The undulating, ribbon-like crossed lines of QAQ's 'Espressivo' decorative screen design are both strikingly modern yet feminine; it's an abstract, artistic design that especially suits a contemporary indoor or outdoor decorating scheme. As last week's screen design feature post focused on the more traditional 'Vine' design, which I paired with traditional and rustic styled patio settings, this week I'll be pairing 'Espressivo' with modern styled outdoor furniture and decor. First, take a look at two installations of this design (in real photos!) that I have to share with you:
'Espressivo' in Compressed Hardwood
Decorative screens can fill those 'in between' spaces beautifully, increasing privacy and shade while adding character and value to your home.
'Espressivo' in 2 mm Corten
Or, a decorative screen can simply be installed as wall decor to liven up an empty space. Corten, shown here and installed with the stand-off method (click to see our tutorial) is a rust-colored metal that weathers extremely well, as it gains a charmingly rustic, uneven color over time.
Modern Patio Settings
Now on to some modern patio eye-candy. Modern patios are all about boxy, clean lines and neat edges, manicured gardens, geometrically shaped, modular furniture, and a fairly neutral, to simple color palette. They are minimalist, uncluttered, feature a few key statement pieces, but by no means do these settings lack an inviting coziness and comfort.
Compared to the intimate provincial settings of the past, modern outdoor settings always seem to cater to larger, group socializing and a lot more backside lounging or general slouchiness...
A Selection of Amazing Finds off eBay:
To get a modern patio look, you'll need a very clean-lined, manicured landscape and patio design and a few stellar pieces of outdoor furniture. There's no need to spend a load of cash on these, either, in fact, if you're DIY-inclined, you'll be amazed at what people are creating with shipping pallets! For those of you who are not, however, there are great designer deals to be had on eBay at much lower prices than what you'll find in shops. Here are a few unique and stunningly stylish pieces I felt rather impressed with that are available there now:
- Seth Wicker Accent Chair $625
- Smokey Ash Textured 4-Piece Outdoor Sofa Set $849
- Iron Wire Drum Coffee Table $229
- Outdoor Rattan/Wicker Day Bed $2,599
Make My Week--Please Leave a Comment!
What plans to do you have for your home patio and what have you done already?
I'd love to hear from you. :)
Following on my screen feature post for the 'Vine' decorative screen design, and as it's spring and everyone and their mom are getting back into gardening, I thought it fitting to do a little round-up of 10 of the cutest, cleverest, or just downright adorable ways to grow vines and other climbing plants on trellises you could make yourself. Melbourne is in bloom with scented jasmine, clematis, wisteria, and many other beautiful, flowering plants I do not know the names of, so while leaving the garden bloggers to show you how to grow these varieties, I will show you what you could grow them upon, with a little DIY creativity and a few links to complete tutorials for the things that might leave you asking, "how the heck did they make that?". So let's get growing going!
1. Make a Tree Branch Trellis
Sure, you can always go buy a trellis from your local garden shop, but it's never going to look as charming as one you made yourself, is it? No. Get a complete tutorial on how to make a sturdy and lasting one here: Tree Branch Trellis complete tutorial
2. Create a Pattern on a Wall Using a Wall Trellis Kit
One thing that would be worth buying from the local garden shop or online with this link is a Wall Trellis Kit! Check out the link to see all the wonderful patterns you can create.
3. Use a Wire Dress Form as a Trellis
Now, this is very pretty indeed: a Dress Form Trellis. It is easy to find these dress forms and other shapes, like animals or the Eiffel Tower, in home decor shops as well as online. Who would have guessed they could make a perfect trellis? And they would add some true character to your garden to boot.
4. Put a Trellis in a Container
Great for those with limited space or who are renting their homes, here's a complete tutorial on how to grow flowering vines in a container by HGTV.
5. Make a Trellis with Old Bicycle Wheels
Next time you see an old bicycle wheel on the side of the road, grab it for your garden! The older and rustier, the better looking the trellis will be. There are many ways you could set up the wheel to get your climbing plant going.
