ISSUE 4  |  Chinese New Year

10 Favorites: Chinese and Japanese Characters as Decor

January 27, 2014 12:00 PM

BY Julie Carlson

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Painted prominently on building exteriors, decorating the spine of books, or etched into a stealth location in the kitchen, here is a look at Chinese hanzi and Japanese kanji lettering as decor.

Above: A quote from Chinese philosopher Laozi, via Behance.

Above: Tea towels in a Scandinavian kitchen on Sköna Hem.

Above: Boxes painted with Japanese calligraphy; via D. Watson on Flickr.

Above: A dining room in the Brooklyn apartment of designer and craftsman Kai-wei Hsu, principal of KWH Furniture. Photo via Design Sponge.

Above: The LA home of David Cruz of Blackman Cruz, via Elle Decor, features an early 20th century Japanese screen.

Above: A hallway at the Groenhoven Estate in Belgium.

Above: The interior of the Old China Cafe in Kuala Lumpur.

Above: A kitchen detail by photographer Jordi Canosa.

Above: A privacy screen in a bath in China from Marie Claire Maison.

Above: Walls stenciled in calligraphy at Maison des Trois Thes in Paris, France; photo via The Paris Blog.

Above: A bookshelf in the Tokyo home of Vivienne Sato on The Selby.

Above: The exterior of Maison des Trois Thes in Paris; photo via L’Heure de l’Ete.

To check out more design trends we’ve been admiring, have a look at all our 10 Favorites roundups, including The Decorating Motif of the Season: Feathers and Houses Made from Shipping Containers.

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on October 30, 2009, as part of our Home Cooking issue.