Elements from nature. Asian design places a strong emphasis on bringing the outdoors inside through plants and natural motifs. Consider adding touches of glass or acrylic that has bamboo, grasses or leaves embedded within it, as in the shoji screen–style panels that front this kitchen window. You could also line cabinet panels with split bamboo stalks or add potted bamboo plants or wheatgrass to infuse the space with a sense of life.
Organic materials. Surfaces with a connection to the earth feel most at home in Asian-style kitchens. Consider woods, subdued stone or even butcher block. More contemporary materials, such as concrete or glass, have a place here as well, but be sure to balance them with natural ones so that the kitchen doesn’t feel cold or harsh.
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”Contemporary” typically means of the moment or current, the design of right now. ”Modern” refers to a specific design style from the early to mid 20th century that broke with the traditional styles of the days before the Industrial Revolution.
Rich woods. More than any other material, wood defines Craftsman style, thanks to its emphasis on natural beauty. Leave kitchen cabinets unpainted and coat them in a deep stain instead of paint for a warm, lustrous look. Oak is practically synonymous with Craftsman design; if you choose other woods, stick with indigenous species such as maple or pine.
Balance and harmony. The Asian aesthetic places a strong emphasis on harmony, in terms of materials as well as design. Pay attention to balancing visual elements such as color, form and weight. In this kitchen the dark range hood offsets the island, and the lighter ceiling beams echo the cabinetry.