6. Create a Unique Sunflower Trellis
This super adorable sunflower trellis was found on gardentenders.com, where you can find out how it was made in more detail. It just takes a bit of painting and hammering, and does not cost much at all. The result is one unique trellis that will brighten up your garden for years!
7. Create a Barbed Wire Trellis
Or, if barbed wire scares you due to a traumatic run-in with it while out in the woods at night, chasing your pet cat when you were a child--ahem--you can purchase an artfully made one on Etsy by some of the many skilled artists to be found there. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any artists making these in Australia, but I am sure there must be some who do it down here. Maybe you could be the first one to make and sell them for us Aussies...Left Side Photo Credit: An artist-made Trellis from Etsy - by The Dusty Raven
8. Create a Trellis with an Antique Window Frame
Those beautifully carved antique window frames you can find in antique shops, junk shops, and flea markets might not ever grace the sides of a home or chapel any longer but they can be used to make stunning feature pieces in your garden.
9. Use Reo Mesh to Create a Trellis
For a more orderly, modern trellis, purchased a sheet of reo mesh from your local hardware shop. This is the metal framework mesh used in concrete construction, but it also comes in handy for quite the opposite placement as a trellis for gardening.
10. Build a Fashionable Chevron Trellis
Geometric shapes are all the rage right now, so if you have them inside your home, don't stop there. Create a fashionable DIY chevron trellis with this complete tutorial by Smile and Wave, a gem of a DIY/creative blog that I am sure you will find plenty more DIY projects within once you start surfing it. Author Rachel puts together very detailed, well-photographed DIY project tutorials for home, garden, and family.
I hope I've given you enough juicy inspo to get started on your own garden trellis. Which one did you like best? Leave a comment and let me know--it means a lot to me.
See more trellis ideas, pics, and traditional outdoor furniture and decor paired with QAQ's 'Vine' decorative screen on our Pinterest Board 'Vine Screen Design'.
The tiny buds, pointed leaf tips, and meandering vine stalks of QAQ's 'Vine' decorative screen pattern make it a highly versatile design that can easily suit either a traditional or modern garden, patio, or interior. Because I'm planning to introduce you to a very abstract, modern QAQ screen design next week, I thought I'd indulge in matching 'Vine' to more traditional patio decorating styles this week, and next week will cover more modern outdoor living furniture and decor. 'Vine' is a another lesser-known decorative screen pattern here at QAQ, so please excuse my photoshopped photos as I help you to imagine what this pretty screen pattern might look like in a patio setting!
An easy and inexpensive way to enjoy this pattern, like most QAQ screens, would be to purchase it in a standard size in compressed hardwood and simply hang it on your patio wall or fence. Compressed hardwood will weather well if it is sealed and maintained over the years. If you are not sure how to do that, see my post 'How to Maintain Your New Compressed Hardwood QAQ Decorative or Privacy Screen' for complete details.
All QAQ screens can be ordered in any color depending upon the type of material you want it cut in, so for a more decorative impact you could order the screen in a powder-coated ACM or mild steel, or simply buy compressed hardwood and paint it yourself.
Here is a real photo of 'Vine' installed along the side of QAQ headquarters (and which also happens to be the view from my second-story office desk!). It's a tall vertical corten screen which has weathered well and gained a lovely rust color. Some effort was made to get a jasmine vine to take off on it but it doesn't appear to be growing up so much as it is growing out into the planter box this spring..... Anyway, on to traditional style decor..
Traditional Patio Settings
One of the most noticeable differences between modern and traditional outdoor decorating styles is that modern settings almost always seem to have a perfectly matching set of rather modular-looking furniture. With a traditional setting, you see a lot more unique wood and wrought iron styled furniture, and often a variety of colorful pillows and throws to make the set look cozy and inviting in an old-world way.
