The Asian landscape is known to have a meditative feeling, and a serene and calming nature. Yet, many of our customers struggle with how to bring this sensibility into their own outdoor spaces. In any landscape, think about how you can create a space that people want to go into and explore. Think of your outside space as another room. A well designed space should be a collection of objects assembled over time. It is not about perfection, rather about finding things that tell a story about you. A reflection of your life and loves.
We love our visits to The Morning Blend! This week, Meg helped viewers understand how to bring Asian elements into their outdoor spaces this summer.
Similar to our belief that eastern and western aesthetics can come together with beautiful results, we encourage you to marry your indoor and outdoor spaces through design. Look at your garden with new eyes, and don’t be afraid to apply your personal design sensibility. One or two carefully selected pieces can create an incredible “Wow!” effect.
Asian landscapes lend themselves well to this careful use of space. A bare wall can become the backdrop for a special piece of statuary. A skinny corridor can become home to a carefully-curated selection of stone and plants. Having a series of garden “rooms” can create ample opportunities for the calm contemplation the Asian garden is known for. Next, we’ll share seven tips for how to bring Asian inspiration into your outdoor space this summer.
1. Use Dimensional Art
Art pieces, like stone sculptures or interesting vessels make an important focal point, and add another layer of interest to your garden. You may already have pieces that could transform your outdoor space. For instance, brighten up a ceramic or stone vessel with pansies, or place a Buddha statue at the corner of your old wooden bench.
If you’d like to go a bit more dramatic, large, stone lions could be added to the entrance of your home. Not only do they provide a lovely design elements, but they’re said to usher in good luck and good fortune!
2. Look Out The Window First
Use the sight-lines from the house to place focal points or set a soothing scene to enjoy from indoors. This creates an outdoor space you’ll feel invited to explore.
3. Create Paths
Create meandering paths. It’s believed that straight pathways allow malevolent spirits to go directly into the house, while a zigzag pathway hinders their movement into the living areas of a home.
4. Be Understated
Less is more. Think of your landscape as having positive and negative space. Focal points such as statuary are most dramatic when placed among low, carpet-like plants.
5. Use Asian Plants
Choose iconic Asian plants to set the tone. Plants like flowering cherry, Japanese maple, ginkgo, bamboo and mugo pine provide just the right atmosphere in the landscape.
6. Integrate Lighting
There are many styles of lights that work well with an Asian theme or a Craftsman-style home. You can light a pathway, direct light onto sculptures or art, or use lighting to enhance a beautifully-pruned tree.
7. Feature Buddha, But Not His Head
If you want to honor Buddha in your garden, choose a statue that depicts the entire body of the Buddha. Otherwise, the effect is that of defacing a deity, which can seem disrespectful. Check out our Buddha blog to learn more about the meanings of the different statues.
As you can see, it’s not so difficult to integrate the serene feeling of the Asian landscape into your own space. You’ll find beautiful outdoor design elements like statuary and vessels for plants at our store in Milwaukee’s Third Ward! Our team is happy to help you find the perfect piece for your home.