Tranquil, harmonious environments inspired by Asia give refuge from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.

The chaos and frenzy of the world makes internal serenity an increasingly rare luxury. Creating a calm, meditative environment within one’s home that is at once soothing, orderly and sophisticated can be achieved by incorporating earthy colours and restrained furnishings and accessories, so each room is a serene, tranquil haven.

The hallmark of this approach is Asian-inspired decor, which utilises classic elements from the cultures of China, Japan, India and Nepal: a Mongolian rug; an antique, blue and white Chinese vase from the Ming dynasty; a delicately hand-painted Japanese screen; an ornately carved console or chest. The Zen is in the details.

“Clients want touches, not whole spaces, to look Asian,” says Manhattan-based interior designer Marie Burgos.

The key to a successful design is not to recreate period rooms, notes New York interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield, but rather to employ economy of design with carefully selected, refined furnishings that have clean lines, combined with a selection of ornamental pieces, for an eclectic effect. 

“Contemporary Asian styling is less ornate than in previous years, less formal and rigid,” adds Andrew Hunter of Sotheby’s International Realty in Thailand.

Additionally, the principles of feng shui are often utilised to emphasise an uncluttered, open flow and to accentuate harmony and balance. To that end Burgos incorporates the five natural elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – in her designs. The elements need not be literal, she emphasises. Earth, for instance, can be represented with a collection of terracotta vases or stone tiles. Fire can come into play via an interpretive lighting fixture, while a pop of red in a painting can serve the same purpose. But it is best to keep the overall colour palette in neutral tones to underscore the desired intent: a peaceful space.

Claudia Cryvatz Copquin has contributed to Newsday, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Saturday Evening Post, among others.

Beverly Hills


This mid-century modern home, designed by Marsana de Monserat is located in one of the best areas of Beverly Hills, offering sleek and timeless design with top-quality finishes throughout. High-beamed ceilings, accented by skylights, natural hardwood floors and custom kitchens and baths provide luxury alongside tranquility.

$2,300,000 Property ID: P66WHP |

Sotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage

Grace Carelli +1 310 968 3499


North Carolina

(Above) Nestled on nearly four acres in the heart of a gated community, this home denotes a virtual oasis of privacy and comfort. This exquisite and elegant estate is luxuriously appointed with the finest materials and finishes. The custom-built residence features Asian-inspired elements including a grand foyer with a 30-foot ceiling and sweeping staircase flowing over a koi pond.

$7,800,000 Property ID: MBXVYH |

Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty

Mollie Owen +1 919 876 7411




(Left) This Asian-inspired mountain retreat has been carefully shaped and crafted to offer a serene escape in the heart of the Telluride peaks. A spacious living area opens to mountain views and outdoor covered decks and porches, which lead to a short bridge and a beautifully hand-crafted, traditional pagoda ideally suited for quiet reflection.

$2,625,000 Property ID: VPP482 |

Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty

Bill Fandel +1 970 708 4141

Key Biscayne


(Left) Enjoy breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami from this unique and spectacular tropical home designed by renowned architect
Cesar Molina. Located on one of Key Biscayne’s
most exclusive streets, this home is a fusion of handcrafted woodwork, impact glass, terrazzo tiling, fine wood and marble flooring throughout. 

$21,500,000 Property ID: MLCY8N |

One Sotheby’s International Realty

Dennis Carvajal +1 305 666 0562
Mayi de la Vega +1 305 778 7990



(Below) This incredible property sets new standards
in luxury resort living, offering a place to relax and enjoy the absolute purity and joy of the natural elements. The ultimate in architectural style and sophistication and the epitome of understated elegance, the villa is fully furnished with Southeast Asian antiquities and offers a rare opportunity to own a truly unique and serene property.

$9,750,000 Property ID: FT8VBJ |

Hunter Sotheby’s International Realty

Andrew Hunter +66 76 620 064