I couldn’t resist using this photo for my lead-off as it’s title – The Warm Side of Modern – says it all. Let’s say the look of my previous post is not to your taste – too bare, too white, too stark, too new. What to do then? Try treating your Asian pieces as another element in the mix – layering is the key here. Combine items from all different periods and places and be sure to include color, particularly on the walls to warm the space. Tablescaping, collections and details are important too. Throwing in iconographic modern pieces like these Saarinen Executive chairs doesn’t hurt either.

This bedroom, with its Venetian plaster wallpaper, a Murano glass lamp atop a Chinese bedside table, an antique Bessarabian kilim under a 1960s rope-and-rosewood chair from Brazilian designer Jean Gillon, demonstrates just the kind of eclectic mix I am talking about.

This glamorous room by Mary McDonald escapes being called traditional through its single color upholstery, strong graphic lines and large modern art, from the Chinese lacquer cabinet to the French antique chair.

In another view of the same room, the unexpected high gloss leather on that Louis chair adds a modern note to an antique piece – mixing materials is another great strategy to keep antiques from looking old-fashioned in any way.

Every room in Candia Fisher‘s New York apartment is blog-worthy so I can’t stop featuring it, this study being no exception. The surprise of a Chinese table in blue lacquer hits the same note as the patent leather on the Louis chair above. Be sure to note the great Chinese art deco rug on the floor.

Mixing in ethnic textiles and combining global accessories from different cultures is another way to create a fresh warm look. Here Kathryn Ireland puts a Chinese table in with suzani style fabric and a Moroccan lantern.

This bedroom features a similar combination with its Chinese bench, suzani as bedcover and another Moroccan lantern. A surefire formula!

Next in the series will feature styling accessories and collections! Send me photos if you have some you’d like to share!