The Oriental or Asian style of interior design takes influences from China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and even India to build layers of colour and textures which are easy to achieve and can look sumptuous and attractive.
While you may initially think of rice paper room dividers, sitting on the floor and bamboo mats, the actual look of a traditional Asian room is much less minimal and uses the influences of the culture to build texture and colour.
Both China and Japan are well known for their luxuriant textiles and in particular their embroidered silk and hand-painted wall hangings. To buy something like this can be terribly expensive, but if you are able to have one of these as a centrepiece to your room the scene is instantly set and you can take your inspiration from it.
When it comes to colour, red, sage green and tan are always great base colours for walls. It is believed that red brings good luck in this culture so it is an important staple for all rooms. Once you have this base you need to add dark wooden furniture. Light coloured furniture will not work well as it is too modern and the light will bounce rather than be absorbed. You should paint any wood which is too light in a dark brown or even black.
To add further oriental style, you should include plenty of green plants to your design. Of course Bonsai trees are perfect as are bamboo plants.
You can achieve an Asian look by using room dividers to section off areas. Many stores sell room dividers which are made of rice paper or bamboo and these will work well in this setting.
When it comes to soft furnishings and curtains, take advantage of the many Asian stores which exist in many major cities in this country. They tend to sell bolts of fabric which can be used for curtains and cushions. Many cities also have Indian stores which sell fabrics.
Antique stores are often full of Asian pottery and china and these can be collected at reasonable prices. You can also buy chopsticks, bowls and other Asian items at very cheap prices at markets and in Asian supermarkets. These will be perfect carefully placed around your home.
For a more authentic look you could replace your bed with a futon or your table with a low level floor table. Simply adding a few cushions to the floor may be enough to add the Oriental feel without sacrificing your comfort.
The Oriental style is always going to be a fusion of influences as the countries are themselves. Each part of Asia developed its own unique style and it is quite acceptable to pick and choose the elements which you like best from each and to use them in your home. Use your imagination to create something new and exciting.