So I have the TV on in my office today, and I’m flipping between the US Open and HGTV. There was a show where two 22-year-olds were buying their first house after living with their parents and saving up money like crazy. Neat story. The two of them had two inspirational decoration pieces that the guy’s parents had brought back from Japan. One was a wood carving of a Chinese character that meant good health, good life, or something. The other was a painting that looked to be in the Chinese style, at least to me. The guy said he was definitely interested in “Oriental” designs–I think it’s still okay to say “Oriental” when you’re talking about decorating, but it seems weird to me.
The narrator kept referring to the new homeowners as “Grasshopper”, as though kung fu had anything to do with Japan (I think the Shaolin monks might have something to say about that). Meanwhile, the designer decorated the kitchen cabinets with horrible renderings of Chinese characters, but at least he had a sense of humor about it–he mixed the traditional “honor” and crap like that with stuff like “candy” and “chicken”.
The thing I was most interested in was the dining room, where they laid out bamboo mats to cover the ugly floor and then put in a low table. The designer made the table by hand, and he designed extensions for it so it could be used at a height that’s normal for westerners.
I have been trying to figure out how to design a table with extensions for awhile now. I would prefer that the legs either fold out or be latched under the table, so the extra legs don’t take up additional space in the house. I want either a black table, to go along with all my black furniture, or a more traditional natural wood, stained/lacquered? table.
It was neat to see someone actually doing something like what I want, even if in this case the extensions had to be stored.
I’ve also thought about putting down bamboo mats in my dining room, but it doesn’t seem like it would work right with the kitchen entrance. Plus the chandelier just doesn’t go with a Japanese style room, so I’ve been loath to decorate it at all.
Maybe someday when we move I’ll have the Japanese-style dining room I envision :)
I also want a Japanese-style bath…