How to design a modern masculine asian bedroom on a budget
June 30, 2005 8:04 PM   Subscribe

I need help with modern Asian Decorating. I am moving into my new apartment tomorrow (1 roommate who already lives there) and I want to decorate my bedroom in an asian theme on a VERY strick budget.

O.k so my roommate has not so attractive furniture in the living room, which of course is cool cuss its his and and I get to use it for free, but when I bring someone special home *cough* I want my room to look good and be a contrast to whats out in the living room. I want the person coming into my room to get the "Wow, nice bedroom for a 21 year old straight guy" effect...

I am buying this bed from ikea*10144
and two of these bed tables*10144

I am getting the medium brown they have, and am going to get a very simple blank bed spread for the matress. I want to get a wooven rug, bamboish blinds for the one window (directly over the bed) and am going to look for a tall rice paper and wood floor lamp. I am also ging to try and find a tri or quad folding screen in the down town LA chinatown area for cheap.. but do u all have any other ideas? I am am also going to get one of those cool black shelfs that stick straight out from the wall... (the screen will probably ocver up a very simple black desk that my laptop will be on when I am not using it... Thanks for the advice!
posted by crewshell to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
crewshell, you know what really impresses a girl? Knowing how to do a proper link. Also, I hope you're going for at least the full size version of the Malm.

All jokes aside, while a black bedspread would seem the easy thing to do, I urge you to go with a color instead. Perhaps a deep red. If red is too much for you try a green. Black will be problematic in terms of showing hair, dust, fuzzies, etc. Also, it's so cliche for young men to go with those dark colors.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:26 PM on June 30, 2005

Australian based answer but still relevant I think.
posted by tellurian at 9:18 PM on June 30, 2005

Sorry it's not more helpful, but it's a pet peeve of mine: It's strict, not strick. (Re: your budget).

For a somewhat more helpful answer, west elm has a good amount of asian-influenced things and while it's not cheap, it's not ultra expensive either.
posted by GreenTentacle at 9:28 PM on June 30, 2005

I bought one of those shelves that stick straight out from the wall, and I ended up not installing it because the bolts that were required were HUGE and I am a renter so I know I would not be allowed to use such bolts that would damage the wall. So be careful with that.

In answer to your theme question, a nice tapestry wall hanging (check while you're in Chinatown) would work. If you have any posters on the wall, get them framed - it's a lot more grown-up.
posted by matildaben at 9:29 PM on June 30, 2005

I just got thru painting a house for an asian theme interior. To set off your bedroom walls just paint one of them a deep rich red (make sure you have a mono-chrome primer on the wall first, this will save you time by only having to paint 2 coats of red) and the remaining walls a soft, light, dusky taupe. If you have base board or a window sill in your bedroom paint it black. Also get a plant that likes indoors. Plants really do help.
posted by alteredcarbon at 10:29 PM on June 30, 2005

If all that wasted time watching Room Raiders has taught me anything, it's that girls like the big beds. If your room is big enough, go Queen. And the comfiest mattress you can afford; after she sits down, you don't want her to get up, am I right?

Also, I'm not at all qualified to give decorating advice, but I wanted to warn you that Ikea can be somewhat hit-or-miss. They have some great stuff, and most of it's at great prices, but you can quickly get sucked into an "Ikea look" that can be less-than-flattering. Not to say you should stay away from Ikea entirely, but if possible, take a platonic girl friend/sister with you for decorating/purchasing advice.

And yeah, nix on all the black. Bright and cheery, not dark and moody.

on preview: good ideas from alteredcarbon; my brother painted his room very similarly; two walls deep red, the opposite two something lighter, and it looks really good.
posted by trevyn at 10:36 PM on June 30, 2005

I can't really make them out in the pictures, but I like the idea of using used pizza boxes to decorate (from tellurian's link). If you are good at making things, maybe chopstick eco-art will inspire you (via) and impress visitors. Have fun.
posted by PY at 11:54 PM on June 30, 2005

Several bamboo shoots in a large pot filled with white rocks on the floor?
posted by orthogonality at 12:20 AM on July 1, 2005

I have my bedroom done in an Asian style too (v soothing) - I have gorgeous dusky blue bedding with a subtle bamboo pattern and went on ebay to get a giant (and way cheap) Chinese paper scroll with a black and white bamboo design from this guy. It takes up most of one wall but is just held up with tacks because it's so light, and he backed it for me with a paper that matches the dusky blue bedding.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:15 AM on July 1, 2005

Since your budget is strict and you're trying to dress your room to impress, I've got a perfect piece of advice for you: Think Zen. Have the minimum number of objects -- furniture, screens, decorations, whatever -- to carry off the effect, and no more.

