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    Inspiration & Advice < Back

    Chinese New Year

    Jody Hudson

    I am the design studio apprentice at Graham and Brown. When designing and creating new ideas I like to resort back to good old fashioned cutting and sticking, collaging just about anything I can get my hands on (no seriously, anything!). 

    Chinese New Year or “Spring Festival” as it is more commonly known in China, is a holiday recognized all over the world. A time where we all love to eat oriental food, open intriguing fortune cookies and try to eat rice with chopsticks. But why does it happen? And more importantly, how can we capture the fantastic essence of this oriental festival and spread it through our homes?
    Traditionally, each Chinese month is recognized by the lunar calendar, beginning with the darkest day. This year, the Chinese New Year begins on January 31st and will last for fifteen festive filled days. 
    As we know, each Chinese year is also paired with an animal. This tradition originally comes from an ancient legend were Buddha asked all the animals to meet with him on New Year. He then named the years after the twelve that arrived, giving the traits of each animal as a gift to those born in each of the years. This year is that of the Horse. But don’t worry! The horse has actually been given very good traits, including being extremely animated, active and energetic!
    During the festivities of Chinese New Year people often use the colour red, whether this is displayed on their clothes or decorations. Red symbolizes fire and is meant to drive away any bad luck. Fireworks are also a very big part of New Year celebrations containing the same belief of driving away bad spirits, filling the sky with light and colour. If you are in need of some good luck or if you feel the need to ward of any bad spirits in your home, then we have the answer for you right here at Graham & Brown in the form of our Shanghai Red paint.

    On the fifteenth day of celebration, China celebrates even further with the Lantern Festival. Hand-made lanterns adorn the streets shouting out with amazing patterns. Some of them beautiful works of art displaying fantastic Chinese animals, flowers and zodiac signs. Another familiar tradition of the Lunar Festival is the dancing dragon. An iconic Chinese symbol, the dancing dragon parades the streets displaying beautiful hand-made papers and Chinese silk.

    Chinese New Year is full of inspiring, wonderful and beautiful patterns, colours and meanings that we can use in our homes. Why not celebrate again and take the chance to have another New Year, creating your own China, in your own home!

    Mai from Steve Leung
    But, if you are looking for something a bit more permanent, here at Graham & Brown we boast our own excellent range of Asian inspired designs. Steve Leung, talented Chinese architect and interior designer has designed a range exclusively for G&B. Toning down traditional Chinese patterns and colours by taking a minimalist approach, Leung’s beautiful collection can be used as much or as little as you want in your home. 

    Juan from Steve Leung
    For those of you wanting to add just a hint of the orient to your room, Steve Leung’s Juan has a subtle geometric pattern with a hint of glitter, giving you a quieter wall. Another gentle way to incorporate Asia into you home is with Leung’s Mai, this is a less obvious stripe that boasts fantastic tonal colours, allowing you to incorporate different accessories and wall art into your look.

    Bao from Steve Leung
    If you want to approach a room fully loaded with a bold China statement then Bao is your wallpaper. Dark, geometric and moody this modern interpretation of classic Chinese print will make a huge impact on any space.
    So, whether it is a full room or a feature wall in your plans, a taste of China is sure to give your house a splash of culture!
    All that is left to say is Happy Decorating and Happy New Year or Xin Nian Kuai Le! (Sing-nee-an-kwai-ler)