GET THAT LOOK: Decorating with Vietnamese Accessories

Elegance, simplicity and timelessness

would be the words used to describe traditional Vietnamese architecture and interiors .

The architectural influences in Vietnam vary greatly – while there’s a lot of Chinese influence visible in palaces, pagodas and community halls, (remember THIS POST?)  there’s also a lot of European influence seen on the building facades of bigger cities.

This heritage house in small town Hoi An has a distinct Chinese architectural influence.

Wood, wood and more wood! The interior is adorned with Chinese details, but the layout is perfectly Vietnamese.

During my visit, it was pretty tricky to pinpoint the era or style of any one building thanks to the many different dynasties that ruled Vietnam, but I did start to notice a familiarity in the materials used, and for the most part, Vietnamese dwellings have common floor plan layouts. And so, I have deduced that infusing a Vietnamese flavour into your space can be simple enough if you use the ARCHITECTURE to inform your purchasing of ACCESSORIES. Get it? Hmmm…

A traditional Vietnamese interior features plenty of woven woods and straws. (Image from "Vietname Style" book)

This hotel was designed by Vietnamese firm, Hunggiathing. It demonstrates a more contemporary Vietnamese style.

The dining room at the Ana Mandara Villas Dalat Resort & Spa designed by Bernhard Bohnenberger shows some traditional Vietnamese accessories and finishes in a contemporary setting.

This traditional Mong Phu house in Hoi An is adorable - note the same types of finishes that appear in the contemporary and Chinese-influenced houses are the same!

Now, let’s get to the fun part! Decorating with Vietnamese accessories

I love  Asian accessories – they give any space a worldly feel and are usually very interesting – much more dynamic than the typical set of big-box-store vases.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THESE ITEMS:

Vietnamese Decorative Accessories for the Home

Making sure an item is Vietnamese in origin can be tricky – instead, focus on trying to implement some of the materials, patterns and motifs that are common in most Vietnamese architecture and interiors.

WOVEN patterns – wood strips, bamboo, rattan and other materisls are woven to create privacy screens, window coverings and floor mats in Vietnamese architecture. Incorporate some woven baskets or woven rugs to play up the Vietnamese style.

WOOD items -  lacquered wood or bamboo will lend itself to a Vietnamese style. Keep an eye out for wood statues and carvings, (but be careful, these items can sometimes be Balinese and look very similar).

BRASS and METAL – antique brass bowls, vessels, vases and utensils are easy to find online and add a special touch that is less organic and more dynamic (think of the 1992 film, Indochine, starring Catherine Deneuve). Who doesn’t love an iron or brass Buddha statue on a fireplace mantle or a bookshelf?

PAINTED BLUE & WHITE CERAMICS – these quintessential Vietnamese pieces make for great decorative items. Use the small incense burners as they were intended, or, use them in a collection for table centerpieces, small flower vases, jewelry holders or candle holders.

Design sources clockwise from top left hand corner: Alibaba, 1stDibs, 2WorldTextiles, Exploring 20th Century London, MiniMeez, This Next.

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7 Comments

  1. Great idea to showcase accessories at the end of the blog along with the elements that make them authentic … You’re so smart :)

  2. Awesome site! I’m an interior design student and I find this to be extremely helpful, especially the accessories. Thumbs up and kudos to you! ^_^

  3. Thanks, Joann, Glad you enjoyed the post :)

  4. Kandice Treptow |

    Decorative accessories should be well made. The quality of materials should be always checked if it is the best. .’`.”

    Yours truly
    http://www.prettygoddess.com

  5. Darcey Poeschel |

    When you think of wall art, do paintings, posters and prints fill your head? Don’t let the limited thinking of the past rule how you decorate today. With a little imagination, you can have a room that suits your personality. Anything that can be hung on a nail can be wall art, like old snowshoes, boat oars or skis. It all depends upon the look and feel you want. If you have accessories, like pottery or ceramic figurines that can’t hang on their own, you can include them in your wall art by placing them on a decorative wall shelf.

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