A simple zen-like minimalism is very popular this year, and that means stripping down ornamentation and letting a few subtle features stand on their own.
(PRWEB) March 05, 2014
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This year, many designers are turning to the far east for inspiration, borrowing various Asian aesthetics and applying them to western style bathrooms. These Asian inspired spaces run the gamut from very ornate and formal to simple, natural, spa-like spaces and offer a unique, slightly exotic twist that can make a luxury bathroom really feel like a getaway. Whether you want a very overtly Asian look or just something with a little eastern flair, choosing the right vanity is the first step to getting this great look in your own bathroom.
Probably the most common eastern feature you'll find in an Asian inspired bathroom is vanities that mimic the classic Japanese style shoji screens. Traditionally shoji screens are wood frame panels with a grid of rice paper panes inside that can either be freestanding or used as moving walls or sliding doors, like pocket doors. This simple style is iconically Japanese, but has been appropriated in many areas of western bathroom design - especially for use on the cabinet doors of bathroom vanities. Rather than using rice paper, these doors typically use frosted glass, but have the same effect of letting light through without being totally transparent, and instantly evoke an Asian style.
Another iconic eastern style that's worked its way into western bathroom design is the classic Chinese medicine cabinet. Antique versions of these large, dark lacquered wood cabinets are covered in small drawers designed to hold various medicinal herbs and often feature lovely woodwork, metalwork, or hand painted designs. Many bathroom vanities mimic this style, though often the drawers are faux panels set onto a standard cabinet door to help streamline storage. This type of vanity works great in a more formal bathroom space with ornate accents, like red fabric, carved wood screens, or elegant bronze or brass figures that have a bit of eastern flair.
In many Asian nations, calligraphy is still a cherished art form; masterfully painted characters can be hung or framed and hold a profoundly appealing elegance, even to westerners who can't read the language. These simple, precise brush strokes are often mimicked in larger aspects of design in the west. While you'd probably never find a vanity like this in a bathroom anywhere in Asia, the sleek, calligraphy-like lines hold a very similar appeal to the western eye, offering a design that's very simple but that seems artistic and exotic. Paired with a unique vessel sink and faucet, this look can be incredibly beautiful and striking, though ultimately the design differs very little from a traditional washstand.
To get a subtler eastern look, focus less on Asian-inspired design features and more on presentation. A simple, zen-like minimalism is very popular this year, and that means stripping down ornamentation and letting a few subtle features stand on their own. For example, this two-tone vanity has a very simple design, but a few small choices give it that slightly exotic appearance and a really lovely sense of balance. First, there's a subtle asymmetry on the front cabinet panels, with two drawers counterbalancing the single cabinet door, uninterrupted by knobs or pulls. An elegant ceramic vessel sink adds visual interest without making the space showy or busy the way a glass or stone sink might. A small bud vase with live greenery adds a little touch of nature to the space, drawing the eye and serving as a focal point of a relatively simple design without the need for any other ornamentation, creating a look that's both very simple and visually alluring.
The context of the rest of your bathroom matters, too. While choosing a very overtly eastern-styled vanity is a great way to change the look of the space without altering any other features, if you're planning for a larger remodel, even a very simple, standard vanity can have a touch of that exotic flair if you choose the right surroundings. Clean, glossy white modern bathroom vanities actually work great with zen-like bathrooms because they help make the space feel bright and clean. On its own, or paired with lots of concrete and glass tile, this vanity has a purely modern style. But pair it with bamboo wood floors, river rocks, a live orchid, or other natural accents, and even the most standard vanity will start to take on some of that far-eastern feel that will really take your bathroom to the next level.
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