With many design influences springing from the West – Nordic, Scandinavian, French – we sometimes forget about the luxuries of the East. Simplistic with a taste of a different kind of rustic, they offer modern elegance with a twist. Lush plant life joins with simple slatted windows and rough-shod wood to create the feel of the jungle. Low, flat lines in expansive, muted colours show a more down-to-earth design. Warm lighting glows upon curved seating, twisted and turned for the sake of innovation. Find the values of the East in your interior with these Japanese and Vietnamese homes, all visualised by Phiung Asia.
Located in Shizuoka, Japan, our first home was designed for those living in close quarters. Taking three days to visualise, its combination of iron, slatted grey wood and natural hues remind of an urban jungle. The living room grounds its design in concrete-panelled ceilings, light wood and a grey-slatted canvas. Brown suede couches remind of hides, while table mosses show different forest species. Ocean-themed watercolours mist the walls, as boxed white windows let light on the concrete floor. A wooden platform, looking more outdoors than in, looks down on plant life.
The dining table Is centred with iron hanging lights, and joined by an abstract in strokes of grey. Lit by the lounge’s open plan windows, wooden stencil features add elegance in thin-stemmed chairs, partitions and slatted cabinetry. A tree stands tall among stone and slate ornaments.
Our second space in Chiba, Japan, is a more industrial take on the same theme. Briefed to evoke nature, simplicity and sincerity, its cement, wood and tree accents span a more relaxed room. Piped cement ceilings and a matching floor house a wooden platform and furniture in the main area, clothed in dusky greys and brown leather. An exposed brick wall lets potted trees take centre stage, while a mesh and linen chandelier hangs peacefully. A simple table with leather school chairs provides a place for eating.
The TV room inspires simplicity within a stylish framework. A grey wooden panel on concrete sits beside ferns and trees, while a dreamcatcher dangles from the ceiling. Relaxed wooden chairs match simple block furniture. Joinery and a black ladder dilute the modernity of the TV, while a tree stump table sits on iron legs.
Plants are an important design feature. Potted olive trees and ferns surround themselves with cacti in the TV room. The dining table offers a fish bowl, more potted cacti and bonzai.
The kitchen’s industrial elements make themselves known, as a silver extractor fan acts the feature. Marble and wood play together, with a grey wooden panel mirroring the living room. Chrome elements in pots, pans, and appliances blend into the concrete, while highlighting the extractor fan. Air conditioning piping forms a neat line lined with lights, leading to simple hanging door threads.
Another space in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, combines the classic and modern in one beautiful space. Designed to work with Vietnam’s early dark, lights are dotted around the house to provide ample light after five. A twelve-pronged candelabra makes an impact on the living room, swathed in tones of light grey, wood and beige. An L-shaped linen couch cradles two low-lying tables, an example of the traditional, while sliding white frames open up to a modern patio. Mossy plants and a feature chair add texture to the space, as a grey kitchen provides a simplistic backdrop.
Looking out to the patio, a skyline enters in, reaffirming the grey. A bordered ceiling reminds of the 50’s, a beehive-panelled partition the 70’s. Simple bauble vases sit on clean line shelving, housing the TV while opening to the view to an outdoor living wall.
Our final space in Ho Chi Minh measures a mere 120sqm. Geared towards the surreal, it pairs simplistic features with unusual shapes, forming a unique character. The living room shows this best, with chequered windows lighting a mottled grey couch and crafted wooden chair. Stencil lights and a TV bring technology, while a view from the lounge shows a white-and-wooden wall cabinet bearing busts, books and frames.
The view from the dining room shows more unusual finds. An unlikely pairing, copper-domed hanging lights in stretched triangles front a white-and-blue crop circle triptych. A simple wooden table allows a fifth chair to break the mould, in laid-back wooden framing. A stark black piano with ornate looking seat sits beside, as three wall hangings compete.
In the entrance, a black-and-white chequered floor paves a corridor. Warm wooden cabinetry helps add warmth, while a small copper light references the dining room and lights the way.