projects above the original buildings highest point.
  • Where the volume of a dormer or mansard that is added to the terraced property, is less than 50CuM or 10% of the volume of the original building (whichever is the larger figure). The upper limit of this is 115CuM.
  • Where the volume of a dormer or mansard that is added to a semi-detached or detached property, is less than 70CuM or 15% of the volume of the original building (whichever is the larger figure). The upper limit of this is 115CuM.
  • The windows of a dormer or mansard must not over look a highway, which includes both a public footpath or road.
  • The original building is not listed.
  • All buildings have a permitted development limit imposed on them, so you must also consider whether the original buiding has already been extended.

Building regulations

It is also worth considering that all loft conversions will need to meet current building, fire as well as health and safety regulations. These will then need to be checked by the local building control officer, who will ensure they meet the required standard.

Existing Loft Beams

Your loft beams and roof structure will determine the amount of space your conversion will create as well as potentially one of the major cost factors.

In an ideal situation the height of your existing loft ceiling will need to be at least 2.3m in height in order to make the conversion worthwhile. This is because new stronger joists will need to be fitted as well as a new chipboard floor, which will elevate the flooring area and result in less headroom.

The second consideration is the type of roof trusses that are currently fitted. Most modern (approx 1965 onwards) use pre-formed truss rafters to support the roof, which can be easily be converted by any loft conversion company to create a habitual loft space.

Most houses prior to this date will have a rafter style roof which uses larger timber beams attached to the wall. In this case the roof will need significant strengthening, which will increase the cost and complexity of the project.

Choosing Kitchen Benchtops – Features to Look For

Kitchen provides spiritual and physical nourishment, and is considered as an important part of family life. Knowingly or unknowingly, we all spend lot of time in kitchen. For the reason, it becomes important to arrange it well so that it provides adequate functionality and comfortability.

When it comes to designing or remodeling kitchen, the most important concern is the bench top. Unattractive and plain looking designs can affect the appearance of the area, while beautiful and trendy designs make it appear pleasing to eyes and give a positive energy. A wide variety of quality post formed kitchen bench tops are available in market these days, you can choose accordingly. Working in a beautifully designed contemporary kitchen helps you to cook delicious meals faster and you enjoy cooking as well.

The following are key points that should be kept in mind while choosing kitchen benchtops melbourne.

Know the Right Size

Getting the right size for bench tops is extremely important. Generally, depth between 600mm and 900mm is optimal. Choosing bench tops with width of about 600mm to 900mm is sufficient, if only one person works in kitchen. But, if two to three people work regularly in kitchen, then you must opt for width of 1200mm or more. So, based on your needs and choices, you must select the size wisely.

Select the Best Material

Are you a professional grade cook who is fond of cooking new and exciting dishes and trying some self made recipes as well? Then, you must choose the best bench top made of heat resistant and scratch resistant material that makes the process of cooking simple and easy for you. Although appearance and style matters, but major concern is to choose material with properties that best suit your needs.

Consider Pros & Cons of Different Bench tops

It is very important to know the pros and cons of different types of stone benchtops available in the market so as to get the best product for your kitchen, depending on needs and desires. For instance- the material such as granite can stain easily; opting for corian or stainless steel is better choice if you are worried about stains.

Get the Look You Always Wanted

This is the time when you can choose the best design, the one you have always desired because remodeling is not that easy and cannot be done frequently. So, select the best color, style that complements your kitchen well and gives it a whole new dazzling appearance. When selected and installed appropriately, the bench top enhances the look and feel of kitchen for years to come.

So, when selecting the quality postformed Kitchen Bench Top for remodeling or styling kitchen, conduct thorough research and make the right decision.

Exterior Lighting- Challenges To Be Encountered

With widespread technological advancement over the years, a growing number of medical, education and other commercial institutions and organizations are using exterior lighting facilities during the night for illuminating the walkways and surroundings. In fact, proper lighting is also beneficial in the sense that it helps in providing a greater level of security for the occupants and visitors who are biking, walking or driving.