If you have a lot of stuff, consider how much of it you can hide or get rid of. A minimalist, Zen look has a bunch of advantages here: You don't need to buy many things to make the room look good; it's easy to keep clean (which will impress your guests even more than the decorations); you only need to change a few things to shake up the look of the room.

I also agree with the advice about all that black and dark-colored stuff like the shelves. It's cliche. That kind of decor will make you seem like a middle-aged man setting up his post-divorce condo, or someone simpleminded who thinks that merely being black makes something cool. If you're trying to impress the chicks, keep that in mind.

Instead, consider light, unpainted wood as an option.
posted by majick at 7:40 AM on July 1, 2005

There was a previous thread about what your apt. says to visitors.

Bamboo plant, or shoots in a nice glass vase, are good. A bamboo rug has a minimal Japanese look and is affordable and low-maintenance.
posted by theora55 at 11:05 AM on July 1, 2005

Pay attention to CunningLinguist's comment, as there's a hidden jewel. Girls are impressed by unique rooms that reflect the intelligence and depth of their owner. Therefore, avoid buying a Japanese brush painting on a bamboo scroll. Do buy old Chinese propaganda posters.

Buy some bonsai pots and grow ornamental grasses in them.

Put your best books out. If you aren't already a reader, become one.

Don't skimp on a rug or bedding.

Buy some nice paper lanterns and string them up. Get the best lanterns you can afford, or it'll look cheap-a-la-christmas-lights. Go for unusual shapes.

Buy some old old asian teaware and learn how to make a few different varieties. Keep the teaware and some loose tea in small glass jars out on a small table and offer it to your female friends as a nightcap.

Buy a few different types of sake tokkuri and invest in a few good bottles to stow away.

The impressions that your guests will form about you and your space will be informed in part by feeling welcomed and provided for. Both tea and sake can go a long way to make a sparse space seem rich. Always make a point of keeping a stash of something unexpected on hand, like good cheese, good wine, a nip of chocolate.

Also, build your room around different things to do, look at, consume and talk about. The more options you have, the less furniture and decor crap you need. Focus your guests on the experience rather than the space.
posted by cior at 11:27 AM on July 1, 2005

am a renter so I know I would not be allowed to use such bolts that would damage the wall

Eh? What is this "not allowed" business? Being a renter just means you have to go through the apartment with a can of spackle after you've moved your stuff out.
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:00 PM on July 1, 2005

Thanks All!

My room is on the smaller side so I got a Full, with very cool sleek attached bedside tables, I got one very relaxing chair and a desk for my computer.

I also got a tight wooven rug that gives and asian feel and a shoji 4 panel screen.

Currently I have a deep red sheet on the bed and am going to bed bath and beyond to get a cover for the bed, something dark but rich, probably a nice red color.

I also got two lights to put above my bed on the wall.. that have a shoji feel to them (ikea)

Also, I have these cool large chinese pattern bandanas that I plan on framing and posting (probaly two, one black - red and one white red. and I also got a sqaured mirror in a brown frame and I put on the wall across from the window, helps make the room a little more bright.

Then for my computer desk I got a very simple one with a keypad pull out and I keep my laptop on there so its very easy to just push it in and hide most of it, then on top of the desk I got an oriental box to keep all my Itech cords in, for my rio and treo, haha

I still need bambo blidns for the window and a small simple chair for my desk (the other chair is in the corner and more of a relaxing chair)

Thanks for all the advice! I wish I could paint but I dont want to have to repaint when I leave.

(oh also I did put up the shelf, and will put a few lightweight books and a candle on it)

Thanks all!
posted by crewshell at 11:31 AM on July 3, 2005

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