I would really like a Chinese round black table. It would have designs engraved into it. I have so much that I really enjoy and I want to start accumulating.
By Bev from Chilliwack, BC
You sound just like me! I love everything asian, with an emphasis on Japanese design.
Your best bet to do this frugally is to focus on a few key items; the rest of the room items need only be within your color-scheme for the room, so they can be generic.
I started with the table. It's the black lacquer oval table inset with mother-of-pearl engravings with a glass top. It cost me (gasp!) $400.
After I got the table, I picked up a couple of japanese style lamps (they are called shoji lamps, and while not cheap; they are certainly in the range of "normal" lamp costs (shoji, for those who don't know is a square type of lattice-work frame with rice paper behind; so the light glows through the rice paper rather than "glaring".
Shoji lamps can be found online (google retailers) as well as in asian grocery stores, Ebay and occassionally Target will have an asian-inspired lamp.
As far as furniture, don't bother. As long as your colors do not clash, you can just place a few throw pillows (these are ultra-cheap or make your own).
Keep wall art to a minimum, asian decor is very spare, homes are not cluttered, they are minimalistic.
One framed photo (grab one off the web and have it processed or printed) is quite enough for the walls. Cherry blossoms are the ideal theme.
You can do your room for about $500 (with the $400 coffee table). If you want to go slower, use your existig coffee table with a nice asian brocade from the fabric store as a table cloth until you are ready to buy.
The lamps, unfortunately are quite essential, no skimping on those.
Asian furniture is almost an oxymoron, in the japanese culture, the same rooms are used for sleeping, so most traditional homes have matting on the floor and cushions to sit upon. At night they bring out the futons and use the room for bedtime.
All the other stuff is Imperial China copying Western culture. Might as well go traditional, it's cheaper and looks a lot more lovely in your home.
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