Sunday, 15 April 2012

Bourgeois Living

The moment you step through the doorway, a certain kind mood will envelope
you. Inside a true blue Peranakan house, an altar is placed directly facing the
 front door with ancestral tablets and other ritual paraphernalia such as an urn 
to put joss-sticks in. Antique chinese black wood chairs and ancestral portraits
lined the side of both walls. A set of round white marble top table and chairs
placed in would be the center of this reception room. Sure is a formal and
austere setting to receive visitors.
Here is my imaginery shophouse Living Room. As you step through the pintu pagar
 (swinging doors in Malay), an eclectic mix of comfortable furniture to welcome you.
A pair of Art Deco armchairs, a Biedermeier inspired sofa and classic Isamu Noguchi coffee table placed on a round rug hold the selection together. Up till today these
period furniture is still very much in vogue. With their sweeping corners, give fluid movement to this living room. 

Biedermeier furniture came about in Europe in 1815 after the Napoleonic wars. The 
rise of the middle class created a demand for fine and less ornate furniture pieces.
Their subtle appeal lies in its simplicity which can easily combined with Art Deco
furniture, the ultimate blend of east meets west. Back then Art Deco furniture
were made in Shanghai, China. They are put together without nails, using perfect
diagonal mitred corners instead of Western style right angles.

On the wall, hang a large traditional landscape painting done in chinese ink
to portray the beauty of the Chinese landscape from where our forefathers
came. A huge venetian mirror which is a common fixture in any Peranakan
 homes is often placed next living room window. Isn't that neat ? Love the
opened-trussed ceiling in these houses. Thought I filled in some colours 
to add the sense of depth to the room. The rest is up to you . . .

Cheerio :~

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