Traditional settings often feature imported furniture, wicker, wrought iron, and make-shift pieces, all arranged invitingly with plenty of pot plants, color, and a general rustic charm, which may be a flaky plastered wall, mossy, unevenly laid patio tiles, or worn wood pergola overhead. It can evoke an old cultural style to sweep the relaxing guest away to an Italian alfresco dining area, Chinese courtyard, English cottage, or Parisian countryside home. Creating a traditional style patio or balcony area begins with the furniture, so I found three products available online now for you to check out if this style appeals to you:
- Antique Design Iron 2 Seater Rocking Chair - via eBay.
- Garden Table with Folding Chairs - via eBay
- Frech syle garden set - via eBay
Make my Week and Give me a Comment!
What is your favorite style, traditional or modern?
Spring has sprung in Melbourne, so it seemed fitting to feature QAQ's cutest decorative screen design, the delightful 'Butterfly'. A charmingly simple design of six flying butterflies, this screen would look lovely painted in a pastel color and hung on the wall of a little girl's bedroom, so I made it an excuse to use the silliest font I could find and to indulge in all things princess/fairytale/pastel and take a look at a few colorful DIY girl's bedroom ideas!
'Butterfly' is a very niche design for us here at QAQ and we have no customer photos of it installed, so to convey what it would look like, I shamelessly Photoshopped it here for you to imagine it in color on a wall! As with all our designs, 'Butterfly' could be cut in any size, color, or material to suit your decorative requirements. It can be wall art, a privacy partition, a pergola roof, a garden screen...anything you like!
Butterflies are a symbol of youthfulness and innocence, so decorating with them in clever ways can make any room fit for a princess. You can paint them on the wall or make them with paper, or, as a mommy blogger from House on Ashwell Lane did, you can purchase handmade butterflies from Etsy and make your own flying butterfly collage.
Girl's bedrooms need not be all pastels; though young girl's are often drawn to lighter colors, other, bolder, or more neutral color schemes abound like the two in the bottom pictures shown here. Hands down, they are still very girly, very cheerful, and very delightful! Here are some DIY ideas for young girl's bedrooms that I adore:
Using a mere 50 (!) yards of pink tulle, Krystal from the DIY blog Sassy Sanctuary created this adorable table tutu, featuring a satin bow wrap and painted table top. She also covered two cheap children's folding chairs with polka dot fabric. See her post for the complete tutorial on how she cleverly made all of this.
Plush Animal Birds Nest
Blogger mom Deanna from Shady Tree Diary created this delightfully simple and colorful solution for a place to store her daughter's stuffed animal birds within sight but out of the way. She features a complete tutorial on how she put it together on her lovely blog.
Princess Bed Canopy
Sarah from DIY blog Creative Ramblings made her little princess this pretty white canopy with a pair of sheer curtains. She was determined not to do any sewing to make it too, and so cleverly found a way. She also made the damask print headboard for her daughter's bed, which is also featured on her blog.
Thanks for reading!
Now I'd like to hear from you!
What little girl's bedroom idea did you like most? :)
Elegant and calligraphic like music notes, QAQ's 'Music' decorative screen design features lovely wavy lines, curves, and scrolls. It's a versatile and modern design that would look beautiful as wall art or on a door. Music lovers, read on! Here we feature music rooms, re-purposed musical instruments, and musical-themed products inspired by this design, and, thanks to a lesson in Photoshop I took just last week, I can show you what this screen design might look like installed in actual rooms!
If 'Music' were cut in compressed hardwood in a standard 1200 x 600 cm size, it might look a lot like this when hung on the wall. Wood would suit a more traditional styled home like this retro one for a warmer, more antique look, as would rust-colored corten, both of which could also be installed outdoors as they weather well.
If it were cut in a mild steel or aluminium, it could be powder-coated a number of colors to suit the color scheme of your home, like this stairwell in white and light gray.
Powder-coated mild steel or aluminium have a beautiful glossy, sleek finish that could make 'Music' look great in a very modern styled home like this one. If you love black and white, you could also have it cut in lightweight integral p.v.g which comes in either black or white with a glossy finish.
