Asian furnishings and objets d’art have been in demand by Westerners since Europeans discovered the magical, mysterious East in the 1600s. My personal style has always run toward 18th century European furnishings, with the occasional Asian accessory thrown in. I have resisted becoming committed to a single palette, because I love changing things seasonally. After re-arranging the art in my living room for the holidays to feature paintings with a lot of red, I was about to do my usual “spring switch out” to blues and greens when I stumbled upon a pair of Chinese red antique chairs at at my favorite new shop, Seams to Fit Home, an upscale resale shop, and fell madly in love. Couldn’t stop thinking about them. I kept visiting them every time I took a client to the shop, and finally had to buy them.
The chairs came with a “Certificate of Antique” document from the Sichuan Art & Craft Merchants Association of China, specifying that they were made 150 years ago (late Ching Dynasty) in Shansi, from elm wood. Their shape and color knocked my socks off–so sculptural. My husband pronounced that he liked them (yes!), and asked if I was going to put pads on them so they would be more comfortable. I haven’t decided yet. They seem quite at home across from a Louis XVI-style table and sofa, next to a skirted table holding a French bouillotte lamp.
Purchasing these chairs means that my living room color palette is now firmly fixed in the Oriental style: an emphasis on neutrals, punctuated with one or two of the “five colors”–blue, red, yellow, white and black–that correspond to the “five elements” of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. My red accent color is “most auspicious”, as it represents fire, fame, fortune, joy, festivity, longevity, summer, passion, and protection from bad luck. My home is still an eclectic work-in-progress, but for the moment, my color commitment phobia has been eradicated!
The objects we surround ourselves with speak volumes about us, whether it be our clothing, books, magazines, musical instruments, sporting equipment, or home furnishings. If your interior spaces don’t reflect your true self, please give Emery and Associates a call. We can help you determine your own personal style so you can achieve the look that reflects your unique point of view.