The appeal of an Asian-style kitchen lies in its fundamental sense of serenity, spiced with a touch of the exotic. Materials with a strong connection to nature, smooth and harmonious lines, and an unexpected surprise or two add up to a space that exudes peace and balance yet whispers of an underlying strength. Here’s how to translate the look for your kitchen.
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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Cutting-edge appliances. There’s been a technology race in almost every industry since we put a man on the moon, from spaceships to cars to appliances. Engineers are looking for better performance, lighter materials, durability and advanced features. Gone are the pink ovens of the 1950s and the avocado or harvest-gold appliances of the 1970s. Now it’s all about sleek, stylish and high-functioning electronics in the world of appliances: built-in coffee makers, high-performance hoods, induction cooktops and more.
Soft colors. The cottage palette is usually light and airy, and kitchens follow suit. It’s hard to go wrong with crisp, classic white, but soft yellow, pale turquoise or light khaki all look fresh and appropriate as well. Or try a mix of cabinetry colors: one shade on the island with a contrasting hue on the cabinets.
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.