Happy Chinese New Year 2018. Is this your year? According to Chinese astrology we should embrace red, green and blue colour schemes for the Year of the Dog, and decorate our homes and gardens with an abundance of roses and cymbidium orchids. What are you waiting for? Get decorating!
1. Work a wallpaper
Make dining beautiful with black furniture and a trellis-design wallpaper in bold green. This eye-catching ethnic geometric pattern is influenced by Eastern culture and is the perfect partner to a gallery of leaf prints and potted plants. New Year's Eve dinner is an important event in China, when families come together from around the world to celebrate the passing of the old year and the arrival of the new.
2. Decorate with red
Decorate a bedroom in traditional Eastern motifs and lashings of red. Red is considered the luckiest colour in China and it is widely used during festivals and important events, so much so that red envelopes containing money are often given as a gift at New Year. Incorporate sliding doors, which are commonly featured in oriental homes. Here, a handleless design looks flawless, while the mirrored finish bounces light around the room.
3. Set an artistic scene
Silk, gold leaf, copper and oak form the perfect base notes for an oplulent oriental living room scheme. An exotic mural adds a distinct feel in stunning gold set on rich petrol blue. The delicate, floral cut-out design has the feel of an elegant Chinese silk-screen print. Balance the impact of the wall with an abundance of warm wood.
4. Embrace the dark side
Set a dramatic mood with dark botanicals. Flora and fauna are perennial decorating motifs and there's no reason they shouldn't appear in a bathroom. In this space they have a wonderfully decorative impact on walls. In true Chinese fashion, keep the rest of the space low key - ideally in plain black or dark wood. A combination of black and vivid colour is common in oriental design.
5. Prepare for a celebration
A Chinese New Year's Eve feast is a joyous family reunion and will include a table full of 'lucky' foods believed to bring good luck for the coming year. Keep a cabinet well stocked with china to ensure your hospitality flows throughout the 16 days of celebration. Invest in rich jade and earthy green crockey, the oriental take on the colour green, as it is associated with life, vitality and dependability. Throw in a dog for good measure!
6. Saturate with colour
Surround a desk with deep crimson, plum and red for a home office brimming with Eastern-inspired warmth and personality. Rich, joyous shades like these are a trademark of Chinese style. The metallic trellis design on the walls channels an Eastern feel, while metal storage and glass surfaces bounce light around the room, helping to temper the depth of colour elsewhere. A velvet-covered screen makes a super-stylish room divider.
7. Love luxe
Blue is a lucky colour for the Year of the Dog so bring together a selection of beautiful shades in a neutral bedroom. Look for the rich, satin, silk and velvet materials beloved of oriental style, but choose shades that are deep, dark and gorgeous enough to create a sense drama, and with enough of a reflective or tactile quality to add depth and luxury to your scheme.
8. Go for green
Combine mineral green with ebony for a bold and lively living room scheme that brings to mind precious Chinese jade. A set of tactile velvet seat cushions match these beautifully marbled walls perfectly, while oriental-black cane chairs, picture frame and flooring provide the contrast. A copper table and brass lamp stand offer modern updates on Eastern-style gold.
9. Mix in a motif
Look for a characteristic motif to incorporate into a glamorous bedroom decorating scheme. The crane is a symbol of immortality in Chinese mythology and this fabulous wallpaper features hand-drawn-effect birds flying over a cloudscape in uplifting jade green. A dark mahogany dressing table has been topped with a black, rich-veined marble to create the ultimate glamorous statement. Bring in glimmering gold and black accessories to add depth, lustre and glamour.
10. Clean up in style
Chinese New Year is always proceeded by the equivalent of a spring clean as clearing, tidying and sprucing up a home is all part of welcoming a new year - and your New Year's Eve visitors. Why not take the opportunity to have a sort through housekeeping and cleaning equipment and check whether you need to renew or replace any items. It's also a good time to think about storage and where you keep everything - make sure all your bits and pieces are easy to find and to get at. This understairs cupboard is wonderfully organised with hooks for all manner of dusters along with standing room for dustpans, brushes, mops and buckets.
How will you be celebrating the Chinese New Year?
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Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.
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