Asian Dreams


            It might be said that China captured a piece of this clients’ heart after they lived there for many years. When renovations began on their Cape Elizabeth, Maine home, they seized the opportunity to bring elements of the Far East to the Maine Coast. For the guest suite, they wished to recreate a bit of Asian elegance, and their gorgeous collection of Chinese art and exotic furniture provided the perfect foundation. Upon entering these rooms, guests are immediately transported to the mystery and beauty of the land they call “The Middle Kingdom.”

            The bedroom is a dramatic blend of blacks, golds and peach tones. The pale hues of the wallpaper balance the bold black of the lacquered furniture, which was handcrafted in China. (While in China, craftsmen brought the items to the client’s home by bicycle, even though it was located at the top of a steep hill.) Chinese artists painted the Chinoisere, which adorns the side tables, tall dresser, secretary, curio and poster bed. Each area of China has its own unique style of painting and the elements shown are symbolic; cranes, for example, signify good luck. The metallic highlights on the wallpaper’s delicate floral pattern echo the gold embellishments on the furniture, doors and lamps, giving the entire room a soft gleam. The neutral knotted bedspread, silk-embroidered drapery fabric, and patterned carpet bring in texture, which acts as a counterpoint to the smooth patina of the furnishings. A red leather office chair, and upholstered reading chairs, also done in red, add punch and tie into Chinese culture. Red is a favored color in Asia, signifying joy, luck and happiness.


Pat designed the office-area cabinets, bathroom vanity and custom-made doors with their Asian scenery motif. The inspiration was the client’s beautiful gardens, and a local artist created the paintings in the Chinese brush painting method. In the bathroom, black accents provide a striking contrast to the warm tones of the Palissandro Bronzetto marble walls and floor. The basket weave pattern of the wall tile perfectly frames the custom glass mosaic of Koi fish swimming in a pond, and also anchors the free-standing soaking tub. The ornate, gold-leaf, dragon-head mirror makes a bold statement compared to the cool tones of the white marble vanity countertop and the neutral walls. Four layers of varying neutral tones were used on the walls to create dimension and harmonize with the varying nuances of the marble wall tiles.