Now let's indulge in all things music-related for the home!
Vinyl Record Collection Storage
There is often the issue of storage for those who collect old vinyl records. IKEA cubical shelves seem to be the ideal solution for larger collections, but for a smaller collection you could either have a rotating display of all the covers on narrow shelves as in the top middle picture, or purchase small or cart-size vintage style wire record holders on eBay, like the one on the top right. These can be spray-painted bright colors to make them stand out and look even more retro.
Musical Instrument Storage
Musical instruments make beautiful decorative objects, so rather than have them hidden away, display them cleverly on the wall, use amps as tables, or, if they are very large, prop them up against a mantle or larger piece of furniture. If you prefer to keep them in their cases, you could create small tables by stacking the cases, or make an organizing stand like the one in the bottom right-hand picture, so that all the cases are displayed neatly in a vertical row.
Re-Purposed Musical Instruments
If you happen to have or find old musical equipment or instruments, you can re-purpose them for your home so that you can continue to enjoy their lovely shapes. Take the covers from cases or amps and turn them into cabinet or fridge doors, turn them into light pendants or lamps, or, if they are really old, plant flowers in them and put them in your garden.
Musical Sheet DIY Projects
Perhaps the easiest way to create a musical theme in your home decorating scheme is to purchase old musical sheets and re-purpose them in crafty ways throughout the home. Use them for stationary products, gift-wrapping, to wrap vases and candles with using Modge-Podge, or create a musical sheet table top or dresser like the ones below. For a complete tutorial using Modge-Podge to create something like the beautiful dresser below, see blogger Miss Mustard Seed's how-to guide. To make a bouquet of the beautiful music sheet roses shown below, see a complete how-to guide on the blog 100 Layer Cake.
Home Decor Products for Music Lovers
Whether designing a music room for listening or for playing, there is no shortage of clever ways you can incorporate musically themed decor to make a warm, inviting, inspiring space. Here are some of my favorites that I came across online:
- Music Note Bookends - Handmade by Australian Etsy seller Goosey Girl Designs
- Guitar Photo Pillow Cover - Handmade by Australian Etsy seller KEnzPhotography
- Vintage Metal Wire Record Rack - Available in from Australian eBay seller Ikbolin
- Vintage Microphone Light Fixture - Handmade by American Etsy seller Industrial Lighting. I know it's far away from Australia, but it was just too cool not include!
- Re-purposed Snare Drum Wall Clock - While the one pictured had sold (silly me not checking beforehand), I found a similar one selling by American Etsy seller Time Beats which is just as cool!
QAQ's 'Grapevine' decorative screen design evokes sunlit patios, alfresco dining, and golden skies over expansive vineyards. Although this design may be iconic for our Australian lifestyle, I've indulged here on the decorating style of the wine growing regions of Tuscany, Italy, where rustic, old world charm created a classic style over the centuries that has grown to curl its elegant tendrils far beyond the Italian border.
This is a style that begun many centuries ago in the poorer regions of Italy, where people lived simply in homes with walls built with rocks, where furniture was basic and sturdy, and the kitchen was the heart of the home and of deliciously simple cucina povera, 'poor cooking', which is as famous now as are the Tuscan wines.
Today the decorating style reflects these rustic, old-world origins. Tuscan style homes feature rock walls and fireplaces, large, exposed timber beams, tiled or stone floors, and a distinctive color palette that reflects the sun-baked Tuscan landscape: warm, muted jewel-tone colors, and earthy neutrals, especially reddish brown, burnt orange, cream, and pale peach. The furnishings these days can be quite lavishly carved, and are often heavy, sturdy pieces in warm, dark shades of wood. Filigree wrought iron or dark antique brass fixtures, lighting pendants, wall decor, and table decor are iconic for this style, and are one of the easier ways to evoke a Tuscan home if you live in a more modern home without exposed brick or timber features.
