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!!