Monday, August 31, 2009

China Pattern



A common thread wove its way through my weekend. A pattern of Asian-influenced design, colors and flavors.

It began on Friday evening when I attended a lovely gathering at the home of good friends. Our hostess prepared the most delicious, beautifully colorful meal of Chinese chicken salad and potstickers with a perfectly sweet and spicy dipping sauce. I wish I had photos to show you. Trust me, it was as pretty to look at as it was scrumptious to eat!

Next, I did some early fall-weather shopping and found this gorgeous jacket. It's called, appropriately, 'Chinoiserie', and I'm told the fabric is patterned after an antique textile discovered by the designer on her travels through Europe. I can't wait to wear it! We'll have to get through these hotter-than-hot late summer days first.


Saturday brought this elegant Asian vignette, from the blog Room Service-Decorating 101. I love the simplicity of the arrangement and quiet colors. I kept this image in my mind all weekend. It's so calm and soothing... the perfect pretend place to wander off to in the middle of a hectic day.


Also on Saturday, I was paging through the new (last!!) issue of Southern Accents, and spied the lovely photo at the top of this post. Inspired by the story on blue and white export porcelains, I created a new grouping, tucked into a bookcase, of three of my own blue and white pieces.


Sunday morning, I flipped on the TV to keep me company while doing chores, and there was Ina Garten on the Food Network grilling up the most beautiful tuna steaks. Chopped into bite-sized pieces, the tuna was mixed with avocado chunks and topped with a dressing of soy sauce, lime juice, scallions, red onions, wasabi powder and toasted sesame seeds. Ina piled the tuna mixture high on a bed of arugula and wrapped it all up in a toasted bun. More Asian goodness!

Later, while searching my photo files for something else entirely, I came upon these shots of a job I did last year for a client that was inspired by her own collection of Asian elements. This first photo shows a corner of her living room that includes two watercolors her father brought home from China many years ago. He served a good deal of his time as a military pilot travelling throughout Asia, collecting souvenirs to take back home all along the way. The subtle colors in these paintings paired well with the new stone flooring and the neutral taupes and golds and greyed olives of the furnishings and accessories the homeowner and I selected.


The other side of the living room features a large hand-painted silk screen that had been tucked away in a bedroom for years. The photo below doesn't do it justice, so I've included a second pic showing a detail of one corner. I was so excited when she showed it to me, I practically insisted we use it. Hung over the sofa now, it is flanked by the new, Asian-inspired carvings I found. The clients were very pleased to have another of their family heirlooms take center stage.



From the entry, you can see the entire living room. In the foreground, a box with carved Chinese characters on top and brass fittings, also from her father's travels, sits on an antique chest that belonged to the husband's grandmother. The carved wooden horse is one the clients already owned, the smaller Tang-style horse figure I purchased to go with it.


In the dining room, I continued the Asian theme in a more subtle way by layering three re-sized table runners across the width of the table. The combination of colors and textures and layering gives the impression of a Japanese obi. This was one of my first jobs when I started my design business in 2008. There are other images, most without the strong Asian elements seen here, I'll share with you another time.


So that was my Asian-influenced weekend! Funny how the theme kept repeating itself. Oh, and I almost forgot... for lunch on Sunday, I picked up some fresh, brown-rice California rolls. Yum! And guess what my husband decided to cook up for dinner that same night... grilled teriyaki chicken skewers, sticky rice and garlicky green beans! I hope you had an equally interesting, and delicious weekend too!!

18 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Rats. You've made me hungry just before bedtime!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I love the subtle influences in these rooms. I worked with a client last year that had similar Asian paintings to your clients. She had paintings and artwork depicting people in cultural dress, as well. They were scattered throughout her apartment and I brought them together on one wall - a striking display and she loved it.

pk said...

I haven't really worked with much Asian inspired design. Good job on your client's space, and I love your bookshelf that you did this weekend.

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Love the blue and white china at the top of your post. It's funny how you can notice one thing that you like and then suddenly it's everywhere!

Maria Killam said...

Beautiful job you did on that house! And I love how you arranged your bookshelf!

Michelle said...

What a beautiful home Tracy! I love the blue and white on your bookshelf, and the way you have arranged your books :)

I love that chenoiserie (sp?)is back...I just purchased a great brown and cream Robert Allen ch. print for some large cushions in my LR, and can't wait to see them done.

Best,
Michelle

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Such peaceful rooms....love the dishes~

Liz said...

Beautiful inspiration!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Mind...I love that you could use a picture from my blog...So glad that you liked it. Your room is very pretty too.

Blushing hostess said...

thank you for sharing with us, it is lovely!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Can one ever be sure that they wont come back...I am going to make it hard for her too...lol thanks for stopping by.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

The above comment was meant for someone else...sorry! Thanks for stopping by and leaving the sweet note.

annechovie said...

Just lovely! Thanks for visitng my blog.

Struggler said...

Your bookcase looks great and I have a feeling I could do something similar if I took my blue & white plates out from under potted plants :)
Love the rooms with the slight Asian look (rather than the Full Monty).
And is that jacket from Chicos? Coldwater Creek? It's lovely.

pve design said...

Thanks for your visit to my world! Funny, we were upstate last weekend and we found new mugs, which are chinoiserie and we love them! Our old mugs were chipped and all a "hodge-podge" - I love collections of blue and white.
Pretty weekend! (tasty too)
pve

Snowbrush said...

Wow, you give so much thought to design, and you do it so well too. Stylish, but not overdone. Such things are not much within my purlieu of interest, yet they intrigue me, and I enjoy them in others.

Cote de Texas said...

great job on that living room - I once had a client with two screens very similar to that = I put one over a sofa and one in her foyer!!! love the curtains too!

Janet said...

Well that settles it, Grilled Tuna Steaks for dinner. The dressing sounds delish.

Great work. Great post. ;)