A few of you may be raising eyebrows at this point, as I have chosen a film that is not as well known as the previous posts in this series. However, should you have a fondness for Oriental design, foreign films and romance in a sensual yet reserved sense – do rent the DVD over the weekend! The film is just intensely beautiful in the way it uses striking colours throughout the scenes (I especially love the leading actress’ dresses) and how it finds beauty in the most unexpected places. You will get a good idea of how lighting can be used to create certain moods and atmospheres within the home.
· As I just mentioned, one of the things that strikes me the most in this film is So Laizhen’s costumes/dresses; traditional Chinese dresses with colours that seem to glow – blues, greens, yellows and reds give way to romantic florals and asymmetrical prints. You can take inspiration from both the colours used and the motifs or patterns. Look out for shimmering Oriental style fabric or wallpaper – both can be used to dress up walls and the former will suit every type of soft furnishing project; think about upholstering dining chairs or framing pieces of fabric for wall décor.
· You will also notice traditional use of Jade in the film – Jadeite cups and saucers being one example. This mineral has a long cultural importance in China and you have probably seen it used as an ornamental piece in your local Chinese restaurant. Simply use the colour jade for painting walls or see if you can’t find some ornamental pieces of your own to put on display. The colour can be quite soothing so it makes a nice addition to bedrooms or bathrooms.
· For furniture, choose dark lacquered pieces or choose statement pieces in gloss red – the latter having a contemporary presence in an otherwise traditional design. Gloss red has been quite on trend this year and has been used for kitchens cabinets to bedroom wardrobes; you might also try it out with gloss red barstools in a kitchen-diner or collection of vases.
· Set the right mood with lighting; choose table lamps uk and low level lighting or use candles to achieve that soft glow as seen in the film. Paper lanterns are a great addition to the home and can be used in rooms where more light is needed – try hanging one or two above the dining table for an intimate atmosphere.
· I think the bedroom is a great space to try out this look as it hints at romance after all! Look for black silk sheets and super king sized bedding in red or black with red detailing. Use wooden Venetian blinds for the windows, matching the wood tone to other furniture. Look for vintage mirrors with an Oriental style and Chinese partition screens for added intimacy.