Culture and Decor:
How Tradition Intertwines in Modern Living

The joys of summer may be ending soon, but for many Asian Americans, it is time for an important cultural celebration. Held on the 15th of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, typically in September in the Western calendar, Moon Festival is a significant cultural occasion celebrated by East and Southeast Asians worldwide for family reunion under the full moon.

In East Asian culture, the full moon has historically been viewed as the ultimate symbol of completeness and continuity, profoundly influencing various aspects of aesthetics and design from daily objects to architecture.

The moon gate is a perfect example. A full moon-like circular door that acts as a pedestrian passageway is an iconic architectural element in Chinese gardens. The harmonious symmetry of the circle expresses perfection and creates a pleasure of viewing for both eyes and brain. In China, gardens are built for contemplation of nature and life, and the design is all about symbolism and enabling a winding wandering experience. That’s why a major design intention of the moon gate is to create an aesthetically pleasing view with the circular frame and intensify the beauty of the scene — the viewer’s eyes will be drawn to the circle and attracted to appreciate and explore what’s behind.


Source: Kknews

This Eastern Asian concept of space is also relevant to modern garden design and improvement. Of course, it is challenging to replicate an exact moon gate. Still, a moon gate-inspired décor or landscape design adds a simple and modern Asian cultural touch to the private garden or courtyard. Having such a tranquil and healing space becomes ever so crucial for stress relief and mindfulness especially when dealing with COVID-fatigue.

Source: Pinterest

Concepts of space and philosophies of living differ between the East and the West. The moon gate is merely one of hundreds of examples of how cultural aesthetics influence our home décor style and preference.

With elevated cultural confidence, today’s Asian Americans are increasingly looking into their heritage for modern lifestyle inspiration. For many of them, no matter wherever their homes are, the transformation of the personal space through the cultural lens is a conscious reinforcement of self-identity.

These artistic elements in the surrounding environment provide not only functionality but also, more importantly, emotional value. And just as Asian Americans are a collection of multiple ethnicities, so too the origins and expressions of cultural home inspirations are richly diverse.

The serenity of the Japanese sand garden can be transformed into décor items, adding structure and texture into the indoor space.


Source: Pinterest and Unsplash
The form of Tatami, the traditional Japanese flooring materials, is often seen in modern Asian American homes as a space for tea, relaxation, or intimate conversation. While boosting Asian heritage inspiration, Tatami’s functionality and usage adaptability ensure its relevance in today’s multitasking home and lifestyle setting.


Source: visit-jp and Pinterest
COVID and cabin fever have driven a notable increase of demand for usable outdoor space. Building sunrooms or adding windows and doors to existing housing structures have been popular home improvement projects during the pandemic. Taking inspiration from Chinese screens as space dividers, folding glass doors create a dynamic yet seamless indoor-outdoor transition.


Source: Pinterest and SOLARLUX

Like Feng Shui in Chinese culture, Vastu Shastra is the guiding principle of spatial design for Asian Indians. It is a system that describes architecture, layout, space arrangement, and spatial geometry that incorporate Hinduism and Buddhist beliefs. In simple terms, Vastu aims to balance the energy in the given space and create a harmonious living environment in tune with nature.

The principle of Vastu can be found in every detail of an Asian Indian home. For instance, the main door should be constructed in a way to ensure that when you step out, you face the north, east, or northeast direction. The east or northeast part of the home is perfect for meditation, yoga, and other spiritual pursuits, and white, beige, and green are the ideal color options. A mix of diverse shades in the room stimulates energy into different spaces and positively influences the home and its inhabitants.


Source: Architectural Digest India and Pinterest

Besides everyday home ideas, there is also a wealth of cultural celebrations during which festive colors or décor items are put up in Asian American homes. Red and gold colored décor for the Lunar New Year and Tết. Fancy lightings for Diwali. The list goes on.

We see abundant opportunities for brands in all home-related industries, such as interior design, furniture, textile, décor, at-home activities and entertainment, to understand the cultural needs of Asian Americans, and curate culturally relevant campaign promotions to engage this growing consumer group.

The pandemic has opened a whole new area of work-life integration and ignited an unprecedented interest in home improvement. Showing cultural understanding in this category is critical in capturing this market and enhancing brand preference.

Do you know which of your products or brands will resonate the most with Asian Americans? Let us help you. 



Selina Guo
Strategy Planning Director&
Racism Is Contagious by ADMERASIA – a platform that provides consolidated, impactful tools to combat the spread of hate crimes against the Asian American community. Visit to learn more.[R]EVOLUTION by ADMERASIA – a platform that connects brands with Asian American innovators and gamechangers rewriting the rules for social advocacy, content creation and entertainment. Visit to know more.