Proper lighting facilities are one of the compulsions on the roads and highways so that the drivers can see better during night time. However, there are several challenges that designers commonly encounter while producing exterior lighting.

Many of the installations ends up providing rather inferior and poor illumination compared to what was originally expected from them. Misapplied, poorly designed, improperly located or defective fixtures can cause harsh and glare shadows which may reduce the safety and security.

One more problem that is commonly encountered is the scarcity of open space to install structures upon which high power lamps can be mounted to illuminate the surroundings. In most cases, some structure comes in the way of the poles and presence of a parallel structure leads to obtrusive light that dampens the end prospects.

Another of a common general problem is the presence of a fair deal of glare. Glare is basically an indicator of ineffective or inefficient light. The best way to combat glare however is to replace the offending fixtures with totally cut off fixtures to make sure there is no glare. The cut off fixtures are typically suited for parking lots, garages and pedestrian walkways.

Similarly, the mercury vapor lamps that were used widely at many places in the past should be avoided as they have a great deal of lumen depreciation. They have a negligible light output and associate a real poor color rendering in the range of 22-52 only.

Different Uses Of Decorative Glass Panels

Your home interior can be as innovative as you want it to be. You can use one thing in several ways to create different looks. Glass has no close competitor as far as home décor is concerned. Thanks to the glass panels you can add glamour and smartness to your hall, living room, bed room or any other spate for that matter. These decorative glass panels can be used in your home and office and it has commercial application too. There are changing rooms in the garment shops separated by smoked glass panel. It increases the overall appeal of the area.
Let us now discuss how you can use the glass panels.

Room divider: This is the most beautiful and effective use of glass panels. There are several patterns of room divider to choose from and believe me, they all look great. Today the space is shrinking in homes and we cannot afford a very big living room or dining room. What you can actually do is to separate the area with these panels.

Fireplace Screen: There are special glass panels made for your fireplace. It not only keeps the kids in safe distance but at the same time it adds a point of focus in your home.

Doors: Glass panels can replace Doors. There are some sliding glass panels which can be added to doors and windows. They look modern and decorative.

Kids Room: You may not have separate rooms for your kids but kids after certain age look for privacy. For them decorative glass panels are going to be great choice. They work as a barrier and if they are removable at the same time, you can remove them when they want to be together.

There are several companies selling glass panel. But what you need to look for is proper quality and price.

Designer Floor Tiles for Exotic Looks

The trends of construction industry keep on changing. Many inventions keep happening in this field and improvisation is constantly aimed at. The inventions aim at making the building more elegant, more convenient and add more life to the building. Floor tiles are one such invention which has changed the concept of flooring by adding many advantages.

Flooring is the most important aspect of any building. Flooring needs to be good looking, easy to clean, cost effective and long lasting. Since the floor is the place where most of the happenings since the furniture is most used and abused part of the building. So this needs to be well protected. Floor tiles offer the best covering for the floorings with elegant and lavish looks. The floor tiles are available in different varieties like ceramic, porcelain, polished tiles and mosaic tiles. There are also cheap tiles available which provide a good life to the floors. The tiles, irrespective of any variety offer wide range of designs and colors.

There are outdoor tiles Sydney which have light designs and plain colors ranging from dark to light and white tiles. They come in different finishes like matt finish or with shiny finish. While choosing floor tiles, care should be taken to make sure the tiles are not slippery and are safe to walk upon. This is the primary aspect which has to be taken care especially in case of bathroom floor tiles. The floor tiles offer the benefit of providing a long life and durability. They are easy to maintain and does not need elaborate maintenance techniques. They are easy to fix and give an elegant and neat look.

Since the floor tiles come in different sizes, the laying of the tiles has to be done by skilled personnel or tilers in Essex to get the best looks. The skills of the person fixing the tiles matter a lot. Though floor tiles come in a wide range of costing, cheap tiles are also available for the needy.