Oriental or exotic? How to do a home-makeover inspired by these styles

When we think of exotic destinations or calm oriental spots, we may feel a sense of bliss or relaxing vibes. Why not enjoy these sensations every day by giving your home a makeover inspired by these styles?

Here's how to achieve both styles in your interior design.

Oriental: Think Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China and Japan. 

First of all, embrace patterns. In an essay published by the Department of Asian Art in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the authors described the Japanese Rinpa style as "vibrant colours applied in a highly decorative and patterned manner" used to decorate not only paintings but also textiles, ceramics and lacquerwares. 

Other oriental art is renowned for fine, intricately detailed paintings done in ink on silk fabrics, full of patterns made using floral designs of cherry blossom trees blooming, peacocks dancing or the lines and dashes of their alphabets.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art also notes most of these patterns are inspired by nature and the seasons. Bring such elements into your home make-over by using wallpaper in natural patterns such as Resene Atmosphere, Resene Alta Gamma Home and Resene Flower Poetry. In fact, the entire Resene Flower Poetry 2015 range has many wallpapers that look like watercolour paintings of flowers, a great and easy way to bring an oriental atmosphere into your home. 

Oriental fabrics are also typically decorated with patterns, making the elegant traditional kimonos or Qipao dresses a delight for the eyes. Channel these in your own fabrics around the house, from throws to curtains and bed sheets. 

Exotic: Think Bali, the Maldives, Turkey, Fiji, Samoa, India and Arabic nations.

First things first: colour. Picking the right exotic hue helps set the scene as the backdrop for all your furniture choices, fabrics and room layout. Rich, deep tones of red, yellow and green can offer an exotic ambience. Try painting your walls with coats of either Resene DaredevilResene SpotlightResene Desperado or Resene Juicy. These warm hues can transport you to bustling market places and bazaars, full of tropical fruits, spices and colourful vegetables. 

Mirror-work and embroidery are common among exotic textiles and crafts, especially in the brightly coloured saris of India. Start a DIY project by buying a pack of small, round mirrors from your local craft store, and use fabric glue to add them to lampshades, cushion covers and decorative pillows around your home.

Another idea is to buy fabric with Balinese prints, Samoan 'pe'a' or tattoo patterns, Fijian 'masi' tapa cloths or Indian sari's in brightly coloured bandhani prints and drape them throughout your home, over couches or on top of floor cushions.

You can also use these fabrics to give your furniture an exotic feel. Don't worry about buying new items, because a simple revamp can be achieved by reupholstering the sofas and chairs. Use leftover scraps from such fabrics as artworks by placing them inside photo frames and hanging them on the walls. These vivid designs will look great hanging beside the warm wall colours. 

Smell is also a great way to bring an exotic flavour to your home. Light some scented incense sticks in fragrances of jasmine, sandalwood or lavender and place them on your lounge coffee table or bedside stands. 

Finally, deck the shelves with ornaments. Miniature elephant sculptures, small wooden jewellery boxes with mosaics imbedded into the lids and unique candlestands can all add to the exotic flair. 

So, now that you have the option to choose between exotic and oriental, which one will you go for in your home make-over? No matter what you decide, getting some paint on your hands and jumping into a project mood will make the transformation even more enjoyable! Namaste. 

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