interior design

Never underestimate the power of the humble pillow to effect a design scheme. In design terms, this seemingly inconsequential item, certainly, punches far above its weight. More than after thought or final flourish, this simple, inexpensive item is often the linchpin that pulls a room scheme together. Just check out how this elegant room has added pizzazz with the addition of simple throw pillow.

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Notice how the rich purple tones, echoes the colour of the flowers in the artwork and brings the whole room to life.

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Here again (above image), we have echoed the colour In the art, drawing it into the room itself, making It part of the room scheme, so turning a classic blue and white scheme into something far richer and more glamorous.

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In this otherwise neutral room, the green throw pillows provide a visual link with the glorious verdant view, drawing the outside into the scheme itself.

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In this room, I have used the slightest amount of green on the trim of the throw cushion on the sofa and again on the bolster on the Chinese chair. It is the smallest amount of colour but it is just sufficient to provide a link to the adjacent dining room beyond and so provides a cohesive flow between the spaces.

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Here it is the addition of a few colourful throw cushions that add bold punch to an all white bedroom space. Inexpensive and easy to change, the pillows allow you to experiment with colour or to transform the mood of a room.


Again, in this neutral space, it is the vibrant hues on the smallest item that adds the strongest punch. Here, I have used an antique Japanese textile to accent one of the pillows and firmly establish the Japanese aesthetic in the room.


Look how the pillows are the only items of pattern in this space. The strong geometric design, echoes the lines of the side table and complement the angles in the artwork above. This is such a simple look but the addition of the pattern draws everything together and adds enough visual interest to make it special.

Doc - Mar 27 2015 10-31 AM

July 8, 2015 0 comment
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                         As seen in Singapore Tatler

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What is CHINOISERIE Style?

The word Chinoiserie is French and means “in the Chinese taste”.
It describes a decorating trend that has been used for centuries to infuse drama, and a sense of fantasy into some of the world’s most glamorous interiors. Many popular Chinoisere motifs will be instantly recognizable to us in Asia and people often, mistakenly, assume that the style originated in China. But it is, in fact, a trend that began in Europe in the 17th Century.

This was a time when European merchants were establishing trade routes across Asia, bringing home whimsical products and incredible stories of distant, mysterious lands. The Europeans didn’t distinguish between these Eastern cultures and everything from from China, Japan, India and Persia were termed “Oriental”. Owning a piece of, “japanned” furniture, as some pieces were called, became the height of fashion amongst Europe’s elite. They were fascinated with all things Asian and throughout the continent, aristocrats, began decorating their castles and palaces with Chinoiserie elements. As authentic products were rare, European manufacturers produced imitations, often adapting traditional Asian designs and symbols, altering scale and proportion to better suit European taste.

In essence, Chinoiserie is the original East Meets West design style.

Typical Chinoiserie Designs

European craftsman decorated everything from wallpapers, pottery, porcelain, and painted furniture with scenes from the orient. Typical Chinoiserie motifs included The Dragon image which the Europeans regarded as the symbol of the mystical Eastern lands.

Another common feature of Chinoiserie decoration are figures wearing Chinese clothing. Some artists chose to copy figures from genuine imports but, in many cases, the images they drew were products of the designer’s imagination.

Birds, flowers and fanciful landscapes were also popular, as were pagodas. So different from English architecture, the pagoda was incorporated into the design of many Chinoiserie objects.

Chinoiserie Today
In a reaction to the minimalism that has dominated the design scene for much of the past decade, designers are embracing luxury and pattern. There is a return to glamorous and colorful interiors and Chinoiserie is at the forefront of this trend. Four Hundred years after it originated, some of the worlds best known designers are reinventing the Chinoiserie style, reinterpreting it in fresh colorways, proportions or materials to make it as relevant today as it was centuries ago.

21st century Chinoiserie is still glamorous but it is a glamor mixed with humor invoking a sense of luxury without formality. Chinoiserie rooms don’t have to be busy: the look is more streamlined and crisp than it was centuries ago.


                                              Jasper Conran’s Chinoiserie tableware for Wedgwood

In this Living room, Chinoiserie accents are combined with contemporary materials. Walls and curtains are deliberately plain ensuring a look that resonates with the glamor of Chinoiserie but feels thoroughly current.



                                                                  Lamp by Ralph Lauren home

At Design Intervention, Chinoiserie is a much-used tool in our decorator’s arsenal and elements of Chinoiserie pepper many of our projects. A Chinoiserie backdrop may enable us to combine family heirloom pieces within a modern living environment so that we can personalize the homes of our clients. Sometimes, we use it to spice up interiors with little architectural interest or to add another dimension to contemporary rooms. And, because Chinoserie reflects so much of the culture and color of life in Singapore, we often incorporate Chinoiserie accents to give our projects a sense of place.

But perhaps, the reason that Chinoiserie is such a particular favorite of mine, is that I am drawn to the light-hearted, playful feeling that it infuses into a room. The stylized oriental figures, patterns and colors make me smile. And there can be few better reasons to decorate your home, than to create an environment that lifts your mood and makes you feel good. And, for me, Chinoiserie does just that.

Doc - Mar 27 2015 10-31 AM

April 28, 2015 0 comment
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