One of the essential aspects of a Tuscan home is an alfresco dining area. This is where QAQ's 'Grapevine' decorative screens and panels could be installed to create backyard privacy or to enclose the sides of a newly constructed pergola, which is one of the key features to creating a real Italian style outdoor living area. You can find many DIY guides on how to build a pergola yourself over a weekend, or you can buy them ready-to install from many outdoor furniture and hardware stores. Once the pergola is up, then you can begin to grow your own grapevines or other trellis-vine plants to eventually create a verdant ceiling of green shade to dine under on warm sunny days while you sip your Tuscan wine or fine Italian espresso.
Though a modern home can be decorated in a Tuscan style, its important to keep all the furnishings and decor consistently traditional, as any one sleek modern piece of furniture could ruin this old-world aesthetic. Windows should be dressed with at least a valence to soften the modern lines, and floors should be dressed with a few thick, patterned rugs to make the space look more rustic and inviting. Here are some Tuscan-styled products available within Australia to get this look:
- Tuscan Urns and Cachepot by Pottery Barn
- Cast iron Fleur de lis wall plaques via eBay
- 'Madrid' Light Pendant in Bronze by Beacon Lighting
- Cuscino Floral Cushion by Early Settler
- Tivoli Extending Pedestal Dining Table by Pottery Barn
Hope you enjoyed today's post! If you did, please leave a a comment and let me know what you think about the Tuscan style--is it for you? ;)
To see more Tuscan styled homes, products, beautiful photos of Tuscany and any 'Grapevine' decorative screen installations (should we ever get photos of any in the future--its a rare one!) see QAQ's Pinterest board, 'Grapevine' Screen Design.
If you're in love with colorful, eclectic decorating styles, you'll love this post and you'll love that it will lead you to find even more eye-candy and a giveaway, so read on!
This being our lucky 13 decorative screen feature post, I'm proud to have now presented all of QAQ's top 12 most popular, most featured designs, and am now sailing into the less-traveled territories of our lesser-known, quirkier patterns. The downside to this is that I won't have as many installation projects to show you how these screen designs look in real life when they are installed, but the upside is that I can get even more creative with ideas and suggestions on how the screens can be used, and what kinds of interior or exterior decorating styles it would suit, and how.
The bold, energetic, and slightly kitschy 'Fireworks' design presented a real challenge for me at first, but it quickly made sense to tie it in to the explosively colorful, bright, and eclectic style of decorating that I've already been curating around QAQ's baby laser biz, Rezal Home Decor and Jewelry's Pinterest boards. Rezal is currently an eBay store where we sell laser cut coasters, wall decor, craft components, custom products, and jewelry, mostly designed by yours truly. First, let's look at the 'Fireworks' decorative screen design:
Here's 'Fireworks' cut in standard size (600 mm x 1200 mm ) aluminium, installed on a white electric light box, here in the reception lobby of QAQ headquarters. You can have any one of QAQ's designs or a custom design of your very own made and installed on a light box in either white light or colored light in this size, available through QAQ.
Creative Ways to Install QAQ's 'Fireworks' Design
- Install it on a white or colored light box, as shown above-- perfect for a bar, disco floor, or wedding reception hall
- Install it on a multi-color painted wall using stand-offs for 3D effects (click the link for our post on how to use stand-offs)
- Install it near a swimming pool, as this design could easily be seen to be a water splash as well!
- Have it cut in brightly colored powder-coated aluminium or mild steel, or paint it yourself with compressed hardwood or MDF
When it comes to colorful kitchens, I see two main approaches: 1. The kitchen itself is mainly white or neutral but has been decorated with extremely colorful furniture and decor (the choice for renters) or 2. The kitchen cabinets and walls are painted or wallpapered in bright colors and tiles. The first approach would suit a collector, especially someone who loves vintage tableware and decor. The second approach would suit you if you love a lot of color, but not clutter. A lot of different colors like this certainly can make a home look cluttered at first glance.
