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East Meets West: How To Merge Two Kitchen Design Cultures

By on May 5, 2016
East Meets West: How To Merge Two Kitchen Design Cultures

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When travelers return from the East, they bring back the philosophy and aesthetics of Eastern culture. It has had a major influence on contemporary design because of its simplicity and slightly exotic nature. There is new momentum in the melding of earthy modernism with airy Asian influences, and you can bring the freedom and energy of that design to your kitchen.

The beautiful thing about Asian-themed kitchens is the natural way in which they meld and become an extension of any other design style, minimalism or traditional. No matter if it’s Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean or Thai, all of them feature classic charm, simple lines and soft elegance. By adding a touch of passion for traditional Oriental culture into today's modern design culture, you’ll let luxurious, classical Asian styles blend in with your home's Western artistries, to strike a balance between Eastern and Western culture

Minimalist Kitchen

Space & Order

Space and order are two of the principles at the heart of Asian design. To bring this philosophy to your kitchen, start by finding a place for everything. Keep clutter inside cabinets and up off of the counters. Instead of stacking things randomly about your kitchen, look for ways to store them neatly away. When everything has its place, it’s much easier to add to the simple Asian design.

Next, think about ways to create more space. Remove unnecessary décor, reduce the number of cabinets, creating a large, open kitchen design that will allow you to move freely throughout the room. 

Minimalism & Simplicity

If your cabinets are stuffed full of items that serve only a single purpose or that you never use, it’s time to clean them out. The third facet of Asian design is minimalism and simplicity. Just as clutter can make your entire room feel too busy and overwhelming, excessive design elements can cloud your attention and make it difficult to enjoy the room. Use classic, clean lines and simple decorating elements to bring Eastern tradition to your kitchen.

In order to bring out the sense of harmony and frugality inherent in Asian design, bring back the natural by synthesizing your décor with the nature that surrounds you. Nature has been an essential part of the region’s culture. The use of a bamboo plant or some other greenery on those sleek, eco-friendly counters will give your kitchen a true Asian flavor.

Asian Kitchen Design


Where you're embracing decorating elements to help your kitchen stand out, think of items that will add a touch of mysticism and exotic appeal, one of the biggest draws of Asian design, while retaining some elements of contemporary décor. Consider an imposing Tibetan head, Balinese baskets and Asian lacquerware to blend beautifully with your French furniture and English country fabrics.

Consider the materials you’re using. Bamboo materials, shades of red and gold and nature themes are great choices for upholstery, flooring and wall and window treatments in your Eastern-themed kitchen. Stone, wood, bamboo and other natural materials combine perfectly to create a seamless marriage of relaxing aesthetics along with elegant ergonomics. For some great Asian backsplash tile inspiration, click here.

Try accessorizing with Asian tableware and cookware, including coffee cups and mugs, table runners featuring oriental calligraphy and art, chop sticks, hand-crafted yixing teapots and carbon steel woks. Why not accent your kitchen space with a dragon curtain? Or use a Maneki Neko "lucky cat" charm to bring good fortune into your kitchen? 

Smooth Lines Asian Design

Color & Texture

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Neutral shades of brown, natural green and white often contribute to the Asian appearance of your kitchen. A dash of red or golden yellow here and there also go perfectly with the Asian kitchen form.

Try blending a subdued palate and subtle textures to help tie the diverse influences of your style together. Look for ways to add gentle pops of color to help a single item or collection of items stand out. You might, for example, display antiques on your shelves or a piece of Eastern-inspired artwork on your wall.

Cabinets & Countertops

Your cabinets and countertops will form the largest portion of your kitchen, so using the best possible materials for these important pieces is critical for creating the appearance you want. Try using oiled teak cabinets and poured concrete countertops to create a stunning, Eastern-inspired feel that will nonetheless blend with your more standard Western décor. These classic pieces will hold up well and stand the test of time.

Kitchen Lighting


Classic Eastern décor uses diffused lighting throughout the kitchen. Hang lights over the table or on top of work surfaces, or a Chinese lantern to add a romantic atmosphere for a perfect evening. Take advantage of natural light as much as possible, but install task lighting over surfaces that will be used for cooking and food preparation. Function is just as important as beauty in Asian culture and should be considered carefully throughout your design. For more Eastern lighting décor ideas, visit here.


Restrictions between cultures dissolve when you combine Eastern and Western décor to create a warm and airy atmosphere in the kitchen. Asian-inspired elements will blend beautifully with your existing antiques, subtle hints of color and other classic design elements. This unique kitchen style is able to fully reflect both worlds, providing a haven at the heart of the home that visitors and family alike will be sure to enjoy.

Do you incorporate Asian styles in your home? Let us know in the comments below! 

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