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.
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…
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:
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.