It really takes a bit of boldness to have a home that is this colorful. Most home interiors are fairly conservative when it comes to color, then there's a middle tier where two or three colors are used again and again, but homes like these are more rare and so much more rainbow-- the home of a true color lover. Someone who is not afraid to paint a coffee table bright yellow, walls an ombre rose to white, or to fill the walls with an eclectic mix of colorful prints and photos. Homes this colorful are people who are very comfortable with their gender and who love to feel alive.
For a colorful outdoor area, you could buy a set of used outdoor furniture and paint it bright colors, or, if you are prepared to have a dry storage area nearby, you could simply have an assortment of colorful cushions, throws and pillows ready to pull out for when you entertain. One of the fastest, cheapest, easiest ways to add color to an outside living area is to take terracotta pots and spray-paint them bright colors to bring out the colors of the flowers and surrounding greenery.
Now for a Coaster Set Giveaway!
This week I'm giving away a set of Rezal's colorful coasters to one blog reader who comments and tells me what their favorite color is so that you can have an even more colorful home! You can choose ANY coaster design you like from Rezal's eBay store. The giveaway is open to anyone wherever you are in the world. The winner will be announced Friday morning on QAQ's Facebook page, so be sure to follow us there and check back on Friday to see if you've won!
To see more colorful, eclectic interior decorating photos and any installations of 'Fireworks' that come through, follow QAQ's Pinterest board 'Fireworks Screen Design' OR follow Rezal on Pinterest for 24-7, all-around decor and product pins full of color to the max!
Hope you enjoyed today's post! Comment if you did, and be sure to tell me your favorite color!
P.S.: Mine is purple!
Named after the coastal town of Eden, NSW, this decorative screen design features a starfish-like floral pattern with a high privacy and sunlight block-out rating. Though this modern design could suit many interior decorating styles, we've indulged here in the blissful, light and airy coastal delights that its beautiful namesake inspires.
First, one of the best installation projects that I have here to show you is 'Eden' in gold-painted compressed hardwood installed at a Metricon display home. The pool here lined the back wall along the street, so 'Eden' was installed to give the pool area much needed high-level privacy.
Unfortunately, there are not enough high-res images of this design to show you more installation examples; an issue that will be the case again in the future as I feature more and more of the lesser-known screen designs QAQ can make--which is exactly why I am creating these posts to give these hidden gems more 'screen time'!
So, let's move on to the coastal decorating style and products that 'Eden's' namesake inspires:
Coast decorating is one of the easiest grasp as it involves just a few very consistent elements:
- Light and airy color schemes inspired by the colors of the sand, the sea, and the sky
- Decor made from things found around the sea, natural fibers, fabrics, and natural wood types
- Nautical decor from ships and marinas
- A weathered, naturally distressed wear and tear to certain things
All the photos above are from the same house featured on beachblissliving.com, and it is a perfect example of tasteful coastal decor. I stress tasteful because we have all seen this style abused to death in beach cafes and cheap beach hotels that clutter every surface with kitschy, tacky, nautical clutter! Don't over do this style with that variety store garbage. Please. It's better to make your own beautiful DIY decor with found objects from the beach than to buy or use stuff that evokes a factory in China more than it does the serenity of the sea. I have gathered a few examples here for you:
- Beach Sign - handmade by I See The Sea Shop via Etsy
- Stunning handmade pillow with a delicate coral design by Island Home Emporium via Etsy
- Rope-wrapped vases handmade by Belle Decor By Andrea via Etsy
- Simple, yet beautiful handmade mobile made of driftwood by Moss Wood Decor via Etsy
- Tastefully adorable whale bookend by the wonderful site The Beach Furniture & Accessories, which really is a one-stop shopping mecca beach house decorating, with distressed furniture, nautical themed decor, rugs, throws, etc. for every room in a typical beach house.
With its clean, and orderly quilt-style pattern, and subtle ecclesiastical, classic aesthetic, our 'Washington' decorative screen design is aptly named, and inspires an early American, colonial interior decorating style. It is also a highly versatile design, however, and looks just as fabulous in modern settings as in the installation projects we share here among colonial style inspiration.
This charming pattern nimbly rests between classical folk and stylishly modern. It has a 60% block-out rating, making it the ideal choice for a very light scattering of sunshine if used as a shade as in the photograph above, or as a privacy partition in the one below.
'Washington' was the choice design of this year's House Rules contestants Danielle and Ben, who painted it bright red and installed it as a side partition on the patio of their backyard reveal.
Though this design looks fabulous in these modern settings, if it were to be styled around its more classical aspects I imagine it would suit an Early American colonial interior decorating style extremely well. It could be used as a shade cover on the outside of upper floor windows, as a foyer partition, stair and balcony banister, or for something simple such as a wall hanging over a bed. Here are some good examples of the early American colonial style:
It's a clean, uncluttered aesthetic that features functional, versatile furniture with a natural or rustic finish in a plain or classical style. It is composed with natural colors with warm undertones of black or brown.
Pewter, brass, and tin metal decorative objects are a common element, as are handmade textiles like hooked rugs, needlepoint pillows, knit blankets, and crocheted doilies. If you like this style, here are some rustic colonial products I found online that are available now:
- Folk crow dinnerware by Park Designs via Flower Patch Blessings. This online shop is overflowing with absolutely charming rustic country table linens, tableware, and decorative objects.
- Ladderback raffia chairs are an extremely iconic colonial furnishing. I found this set available on eBay for a mere $70 (located in Katoomba, NSW).
- Beautiful white magnolia needlepoint pillow by Richard Rothstein. There is a large and beautiful selection in his online shop.
- Traditional diamond pattern handmade oilcloth rug by Beautiful Floor Cloth via Etsy
- Napkin and Salt & Pepper Caddy via Flower Patch Blessings.
Oriental gardens have an allure of peace, tranquility, meditation, and mystery because they are specifically composed to create such. What are the elements used to create this atmosphere in an oriental garden, and how can they be copied in our own backyard?
Following on my last post on QAQ's 'Bamboo' decorative screen feature, I wanted to take a look at oriental style gardens--specifically, Chinese style gardens, leaving the Japanese style garden for another day--because there are specific differences that make each give a different sort of feeling when you walk through them. Chinese gardens are a little more bold and colorful; a bit more ornate; whereas Japanese gardens are more restrained, less ornamental, and more conducive to Zen meditation.
Elements of a Chinese Garden
There are three main elements of a Chinese garden that have representational meanings to encourage a meditational stroll:
- Water - Represents the constantly changing flow of life and of nature
- Stones - Represents strength, endurance, and stability
- Plants- The beauty and texture that gives life its meaning
Japanese gardens have these elements but express them differently: typically, Chinese gardens will be centered with a large, ornate building as a focal point while buildings are less important in a Japanese landscape, and may even be hidden from the garden path views. Stones are larger in a Chinese garden, and again, serve as focal points. A larger variety of plants and flowers are used in a Chinese garden, and in a less tightly manicured fashion than in a Japanese garden. However, there are many more similarities than differences between the two styles, as both incorporate these key elements:
The plants and trees specific to a Chinese style garden are:
- Bamboo - Bamboo -used as railings, fences, and as a plant, and representing flexibility in life
- Pine - representing endurance
- Lotus - symbolic of spiritual purity
Specific Chinese Garden Flowers:
The easiest to grow--and for that reason the most common--of these beauties are the magnolias and wisteria.
Now, as we are a decorative screen company, I can't help but suggest beautiful garden screens to evoke the Orient in your garden or home, so I've curated what I consider the most oriental of all QAQ's screen designs...
To see a Chinese garden in Australia, visit the Sydney Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbor which is a superb and beautiful example of a traditional Chinese garden.
Hope you have enjoyed this little foray into Chinese gardens. Please leave a comment if you have, and if you can suggest where any other Chinese gardens may be within Australia!