Time to Change the Asian Narrative
on Mental Health.

Photo credit – Breaking the Stigma: Cindy Hsu Interview, CBS2


On July 13, Cindy Hsu, Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter from CBS2, shared her mental health struggle and how her cultural background did not make it easy to acknowledge the issue in the first place. “In Asian families, you don’t talk about things like this. You keep it inside and soldier on,” she said.

In hindsight, her story was only the beginning of something bigger that would unfold in the days to come — the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The courage displayed by Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles by talking about their struggles with mental health sent shockwaves across the world, stirred the media, and kick-started the debate of the decade on mental health in sports. “To have mental health be talked about more in sports is really nice because, at the end of the day, we are humans before athletes,” Biles said.

Osaka, in addition, also reflected upon the more prominent issues plaguing American society today. “Issues that are so obvious to me at face value, like wearing a mask in a pandemic or kneeling to show support for anti-racism, are ferociously contested,” she said. The emotional exhaustion from such challenging topics can paralyze even the best.

Their fight is real, and their pain reflects the reality of many Americans who have been silently dealing with mental health challenges for far too long. Add race and ethnicity to the conversation, and the issue becomes even more complex—a case in point being the Asian American community. 

Decades of prejudice, discrimination, and racism against Asian Americans were forced out into the open during the pandemic. The community continues to grapple with severe mental health pressures created by growing xenophobic attacks, especially among seniors, and the disproportionate loss of businesses and jobs. There is also the question of identity, how Asians are treated as perpetual foreigners despite 43% being born in the U.S. The rising political discords fuel the general perception that Asians are taking away “American” jobs, growing influence, and power at the expense of non-Asians while reinforcing the Yellow Peril rhetoric at a systemic level.

An environment like this fosters a complex emotional and highly vulnerable state of mind, triggering loneliness, fear, insomnia, depression, displaced anger, identity crises, and more. As if circumstances were not severe enough, what makes matters worse is the deep-rooted cultural stigma that makes dealing with mental health extremely difficult among Asian Americans. In Asian culture, admitting there is a problem and needing professional help can be perceived as a shameful act or a sign of weakness. Asians are, therefore, least likely to report mental health issues and are three times less likely to seek mental health help than Caucasians, according to the National Latino and Asian American Study.

So, what should you do if you are grappling with mental health issues? Seeking professional help to navigate your issues is recommended. The benefit of a medical expert is that they are upheld to privacy standards. This is an especially important consideration for the Asian community as they have received unfair blame, bias, and hatred for the pandemic. As a community, we cannot let the stigma associated with seeking medical help overpower the importance of our own life and well-being. But if seeking professional help is not where you want to start with, then there are other steps you can take to begin the healing process. 


Social Self-Care

Seeking a safe environment that encourages you to talk about your challenges is the first step to healing. For Asians, the role of community is highly regarded. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with those you trust or those going through a similar journey may provide a different viewpoint to your issues or simply act as a mirror for you to see things from an outside-in perspective. A trusted group could be your friends or family or even anonymous.

Physical Self-Care

A healthy body becomes a source of energy that can positively impact your mental well-being. Asians over-index in highly skilled white-collar jobs, especially in STEMs. These jobs are high pressured and time-intensive, making it easy to overlook or deprioritize physical self-care. How you’re fueling your body, how much sleep you’re getting, how much physical activity you are doing, if you are taking medication as prescribed, and managing health are all part of good physical self-care.

Emotional Self-Care

A routine that may include skincare, exercise, meditation, exploration, or anything therapeutic in nature can bring a sense of calmness and clarity back in life. Asian women need emotional self-care now more than ever. Their days are filled with chores, taking care of a multi-generational family, managing home and work while dealing with COVID-related concerns. Beauty and skincare have assumed a critical role. For many Asian women, beauty routines are elevated to rituals, a chance for “me-time” and time to destress. These routines are essential in keeping up the spirit and improving self-awareness.


Destigmatizing mental health issues is no easy task; however, beginning the conversation is a great start. When companies decide to join the conversation, it can be the difference between a positive or negative impact on the brand.

Join now, at the dawn of Asian Mental Health Awareness, and be welcomed as active listeners who support the Asian American community. Or wait in complacent observation until it trends across your feed. Asian America prefers the former.


Arshi Ansari
Strategic Planner&
Racism Is Contagious by ADMERASIA – a platform that provides consolidated, impactful tools to combat the spread of hate crimes against the Asian American community. Visit to learn more.[R]EVOLUTION by ADMERASIA – a platform that connects brands with Asian American innovators and gamechangers rewriting the rules for social advocacy, content creation and entertainment. Visit to know more.