Friday, 11 May 2007

Chinese Furniture in Modern Life

While Chinese people run to IKEA to decorate their modern homes with western style furniture, China style is popular in the West.

Furniture in Asia has Chinese roots. Thais as other Asians used to live on the floor (sleeping, eating, sitting). While in China in the 12th century the use of stools and chairs was widely spread. The Ming period (1368-1644) was considered as the golden age of Chinese furniture. Timeless simplicity and perfect proportions of Ming furniture allow these pieces to fit even today in the most modern homes around the world. Later, heavy ornate carvings were the style of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Take a look into today's interior design magazines. Pictures of beautiful modern houses with blue and white ginger jars on the chimney or a horse shoe shaped Chinese chair in the hallway are never missing.

A piece of Chinese furniture can make you dream of far away countries and can be functional at the same time. Chinese altar tables serving as console tables, opium bed serving as coffee tables, wedding cabinets serving as TV storage, pharmacy cabinets serving as CD storage, wooden rice container serving as magazine stand… the list is long.

Living in Beijing and exploring Panjiayuan Antique Market, Gaobeidian Village or Chaowai Furniture Warehouse I can find lots of examples. I will keep you posted!

And if the Chinese furniture looks 'too Chinese' lacquer them in white colour!

Remark: Funny, the nicest Chinese furniture we saw was in Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong and not in Beijing.

Photos: from different magazines showing from top left clockwise: white lacquered daybed, bedroom with two wedding cabinets in pastel colour, bedroom with wedding cabinet Ming Style, bedroom with storage boxes and Chinese door serving as paravent.


Anonymous said...

The cherries in neighbours garden... Europeans like Eastern style, Asians like Western style.

China is conquering the world...
- luckily only with Chinese style - ... nicely said.

Ian said...

I loved that post Suzie, thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

For good Chinese furniture made near Bejing check the "Chinese Merchant's house" display at the Museum of Fine Arts", Boston. I always dreamed of finding the place that made the stuff but never did.

R. Schwendeman said...

Its really so true - the Chinese are rushing to buy western style furniture! Then again, if they didn't throw away the old stuff and get new, then where would those vendors in Chaowai get their stuff from? Nothing like discarding an antique coffee table and replacing it with some from the "Lack" series at Ikea. :) Besides, for those of us who actually work as professionals in the Chinese antique/ethic furnishings business, well it just means more good stuff for us! If you are really interested in Chinese antiques, feel free to poke around on our own blog. Roger @ ACF China


LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs