Seven home decorating ideas to try this Chinese New Year

By Aaron De Silva / EdgeProp | February 11, 2018 11:00 AM SGT
With Chinese New Year just around the corner – this year, the festival falls on 16 February – it’s time to add a little festive flair to your Singapore home.
Think lanterns, sprigs of cherry blossoms, hanging ornaments and splashes of bright colour.
However, old-fashioned, chintzy decorations tend to look out of place in sleek, modern homes.
For the style-conscious homeowner, a little creativity is all it takes to give festive decor a contemporary twist. Here are seven ideas to get those creative juices flowing.
1. Floral Wreath
Image source: Pinterest
Borrowing a literal leaf from the Christmas wreath, this delightful creation can be hung on your door to welcome guests. All that’s needed are some artificial branches and florals, as well as wire fasteners.
These are available from floral or craft shops like Far East Flora. For a balanced composition, vary the size of the florals. Auspicious ornaments optional.
2. Paper Pinwheels
In lieu of traditional wall hangings like auspicious couplets, firecrackers and folding fans, festoon your walls with multicoloured paper pinwheels. For maximum impact, use them on a single feature wall. And remember to vary the size, colour, design and position of the pinwheels.
If you have a high ceiling, you can string them up and hang them in a cluster above your dining table. Pinwheels are available at craft shops or online at Etsy. If you’re in the mood to DIY, online tutorials are readily available.
3. Chinoiserie Cushion
Gaudy cushion covers don’t quite work on sleek sofas and armchairs. A more elegant option is the chinoiserie style, which evokes Chinese designs through abstract patterns.
Meanwhile, in time for the Year of the Dog, American artist Paige Gemmel has created a hand-embroidered pooch pattern. Only the gourd-shaped vase and Chinese key motif on the vase identify it as Chinese. Available from Anthropologie.
4. Monochrome Table Setting
Image Source: Pinterest
If you enjoy entertaining and/or are a Japanophile, how about a table setting inspired by the Land of the Rising Sun?
This setting works particularly well because it uses just two hues, red and white – the colours of the Japanese flag. Keep to a monochromatic scheme by pairing white porcelain crockery with red napkins and red floral centrepieces.
For an extra touch of authenticity, decorate with shimekazari (traditional Japanese New Year decorations). Like the Chinese, Japanese culture is heavy with symbolism. And thanks to cultural affinity, certain motifs carry similar meanings. Cranes, for example, represent happiness and longevity in both cultures. Try Tokyu Hands or Takashimaya for shimekazari.
5. Cherry Blossom Decor
Image Source: Pinterest
Speaking of cultural affinity, cherry blossoms are also appreciated in both Chinese and Japanese cultures. In fact, they’re universal harbingers of Spring.
And this being Spring Festival, what better way to usher in the season than with beautiful sprays of cherry blossoms.
Use a paper lantern as a vase for a unique look. Or use vases of different heights to create an informal, artistic table centrepiece. Major flower wholesalers like Far East Flora stock cherry blossoms.
6. Lantern Installation Art
Image Source: Pinterest
Instead of stringing up your lights, a contemporary way to display them is to place them in clear glass vases. For a stunning, installation-art style arrangement, use a series of vases in a row. For example, line them up along your driveway or corridor space.
Opt for energy-efficient LEDs to save electricity.
7. Hanging Ornaments
Image Source: Pinterest
Traditionally, ornaments are hung on pussy willows or floral centrepieces. As an alternative, you could hang them from a piece of driftwood, or an ordinary but sculptural branch. This works nicely if your interior has a natural, rustic or resort-like design scheme.
And if store-bought hanging ornaments are not your thing, get crafty by making your own mini-lanterns like the ones pictured.