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&
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